FVKVSHIMA are a new metal band based in Wellington, New Zealand. I am very excited to premiere their debut single, “Kuato”, and have interviewed vocalist Mark Mundell so that you can learn a bit about the band.

Will Not Fade: How are you?
Mark Mundell: I’m staying frosty, mon frére. Simply splendid. Top of the world. 2024 is shaping up to be a far better year than the ones we’ve had recently.

How did FVKVSHIMA come to exist?
The band had been around as a three-piece for several years – it’s only in the last year or so that the band has numbered five. The guitarist, the bassist and the drummer all knew each other of old – Nathan and Greg were formerly members of Backyard Burial, while Peter was the drummer for Shakahn, as well as playing in a million jazz bands. Our keyboardist, Dayle (aka Jellybones) is also an extremely talented and prolific musician, having been involved with blues, honky-tonk, ska and Balkan brass.
And then you have the hanger-on that is me. I stand at the front and shout at people. I’m also in Planet of the Dead. Around eighteen months ago, Planet was on a hiatus – we were all pretty burnt out by the pandemic and sorely needed a breather – and I wanted to keep on with a musical project. Pete had put a note on Facebook that they were looking for a vocalist, and I thought I’d give it a shot. For some reason they kept me around. Dayle joined us around a year ago in April, and not long after that we performed our first shows in October.

How would you describe your sound?
A fine question, and one I struggle answering all the time. I’ve heard some people compare our sound to Meshuggah, because it’s heavy and progressive, which I am not mad at in the slightest. Personally I’d say there is a definite industrial influence, as we have sharp edges on the guitar sound and the synths. But I don’t know, I’d rather people heard our stuff and judged for themselves.

I’ve seen FVKVSHIMA play three times now, and I’ve got to say I’m a huge fan and have been telling all my friends they need to come to your shows. I’m very excited to help introduce your debut single to the world. Why did you pick “Kuato” as your lead single?
As we’ve played live shows and worked on new material, I think there has definitely been an evolution of our style – particularly when Dayle was on board. His synths have been a real game-changer for our sound, and we discussed that the first songs we would release would be taken from those we had developed together.
To be honest, it was a two-horse race between “Kuato” and “Dominator”, which isn’t far behind. I think both of these songs do a great job of personifying where we’re currently at and giving everyone an idea of the versatility of our sound. I’m super excited to find out what people think. The plan is to roll out all the songs we’re playing in our live shows, and we have lots of new songs waiting in the wings. We’ll be busy this year!

Your first single – “Kuato” – is a Total Recall reference. What is your official statement on the 2012 remake starring Colin Farrell?
If “Rekall” was actually a thing, and they could erase the part of my memory where I watched the 2012 version, that would be great. Some films just do not need a reboot.

And are you aware that a recent Rick and Morty episode revolves around Kuato as well?
Yeah, I saw that episode. I did enjoy the reverence to the movie, but I wouldn’t have needed the excuse to watch it – “Rick and Morty” has always been bloody hilarious. Now I just need a Recall-themed Futurama episode.


Tell me about the artwork.
We opted to develop artwork that was specific to the tracks we’ll be releasing initially. Our drummer has a good friend who has come up with some awesome imagery for “Kuato”, featuring the titular mutant himself – we’ve also worked that into a lyric video that will drop with the single. We want the visuals to be as striking as the music.

