What is the best thing about making music?
I couldn’t say there’s a single best thing, but for me it’s the creative side of things - writing music - and the buzz of playing live. It’s such a thrill when what you’re doing is making people happy and getting them dancing.
What is the hardest thing about making music?
Sorry to play the poor artist card, but it’s tough getting funding in NZ. That’s not victim mentality - like all musos I love what I do, and I know that’s just the way things are at the moment. Still I think it’s pretty crazy that we have these really high-calibre musicians in NZ and they’re just scraping by.
How important are public performance royalties to you and in keeping the NZ music world ticking?
Very important! NZ is such a small market. You’re just not going to get the crowds here that you can pull in more densely populated countries, so you can’t rely on tickets or album sales. To me it’s always a great help to receive royalties, especially after a quiet winter. It really helps. So performance royalties keep our amazing musicians home, and keeps them out there playing, and that can only be a good thing all round!
From strumming / humming / creating the first notes of a song through to a completed mastered recording, on average how long does it take you to write and record a song?
It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 6 months to write a song. I record songs at home to work on, so before I go to into the studio I know exactly what I’ll be recording. I book in for a week and get all the tracks laid down in that time. The whole album process takes about 8 months all up.
All costs considered, on average how much does it cost you to write and record a song?
Factoring in studio time, mastering, production and travel costs...it’s probably an average of about $1000 per song.
Over and above money you make from music (public performance royalties, live performance, licensing and CD / digital sales), do you have to supplement the cost of writing and recording music with money you make from other sources?
I could make enough to self-fund myself as a musician, but I have a family, so there are more pressing expenses to worry about. I certainly wouldn’t be able to pay a mortgage with what I make - that’s the beauty of living in a housebus, though!
Why do you do what you do – why do you make music?
I wasn’t chasing the dream of living of making music. It just happened organically. I started gigging lots in New Plymouth and realised I needed to start touring, so I did that and I’ve never really stopped. I just love it.
What is the most helpful songwriting tip you’ve learnt?
Don’t try to sound like somebody else.
What are three artists / bands you are excited about at the moment?
Trinity Roots, Stu Larsen, Bon Iver
What are you working on at the moment / tell us about your latest release / project?
Sonic Delusion released the single “Without Warning” in July 2015. In September 2015 I will release my third album also called “Without Warning”. Then I’ll do a nationwide album release tour around New Zealand over summer, and head into another European summer tour straight after.