Nathan Haines is something of an enigma, he's always seen playing everywhere but seldom recognised. With eight solo albums, four of those released internationally, and guest spots on hundreds of releases. Nathan has carved a musical career as long as the Waikato River, where he's been at the forefront of modern soul, jazz and electronic music for over 20 years. However most people may be a tad surprised to learn he's more than just a sax player.
"It's funny I just got off the phone from another interview" he laughs "I've always been a producer and a band leader. I've always been hands on with everything I do and have been through all of my records, all of my productions I've done for over twenty years, that's the only way to survive".
"Most people know that I'm not just a saxophone player, I'm a multi-instrumentalist I'm also a vocalist a producer, I play keyboards and I've mixed my own records. If I was just a saxophone player yes, it would be a miracle to be able to feed my family, I've always done a lot more than that. If I was able to make a living just playing saxophone that would be great. I wouldn't have to do all these other things, I love producing I love collaborating with people. I'm very lucky to have two really great vocalists for this weekend's shows Tama Waipara and Kevin Mark Trail of London and as well I've got my brother Joel Haines with me on guitar, Mickey Ututaonga on drums from Rotorua; the original drummer I did my first record Shift Left which has become a bit of a classic in NZ".
He laughs as he retorts with "does that answer your question?" The thought crosses my mind that not even Wikipedia could've summed it up that well.
"Actually the thing about my Wikipedia page" he muses "It's so old I went in there to update a lot of it and I did a lot of stuff but then it got changed back, I just gave up but I do really need to look at that. I think the photo on there is about fifteen years old".
I casually let admit that I thought it was Nick from Supergroove to which he laughs down the phone, an unexpected reaction. The talk then swings to other notable famous sax celebs, of course the only ones that spring to mind are Kenny G & Dutch sax player Candy Dulfer, I'm thinking Nathan has a few contacts maybe he's met these two?
"No, I wouldn't want to, that style of music you may as well be playing Chinese pan flute music or something" he says adamantly. "It's so far removed from what I do it's not even in the same vocabulary. The thing I know about Kenny G, Miguel Fuentes a very famous percussionist who lives in NZ played on my album Shift Left also played with Grover Washington for many many years in the 70s and 80s, he's from New York he's Puerto Rican. He said Kenny G use to come to all of Grover's shows to hang around backstage wanting to talk to Grover, this skinny little Jewish white kid. The thing about Grover what Miguel told me, his wife said 'Grover we need to talk about marketing because there's thousands of saxophone players in the world, it's not about being the best saxophone player (that's already been John Coltrane) we need to market you in a certain way' so Grover Washington what he achieved in the 70s & 80s was unbelievable. I don't think there's been a saxophone player who's sold as many as Grover Washington, the only other person who has is probably Kenny G. Kenny G learned from Grover Washington because of Grover's wife about the marketing. However he's a bit of a laughing stock among saxophone players, but who cares he's got multiple houses"
"That's what I mean... and you know in my own way I've tried to do that as well, when I was very young I thought to myself 'How can I differentiate myself from other saxophone players out there?' you know. Because the reason I'm the best is because you've got people like John Coltrane & you think 'I might as well give up' but I didn't and I haven't. It's about telling your own story... I think that's what people are into at the moment, they're not in tribute bands, they want to see what I've got to say and people who buy my records know it's going to be different from the last one, I don't write to a formula".
Haines latest single is 'Got Me Thinking' with UK vocalist Vanessa Freeman, its quirky upbeat disco soul vibe was an engineered feat and not a chance happening.
"Fantastic Bass player on there, absolutely ridiculous. We came to the end of the recording and my wife said 'I want a track I can play up' because she's a DJ as well. I went right, tempo 123 BPM and so we listened to a lot of all this classic chic, a lot of chic on the record... Nile Rogers - that sort of style of sound, groove vocals, horn arrangements, the way the drums are, we tried to write it in the that classic 80s Black funk soul disco music".
Right now, Nathan is touring with UK based singer and 5 A Day album collaborator Kevin Mark Trail and our very own Tama Waipara, the collaborating is a natural osmosis it just keeps on growing.
"The thing is with Tama is that he's a little like me, we refuse to be put in a box and we refuse to have anyone A&R us. I mean Tama was very hands on with this record, we've been very close for about ten years now. I first met Tama when he was living in New York and he was brought in to a remix project then when he moved back to NZ we did some work together and we did some shows in London. He draws on so many influences if he made a very straight ahead record and did it like that he might be bigger than he is, but he refuses to be pigeon holed. We're doing two of his songs on tour Medicine Man and Hunter live so that will be great for audiences".
"Kevin Mark Trail, it's so cool he's in NZ because his level, his coolness and his vocal chops it's something people don't see here, it's such a great time working with him. We do the 5 A Day live experience and we do a full two hour show, we really run the gamut styles, not just the 5 A Day album but the whole catalogue".
"Most of us have all got family's and jobs" he says "I DJ at the moment and have a new baby boy, my brother on guitar, it's great for us to be out on the road together it's great . My brother's boy is 19 now he's old enough to be in the band, my brother just goes ah yeaaa haha".
For the all-important Waitangi weekend in Feb 2015, Nathan Haines joins forces with Auckland-based bandSola Rosa for an exciting double bill featuring both bands. Saturday February 7 sees Nathan and Sola Rosaat the Raglan Club, then Sunday February 8 both bands are at the beautiful setting of Hamilton's Vilagrad WineryandVineyard for a late afternoon outdoor concert. It's a lifestyle that Haines and his band thrive on, even with family in tow.
Saturday February 7th: Raglan Club, Raglan (with Sola Rosa)
Sunday February 8th: Vilagrad Vineyard & Winery, Hamilton (with Sola Rosa)
Saturday February 14th: Rawene Town Hall, Hokianga
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
With sounds primed for a hot summer ahead, Christchurch four piece Mako Road have arrived with the perfect soundtrack for long nights, cold drinks and hazy days with the ‘Local Safari’ EP, which releases today.
“Music can bring us all together, it bonds us, it strengthens us...” this song “Your Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been dedicated to Toyah Cordingley.
Please spread the word to anyone who loves the song, or has lost someone too early also, feel free to leave any dedications in the comments of which we will share direct for Toyahs’ family and the band to see.
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.