Artist Profile: Garry Thomas Photography

Garry Thomas
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Welcome to Will Not Fade’s Artist Profile series, where we take a look into the people in the music scene who aren’t necessarily musicians.

Garry Thomas

Garry Thomas

Who are you?

Garry Thomas

How did you start off doing photography?

In the last year or so I’ve discovered a passion for photography. I first borrowed a DSLR from a friend and dabbled in a bit of Astro / Night Photography, and along the way started loving Landscape Photography. It’s challenged me to get out and about when I’m not feeling like it, like when i get up in the pitch black of the morning to shoot the sunrise over the city, or being the only one on a beach at 2.a.m, to try and shoot the Milky Way. I’ve booked entire holidays around the possibility of finding something new and spectacular to take photographs of. Best of all, it’s an excuse to explore our beautiful country.
Recently, I’ve photographed a few bands. Thus combining a couple of my biggest passions in the world.
My oldest passion – Music. And my most recent passion – Photography.
Throwing that together with a 15 year fascination with Photoshop, and a background in design and its a pretty freakin’ sweet way to hear some new bands, have some fun and meet some new faces.

Why do you photograph musicians?

I love music, why not help people create / document a point in time?

Film or Digital?

Digital

Colour or Black and White?

Both

What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

Bongzilla were amazing. Been listening to them for 13 years. Got to shoot them.

Bongzilla by Garry Thomas

Bongzilla by Garry Thomas

What band would you most love to photograph?

Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Queens

Have you got a favourite venue?

Wherever the music takes me.

What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

24-70mm 2.8 lens, Ear Plugs

What kind of ear protection do you use?

Decibullz custom ear plugs from Amazon

Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

The best camera is the one you have in your hand.

How can people contact you if they want to use your services?

https://www.facebook.com/garrythomasphotos/

https://www.instagram.com/garrythomasphotos/

Garrythomasphotos@gmail.com

Hit me up and I’ll probably come photograph your band.

Planet Hunter by Garry Thomas

Planet Hunter by Garry Thomas

Delaney Davidson by Garry Thomas

Delaney Davidson by Garry Thomas

Fall Of Man by Garry Thomas

Fall Of Man by Garry Thomas

Tom LaHatte by Garry Thomas

Tom LaHatte by Garry Thomas

Artist Profile: Stella Gardiner Photography

Stella Gardiner
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Welcome to Will Not Fade’s Artist Profile series, where we take a look into the people in the music scene who aren’t necessarily musicians.

Stella Gardiner

Stella Gardiner

Who are you?

Stella Gardiner.

How did you start off doing photography?

I was originally into Lomography and experimental street film photography,and it wasn’t until much later in life that I started using a digital camera. I bought a Canon 5D and made a few low budget music videos with a friend in London. Upon returning to New Zealand I decided to use the camera for photography and on a whim took it with me to a Peter Murphy gig in Auckland. I sent my images to a media outlet on the advice of a friend and the rest is history.

Why do you photograph musicians?

Musicians bring the world so much joy. They give it their all performing on stage and I want to immortalise those moments for others to share and enjoy. Going to a gig, for me, is a cathartic experience. It’s an added bonus if I get to photograph as well.

Film or Digital?

Mostly digital although I have tried film as well but it’s tricky.

Colour or Black and White?

Both. Depends on the artist and the atmosphere or venue.

What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

So far it would have to be photographing The Cure. For a teenager obsessed with Robert Smith this was a fan-girl dream come true!

The Cure by Stella Gardiner

The Cure by Stella Gardiner

What band would you most love to photograph?

Grace Jones. I saw her live at Camden Roundhouse in London and would absolutely kill for the chance to photograph her. She is an amazing woman.

Have you got a favourite venue?

I love Meow on Edward Street as there is always a place to get a great shot and the décor is eclectic making for super interesting backgrounds. I also love San Fran for the high stage and super awesome staff! I do miss Bodega though.

What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

Actually my jeans. I need a lot of pockets to hold all my stuff when I shoot haha.

What kind of ear protection do you use?

Isolate titanium ear plugs. They block loud sounds but I can still hear conversations in the crowd perfectly. It’s really trippy.

Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

Think outside the box and be prepared for anything. Oh and ALWAYS treat the crowd, promoters, venue staff and fellow photographers with the utmost respect. They can be your biggest ally at a crowded venue.

