Absolute Elsewhere

Subscribe to my newsletter for weekly updates.

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

THE NEW LOUNGEHEAD, INTERVIEWED (1997): Something weirdly good this way comes

18 Sep 1997  |  3 min read

“It’s hard to say you’ve got a jazz background in New Zealand,” says Dan Sperber, guitarist and founder member of the New Loungehead, “because it’s very small and inbred. “And the young people involved wear suits and are under pressure to conform to older guys’ notions of jazz, playing those old tunes again and again. That music has got... > Read more

SULATA, INTERVIEWED (1997): From school to stardom

28 Feb 1997  |  6 min read

Sulata sits in the large, empty conference room at Festival Records and awaits callers. She’s misplaced her schedule, has already done a few face-to-face interviews and later in the day there are phoners to various radio stations around the country. That’s what happens when you put an album out. Her heart, naturally enough, isn’t here. It’s at home with her two-month... > Read more

UNITONE HiFi INTERVIEWED (1996): Did you pack the bag yourself, sir?

5 Dec 1996  |  3 min read

It's all very well touring the provinces but increasingly New Zealand musicians are making the big leap direct into the world. Stinky Jim – one third of dubble your sound, double your pleasure outfit Unitone HiFi – is telling of an experience in a small mediaeval town in France The question was simple: when Unitone took off on a month-long tour of Europe recently was there a... > Read more

PHIL FUEMANA INTERVIEWED (1994): Talking loud and standing Proud

25 Mar 1994  |  6 min read

Phillip Fuemana, tour manager for the big Proud show which arrives at the Powerstation for an all-ages event tonight, speaks of the learning curve some of the acts have negotiated as the month-long tour has wound its way around the country. Not only have the performers learned how to live with each other and the etiquette of motel living (“for some of these guys it’s their first... > Read more