Tell me about the songwriting process. Do you write music with a theme in mind, or come up with lyrics to fit the music?
Nathan and Peter are the creative engine when it comes to writing the music, and when I first started writing lyrics for FVKVSHIMA, it was a challenge to make them fit. The music is quite technical and it took me a while for it to click – I spent hours listening and re-listening to practice room cuts trying to feel out where lyrics would fit. My approach to writing lyrics has typically been to write them like poetry, and then I’ll work out how to make them fit the music later with Nathan. Nathan and Peter normally have a good feel for where they want stuff to go, and we’ve always been able to land on an arrangement we all agree with.
I find I’m generally always writing lyrics. I get a spark or two every so often – it could be a passage in a book, or a particular scene in a film (the first part of “Kuato” is actually the first scene of the original “Total Recall” movie, where Quaid and Melina are walking on the surface of Mars) – and I’ll just write. It can end up a bit more abstract in some cases, but people have always managed to pick up the themes. When I joined FVKVSHIMA, the guys already had heaps of music ready to go, so I went through a process of deciding which lyrics fit which tracks – I definitely wanted the feel of the track to fit the lyrical theme. So far I think it’s turned out pretty well, but we will let you be the judge.

I’ve seen you use a vocal effects pedal during your live performances to add different sounds to your vocal delivery. How do you settle on the sounds and effects that you choose to use?
I use the TC Helicon VoiceLive, which has served me pretty well so far. When it comes to vocal effects, I’m a firm believer that “less is more”. I initially just wanted a little gain and the occasional bit of reverb, but I found some sections of the music that I felt would benefit from a little something extra, to add to the atmosphere – especially in a live show. I tried a few things at a few live shows and people seemed to dig it. As we continue to write new material, I’ll often experiment with effects in the practice room and see if I can land on something that suits the theme. I’d like to say the effects I land on where targeted, but to be honest it’s often a bit of trial-and-error. With the layers that Dayle adds on keys, vocal effects don’t feel out of place to me.

Obviously you’re a huge sci-fi fan. Please list some of your top recommendations for our readers who’d like to explore the genre.
Oosh. There are so many! People who have heard my other stuff will know I’m a massive Frank Herbert fan, but we won’t go there. I’m a fan of a lot of old school sci-fi writers – Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut – but for my money, you can’t beat Philip K Dick. It’s no surprise that several of his books were the inspiration of many great movies.
I think one of the more modern sci-fi book series I’ve read and liked is The Gap Cycle by Stephen Donaldson. It’s definitely not a space opera – it’s pretty near the knuckle at times – but I think his characters are really interesting and it’s a story that holds you until the end. The other series I’d recommend is William Gibson’s Neuromancer books, which are more cyberpunk in nature.
For graphic novels, my go-tos would be Otomo Katsuhiro’s Akira, Watchmen and V for Vendetta. I’m also a big fan of 2000AD, so I was reading stuff like Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Rogue Trooper and the ABC Warriors as a kid. All of the above have inspired or featured in my lyrical themes at some point or another.

What lessons did you learn from your previous bands that you brought with you to this band?
Tolerance is the main thing. Bands are really like a family and often you will disagree on things, so I’ve tried to be better at being flexible and knowing how to pick your battles. When I was younger in bands I’d argue about a lot of crap that I wouldn’t give a shit about these days. I guess another aspect is how you keep everything above the grind so the band doesn’t end up becoming a chore or like another day job. Some folks want to write, some folks like gigging, others the promotional and the socials – I guess as a band you collectively have to find what makes people tick and let them pursue their passion, and that helps keep it fresh for everyone. I think I’m lucky with Planet of the Dead and FVKVSHIMA – we’re all of a similar age, we all seem to manage to pull in the same direction, even with our various real-life commitments, and we all still find joy in what we do. I sincerely hope it stays that way for a long time.

Your other band, Planet of the Dead, had a lot of plans disrupted around the time of your last album release due to covid-related events like lockdowns and reduced capacity shows. Has this made you more cautious with making plans going forward, or do you think the major impacts of the pandemic are behind us now?
New Zealand has been slower than other countries (at least in my opinion) to come out of the covid cocoon – you only had to walk the streets of Wellington last year and the one before to see that for yourself. However, I honestly believe we’ve turned a corner and I think we’re starting to get there. There are great promoters doing righteous work and pushing hard to bring international acts to New Zealand more recently, and those shows I’ve attended have been jammed. It’s been a wicked year so far for live music. I always jinx these things though, so I’ll state my position as “cautiously optimistic” and we’ll leave it there.

