Listening to Kevin Mark Trail speak, in a rapid fire English accent over the roar of a train and excited shouts in the background, my internal monologue was singing Good Charlotte's Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous quietly to itself, interjected with a deluge of snide comments. (Mum says I need to work on my people skills and I'm finally beginning to see that).
Always see it on TV Or read it in the magazines, Celebrities want sympathy Joel Madden sings defiantly over the train in the background and Kevin's long story about how he ended up in Titirangi to mix his new album. All they do is piss and moan Inside the Rolling Stone Talkin' about how hard life can be.
Lifestyle is what our conversation is about; quality of life and how exactly you can country hop to record and mix an album. From Kevin's position he reckons that money is no object, that's not to say he's obscenely rich (or that he's not), he just doesn't think that the bearing money has on life is all that important.
"Worrying about [album sales] is one thing but the reality is that I do have to sell records but is money the most important thing life? Quality of life doesn't stem from money. You [You, being me] can go to the beach or have a barbee and go and look at a tree but when you step outside in London, it's always money."
He's not wrong, if you live near a beach or near a tree you can usually get there pretty cheaply and have a grand ole time splashing about in the waves or tree gazing. But Kevin wants more to life than that. The proverbial more that only money can bring.
"Having money does give you that quality of life [the quality that allows for travel, new cultures and spending days creating art] but I worked hard for it, I paid for my tickets to Australia and New Zealand."
I'd like to see them spend a week, Living life out on the street, I don't think they would survive If they could spend a day or two Walkin' in someone else's shoes I think they'd stumble and they'd fall...
Joel continues in the back of my head.
"There have been hard times. Times where I would play to 70,000 people with The Streets and then go back to working an ordinary job. That's what I love about artists here [being London], they're happy to keep working."
"I'm not saying," Kevin continues, though he doesn't really stop. Like a rapper you can't catch the moments he takes for a breath and his brain seems to work at twice the rate of his mouth. "That it's not about money but it's also about life... The world should be all about community but instead it's all about money and instead of exchanging services, where someone does something for you and you all eat, it's about money. I'm not saying people shouldn't be paid if there's the budget for it but you have to give a little."
Alright then Kevin, I say, what's your minimum? What's the balance between not needing money and having a quality of life that is at Tree Gazing Level?
"If I only [emphasis mine] had a roof over my head and enough money to eat and travel, that would be cool, I'd be happy." (Yeah, only enough to travel, I know.)
He says this after briefly recounting a trip where he hoped across Europe and then down towards us and back again to London.
Lifestyles of the rich and the famous They're always complainin' Always complainin' If money is such a problem Well, they got mansions Think we should rob them
"What do I want from life?" He asks himself, more than he asks yours truly, "I want to make good music and be around good people. And that's aconstant battle because your environment, especially in London, can be filled with negative things but it's good to be transparent and keep writing good music."
The Knight, his new album, is a sonic and cinematic answer to what he's been saying all along: the balance between quality of life that money brings and the tree-gazing-wave-splashing-quality is difficult to find.
"I was waking up here in the city [of London] and feeling the madness. Over here there is a lot of consumerism and it seems like everything that is negative; consumerism and money and fame over talent is celebrated and everything that's good and sustains us, like the planet and nature isn't."
"So I thought, ‘if all the negativity is the light then what is good and true must be the night.'" For Kevin, in this case, it's the night that's important. "I like sex and drinking but it's the things that sustain us that are important and the things that inspire others and make them feel good that are important."
To paraphrase the man himself, if fame, lust, consumerism are the light of this world then love, equality and freedom must be the night.
But for some reason, perhaps it's Kevin's balancing of the light and night on the tip of a knife, even while writing this Good Charlotte keeps playing in the background...
Lifestyles of the rich and famous They're always complainin' Always complainin' If money is such a problem You got so many problems, Think I could solve them.
In the mid to late 90's, when grunge began to wither away and MTV strived to find the next easy to access label to attach to new batch of up and coming rock bands, global attention started to shine on the Alt Rock scene.
The I Love The 90s Tour returns to Auckland next year March 23rd at Auckland’s Spark Arena, with a completely off the chain lineup featuring classic Hip Hop crew Naughty by Nature. Vin Rock from the Grammy Award winning rap group speaks fondly of this country and love of our people.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
Anthonie Tonnon is taking his new Extended Player and single to Australia, and to New Zealand towns that missed the first run of dates, or sold out too quickly. He’ll also be appearing at three summer festivals this February.
After a stand of three Auckland concerts that sold out in minutes in January, Connan Mockasin is hitting the road across Aotearoa for the first time in eight years this summer for a select run of headline shows.