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The Map Room: Elastic Tongue

Simon Gooding is one half of The Map Room whose debut album All You'll Ever Find has impressed Elsewhere. He is a graduate of School of Audio Engineering and that was where he met fellow Map Room player Brendon Morrow. They studied in Auckland for a year then both went on to Byron Bay in Australia to complete their degrees.

“The studios over there were incredible,” he says, “and we had plenty of down-time to use them for our own material. That was also the start of us writing together.”

He returned to New Zealand and worked with live sound but because he always wanted to work in studios and had done an internship at Studios 301 in Australia, he began “months of hassling the studio manager at York Street Studios” in Auckland and finally got a job as an intern.

In a year he became the house producer/engineer and among musical highlights has been engineering Jennifer Zea's Latin-tinged debut, producing and engineering Jamie McDell's major label debut, an album for Melbourne's A Dead Forest Index, and working on a couple of all-analogue Nathan Haines records.

He has worked on various singles and EPs from great local artists like The Drab Doo-Riffs, Tiny Ruins, Bond Street Bridge and Loui The ZU.

“I also worked on Neil Finn's Seven Worlds Collide project at Roundhead, that was an amazing experience working and learning from all of those incredible people.”

From that background and travels in South America for a year with Morrow where they wrote songs, the pair formed the Map Room on their return home and set about recording their highly polished album.

Time for him to answer some questions . . .

The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

I think for me it was ‘That’ll Be The Day’ by Buddy Holly. I was in primary school, maybe Standard 3, and me and my friend had a short-lived obsession with Buddy for some reason. I remember we knew all the words and would wander around all day singing it.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

Kurt Cobain and Thom Yorke. With special mention to Steve Vai, yikes.

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

Lennon, Nirvana, Gaga, Jacko.

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Lego Designer

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

‘Golden Mile’ – Daniel Rossen, from his Silent Hour / Golden Mile EP. ‘Werewolf’ – Fiona Apple, from The Idler Wheel record. So incredible. ‘Any Other’ – One of our new songs written with our new band members involved, Jared Kahi on bass and Andy Keegan on drums!

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

A guitar pick from Omar Rodriguez Lopez – love that guy.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

Get In The Van – Henry Rollins

blood_1If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Beyonce, and I would just play the Bootilicous guitar riff over and over...

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Glenngarry Glen Ross, There Will Be Blood, Hook

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

Vinyl – Fiona Apple ‘The Idler Wheel...’Download – Kanye West ‘Yeezus’

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 . . .

‘I Would Die 4 U’ - Prince

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . ..

The Stanley Donwood album cover for Thom Yorke’s The Eraser.

mapYou are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

Tough one, never considered. Maybe one of those little Radiohead hunting bears?

David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

Probably back in South America, quite possibly Cartagena in Colombia. Hanging around, buying fruit and stuff.

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

Uh, thank you for the question sir, I think this is our best album for a couple of reasons.

The first would be because it’s our only one, and for that reason, I’d consider it our best also. Arigato!

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