On the Floor: Band dying to return to town

Emmanuelle Gomez
Emmanuelle Gomez
"I can't wait to get back to DUD!" So says Andrew Wilson, frontman of Die! Die! Die!, which returns to Dunedin this week.

Wilson and the band's drummer, Michael Prain, cut their teeth at Logan Park High School in the band Carriage H, many years ago.

Die! Die! Die!'s last visit south has stuck in the band's collective memory, for various reasons.

"We were last in Dunedin in February and it was freezing. There was a slight mix-up about where we were supposed to be playing, at The Crown or Refuel.

We ended up playing at Refuel and had a rather unfortunate experience with a bouncer while we were playing.

"We played with the Spastic Luscious Nobodys. They were great. That show was a little bit of a bummer.

"Our best Dunedin show was our 'homecoming' album release show at The Backstage in September last year. That was incredible. We were still learning how to play the songs off Promises Promises though. Now we know them like the back of our hands."

The band members grew up in Dunedin and sang a song called Auckland is Burning while living there, but now spend most of their time overseas.

"This year we have been living in London but we are currently in New York. We are flying home in two days. I can't wait.

"London has been amazing this year and we have managed to see more places in Europe which we haven't seen before. Also, the shows have mainly been incredible," Wilson said.

"We have been playing a lot of shows this year. Almost 150, so we have our [stuff] down. My guitar broke last night, in half, so I hope it will be fixed by the time we play Dunedin . . ."

• For those who need music tonight, and have an ear for the well-constructed and tuneful, new mother Emmanuelle Gomez is releasing an EP at the Temple Gallery in Moray Pl.

Gomez began a solo career in the 1990s, has spent time living and playing in England and was the front woman in Evolver.

This year she became a mum, took up muttonbirding and has recorded an EP. She says the EP's title, Vegetarian Savage, comes from recent experiences.

"The title of my EP comes from 15 years as a vegetarian and a city girl, being truly baffled at what I turned out to be capable of - plucking and gutting all my husband's birds for him."

Eating one remained beyond the pale.

"It also reflects the juxtapositions of my life as an indecisive Gemini with a foot on either side of the fence. This is mirrored on my EP cover, with photos of me prancing around the forest in my ball gown and gumboots.

"[I went] to the isolated Muttonbird Islands armed with a home recording studio and no expectations. The challenging but inspiring environment reignited my love of music following a long hiatus after Evolver broke up.

"The two things I learnt my first season as a muttonbirder were: (a) it's all about whanau, nothing else matters in this world; and (b) I have doubted myself my whole life and actually I can do anything I put my mind to."

Gomez says Evolver taught her about rhythm, which she hopes is reflected in this EP.

"Nowadays I'm more inclined to write on my computer than at the piano, layering the song up from the backbone of a bass and drum riff and adding the melodies later. Before I joined Evolver I was more concerned with chord structure and lyrics; now the groove is just as important.

"Writing solo instead of with a band allows you to be more honest, and you don't have to compromise with the content."

When back on the mainland she got in touch with noted engineer Dale Cotton, and the pair put the EP together.

"He peeled away all the layers, particularly my wannabe reggae quirks. What's left is a sound I hope is uniquely me."

Gomez calls her style "folk-dub", because "lyrics and melodies are my specialty but I'm still in love with the off-beat".


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