Track By Track: Inside Miss June’s Bad Luck Party

Tomorrow brings the release of Miss June’s hotly-anticipated debut album, Bad Luck Party.

The 13th Floor’s Marty Duda sat down with bandmembers Annabel Liddell and Jun Park to go through the album track by track, taking you inside the creative process.

Click here to listen to the interview:

Or read the transcription here:

MD: So we’re here with Annabel and Jun from Miss June and we’re talking about Bad Luck Party – when’s it out?

AL: September 6th

MD: September 6th. And we’ve had a listen to it and we’re going to go through it track by track and as I was just saying to Jun – the guitar sound as I was listening to it – it’s past 11.

JP: Like Spinal Tap! You keep going til it hits 11.

MD: So tell us about that. I remember when you guys did your session here. We could hear nothing but guitar.

JP: Honestly, we’re just so used to playing live. Tom’s a very hard drummer. Tom hits so hard and I’m going deaf slowly. And just hits so hard that whenever we play live, we’ve just got to crank the guitar on stage. Otherwise we’d never hear ourselves, including the bass.

AL: Oh don’t blame Todd! That’s a lie!

MD: Especially in the studio, that doesn’t pass muster.

AL: Both of us are obnoxious guitar players.

JP: We are.

AL: But also, we’re really perfectionists, so during the recording process we did all of the bass and drum tracking in the main room of The Lab. Then all of the guitars we did – Tom Healey our engineer and producer and mixer – we did it in his small room in The Lab. So, all up, there were probably like fifty or over fifty sessions in the small room doing the guitars.

MD: Fifty sessions?

AL: I’d say at least.

JP: So many.

AL: Would you say more? I’d say almost a year we spent on guitars. And in the album, as well as multiple guitar overdubs, there’s things like, funny little noise guitar tracks. There were some sessions where once we got the main guitar tracks done, Jun would go in with Tom Healey and just play through the entire song, trying different improvisations. And then we’d just snip whatever of the improv we liked and throw it in places. Which is kind of a technique I think I’ve talked with you before, Marty, from Weezer – when they recorded Blue Album, they did much a similar thing where they did multiple sessions layering, where they provided noise and stuff.

MD: Was it fun?

AL: It was loads of fun.

MD: Cos it sounds like it could also get tedious.

AL: To me – we’d track it… there’d be those sessions where it was like, these are the chords and you’ve got to hit those chords right. But as soon as we’d get that done, the rest was so fun and free and expressive. It was really beautiful.

JP: The tracking is, there is the serious stuff. You have to get that bass and drums, but then the noise guitar, that’s more like Sriracha – you add your little flavours and sauces, your sugar. That was real fun.

AL: And Tom Healey who recorded us is a real fan of that sort of thing as well. Even on some of the songs, he’s playing guitar.

JP: There were some parts where he mans this pedal board. So, I play guitar and he mans this two handed pedal board – you need two hands and your two feet to play it and he’s manning it while I’m playing through. And he’s twisting…

AL: And turning…. What was that oscillating thing we used? The Sheila – the Leslie.

MD: The Leslie speaker

AL: We used that and Shayne Carter’s original E-bow from his Straightjacket Fits recordings. We did everything short of a violin bow.

JP: We did get a double bass in there.

MD: So, what time period did you record the album? From when to when?

AL: Maybe three years?

JP: We’ve had it mostly done the past two years.

MD: Well, let’s go through it track by track then. We have the songs. The first one that opens up the album starts with some pretty heavy guitar. It’s your song Twitch, which has some roots in your doctoring.

AL: Yeah. Twitch is a song about the first time I operated on a living person in the hospital. And they twitched on the hospital bed and they gave me a fright and I got, “Oh my God! They’re alive! I can’t believe it!” After which I had an existential crisis about what I was actually doing to this person and the trust they had in me and the power that being a medic, the power you possess to have access to someone’s body. It was really special and inspirational. And then the track itself – the big inspiration was a song by the Walkmen called, The Rat. So, we studied the structure of that song a lot. For me personally, my guitar tones are based off the guitar tones of a lot of the early Bailterspace albums, that sort of super trebly, mostly open strings sort of stuff.

