Sidechained Lovers, the duo (and couple) from New Zealand, help define the Kiwi music scene; a scene that seems embryonic but shows unlimited potential. Enjoy our sit down with the group, where we talk about their hometown pride and taking the leap across the ocean.
Dingus: Sidechained Lovers, if I’m not mistaken, is made up of a boyfriend/girlfriend duo. How does this relationship affect the groups music making? Does it ever hinder the process?
Sidechained Lovers: This seems to be the question on everyones lips. I mean, there is always a dynamic between people in any creative environment and this plays a role in the creative process. When making tracks, the way we’ve always felt is that the journey, the way the track is composed, is as important as the end result. You open this casm and let the ideas flow out, doing that with someone that close to you is a unique experience. Already having a comfortability and familiarity lets you skip all the crap too – band politics and communication barriers – which is really refreshing. Theres always two sides to the coin but for every hindrance, there seems to be two positives.
As a duo, how do you compose a song?
The way we work is just passing ideas around. I’ll have a guitar riff, or Lauren will have a vocal hook and we’ll go from there. Most of our concepts come from being composed on guitar or keys with vocal.
When you play live, do you use a looping system or preset backing tracks?
We try to keep it as live as possible. The fact we can not escape is that we are at home in the studio and it impossible to play live all the elements of our songs with two people. We use a Laptop + APC combination with various other instruments layered, including digital guitar, keys, electric guitar, bass and of course vocals. We are about to move to New Zealands biggest city and thought’s of throwing a drummer in to the mix for our live show has been talked about. We also throw in the odd DJ set which is always a bit of fun, playing anything from future soul to folk to hip hop to dubstep.
What is the New Zealand music scene like?
NZ is a hard place to be a musician/artist, I think anyone here will agree. A lot of the industry here is dominated by offshore commercialism which makes it harder for more underground music to come forward. I mean to a certain degree it’s like that everywhere in the world but with NZ being so small we don’t have the population to form those underground niches that can sustain themselves. I see so many amazing musicians losing money and it’s sad to think if they were anywhere else in the world they would be massive. Saying that however the local commercial scene is full of awesome music by the style of what we’ve labeled our homegrown version of ‘dub.’ Soul mixed with funk mixed with reggae mixed with electronica which rounds off into a nice sound (Check out Fat Freddy’s Drop or Electric Wire Hustle for some good examples).
Here in NY we’re very lucky to have a dedicated sub-culture who appreciates and supports local and traveling acts that come to play our showcases, have you ever thought of traveling?
Yeah I’ve heard good things coming from NY. Travelling has always been on the cards for us, we actually intend on heading your way in 2013 One of us is going to study at Berkeley and the other is still pending, it will be interesting to check out the scene. We’ve always been interested in the L.A, Moscow and U.K scenes as well.
I firmly believe that the art world will bring us into the global community. How do you feel about seeing your music cross the ocean?
It’s always humbling to see the music you make enter the scenes that inspire you, hopefully inpiring more people to leave their bedrooms. I think a lot of bedroom producers are waiting for that day some major label stumbles over their myspace or something and goes, man that shit is dope, but in reality that’s never going to happen, you have to get out there.