This is no desk job

Paquin, comprising Stu Harwood, David Flyger, Thomas Healy, and Westley Holdsworth. Photo supplied.
Paquin, comprising Stu Harwood, David Flyger, Thomas Healy, and Westley Holdsworth. Photo supplied.
Drifting in and out between waves of syrupy, down-tempo shoegaze and club-ready electro-pop beats, Paquin is the bedroom project-turned-band of a man usually found on the other side of a recording desk: music engineer Thomas Healy.

A prolific engineer and musician, having worked on projects with Dunedin band Die! Die! Die!, Popstrangers and the now internationally recognised Naked and Famous, among others, Healy began working on Paquin in a home studio between recording projects in 2010.

Having released their self-titled debut EP in October last year, and with new single GUNN just released digitally, tonight Healy brings Paquin to Dunedin for the first time. Speaking to Healy from his base in Auckland, I wonder that he's found the time, as he paints a picture of almost constant work playing in multiple bands alongside his production duties.

''I've got a few musical projects on the go currently too. I play in a band called She's So Rad, which is Jeremy Toy's [Opensouls] project. It's a bit of hybrid of guitar/shoegaze and early-'90s-sounding stuff.

''I also play in [Dunedin stalwarts] the Verlaines when it's active, which is kind of reconvening to make a yearly record. I also play with a few other people, Simon Comber, Lani Harris - quite a few things, really.''

Expanding Paquin to a four-piece, including Proton Beast's Westley Holdsworth, Tono and the Finance Company's Stu Harwood and David Flyger to bring Paquin's debut EP to life in a live setting, Healy says the process of musical collaboration, both as a producer and band-mate, is something he finds extremely rewarding.

''[When I'm recording], I'm often influenced by a band's ethos. Some bands that you work with are real studio bands - they agonise over stuff and do multiple takes, which is exactly how I started recording. Especially if you're in a bedroom, that's just how it works, because you can redo everything again.

''Then you go and record a band like Die! Die! Die!, who have an entirely different approach to recording, and that opens your mind to different ways of doing things, which can be quite influential on me. It becomes about how to generate music, and how a band functions, more than music necessarily.

''I love working with other musicians; it makes working on my own stuff more enjoyable, in a way. Working with others just makes you feel part of a community.''

New single GUNN, featuring thick synthesised production moulded around a stomping pop chorus, is also a more collaborative effort, with Healy's band-mates playing a bigger part in the song's construction. Gaining some hefty internet praise since its release, GUNN is the first airing from a sophomore EP due early next year. Taking collaboration to its fullest extent, the short four-song EP will also feature remixes from six or seven musicians close to Healy, including Jeremy Toy.

''There's some very talented people who have signed on to do remixes,'' Healy says.

''It's something I'm very much looking forward to.''


See it, hear it

Paquin plays the Taste Merchants Xmas Party with Males, Kilmog and Prophet Hens, tonight, $10.

Listen to Paquin's new single GUNN at http://paquin.bandcamp.com/track/gunn.