MD: Do the two of you as guitar players have to discuss what each of you is going to do or do you come up and see how it works and take it from there?

AL: I usually tell James what to do and he doesn’t do it. And then we go from there. On the songs that I write the guitar for, that’s usually how it works.

JP: Exactly. She tells me she wants this and…

AL: And he’s like… I’ll try.

JP: It’s just workshopping. And you flop around until you get something that sticks.

MD: Now the next one is Best Girl, which also contains the title of the album in the lyrics, Bad Luck Party. To me, it definitely had a very Courtney Love vibe to it. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not.

AL: I can get that from (sings) “I wanna be the girl that…” Yeah. True, it’s a good point. It really is that vibe. It’s a sentiment that a lot of female musicians over the years have felt. It touches on that feeling of expectation that you put on yourself, but also the expectation that other people put on you. And for me, it was sort of satirical in the sense where it’s like, ‘I wanna be best, I wanna be best… There’s only one spot and it has to be me’. Which isn’t actually how I feel. It’s more like a sore feeling that’s been put upon me by what I think is an extremely male dominated industry. Which sort of sets up this competition between female musicians which today, thankfully, is getting less and less by the day. We’re seeing more diverse line-ups and there’s a lot of wahine out there doing a lot of really good work. In all areas of music. I have some friends that have like filth nights and they have lots of female line-ups. So, I’m seeing it change, but definitely this feeling of – there’s only one spot on a line-up for a female act. And all that does is undermine women as musicians in general. And it creates this false goal that doesn’t actually exist.

JP: I think it’s like people in this information age – they think there’s only one spot. I think there’s a spot for everyone. And I truly believe in 2019 you have the avenues and the niche markets to create your scene, create your own opportunities.

AL: Yeah, I agree.

JP: But people seem to be so competitive and one-out each other, but music isn’t a competition. You have your own sound; your own space and you have your own audiences which you create and you own. You support each other.

AL: I agree. When you support each other – in my mind – it’s sort of creating competition was almost a way of disabling female communities. And I feel like it comes from a place of fear of the power that people who are part of the underground possess, the ability to engage with people and connect with people. Which is very similar to what punk music has done. It’s different from the status quo and I think that’s what that song is about.

MD: All right. Next is Two Hits.

AL: Yeah

JP: What’s the quote? (laughs)

AL: ‘Two Hits – me hitting you and you hitting the floor’. This is like a fight song. This is like a fuck you. It is an answer to Best Girl which is essentially like – I do everything for myself. I don’t need you to give me the golden ticket. I do everything for me. And you just want to sit and talk about it. It’s such a big fuck you.

JP: I love it. I love the black coffee line.

AL: Yeah. You want to be original. You want to be a sexist. You want to be cool. It’s not that easy. (laughs)

MD: And it’s only a minute 33 in duration.

AL: That’s all it needs.

MD: The Ramones would be thrilled.

AL: Now the guitar on this is really interesting though. The guitar in the verses of Two Hits is this crazy guitar.

JP: Yeah, yeah. Just more improv noise. It’s just Tom and I sitting. Even for the first verse – there was guitar and lead guitars in the first verse. But we took it out.

AL: We cut it to just create drums and vocal.

JP: One day we might release a demo version.

AL: But that was hard guitar to do. Oh my gawwwwwd. That took so long to get right. That was – you almost had a breakdown doing that guitar.

JP: But it’s also that you’re coming out with something different for each verse on top of that, everyone’s coming at you with ‘create better noises!’ and I’m like, ‘I’m trying!’

AL: I’d be there like I want you to do like ‘ding a ling a ding ding ding ding ding.’ OK James, why can’t you do that???