How can people contact you if they want to use your services?

https://www.instagram.com/stellagardinerphoto/

https://www.facebook.com/stellagardinerphoto/

stella.gardiner@gmail.com

Peaches by Stella Gardiner

Peaches by Stella Gardiner

Linen by Stella Gardiner

Linen by Stella Gardiner

Julia Deans by Stella Gardiner

Julia Deans by Stella Gardiner

The Chats by Stella Gardiner

The Chats by Stella Gardiner

The Exploited by Stella Gardiner

The Exploited by Stella Gardiner

The Jesus & Mary Chain by Stella Gardiner

The Jesus & Mary Chain by Stella Gardiner

The Mummies by Stella Gardiner

The Mummies by Stella Gardiner

Will Not Fade Awesomeness Award 2020 – Hamish Morgan

Hamish Morgan of Happy Valley
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You’ve got to love people who embody a DIY ethic, and Hamish Morgan certainly fits that description. Wellington has been facing the loss of many local venues in recent years, including youth hub Zeal which was vital for the all ages music scene. Obviously with less venues available, bands have fewer places to play, meaning that the local music scene suffers as a result.

So Hamish took it upon himself to provide a place for local bands to play: his living room.

He recently wrote a piece about it for our homies The Mousai: 

https://themousai.co.uk/post/189631733776/hataitai-homewrecker-wellington-7122019

For over a year now, Hamish has been hosting house shows at his flat in Hataitai. He provides a backline (amps, PA, microphones, drums etc), a venue (his living room) and advertising on Facebook and with posters.

Hamish Morgan of Happy Valley

Hamish playing with his band Happy Valley. Image: Will Not Fade

It’s a risky business. Maybe it wasn’t the wisest decision to name the events “Hataitai Homewrecker”. Yes, it is located in the suburb of Hataitai, but I’m sure that he doesn’t want his home destroyed. He limits the events to only once a month, noise proofs the space as much as possible and tries to enforce a strict curfew so as to not upset the neighbours too much. On the wall is a framed warning notice from Noise Control, who had been called out to the very first Hataitai Homewrecker event, but the other events have been mostly uneventful in that respect.

These events have become a right of passage of sorts for many bands. Hamish was the first person to book my own band to play, and many local Pōneke bands first cut their teeth at a Homewrecker. Plenty of musicians from the punk/hardcore etc scene in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and even as far as Sydney have made the pilgrimage here to play as well.

This is more than just providing another place for bands to play. A bonus that some people may not realise, local artists are getting some good exposure from the posters. My personal favourite is from Daniel Vernon (of the band Dartz), who did this amazing hipster Hulk poster. I’ve since been noticing his artwork popping up all over the place. 

Hataitai Homewrecker poster Daviel Vernon

I’ve had a few chats with Hamish and he’s stressed to me about how he wants to avoid it becoming a “sausage fest”, and wants to ensure there is a variety of gender representation. And he’s done pretty well, with plenty of wahine featuring in the lineups of great bands that play his events. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but like me, Hamish is an early childhood teacher. Males make up a very small minority in that area of the teaching profession, so we are very aware of the impact it can make.

It’s been a great success, with Hataitai Homewrecker events having occoured monthly for over a year now. And Hamish is showing potential for branching out, having recently organised a free local show at a skatepark (sadly this was canceled due to a horrendous storm) and currating a stage for the upcoming Newtown Festival in March 2020.

So major tautoko to Hamish for taking it upon himself to provide a place for local musicians and sustain the music community.


Links:

Hamish posts his events under the Elbowdrop page: https://www.facebook.com/elbowdr0p/

Happy Valley Bandcamp: https://happyvalleywgtn.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Album Review: Lakes – The Constance LP

Lake The Constance LP cover art
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I knew I was onto something good from the moment I first heard Lakes. Someone had recommended their new album The Constance LP on an internet thread dicussing Into It. Over It.

Regular readers will know that I’m a big IIOI fan. He was the first musical act that I travelled overseas to see play live. So if I hear someone comparing an act to IIOI, I’m going to check them out.

And good thing I did, because this album is fantastic. Insomuch that The Constance has become my easy pick for favourite album of 2019.

Lakes decribe themselves as “glock-rock”. Don’t let that put you off – it’s not an NSA advertisment – it’s because they have a glockenspiel. Is that significant enough to warrant naming their genre after it?

