Moss Bioletti interviews Strangely Arousing about their upcoming single “Ladeda”, their release show, and their experiences recording and touring overseas
Whereabouts did you guys recording your upcoming single ‘Ladeda”?
We recorded most of the song in our living room, unbeknownst to our landlord (shhh), in a nice old house out west Auckland. The vocals, piano and some other bits, we were lucky enough to record at a beautiful studio in Hefei City, China.
How was the recording experience? Did you have a producer involved?
The recording experience was extremely relaxed and unhurried at first, but then after an interesting turn of events, we ended up having to rush the tail end of the process, which was un-ideal, but when do things always go to plan? It was a stark contrast, recording the track in our living room as opposed to our last recording experience, which was in Roundhead Studios, the best in New Zealand.
However, that certainly wasn’t a bad thing, some mornings we would wake up to the call of “Hey! Want to record some trumpet on this?” We didn’t hire in a producer as such, however, Lukas Wharekura (lead vocals, guitar) produced the song along with Scott Seabright, who also mixed and mastered the track, and also mixed our debut album.
What can we come to expect from the new song “Ladeda”?
The new song is a new musical direction for Strangely. One that lovers of psychedelic rock and groove will appreciate. Followers of us will know that each one of our songs ventures in whichever direction it wants to, and we’ve never been ones to box ourselves into one genre or style. I think the mood of this song is influenced by the beautiful fresh style of music being made by groups such as Sticky Fingers and Ocean Alley. It also definitely reflects some of the struggles we have faced as a group, and are still trying to overcome.
Tell us about the upcoming release show for “Ladeda” at the Tuning Fork downtown in Auckland, what can we come to expect from the live show?
People who have seen our live show before will know it’s an entirely different thing from our recorded music. Also if you attended a show on our last album release tour, you will know we’ve been putting in the Mahi to step up our live show. For these two shows, we are introducing to the fold Anau from Oceania who will be producing the lighting on the night, as well as DJ Straw Hat – well known and loved Tim Nolier, who will be warming you up and cooling you down throughout the night. Our set will include the classics that Strangely fans want to hear, our new single Ladeda, and some other new tracks that are unreleased and have only been played live on our Asia tour.
What are some of the great points about being a member of Strangely Arousing?
Too many to list. But a few that stand out would be the ever-present sense of amazement that we are creating something unique together, and able to present it to people who love and appreciate what we are doing. We are always growing and maturing as individuals, musicians and as a collective.
This can lead to conflict naturally, but we are always improving how we care and look out for each other, how we function as a business and a touring unit. I honestly think in terms of being open and talking about some issues that would normally be left unsaid, we are a pretty sensitive bunch of dudes!
There is definitely a strong sense of camaraderie, it’s the bros. But in terms of competitiveness and arguments over musical direction, we are always interested in what is best for the band, and always happy to come to conclusions that keep everyone happy whilst staying true to our musical values.
Are any members of the part Maori?
Yeah, Lukas is Ngati Kahungunu Ki Horohoro, and Shaun is Ngai Tahu and Ngati Mutanga
How was touring overseas?
Playing overseas was absolutely amazing. The recent tour was one of the most self-affirming parts of our band’s journey. The audiences were absolutely lovely and so responsive. And we met so many people that will remain good friends for life. I couldn’t be more grateful to everyone over there for treating us so well, everyone involved in helping me plan it, and to the boys for smashing the shows, and being an absolute pleasure to travel and learn with.
There was a lot of noticeable differences compared to touring here in NZ, and there was a bit of culture-shock but we had no time for homesickness! I would definitely classify it as an epic adventure and such a great opportunity to learn about Asia as an integral part of our touring circuit.
Advice on learning instruments?
Practicing is hard and often progress is frustratingly slow. I don’t think anyone in the band would qualify themselves to offer advice on their particular weapon of choice – we’re all still learning everyday and try to be extremely humble about it.
I would say, try to practice mindfully. Listen to what you are playing and how you’re playing it, don’t just let your mind wander and not focus on the task at hand. It’s also really useful to have a teacher to monitor your progress and help you make sense of issues that may pop up. Another thing that I think is very important is playing with other musicians at every chance you get. Especially if they are far better than you!
Socials and listening to your music?
You can stream our music on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Google Play, just search up ‘Strangely Arousing’ and there shouldn’t be too many results to sort through! If you are wanting to buy a hard copy of our album, you can message us on facebook, or go to our bandcamp: https://strangelyarousing.bandcamp.com/