Today (Friday July 24th) sees the release of Auckland producerCymbol 303 (Shivnesh Sumer) and singer/songwriter This Pale Fire(Corban Koschak) collaborative EP The Cycle. Described as EDM meets sensible indie-rock, I sat down for a chat with the duo in the lead up to the release and found out more about this intriguing project.
How did you guys meet?
This Pale Fire: We both work in the advertising industry and our paths kinda crossed. I was looking for an engineer to do my EP, so I approached Shiv but...
Cymbol 303: I was too busy to accommodate his own solo EP. But I took the time out to listen to his voice... his demos, and I thought ‘Ok, sweet. I need to work with this guy'. So I proposed we do a song together and later on... actually it was that same day, we said ‘Why don't we do an EP?'
The Pale Fire: Yeah yeah, we really got into it. I love electronic music but I've never been able to make it myself. So to be able to produce that kind of music is great.
Cymbol 303: This would have been about two years ago. We started production on this EP two years ago.
It took two years?
Cymbol 303: Yeah, that's my fault.
This Pale Fire: Shiv likes to have everything perfect. But you can tell, if you look at when we thought we were happy with it a year ago, and then where it is now... there are so many little touches that have elevated it a lot.
Cymbol 303: Yeah had to keep sparkling it up. I wasn't happy with the way it sounded and I had to take a break from that and do other things. Then came back to it with a fresh mind. I wanted to get it right.
This Pale Fire: It's kind of strange that it's finally coming out. It's been in the pipeline for so long, but it's exciting.
The EP artwork is really interesting, what's the idea behind that?
Cymbol 303: That was all Corban!
This Pale Fire: Yeah, cause I'm a graphic designer as a day job as well, I wanted to make some artwork that would tie into the theme of the EP. It's basically like a concept EP on relationships. The first song ‘Burst Of Colour' is about the initial attraction... you have a crush on someone and life seems a bit better and stuff. Then ‘Don't Rob Me' is kind of like the moving faze... it's getting a bit serious, you're moving in, please don't rob me (laughs). And then ‘Better Than Me' is the kind of break up angry ballad song. And then it repeats, so that's where the cycle comes from.
The album artwork is like an infinity sign, which is like fragmented so it's broken? So the idea is that you're trying to break this cycle , not repeat it and have a successful relationship.
It's quite a unique sound that you've achieved, a cross between indie rock and electronic music...
Cymbol 303: Yeah, I think when I first heard his demos I could see it becoming what it is now. I sort of had the Chet Faker / Flume collab in mind. With that sort of method we kind of made something fresh as well.
This Pale Fire: I think so, yeah. We were so different musically with our inspirations that when it comes together it kind of fits. Shiv has a great mind for beats and percussion while I'm all about singing and lyrics. So we kind of fill each others gaps.
Who were both your influences?
Cymbol 303: When I started making electronic music I think Skrillex was my main influence. He's still my biggest influence at the moment. He keep changing his sound and he's different. And then Flume came and I had a whole new respect for that guy, he sort of changed the game. Because everyone wanted to sound like Skrillex, then Flume came and it was a different sound. So that's what made me realise when I started making music that I was going to have my own sound, rather than be another Flume or another Skrillex.
This Pale Fire: I got a guitar when I was about 14, and I was more into the rock scene back then. I'd been writing songs quite a lot in my bedroom and they'd always been in that kind of style. And I started getting into bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Bon Iver... those kind of folky, slightly indie rock. Like a bit of Coldplay & Radiohead.
Cymbol 303: It's funny, when I knew I was nominated I told my mates and they were like "You've won this", and was thinking ‘Yeah, whatever' (laughs).Then I got a call and was pretty shocked to hear I'd made the final three. But as it turned out, I wasn't in the final three, they just wanted me in the studio and they said "Surprise, you've won!" (laughs). After that competition it made me realise that I've got something inside and started pursuing originals & making more music. It was a bit of a game changer.
How did you both come up with your names?
Cymbol 303: Finding a name was one of the hardest things to do. You want to find a name because you want to put songs out. So I was like ‘Ok cool, I really like cymbals'. And 303 is a vintage Roland synthersizer. I grew up with Roland, it was the first instrument I touched... and the first instrument I bought. So it's quite special to me the 303 so that's why I was like ‘Cymbol 303'.
This Pale Fire: I didn't want to go by my normal name because I thought it might have been a bit foreign sounding. So I tried to come up with something that was deep, but still quite playful... kinda like how I am and stuff. So I came up with ‘This Pale Fire', which is essentially a little joke for ‘pasty red head' (laughs).
This Saturday night you're playing the EP release show at Tyler Street Garage in Auckland, you must be looking forward to that?!
Cymbol 303: Yeah, we'll be performing out whole EP and a couple of other songs as well.
This Pale Friday: Yeah, we're going to jam out.
Cymbol 303: We've been practicing, and while practising we came up with a new song. It'll be our follow up single for the EP later in the year. We'll both be working on our solo EPs, but will make a collaborative song. We'll keep working together.
This Pale Fire: It's still quite early in the collaboration and we're developing a style. We'll work on that and then get new material out.
Cymbol 303 & This Pale Fire
EP Release Show @ Dance Yrself Clean Also featuring Dean Campbell Tyler Street Garage - 8PM till late - Sat 25 July Entry: FREE
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.