Well the glock certainly adds to their sound, placing bright accents in just the right spots. The interplay between the glockenspiel and the other percussion in “Ontario” nothing short of sublime.

To describe their sound further: it’s happy music. Sometimes relaxed, usually upbeat. They play mathrock, but the time signatures switch so subtly that you’d only pick it up if you’re listening for it. There are elements of emo, indie and pop-punk threaded through as well.

The vocal harmonies are devine. This much is obvious from the very opening notes of the album. Then we hear the chiming glockenspiel and trumpet come over the syncopated rhythms and it’s instantly clear that this is not your standard pop or rock music.

The singing is outstanding. The Bandcamp liner notes state that the vocal duties are shared between four people throughout the album, but it sounds like more voices are in there. On tracks like “Reindeer”, the singing is ernest and urgent, but for most of the record things feel pretty calm. The tender “Erie” sounds like painful memories, with sparse acoustic guitar and gently layered singing. I just love it all, from the chanted shouts of ‘Hey!’ in “Geneva” to the staccato delivery of the chorus in “Lucerne”.

I hope I’m not being too misleading here, But Lakes remind me a lot of Toe: fantastic musicianship, quirky time signatures, busy drumming that isn’t overpowering, and songs that are perfect for putting you into a great mood.

Lakes didn’t do themselves many favours when they chose their moniker. It’s not an easy name to search for. On top of this, when I’ve had friends give me a lift in their car and offer me a chance to choose the music, I haven’t been able to find Lakes on streaming services. I’ve included a songwhip link at the end of the article that you can use to find them, so they are available, but I’ve never managed to find them on a friends phone when searching for them on Spotify or Google Play when driving in the car.

This is not a criticism of the music. All of their songs are named after Lakes, so it’s an apt name. But it makes it harder for me to share and recommend their music if I don’t have a URL link handy.

It’s a hard choice, but I’d consider “Ontario” the highlight of the album, thanks to the aformentioned glock accents, the vocal hamonies, and the soaring trumpet and great drumming in the outro. Everything comes together into a georgeous package.

Lakes are worth your time. I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard of them, but there’s no more pleading ignorance now. Treat yourself to some georgously catchy and carefree music. Like I said before, Lakes were my surefire choice for best music of 2019. Check them out and see if if you agree.

Listen to The Constance LP: https://songwhip.com/album/lakes/constance


Lakes links:

Buy physical copies: https://thelpcafe.com/product/the-constance-lp-lakes/?fbclid=IwAR1_QSMl9ft39zXz8ZTc0_A5abs1GlS7b974Lnr57VFKZBoC5T5ULsXyqEI

Website: https://www.ourbandlakes.com/

Bandcamp: https://ourbandlakes.bandcamp.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ourbandlakes/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ourbandlakes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ourbandlakes/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5TizUcJWoPu6QwTZnlsqVA

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ourbandlakes

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3FsRoxn81LEbOBSHb60T8G

 

Joseph James

Spiritual Instinct: An Interview With Neige From Alcest

Alcest Neige
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Daniel Hay: So the main reason I’ve been handed over this interview is because my band actually opened for Alcest on your last New Zealand tour, and you’re one of our biggest influences, so I was given this opportunity.

Neige: That’s great, what was the name of your band?

The Dark Third, we played the Auckland show, which if you recall was in quite a small underground venue.

Ah yes, that’s so cool.

So I wanted to talk about the live side of the music first. I actually went to both shows on that tour, in Auckland and in Wellington, and they were both quite different, which I felt was quite interesting. Wellington was quite a meditative show, whereas Auckland was quite aggressive and a lot more metal. And I recall, you actually changed your encore song from Deliverance to Percees de Lumiere, is that something you do often, changing the songs to fit the room?

No actually, we never really do this, so that may have been the only time. Because we work with a computer project, it’s not simple for us to just switch to another song if we want. So that is strange. But yeah, I remember as you said these two shows were completely different. The first one was quite atmospheric and intimate, and the other one was intimate in a very ‘punk’ style.

It was moved to that venue last-minute. I greatly enjoyed that show, because it showed a different side to your music. The heavier songs, everyone got quite into it, as if it was a punk show, as you said.

