Hopetoun Brown

The 2017 Taite Music Prize takes place tonight, Tuesday April 18th at an invite only event at the Civic Theatre's Wintergarden in Auckland City. Check out all the info concerning this year's Taite Music Prize HERE.

We had the chance to flick nominee's Hopetoun Brown a few questions ahead of the award. 

How does it feel to be nominated for the Taite Prize?

Aw it's grouse! Tim and I are thrilled and surprised. This is an album recorded with what are essentially ancient instruments. Trumpets and clarinets have been with us for hundreds of years, but I don't think it's a retro album. It's informed by electronic music and hip hop, yet we didn't use a single synth, sample or guitar on the whole record. A hammond organ is about as futuristic as we got.

When, where and how long did it take you to record Look So Good?

Look So Good was produced during three different sessions totaling nine days of solid recording and mixing. Three of those days were spent at The Lab in Mt Eden with Olly Harmer. That's where we brought in a number of our collaborators and the rest of the time was spent at The Sitting Room in Lyttelton with the legendary Ben Edwards. It was blind luck that Marlon and Hannah we're staying at Ben's house and that's really the only reason they appear on the record. Hannah suggested using Joseph McCallum to play hi-hat on Future Never Came and it transformed the tune. Marlon's BVs on Long Time Ago and Let It Show are magical!

You¹re up against some strong competition, if the prize doesn¹t go your way who would you like to see win?

Oh man that's a tough one. It's been great seeing Devin Abrams get recognition for his Pacific Heights recordings after what must've been a tough split from Shapeshifter. Lawrence Arabia is obviously a fav as we've played with James a number of times and his drummer Al Deverick plays on a couple of tracks on Looks So Good so they'd be my two picks!

What was the most challenging aspect with the recording?

Recording is a treat. If you're well prepared it's an unadulterated joy. We were certainly watching the clock during our sessions as these top studios do hoover up the resources, but you're really in the moment while tracking and mixing and that's something that's getting harder and harder to do in the modern world.

Following the Taite Prize, what are your plans for 2017?

We're constantly working on new tunes. We've got a cool one coming together at the moment called Let's Not Be Friends (Yet). We've just come off the back of 14 shows in 10 towns on three different islands over two weeks so our chops are burned just now. We are planning a very ambitious tour of Hauraki Gulf islands. As well as Great Barrier and Waiheke we're hoping to get some of the more unusual islands of the gulf like Rotoroa, Rakino, Kauwau and perhaps Tiritiri Matangi. Keep an eye for that one!