MAGAZINE: August/September 2010 IssueTuesday , 27 Jul 2010
With their new album 99 A.D, Nesian Mystik have announced the end of the group as a collective. With this in mind, I sat down with Te Awanui ‘Awa’ Reeder and Junior ‘Junz’ Rikiau, to revisit their albums and reflect on their amazing career.
They say timing is everything - but there is something to be said for experience too. Although timing certainly played a part in bringing Paul Matthews (Stylus), Shelton Woolright (Blindspott) and Ed Martin together as I Am Giant, the collective industry and musical nous the trio possess has contributed to their meteoric rise.
Having only been together for a short period of time, the band’s achievements are impressive. The list includes videos featuring world champion surfer Kelly Slater, extensive play on the Rock and C4 and gigs across the globe - from Wellington to Hanoi, Vietnam to the World Surf Pro championships in Hossegor, France, it’s been quite a ride. The fact of the matter is, however, they’re only just getting started.
Over the course of a whirlwind, 36-hour trip to Melbourne, I met a band excited about the release of what could be their best album ever, about to celebrate 21 years in the biz with a unique tour that will see them play two of their greatest albums in their entirety. It’s a hell of a lot to talk about. That band was Shihad, the new album is Ignite and that conversation-heavy trip reminded me just how important they are on the New Zealand music landscape.
From the first show I saw them play during their first jaunt to Auckland (at a raucous show at the Powerstation circa 1991), I’ve followed Shihad’s at times tumultuous career, marvelling at how they’ve managed to reinvent themselves on a more than regular basis - and stay totally current without disappearing up their own arses.
Talking to three of the band’s members - vocalist Jon Toogood, drummer Tom Larkin and bassist Karl Kippenberger - at three different locations around Melbourne, it became increasingly obvious to me that one of the main reasons for their longevity is a) their shared commitment to the end goal of producing something they love, every time, and b) how much time they spend on the same page, whether they’d care to admit it or not. Their synchronicity is sometimes unsettling, but something to be celebrated all the same. And as for the new album? Thus far it sounds pretty bloody great, but I’ll let the band speak for themselves.
When two brothers and a school friend start a band with dreams of rock and roll stardom, nobody looks twice. Within a few years the guitar will be traded in for a suit, and the boys will be off to college to get a real job. Unless you’re Northern Ireland’s latest big thing, General Fiasco.
The band’s success, guitarist and vocalist Enda starthern admits in his thick Irish accent, is thanks in part to influential Kiwi Zane Lowe adopting the band somewhat on his BBC Radio 1 show. Not a bad person to have on your side in this industry.
“Zane Lowe was great to us,” he says. “From our first single he got behind it and gave us a couple of weeks’ rotation. For every single after that he played and hammered [us] and always had nice things to say. Zane Lowe was really supportive of the band and really had a lot to do with everything that happened.”
Emerging from the depths of Bakersfield, California way back in 1994, Korn are on the verge of releasing their ninth offering, Korn III - Remember Who You Are, and singer Jonathan Davis is still as pissed off as ever.
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