NZ Music Month - Soaked Oats
You definitely put on a show and get the audience jumpin - how does that feel to know people fill up a room jamming to your tunes?
Haha it's great! When we perform we have loads of fun, particularly when someone makes a mistake, we all have a laugh at each other/ourselves. We try not to take performing to seriously, and just enjoy connecting with each other and the audience. I think people are responding to that, they tend to be jovial and make a bit of a racket - pretty much what we're doing.
As a band how is the music writing process?
Songwriting for us comes about in lots of different ways. Someone might bring a near-finished song, or even just an initial riff or melody, to the band to play. We also jam heaps, and some of our funniest songs to play live (ie Gum-15 and Apricot Jam) have come from this process. On the other hand Oscar wrote most of Stone Fruit Melodies on his own before we were a band.
You have been hanging in Dunedin, what is music like there? What's it like compared to Auckland?
Yeah, we all live down here! The music scene, and wider creative scene, in Dunedin, is amazing. There's a real DIY attitude here, where artists don't tend to make a big song and dance about what they're doing. For such a small place, there is a really impressive range of different music being made and performed in Dunedin (Death and the Maiden, Fazed on a Pony, and Coyote are some of my favourites at the moment).
The music scene in Auckland is hard to judge, because most of my experience with it is either putting on shows or talking to industry people up there, rather than actually going to gigs. We always have loads of fun when we're in town, but on the down side there is the trying to work the industry thing, which is always a bit of a distraction. It's really great to see Dunedin artists like Nadia Reid and Kane Strang breaking out in NZ and internationally, showing that you don't really need to move to Auckland to really work the music industry successfully.
Are there any issues you face as a band entering and being apart of the New Zealand Music crowd?
Yeah, of course, it comes with lots of issues. The music industry in New Zealand is tiny and everyone knows everyone, which works as a positive because the dicks get weeded out pretty quickly. For us, we're just slowly starting to understand how the industry works, and how to develop our band as a brand - all funny parts of being 'industry-savvy' that you don't initially think of when you start a band. We're well aware of how privileged we are to be playing music as a full-time hobby, and we want to ensure that our shows promote a positive, safe environment for everyone who comes. We haven't had any major issues with shitty behavior, but it's always something to be aware of and keep an eye out for.
Are there other aspects of your life that you use as inspiration for your music?
Definitely, there's something in all aspects of life that can you can suckle some creative juice from if you are looking for it. Currently, it's spray & wipe and mud.
Your album Stone Fruits Melodies has an incredible theme of stone fruits from what the title says! How did that come about? I think it's genius!
Thanks! Oscar and Max were selling cherries living in Wellington and that was kind of where it began. As they travelled around that Summer experiencing all sorts of stone fruit-themed occurrences the tracklist just kept getting added to. After a particularly vivid trip in Raglan the idea was conceived to make it an EP about stone fruits.
You all seem very humble and down to earth, How have you found being amongst the scene and trying to get your music out there?
Humbling! You get exposed to so much music once you get involved in the world, can be overwhelming. We've had an amazing response so far, we just want to build on that, and keep enjoying it.
If you could be in a different NZ Band what one would it be?
Damn... Phoenix Foundation? Could fit some more percussion in there surely.
What kind of music would be playing in your family home when you were growing up ( if any )?
We all come from families of music lovers so all sorts!! I have a particularly vivid memory of driving to a sleepy little beach town called Kakanui (just south of Oamaru) singing along with mum to Moby (his album Play) in the lates 90s, and trying to act like I knew the lyrics to but sort of just mumbling along.
Most of you have been involved in other bands and projects, how is Soaked oats different to the others?
Well for Max and Oscar, Soaked Oats is the first band they're been a part of. Whereas for me and Connor, we've played in a few other bands over the years. It's hard to say how it's different, we're all very laid back and the timing seems to have been just right - we're all heading in the same direction more or less. Like Tono says, it's all about the timing. Bands are really interesting relationships to observe, especially because you spend so so much time together and are all reliant on each other to some degree. It's all been satisfying and fun so far, long may it last!