I know that you’re a fan of physical media because I see how much your record collection has grown every time I come to your house. Have you got plans to release FVKVSHIMA music physically?
Digital will be the way initially, but I would love to see FVKVSHIMA’s work on a CD or a bit of wax. That’s a medium-term goal though, I think initially the priority has to be just getting our music out there in the first instance. Once we’ve got an album’s worth on Bandcamp, then we’ll maybe look at getting some vinyl pressed.

This is just the start for FVKVSHIMA. What have you got lined up for the future? Touring, releases, world domination?
More tracks, more shows. We’ve got a year of real mahi ahead, but none of us are work-shy in the slightest and we’re finally getting our sound out there for everyone to check out – we seriously hope people will dig it. We’ve had some great live shows in the last six months with some amazing NZ metal acts, and we’re generally always up for jumping on a bill with whoever. So I think our plan for the next year is to be seen and heard as much as possible. After that … world domination? Sure, why not. Can’t hurt.

Here’s your chance to say anything that we haven’t covered.
Thanks for the chance to have a chat. Music sites, blogs and fanzines are part of the lifeblood of our scene – it’s how we get heard. So we appreciate you writing about it, and we appreciate all the people who take the time to read it.
Stay frosty.

Kuato available across all platforms including:








Photos by Joseph James/Will Not Fade and Jechtography

Artist Profile: Jechtography


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.



Who are you?

Hey! I’m Jecht and I run my own photography business Jechtography! I officially settled on the name while on tour with two Battle Of The Bands grand winners and since then I’ve shot seven international acts and 70 kiwi musicians and bands, most of them multiple times! If the name Jechtography seems familiar, it’ll be because of the many musicians and bands currently flaunting the photos I’ve taken of them on social media haha.


How did you start off doing photography?

It all started when I was taking snaps of my brother’s band Pale Lady with a cracked phone lens, at the time I very rarely took photography seriously apart from making the odd Instagram post. From there I started to go to more and more local music gigs and decided I’d need to invest in some better hardware, so I bought a brand new Sony A6000 and self-taught myself to where I am 10 months later!


Why do you photograph musicians?

I believe it’s mainly due to the influence of going to see my bro play live. I rarely went out to check the local scene beforehand and it think it was the exposure to seeing the raw talent oozing out of the Wellington scene lately that occupies most of my photography ventures lately. I’ve branched out and done a wedding and some photo shoots since starting Jechtography, but there’s a special active component with photographing musicians in a lively venue that you can’t get anywhere else, a special symbiosis between the performer and the photographer where you’re doing your best to capture and preserve the energy and emotions they’re expressing.


Film or Digital?

I would like to try out film sometime in the future, and upon thinking more on this question I do wish I tried taking up Photography as well as Art when I was at college (I remember we had a darkroom, so that implies film was taught right?)… but ultimately I’ve only ever had access to Digital hardware, and for now I want to shoot music gigs exclusively in digital. I’m a rather trigger-happy type of person and I want to be able to transfer shots to my phone within the same night for quick post-processing work.


Colour or Black and White?

Tough question. Easy answer is both, I love keeping shots in colour when the lighting crew or venues have a really cool setting to work with, and when the moment calls for it like when I want to draw attention to a facial emotion through a close-up or if there are great textures in the shot then I’ll pare it down to B & W. There is a hard answer though, and that’s when I really want to salvage a perfect moment like an iconic pose or an intimate crowd exchange, yet the photo is overblown with harsh red or blue light. I try to avoid those situations as much as possible on the fly with ISO/ShutterSpeed/AF settings but these moments don’t wait for you, you have to chase and make to with what you can get. For those photos, I begrudgingly almost always go to B & W.


