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Back on the road

25 June 2022
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the black seeds credit david james (web) 1
The Black Seeds Photo: David James

New Zealand music legends The Black Seeds have released their seventh studio album LOVE & FIRE, full of tracks that showcase their lyrical talent, layered with funk and soul that make it perfect for performing on stage on their upcoming tour throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.

On tour on home ground for the first time in five years, the band is excited to share some of their classics, as well as the new album with their fans soon, visiting the South Island on July 8 for Christchurch and finishing up in Wānaka on July 9.

Style talked their new music, the upcoming tour, and the bands must-visit spots on tour with trumpet-player and band member, Barret Hocking. Interview Hannah Brown

Congratulations on the new album LOVE & FIRE – tell us a bit about the album and the process of making it...

A lot of this album was made over some form of lockdown or at least travel restrictions for the band, so this made us really have to think outside the square. We got very good at using zoom, sharing screens/audio and using Dropbox over this period. Thankfully the band had a few pre-recorded jams and ideas that we could use as a nucleus for some of the tracks that ended up being on the album. Super exciting, and so stoked to be part of it too.

In what ways did creating this album feel different to ones from previous years?

For the "covid" reasons above, but also (for me) having more free rein to write/co-write the Horn lines with my partner in crime, Mr Matthew Bentos. Being able to use the time we did/didn't have over this period, and get out the best in the tracks that were sent through. Icing on the cake, you know?

Do you have any favourite lyrics/tracks from the album?

At the moment it is 'It's So Real' mainly for selfish reasons! We have just come out of a weekend of rehearsals and promo for this album, and we're going to be playing 'It's So Real' live and it is going to be super fun to jam – we can't wait to see how the fans soak it up! We have dispersed in some classic disco/funky horn lines throughout this one, and they are super fun to play!

Accompanying the new track ‘Game Over’ is the 70’s pinball-inspired music video, tell us a bit about it…

We engaged a digital designer to make this video for us, it all started with us having to take stills of ourselves. After we sent them though, they made avatars of us and then the process continued on from there. It was kind of crazy seeing yourself as an avatar in a pinball machine... That does not happen every day! Also how good are MB's pecks, he really did work out before that photoshoot! Amazing.

How does it feel to be hitting the road on home soil for the first time in five years?

Wow, has it been that long?! The first time touring an album in this time period possibly! But either way, jeepers it feels amazing! We are super lucky to be doing this job in the first place, and to be back on the road, playing for our fans up and down the country, putting smiles on their faces. We can't wait to play these epic new (and more mature!) tunes to everyone, it really is going to be special.

When visiting the South Island, whether on tour or on holiday, where are your must-visit spots?

While on tour we are normally pretty pressed for time, but if we do get tip offs from locals for a great local spot, we definitely try our best to check it out. On holiday, personally I love the outdoors, so if I can manage some in nature there, the South Island definitely has an abundance of this.

I love to get out and explore this, and if there are some hot pools around, that is always pretty nice too. From Christchurch, we are super lucky to have the Craigieburn and Arthurs Pass all within a 60-90 min drive from the CBD, so that is absolutely amazing country to have just on our doorstep here.

Does anyone in the band have South Island connections?

Absolutely, our drummer/trom player Jarney Murphy is originally from Dunedin and now lives in Levin, and I am originally from Timaru and now live in Christchurch.

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