Yes, but it was a great show. It was so much fun. People were actually doing mosh pits and stuff.

Yes I remember then fondly. One other thing I noticed from your live setup then was, in contrast to a lot of bands in your area of music, you didn’t have many guitar pedals.

No, no. It’s because I think having like 20 pedals is bullshit. I mean, you don’t need 20 pedals, I have always had two or three. Distortion, delay and reverb. I am then using my guitar volume and tone control to get different gains during the songs. I’m trying to do more with the least amount of gear possible, because when you travel and when you play that many shows, the more gear you have, the more chance there is that something doesn’t work properly. So we try to have very limited amounts of cables and pedals.

And for me, a song works fine just how it is with melodies, and all the rest is just to embellish the sound and make it even better, but that’s something you do more in the studio.

And with the new record, this is a bit of a heavier one, are you going to change any of your live setup to reflect that?

It’s more or less the same, but I am using a different distortion pedal, so the new one is a bit more metal. But the rest, the reverb and delay, they are the same. My shitty Bose delay, and I have a Hall of Fame reverb pedal that I really love, it’s very simple.

So onto the new album, which I’ve been loving recently. It is a bit of a heavier record, which interests me – a lot of bands in your area of music tend to either get progressively heavier or progressively softer. You’ve sort of jumped around a bit and gone from one extreme to the other, with this being probably the heaviest record under the Alcest name, what inspired you to take this direction this time around?

Yeah, that’s a really good point. I mean, we’ve already done the heavy band going soft with Shelter, so that’s something that I’ve done already. And this time it’s heavier and darker because I was in a moment in my life when I had a lot of anxiety and a lot of darker types of emotions. And it was after the very, very long touring cycle of Kodama, so I was feeling really exhausted. I kind of lost touch with who I was, because you are on tour, you are always surrounded by people and you’re doing very down to earth things. And I feel I lost touch with my real essence, because I’m a very spiritual person. I like to spend some time in nature.

And you don’t have time to get to nature when touring.

Yeah, or even just being alone and reflecting. That’s something that you just can’t do, so I had this frustration and anxiety accumulating. And when it was time to write new music, I guess everything just came out. In a very violent way, actually.

This almost feels like the first Alcest record with actual metal ‘riffs’ on it, not just black metal tremolos.

Absolutely, yeah.

One other style of music I’ve noticed in this record is at times it feels quite post-punk, particularly in the prominence of the bass guitar. You’ve mentioned The Chameleons as an artist you admire in the past, was that a conscious influence on this record?

Absolutely, that kind of music I’ve been listening to since I was a teenager, so it’s been a really big part of my influences, especially the guitar leads and the guitar sound. I’ve never really been into like ‘heavy metal’ or things like that, I’m more like an indie kid with some black metal. So my type of guitar leads are more like the type of guitar you can hear in The Chameleons or U2 or The Cure, as opposed to Iron Maiden or Metallica.

So all their guitar work has influenced me, for example the chorus that I put on leads. And I love the bass in post-punk too, the rhythmic patterns. But it’s very subtle, it’s not something you can really hear in Alcest’s music clearly, but it’s definitely there.

I think this is the album I’ve heard it the most out of your material. It’s actually quite a groovy record, which isn’t a description you’d expect to put on an Alcest album – for example Sapphire is carried quite a lot by the bass in it.

Definitely, yeah that song has quite a bit of it.

And obviously, I have to throw in the obligatory question about touring New Zealand again. You mentioned Kodama having a long touring cycle, is this one going to be the same?

I really wish we would go back to New Zealand, and I think we will. It’s a part of the plan, probably next year actually. That would be awesome, we really loved touring there, it was the first time for us and we have so many great memories and met great people. And the crowd was very good too, they were… enthusiastic.

Yes it was a great tour, and you’ll have to find a way to the South Island next time. Much better nature there if you need a break too. 

Hopefully. Both shows were a success last time so perhaps we can.

Well thank you for your time, and good luck with the new album release. I’ve been enjoying listening to it and I think the fans will appreciate the new sound. I hope to see you on the tour as well.

Thank you!

Alcest Spiritual Instinct Album Cover ArtSpiritual Instinct is out on Nuclear Blast Records October 25th

iTunes preorder: https://music.apple.com/au/album/spiritual-instinct/1474788010

Interview by Daniel Hay