The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

Fifteen revealing questions submitted to well-known musicians or newcomers to the game which they can answer seriously or as silly as they please.

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Olivia Foa'i

11 Nov 2019  |  4 min read

Some people rebel against their parents and become musicians, the only way a young Olivia Foa'i could have rebelled would by saying she was going to be a real estate agent. She grew up with music in the Te Vaka family of singers, dancers and songwriters, the waka/vaka helmed by her father Opetaia Foa'i. The Te Vaka story is extraordinary: taking a vision of pan-Pacific music to the... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Pikachunes

31 Oct 2019  |  4 min read

The cleverly named Pikachunes is handsomely named Miles G McDougall originally from Christchurch who admits that his new EP wittily entitled PE (Physical Education) comes after a period of self-exploration following “peak drug and alcohol consumption” around the time of his 2017 album. So there a feeling of joy and catharsis about PE, but the quirky pop is still bent into... > Read more

Don't Cry

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Vorn Colgan

28 Oct 2019  |  8 min read

Many years ago we threw a mainstream Questionnaire at the enormously gifted multi-instrumentalist Vorn Colgan of the band Vorn because not only did he make great music but we guessed he'd have something intelligent and/or witty to say. And he didn't disappoint. What is disappointing though is the announcement that after eight albums and about 20 years Vorn (the band) seem to be... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Byron Asher

28 Oct 2019  |  3 min read

New Orleans-based jazz saxophonist/composer Byron Asher arrives with his new album Skrontch Music trailing considerable credits. A quick look through press comments about his previous work compares him with the melodic invention of Sonny Rollins and Ornette Coleman with flavours of Dexter Gordon. Although raised in Maryland and having performed in Europe (Germany,... > Read more

Elegy

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Sneaky Bones

26 Oct 2019  |  6 min read

The US singer-songwriter Matthew Bean aka Sneaky Bones has been to New Zealand previously, back in early 2018 he brought his pleasant folk and gentle rock sound to venues on a solo tour. But when he returns in November (dates below) he's out on there on back of a new album Strangers I've Already Met and brings along bassist/guitarist Austin Webb and drummer Marshal Wildman. The title of... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITERS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Joshua Hedley

10 Oct 2019  |  3 min read

Although only his mid Thirties, fiddle player Joshua Hedley who appears at this year's Southern Fork Americana Festival at the Tuning Fork in Auckland (see details below) has got a lot of road miles on him already. He got his first violin when he was 8 and at 12 was playing with older country musicians around his hometown of Naples in Florida. Before he was 20 he'd relocated to... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Mousey

4 Oct 2019  |  2 min read

Mousey is Sarena Close from Christchurch and even before the release of her pop-rock debut album Lemon Law (out today) she was someone many people were talking about. Not long after the release of her debut single Extreme Highs – which is on the 12 song album alongside her three subsequent singles – she found herself on the long list for Silver Scroll nominees and she was a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE INNOVATOR'S QUESTIONNAIRE: Che Chen of 75 Dollar Bill

30 Sep 2019  |  5 min read

Since the week after our review back in July, one album has lodged itself in our Favourite Five Recent Releases page. That is the longest any album has remained there in lifespan of Elsewhere, which now reaches beyond 15 years. The album is I Was Real by 75 Dollar Bill, an innovative, genre-denying group from New York around guitarist Che Chen and percussion player Rick Brown. In... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Aly Cook

30 Sep 2019  |  4 min read

Two years ago New Zealand singer-songwriter and self-starter Aly Cook from Nelson picked up the International Country Music Artist of the Year award . . . in Tasmania. Yes, she she has been nominated for a number of awards in New Zealand (five country music awards, won one, an APRA Silver Scroll nomination) but Australia has really embraced her. The same year she picked up that... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Danny McCrum

30 Sep 2019  |  4 min read

Auckland singer-songwriter Danny McCrum has plenty of notches on the neck of his guitar: opening for Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck among them. But rather than bore you again with all his accolades and experience, or mention his three previous albums under his own name (which Elsewhere has reviewed starting here), let's just cut to the chase. He has a new album out Hustle Bustle, which we... > Read more