JP: Everyone’s giving me different things. Tom’s like give me ‘ding ding ding ding ding’ and Annabel’s like ‘dee, dit dit dit’ or ‘doo, doo, do do do… And I’m sitting there like – What do you want me to do??? And then we end up coming up with that…

AL: Oh my gosh

MD: For a song of that duration it sounds like you put a lot into it.

AL: Heaps, yeah.

MD: I have to give it another listen with a fresh set of ears. Anomaly is next, which is a little slower and quieter, at least for a little bit.

AL: What did you think of Anomaly. Did you like Anomaly?

MD: I, well, I liked everything on the record, so – how’s that for a weasel-y answer? It’s got that whole loud/soft thing going on.

AL: Anomaly is our next single, coming out on Monday. Very excited. It was a tough choice. It was between that and another song off the album. We decided to go for Anomaly, but Anomaly is a really cool song. And was really influenced by Weezer. James used to call it Weezer Song because it has that really sickly-sweet pop vocal. But then a quite off-kilter melody. And that was really my chance to have a bit of a play around with the guitar on that song. And James said that was the best chorus I ever wrote. And I’ll never forget that.

JP: She brought that chorus and man…

AL: I brought that chorus to practice and James said in that moment, ‘That’s the best chorus you’ve ever written.’

JP: I think so – it’s so interesting as a chorus. She only had the verse for a long time. You brought it in a couple of times and it was a good verse, but as soon as that chorus came out – that’s the best chorus I’ve ever heard from Annabel.

AL: Cos I don’t have real, proper training on the guitar. I don’t actually know what chords I’m playing. I know the first position chords. I know the names of the first position chords, but I don’t know the names of the others.

MD: Amazing. There’s hope for all of us yet.

AL: Yeah, so when I brought that chorus in, I remember James was like, ‘ooh you went to the diminished seventh’ or some shit and I was like – I have no idea. I just went there cos it sounded good.

JP: It was real flavourful. Real smart, like really smartly written flavourful chorus. It just works. You wouldn’t expect it. For me, when I heard it, you don’t expect those chords to work together, that structure to work together so melodically. But it does and that’s what makes it really beautiful, I feel.

AL: And if Tom was here, he’d talk about how sick the light, laid-back drumming is, that gives him a chance to breathe during our set.

MD: Which he probably needs.

JP: Yeah, he’s the hardest working drummer.

AL: That song’s mostly lyrically it’s just about not understanding someone. And a lot of the themes on the album are surrounded from my own personal experiences. But there’s a lot on there about female interactions and female friendships. And so this is a song about one of my old friends who was just an absolutely dynamite person, but who I just couldn’t stand at all… at ALL!

JP: Shout outs to Millie for having the vocals on that.

AL: Oh yeah. Millie Lovelock from Astro Children does backing vocals on the track.

JP: You also hear them talking about ostracising.

AL: Me and her in Anomaly, we sat in the studio in the small room with an eight-track recorder and we talked for about an hour and then we spliced it into the song. So that was sort of a dialog between us about what was going in my life with this friend. It’s sort of those conversations you have with other friends all the time, like, ‘this is going on, I just don’t understand it, or what do you think?’ And I wanted to have that actual conversation in there, because it’s real.

JP: Real people.

MD: Groovy. Orchid is next. Which is kind of darker and moodier.

JP: I love Orchid.

MD: It’s been around for a while, hasn’t it?

AL: My favourite part of the entire album is in Orchid.

JP: Really? What’s that?

AL: It’s the breakdown, the bridge one me and you do the ‘dunna nunna nunna nunh’ and then ‘dunna nunna nunna nuh.’ And then Tom has that incredible drum section in the bridge and then it goes to cut out. For me, my favourite part.

JP: The song is such an ode to old school rock & roll.

AL: Yeah, it’s like really Cranberries-y. Those vocals…

JP: (sings) Ma says… it’s very Cranberry you know?

AL: Tom’s drumming on that is so sick.

JP: Whenever he does the breakdown drumming… Have you seen the Sponge Bob episode where Patrick’s got his glasses on? I just get those visuals whenever I think about him playing drums.

