The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire

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

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ella McCool-Reay of Wax Eye

9 Feb 2024  |  <1 min read

The alt.folk Wax Eye are singer Ella McCool-Reay and her father Steve Reay (of Vor-Stellen) who deliver a very seductive self-titled debut: five songs acoustic-framed songs with bassist Jared Johanson (Subliminals, Vor-Stellen) and writer/trumpeter Marco Scott. Erring towards a melodic take on drone-folk's mesmerising repetition with gentle harmonies and subtle electronics, Wax Eye hit... > Read more

One of Us

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Macey

16 Oct 2023  |  2 min read

Auckland singer and songwriter Macey (Harry Parsons) has delivered a debut album The Lovers which went into out Favourite Five Recent Releases the week after we reviewed it. And we upgraded it also as a Recommended Record because the vinyl is quite special in a cover which appears to be a distressed painting from the Pre-Raphaelite period, all doomed romance and yearning. In many ways that... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Rodney Fisher

2 Oct 2023  |  3 min read

Perhaps best known for his work as a frontman and songwriter for Goodshirt – he penned their hit Fiji Baby among others – Rodney Fisher has been off the radar for most since the band called it quits in 2005 and Fisher headed off to London. There have been occasional Goodshirt reunions but Fisher busied himself in promotion, booking gigs and helping emerging artists. A... > Read more

Locked Up

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Alayna

17 Jul 2023  |  5 min read

One of the great pleasures of music, that which makes it a life-long and rewarding passion, is there's always something new to discover: a new genre emerges, new music appears from a part of the world you hadn't heard from previously, new technology allows for innovation and creativity . . . and, of course, new artists. “Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts,” said... > Read more

Icicles on my Eyelashes

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Jazmine Mary

14 Jul 2023  |  4 min read

When Jazmine Mary and band played a mesmerising show at the Hollywood Avondale in Auckland recently Jazmine – who identifies as they/them – initially came on dressed like an Amish woman off to the celebration after a barn-raising, then later changed into what looked like a 1950s bathing suit. That dichotomy of presentation illustrated the breadth and scope of her work, from... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Nigel Mitchell of Orangefarm

26 Jun 2023  |  4 min read

As we noted in our review of the Orangefarm debut album Inheritance, the band has been around Wellington for about 20 years with a revolving door of a small number of loyal members. At the core however is singer, songwriter and guitarist Nigel Mitchell. His songs are sharp, sometimes sentimental (but not soppy) and melodic. We noted the influence of the Eighties indie rock out of... > Read more

Listen

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Tom Lark

19 Jun 2023  |  2 min read

Previous releases by Tom Lark a few years ago went past us, but he's a hard man to pin down. He also goes by other names: Shannon Matthew Vanya and Shannon Fowler. We leave it over to you to chase them down, but refer you to his excellent Tom Lark debut album Brave Star which is a classy collection of dream pop with a little powered-down power pop. He's also got something to say as... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Tony Richards of The Cosmic Debris

12 Jun 2023  |  3 min read

We will be honest, we had never heard of Auckland's Tony Richards of his musical persona Cosmic Debris until he was in touch offering us his third album which promised soul-funk. That sounded very tempting and when the album arrived – it is out on CD and limited edition vinyl, see below – we did our research. And he's had quite an interesting and long career in and out of... > Read more

Let Me Be the One

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . The Terrible Sons

24 May 2023  |  9 min read

On occasion Elsewhere is obliged to give the background of artists who respond to our questions. But not so Lauren and Matt Barus from Christchurch about whose recent album The Raft is Not the Shore we said “alongside elegant folk there's smart pop (You Can Choose,Tomorrow Always Comes) and weightless dream-folk (Yelling in the Wilderness) within this self-described music “for... > Read more

Yelling in the Wilderness

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Maxine Funke

19 May 2023  |  3 min read

Maxine Funke's new album River Said may seem like a split personality pressed onto vinyl: one side delicate acoustic folk, the other sonic soundscapes with field recordings and disconcertingly atmospheric cello. But as we noted in our review, they are all part of a piece and reflect different but not disparate sides of Funke's musical personality. As Bleep said, “Peer beyond the... > Read more