Skin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Angie McMahon

29 Sep 2019  |  4 min read

Melbourne's Angie McMahon won a few awards before she even releasing her first single. In her late teens she won a competition to open for Bon Jovi and then a mentorship for an unsigned musician in 2017. Five of her six singles (her first Slow Mover in '17 certified gold in Australia and nominated for the APRA song of the year) appear on her impressive debut album Salt about which we said... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE TEACHERS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Jane Egan of Gisborne Girls High School

21 Sep 2019  |  4 min read

When the organisers of last year's annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards were considering the landscape of local music they wanted the awards to acknowledge the past, the present and the future. The past is taken care of with the winner of the Legacy Award, the present is acknowledged on the night and the future is . . . Well, that is largely in the hands of the... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Timothy Blackman

13 Sep 2019  |  2 min read

Singer-songwriter Timothy Blackman has appeared at Elsewhere previously with an EP and then the album I've Never Lived. We missed another album but he's back again with a new album Brightest Days, his first in eight years and written on the East Cape and then back in Wellington. It was recorded and mixed in a DIY manner by Brooke Singer (French for Rabbits) in her Brooklyn, Wellington... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Tamara Murphy of Spirograph Studies

30 Aug 2019  |  4 min read

Melbourne bassist Tamara Murphy is the writer/leader of the jazz group Spirograph Studies. In 2011 she won the inaugural PBS Young Elder of Jazz Commission for the creation and presentation of the work Big Creatures and Little Creatures with her ensemble, Murphy’s Law. On release in 2012 it was nominated for The Age's Genre Music Awards and Murphy’s Law also... > Read more

Kindness Not Courtesy

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE INNOVATORS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Gianmarco Liguori

23 Aug 2019  |  4 min read

Guitarist/composer Gianmarco Liguori is also the prime mover behind Auckland's Sarang Bang record label which has released a startling array of everything from left-field pop-rock to out-there improvised music by the late Murray McNabb. The Sarang Bang catalogue (see here, much of it available on vinyl) embraces music which challenges and rewards in equal measure, and the most recent... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE INNOVATORS' QUESTIONNAIRE: Al Fraser

5 Aug 2019  |  3 min read

Al Fraser has been described as the foremost taonga puoro player of his generation, that is someone who plays and explores the sounds of traditional Maori instruments. In recent years he has also been making them. Over a series of albums and in collaborations, he has taken the evocative and sometimes primeval sounds of these instruments into sonic landscapes, and on his most recent... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Steph Casey

29 Jul 2019  |  2 min read

It has been six years since indie-folk artist Steph Casie released her debut album Whisper and Holler, and album which went top five on the New Zealand Independent Music chart and earned her some strong international notices. Her new album The Seats in My Car fond her most dialing things down into intimacy at Lee Prebble's studio in Wellington. With some fine musicians on call, the album... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Wade Wu of Wukong the Monkey KIng

26 Jul 2019  |  3 min read

Very few New Zealand bands can claim to be banned in China, but Auckland's Wukong the Monkey King – who recorded a previous album in Beijing and have songs in Mandarin and English – wear that badge. The band's bassist Kyle Ranudo tells Elsewhere they initially wanted to publish their songs in China but “they didn’t pass the reviewing process, many songs were removed... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Jan Preston

16 Jul 2019  |  4 min read

Earlier this year when pianist Jan Preston released her Play It Again Jan album and toured, we reviewed the album and peppered in some of her background: Red Mole Cabaret, Midge Marsden's Country Flyers, Coup D'Etat, soundtracks, awards . . . Born in Greymouth but a longtime resident of Australia, she returns to New Zealand for further dates to pick up where that earlier 88 Pianos I Have... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Andrew Masseurs

15 Jul 2019  |  2 min read

Wellington singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Masseurs is one of those rare talents, but very few people seem to know of him. Back in 2005 he and Mathew Powell were featured in the Play It Strange documentary Songstar and he seemed to take that as a sign. Good. Because he then went on to front the rock band Ammp which picked up some NZonAir grants for... > Read more