What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

I’ve had to reanswer this a few times sooooo honorable mentions go to Thom of Villainy saying my shot of him surrounded in gold confetti was one of this favourite shots of all time and Jon Toogood giving me a massive signal boost from an awesome acoustic show.
As for my highlight so far, I’ve got to give it to my time touring with Blue River Baby, a Wellington based Rock Soul Funk band that asked me to go on a nationwide tour as their tour photographer! I had a great time getting to know the band members, meeting new people within the industry and gaining the experience and the do’s and don’ts of touring life! It’s definitely something I’d want to do again.

Thom from Villainy, taken moments after giving me a nod to denote something BIG was gonna happen

Thom from Villainy, taken moments after giving me a nod to denote something BIG was gonna happen

What band would you most love to photograph?

My mind says Slipknot, my heart says Lacuna Coil. Both have great stage presence from what I’ve seen and I’d love to capture the grit from their makeup and costumes they proudly portray and change up every album release. This is supposed to be a single answer question so I’ll just lock in Lacuna Coil!


Have you got a favourite venue?

Whichever one has the better lighting!!! Jokes aside, Valhalla in Wellington is essentially my second home at this point. There’s no photographer pit so getting in close for a high profile band is tricky, especially when you’re trying to keep a steady hand with a lower shutter speed to compensate for low lighting (Korpiklanni was a cascade of dreadlock whippings for example) but it’s really great for seeing local legends in the making like PL, ELK, DSE etc.


What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

I don’t think eyes would count for a suitable answer so I’ll have to say my earplugs. I can work without my tripod, I can work with only one of my few lenses but I need to preserve my hearing when I’m forced to stick near a blaring speaker to take those magic moments. I got my own future music career to think about too!


What kind of ear protection do you use?

I started using monthly disposable earplugs from White Cat, then when I prematurely lost them recently I resorted to looking like a tool and used my noise-canceling bluetooth earphones for a while. It totally worked but I’m sure that’s not their intended purpose, please don’t take it as an endorsement! Then for Christmas I got a pair of Alpine PartyPlugs that are wash friendly and I’ve been using them ever since.


Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

From personal experience, starting with a phone camera is totally okay if you’re testing the waters and you’re not sure, but know that you will definitely need the freedom and flexibility that modern DSLR cameras can offer over flagship phones. A great tip with shooting specific musicians is that you’ll probably need to see them live a few times before you’re both in sync, if you can identify unique quirks that band members have and when they’re most likely to showcase said quirks, you’re already on the way to becoming a fantastic photographer! It all comes back to the symbiosis between the musician and the photographer, even getting to know them off stage can lead to them becoming more comfortable and showing you sides no one else will see.


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

If you’re looking for a passionate photographer with a rising portfolio, you can get in contact with me via my Facebook page Jechtography or at My rates are usually very affordable and work on a per-head basis, less band members = cheaper rates! I’m based in the Wellington region but I have on occasion ventured out to shows, it doesn’t hurt to inquire.


If you’d like to take a gander at more of my photos, I upload a small selection from each set I shoot on my Facebook page Jechtography with the full photo albums on my personal website at I also have an instagram account where I upload musical photos from the gigs I shoot… confused about what a musical photo is? Check out @jechtmania for what I mean. I also shoot the occasional video at the gigs I shoot and upload to my YouTube account Jechtmania, there you’ll see kiwi acts like Jon Toogood, Pale Lady and Hault as well as a few high ranking videos of the international metal sensation Devin Townsend doing acoustic!

Nick of Dream State Empire

Nick of Dream State Empire during a double digit second long howl, real estate given up top to accentuate his aura

Jon Toogood belting out solo

Jon Toogood belting out solo

Jessy and the Volunteers_s Jessy getting her RnB soul on

Jessy and the Volunteers_s Jessy getting her RnB soul on

Devin Townsend during his acoustic warmup world tour, incredible musician with an unbelievable voice

Devin Townsend during his acoustic warmup world tour, incredible musician with an unbelievable voice

Coridian's Dity reaching out

Coridian’s Dity reaching out, going B_W to bring more focus to his hand