Graham Reid | | 3 min read
Barnaby Weir out of Wellington, New Zealand, is best known as the man who steers the ambitious musical carnivals that are The Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. But his 2011 debut solo album shows a very different side to his talents in songs which owe a debt to alt.country (and sometimes straight country) and have an emotional directness.
The album Tarot Card Rock continues his working relationship with producer Lee Pebble and his renown Surgery Studio, and also multi-instrumentalist Craig Terris of Cassette. With Eva Prowse on violin and backing vocals, and a line-up of lap steel, accordion, pedal steel, trumpet, saxophone and some honytonk hammered piano, Tarot Card Rock is an album which is some distance removed from Weir's previous work.
And incidentally the album is beautifully packaged with half a dozen jewel case-sized "tarot cards".
Barnaby Weir -- who won the Absolutely Creatively Wellington award in 2010 -- here answers the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire.
The first piece of music which really
affected you was . . .
I would have to say it was Jimi Hendrix's version of Wild Thing. It was the first song I learnt to play on one string of my first electric gutar I got when I was 11. Big riff and cool lyrics.
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
Poison and Bon Jovi on the dark side and Hendrix and De La Soul on the good side.
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon for sure, Nirvana and Jacko!!
If music was denied you, your other
career choice would be . . .
In film or TV
The three songs (yours, or by others)
you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Replay In My Heart by B.Weir from Tarot Card Rock. Honest I Do by Lord Echo from the album Melodies. Wannabe in LA from ‘Heart On by Eagles Of Death Metal
Any interesting, valuable or just plain
strange musical memorabilia at home?
Ummm…my first guitar brings back some memories, my collection of ska, reggae and dancehall 7 inch records and my Eko acoustic guitar (1980) "Mary" I bought from a lady who sung in the Paraparaumu Country club, also a huge pile of back stage passes from 1999-2011. And my collection or strange percussion instruments for South East Asia including a small frog woodblock and a wooden flute I can not play.
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Bob Dylan's Chronicles Vol 1- can't wait for the other 5 books he is doing! Such a huge depth of experience and musical knowledge and more stories than an after school programme. Reading Keith Richards' Life at the moment..what a classic guy!
If you could get on stage with anyone
it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Chuck Berry for Johnny B. Goode. Yes, I would be vibe man and just dance and watch. Learn.
The three films you'd insist anybody
watch because they might understand you better are . . .
The last CD or vinyl album you bought
was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Talib Kweli- Gutter Rainbows- Downloaded. Lord Echo- Melodies CD. Benny Tones - Chrysalis - Downloaded.
One song, royalties for life, never
have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which
wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
All Along The Watchtower. Bob
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
Hendrix: Axis Bold as Love album cover
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it
is of . . .
A huge battle scene featuring a saber
tooth tiger a demon and Conan the barbarian with a massive battle
axe and hottie clinging on to his leg. Thunder and lightning, fire
and dead bodies surrounding them. If there’s room for a massive
human skull in there too I’d be happy. By the way this would be on my
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's
all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
Making music in New Zealand on the
beach in the far north somewhere with friends and family.
And finally, in the nature of press
conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best
This Tarot Card Rock album is my
best ever because it shows a more personal side of me, was a joy to
make, is different than what people expect from me and is the result
of working on my craft over the last 10 years. Boom.