THE TAITE MUSIC AWARD FINALISTS 2015: Money changes everything?

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THE TAITE MUSIC AWARD FINALISTS 2015: Money changes everything?

Every year since 2010 the Taite Music Prize – named for the late journalist and music aficionado Dylan Taite – goes to an artist whose album of the previous year, irrespective of commercial success, is considered outstanding for its consistent creativity.

Previous winners have been: Lawrence Arabia, Chant Darling (2010); Ladi6 ‘The Liberation Of’ (2011); Unknown Mortal Orchestra ‘Unknown Mortal Orchestra’ (2012); SJD ‘Elastic Wasteland’ (2013) and Lorde ‘Pure Heroine’ (2014)

This year's finalists – the winner to be announced on Wednesday April 15 – are

@peace – ‘@peace and the Plutonian Noise Symphony’

Aldous Harding - ‘Aldous Harding’

Delaney Davidson – ‘Swim Down Low’

Electric Wire Hustle – ‘Love Can Prevail’

Grayson Gilmour – ‘Infinite Life!’

Jakob - ‘Sines’

Kimbra – ‘The Golden Echo’

Tiny Ruins – ‘Brightly Painted One’

Mulholland – ‘Stop & Start Again’

Tami Neilson – ‘Dynamite’

The judging is done by a panel of music industry writers, critics and insiders.

Elsewhere devised a special series of questions (serious and dumb) for the finalists and flicked it to them. Some answered, some didn't. We start here with those who have already, and as others come through they will be added.

Enjoy.

file4TINY RUINS (aka HOLLIE FULBROOK): Brightly Painted One

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??)  then how might you spend the rest of that loot?

There have been quite a few milestones and many good moments to cheers for this one - from getting it finished, to getting the release plans finalised, to listening to the test pressing, to surviving the better half of a year on the road together. Winning would be sobering, more than anything. The pressure would be on! Maybe after some beers and ping pong down at The Lab, we’d solemnly put the money in the bank for the next album.

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

Top end aluminium right there. I think we’d be getting offers from recycling plants worldwide. And enough to build a giant glittering structure in the garden, perhaps. Cass has been wanting to build a dome forsome time.

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

Ermm. Well. It is quiet, but it’s also not. That’s how I feel about it. Believe it or not, there’s rage and politics and stuff to hold onto in there, I think. I hope that people get that. There’s a lot to piece apart, musically and lyrically - maybe even too much. It’s vulnerable, but whacks a few blows, some in good fun and some in vicious disappointment.

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

Everyone that helped in ways big & small, but especially to Cass, Alex, & Tom, our Mums andDads, friends, teachers & sweethearts.

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

@peace, because I dig the lyrics, intergalactic theme, and soundscapes. Or my friend Aldous Harding - we’ve toured together and her album is beautiful. Or Kimbra, because I can’t imagine how much went into that one - it’s insane, and girl power.

For more on Tiny Ruins at Elsewhere see here

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DELANEY DAVISON: Swim Down Low

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??) then how might you spend the rest of that loot?

Ha Ha its already been spent on this years touring and recording budget I have smashed out for myself.. Travel tickets to USA for the SxSw push I made and also the travel to play Womad in Europe. I have three separate recording sessions I have booked so they will all cost something.. whatever's left over I can use to update my materials.. the loop machine needs a rest and I bought a new guitar earlier as back up because I keep thinking its a matter of time before the old one gives up on me.. only so much thumping it can take.. to celebrate I think maybe I can afford a milkshake as celebration.. and that sounds totally great to me.. probably banana.. I love that artifical taste..

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

For me will be about 250,0779 cans.. I was gonna build a patio in the back yard out of them, and last calculation my architect said was gonna be around this many, if I want roofing as well he reckons that’s another 659,437 cans..

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

This album is the culmination of three albums of hard work in Outside Inside studios in Montabelluna Italy. We (me and Matt Bordin and Davide Zolli) worked really hard over these last 6 years to create a feel and a sound as well as our working relationship. It maybe cost us some finer points of our friendship and who knows how we pull out of that, but we all threw our best into the years and fought really hard for a lot of the decisions.. David's father was dying during the process of this Swim Down Low, I was away for my Grandmothers death and funeral, Matt was going through a lot personally with breakups of his relationship aswell as his long time Band. We were all pretty raw.. The co writing on this album represents some long term musical relationships aswell as some of the feature songs being reworked favourites. It’s the head of a musical era for me.

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

I’d like to thank the guys in Italy, Matt Bordin and Davide Zolli for all their belief and hard work, they really pushed this album and it wouldn’t be here without them. They have always been really supportive and behind my music. I’d also like to thank Voodoo Rhythm Records for all their support over the years, and also I’d like to thank Lou Reed for being such a grumpy bastard.

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

I didn’t know there was a second place, does that mean there is a 3rd as well? Bronze medal at the Taite?? I guess I would be happy to see a lot of these albums win for different reasons, Tami’s album for all the hard work and quantum leaping she did with us, Hannah Hardings album for finally getting it out there, and Holly too for all the hard work she has done over these last few years with Tiny Ruins. Its some great company to be amongst.

Elsewhere has more on Delaney Davidson and this album starting here


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GRAYSON GILMOUR: Infinite Life

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??) then how might you spend the rest of that loot?