Cherry Blossom Gin

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Ben Tolich aka Mali Mali

14 Apr 2023  |  5 min read

Over the years Elsewhere has listened to and favourably reviewed the interesting and unique sound of Mali Mali, which is the performance name of Auckland's Ben Tolich whose work we admired for its lo-fi and lyrical honesty. Tolich has remained uncompromisingly true to his style but his lyrics have deepened, the songs become sharper and his latest album Spirit Tide  is full of his... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Damien Binder

10 Apr 2023  |  7 min read

Despite having lived in Australia for many decades, former Auckland rock musician (Second Child) turned singer-songwriter Damien Binder has frequently appeared at Elsewhere. That's because as a singer and writer he always has something interesting to say, and the songs to deliver it. With a new album Bright Side coming out on April 21 – we've heard it, it's very... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Mike Baker

16 Mar 2023  |  4 min read

Mike Baker – who records as BAkeR – has had an interesting career in and out of music. He played in bands around Auckland but then in the Eighties moved to Australia and ended up managing the import/export division of Hot Records, working with the likes of Laughing Clowns, Triffids and Celibate Rifles. At the end of the Eighties he came back to Auckland and joined the noisy and... > Read more

Star Bugz

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE . . . ifiwereme

5 Mar 2023  |  2 min read

ifiwereme is the name under which Auckland musician Costa Colachis Glass, who came here from Seattle, goes by. He grew up playing jazz sax but moved on to punk-influenced music, field recordings and now studies sonic arts in conjunction with environmental engineering. His album Water Buffalo however was all recorded live and he won over our interest when he described it as “floating... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE INNOVATORS QUESTIONNAIRE: Designer David Trubridge

6 Feb 2023  |  5 min read

We have described British-born, longtime New Zealand resident David Trubridge as a designer. Which he is. But he is so much more. He has appeared at Elsewhere previously when we offered a brief photo-essay of his innovative lighting design and sculpture. But from his studio/workshop in Hastings, Trubridge also designs and creates striking furniture and public art, writes a... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Adam Hattaway

28 Nov 2022  |  2 min read

Five albums into their career (one a double) and we finally get around to asking singer/songwriter Adam Hattaway of Adan Hattaway and the Haunters some questions. We came into their five year recording career around their third album, hailed their Woolston, Texas album of 2021 and now shine a light on their most recent release Bug Eyes. Out of Christchurch, the band have constantly... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Wailing Urei

21 Oct 2022  |  2 min read

As we mentioned when we reviewed the album Is It Me? by Wailing Urei it came at us without much context other than it was a home recording by Kyle Newman from London. But the album was an intriguing sonic landscape – a bit disturbing, melodies in there though – and so we wanted to know more. So here is what he made of our questions . . . . Where did you grow up, and... > Read more

Barcodes on a Flickering Screen

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Motte

26 Aug 2022  |  4 min read

Last week one of the more extraordinary New Zealand albums arrived, it was Cold + Liquid by Motte (Anita Clark) and of it we said her “floating vocals [were] like a siren call in the manner of the late Julee Cruise or the quieter end of Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser” and that “her melodic violin lines often have a visceral scrape in this deliberately disconcerting context,... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE . . . Brett Adams

8 Aug 2022  |  4 min read  |  1

Guitarist/songwriter Brett Adams has had a long and distinguished career from the early Mockers to the Julie Dolphin in Britain with his partner Dianne Swann. On their return to New Zealand he and Swann became the core of the Bads and Adams a go-to player on numerous sessions and tours. He's recently been seen in the band for Tami Neilson but has also just released the first album under... > Read more

The Sky Beneath (from Black Clouds in Stereo

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE HIGHLY PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE: Joy and Nat, of Joy X Libeau

18 Jul 2022  |  5 min read

Now these people are interesting. Performing and recording as Joy X Libeau they are Hideto Kobayashi (aka Joy) and Natalie Joselen out of Christchurch. Their smart and highly melodic trip-hop debut album with nu-soul influences is No Rules for Ghosts and here at Elsewhere we warmed to it immediately because it is sophisticated, cinematic in places and evidence of what can be achieved by just... > Read more

Daylight