Absolute Elsewhere

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OPETAIA FOA'I OF TE VAKA INTERVIEWED (2002): World famous, except in New Zealand

31 Jul 2002  |  7 min read

From the semi-rural side street, the home of Opetaia and Julie Foa'i in Laingholm is unremarkable other than for its size. It sprawls across the property and boasts a high A-frame, but other than that you would drive past without a second glance. However, this is the spiritual home and business centre of Te Vaka, Auckland's pan-Polynesian group whose celebratory and exotic... > Read more

THE PROCLAIMERS INTERVIEWED (2002): Just the usual Scottish stuff; death, family and politics.

8 Apr 2002  |  5 min read

Serious guys these Proclaimers. And that's despite their uplifting Everlys-from-Scotland sound which often comes off as singalongs, notably the naggingly addictive I'm Gonna Be with its beerhall chorus "I will walk 500 miles." But being Scottish, and it's a trait observable in those cooler climes, they also knuckle down to the serious stuff. When they emerged 14 years... > Read more

JOSH ROUSE PROFILED (2002): The stars come out

3 Mar 2002  |  3 min read

To say American singer-songwriter Josh Rouse, doesn't arrive with the ballyhoo of our inflated cover star says little. His new album still comes with the obligatory self-congratulatory bio full of Josh quotes which are testament to his worthiness, and has him saying it's his best album so far.No doubt Britney Spears is on record boasting much the same about whatever her last achievement -... > Read more

ALIEN ANT FARM INTERVIEWED (2002): Ant music again

6 Jan 2002  |  5 min read

Okay, here are some things about Alien Ant Farm, who might otherwise be dismissed as one-hit wonders for their recent top-10 cover of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. First, singer-songwriter Dryden Mitchell is a smart guy, grew up on metal and sensitive folk equally and writes damn fine, angst-driven rock. Secondly, they have a great rhythm section which kicks along... > Read more

BUBBA SPARXXX INTERVIEWED (2001): Slo-mo hip-hop from the South

31 Oct 2001  |  5 min read

There's nothing particularly special about what Bubba Sparxxx does, he says so himself. But in the hip-hop world of swagger'n'brag, that self-effacing comment alone makes this 99-kilo, almost two-metre tall former football player from a small town in Georgia pretty special indeed. Bubba Sparxxx, born Warren Anderson Mathis in March '77, is being far too modest anyway. His debut album... > Read more

JOSE FELICIANO INTERVIEWED (2001): Lighting the quieter fire

1 Jan 2001  |  4 min read

If rock'n'roll hadn't been invented, Jose Feliciano would probably still have had a career, although maybe not one quite as spectacular as that he enjoyed for a shining, if short, period in the late Sixties. Feliciano's breakthrough hit in '68 was a moody, acoustic Latin treatment of the Doors' Light My Fire complete with jazzy vocal improvisations, but the Puerto Rican-born... > Read more

BETH HART INTERVIEWED (2000): Stories to sell and tell

18 Feb 2000  |  3 min read

On what felt like one of Auckland's most humid days of the year, Los Angeles-based singer Beth Hart was coiled on a couch in the lobby of the Sheraton, swathed in an enormous black woollen coat. Gaunt and sporting a massive shoulder tat, the anorexically thin serial smoker cut a striking figure. But up close it was her eyes -- penetrating, impossibly clear, unwavering and betraying... > Read more

LA Story

OZZY OSBOURNE INTERVIEWED (1997): Free range expletive man

3 Jan 2000  |  3 min read

Bat-biting, dove-decapitating, parent-baiting, C-of-E, heavy metal man . . . and a thoroughly nice bloke with a personal best of four unpublishable obscenities in a mere 10 seconds. Then again, he was talking about the royal family and, although he concedes he’s “not a royalty person,” saying that Princess Diana “Wasn't a Royal person. She was like a regular... > Read more