To be honest, I try my hardest not to think about winning awards! For me, a nomination is really an honour in itself. That said, if the album pulls through, then I'd definitely owe a fair few rounds for everyone that helped me along the way. The rest? Would surely go towards the next album.

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

If it was based on my personal intake then I'd be surprised if any cans left the distro! But kudos to RB, I'd gladly soak up that studio time!

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

Well, everyone deserves to win! But if I'm allowed to sing my own praises for a second then I'd simply say how pleased I am with the way everything turned out – the songs, the recording, the artwork, the zine, the LP pressing, the remixes . . . Everything came together just as I'd imagined, and it's not often you get that.

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

As a solo artist, you rely on the support of many individuals so the list really, really goes on! It extends well beyond family, friends, bandmates, labels, media . . . I need to put an index together.

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

There is such an incredible range of talent across the nominees that I'd happily come second to any of them.

Elsewhere has more on Grayson Gilmour and this album starting here

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JAKOB: Sines

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??) then how might you spend the rest of that loot?

Right now $10,000 would mean quite a lot. We are about to do a three week tour of UK and Europe and after at least $500 on a celebratory sesh the rest would probably get sunk into the tour.

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

One a day per person?.. 3 band members.. about 1100 cans?

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

For a start we worked for nearly three solid years on this thing.. It was probably a little overkill in hindsight but every second on that album was picked over with a fine toothed comb. And because it was written/recorded at different places & over different times it has a really eclectic quality that keeps your interest, takes you different places.

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

Our families for a start, they had to put up with a lot during this process. Jono Gardiner, Nick Blow Dave Homes and Aaron Harris for helping out with production. Tom Dalton our manager, Mylene Sheath and Shoot The Freak our labels. Rhian Sheehan, Troy Kelly and the string players..

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

I really like what Grayson Gilmour does, I’d be well happy to take second place after his album.

For more on Jakob at Elsewhere see here

a0803372655_2MULHOLLAND: Stop and Start Again

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??) then how might you spend the rest of that loot?

Winning it would mean….. a new preamp… or even better, another tour.. all expenses paid. I’d like to think i would put the 10k to good musical use.

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

A tray a month, I imagine a tray would be 36 cans, that’s a can a day, with a few left over for those times when you need an extra kick or you are feeling generous.

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

That’s impossible, there is no way for me to be that direct. Absolutely no way I can tell you that I deserve to win this award for having the best album out of these 10 extremely notable other albums. “I think I deserve to win this album because my songs are the best and I played everything on it so I’m obviously really talented and deserve to win more than anyone else”

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

Kate, Mum, Dad, my Bros & Sis, Olly & Helen, Jere & Anji, Mike & Mike & Matthias & Scott, Lucy/Rhythm Method, Rodney, Anika – god, the list could go on, but I’d be happy remembering this on the night!

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

Holly's album – its absolutely beautiful, I heard it being recorded around the same time as mine in the rabbit warren of the lab studios – such a fantastic recording.

TBH – of course you want to win, shout yourself a dozen craft beers - but it's just great to be amongst such a diverse bunch of talented NZ artists. Competitions suck. A grand each and a tray of redbull?

tamiTAMI NIELSON: Dynamite

The Taite Music Prize is worth $10,000 in cash and you can spend it how you like. What would winning it mean to you . . . and, after you've taken out a wedge to celebrate with, (how much would that be??)  then how might you spend the rest of that loot

Winning would be very surprising in this pool of albums and artists, BUT, if I actually DID, I would put it toward paying for my new album which I am recording at the end of this month (that is the practical answer)…however, if we’re talking in a “what if you won lotto” or “which celebrity would you like to be stranded on a desert island with” kind of way, I would forget all my responsibilities, hop a plane and take my Mom on a trip somewhere warm and relaxing to just forget about the world right now.

You'd doubtless be able to use the free recording time at the Red Bull Studio in Auckland but you also get a year's supply of Red Bull. Do the quick maths for us. How many cans of Red Bull you reckon that might be?

I have a three year old and nine month old and cannot recall the last time I had a solid night’s sleep. There isn’t enough Red Bull in the world.

Okay, no head down looking at your shuffling feet and Kiwi modesty. Look us straight in the eye and say why you think you deserve to win this award? What is it about your album that is a real and worthwhile point of difference?

I’m actually Canadian, so…we’re known more for being apologetic and overly polite than modest. Excuse me, but, er…may I please have the award? Forget I said anything, sorry. Gawd, I’m an idiot. Sorry for even asking. (face palm)

If you win, who would you like to thank? (Here you have the opportunity to think about it rather than be caught on the spot on the night.)

The people that made this album the success it is - Delaney Davidson & Ben Edwards who produced it; Dave Khan, Ben Woolley, Joe McCallum & Red McKelvie, who played on it, my team at Southbound for going above and beyond the call of duty and hustling it all over the world; my beautiful husband, who supports me every step of the way and changes all the nappies while I’m off yodelling; my family…especially my Dad, the reason I do what I do, who left us a few weeks ago, but, who lives on every time I open my mouth to sing.

If you don't win, which of the other nominees would you be happy to come second to? And why?

If I told you, I would have to kill you. There are too many great albums in the running to narrow it down to one.

For more on Tami Neilson and this album at Elsewhere see here

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