MD: Have you told him that?

JP: I just think about it whenever he plays it… When you see him play it’s just ridiculously funny.

AL: Well, I always turn and watch him. When we play that song live, I turn around and I just… when he goes into it it’s so satisfying.

JP: He’s got a lot of moments when I’m looking at him. The whole band has a lot of moments when I’m like Bam! They kill it.

MD: Shall we move on to Double Negative then?

AL: We played this song at our Whammy show just recently, and in the review, someone said, “No Time To Talk’, unrecorded…” I don’t think it was Marty…

JP: It was Marty

AL: Was it?

MD: It might have been, but there you go.

AL: So that’s Double Negative. But I’m glad that it stuck out enough for you to be ‘oh, unrecorded’ because it is a very different song. And it’s very unusual. And it’s one that I wrote from start to finish, lyrics and melody and it has not changed one bit since the moment I wrote it until it being released.

MD: In my defence, I hadn’t heard the album yet. I was trying to figure them out.

AL: You are an incredibly loyal fan and we are not in any way criticising you.

JP: For people who don’t know – Marty’s supported us FOREVER. For every show he’s been to – we love him so much. We’re just so lucky.

AL: This song is about my relationship with my non-existent father.

MD: We won’t go too deep on that, I guess.

AL: No.

MD: Move on to Enemies, which is extremely heavy. It’s almost like metal.

AL: It is. That’s our rock song.

JP: Yeah, that’s for all the punters? The munters? Yeah.

AL: So, James wrote this guitar and I put the vocals on later.

JP: This one is just my ode to all my favourite live bands. I’m a metal head growing up. I was into Dillinger’s Escape Plan, all those kinds of bands. The hardcore scene and the metal scene. Usually Miss June shuts down anything metal or heavy.

AL: That is not true!

JP: But then they like this one. And I keep forcing them to write, write and then we came up with this.

AL: I hated it played.

JP: She did. She hated it.

AL: I hated that song and then my mum told me she liked it. And then I did a one-eighty and was like “It’s a good song!”

JP: It’s an absolute banger. The vocals are so cool. It airy on top in the verses and even in the chorus. But then the guitar starts getting more sparse and vocals get more rapid and sharper. And at the end we all come together, which is a cool song, structure-wise.

AL: I think it was brilliant song-writing on your part, with the (sings the guitar part).

JP: It was fun. It was my tribute to the metal roots and the hardcore roots that I had.

AL: This was a hard song to write, but once we had it, we just always had it.

JP: When she first sang those vocals it just worked so well.

MD: Are the lyrics yours?

JP: No, they’re hers. I don’t have many enemies! (laughs) All my enemies are dead.

AL: All my enemies are living and breathing.

MD: All right. Aquarium, which is think is probably the song that first made me glom onto you guys. I saw you guys in the Kings Arms a long time ago. I think I also met your mother at that gig.

AL: Yes. My mum is our greatest supporter despite her many grievances. Well, my mum doesn’t approve of bad language.

JP: She’s the number one fan and she’s got great ears.

AL: She got good ears – she picks our singles. I’m not kidding. When we were going to release Twitch she was like, ‘This is going to be big.’ And it fucking did.

JP: She picked Enemies. She picked Best Girl.

AL: Best Girl she was like… and then she came around.

MD: What about Anomaly?

AL: I don’t think I’ve played that to her. Or no, we sent her Orchid and Anomaly and she picked Orchid

JP: What are your thoughts on Aquarium?

MD: I love it because it’s just so direct and angry.

AL: It’s so direct, isn’t it? People have sent me messages after the show being – what’s that song that says, “I could have been anything, but instead I chose to be with you.”

MD: It sticks with you. It comes right out in your face and it stays there.

AL: And that guitar… James and I do the timing of the verses – we freestyle the timing on that. We tried to do it in the early stages, we tried to record it to a click-track. And it just wasn’t right, eh?

JP: It just didn’t feel right. Like when we do it live. Or even when recording, even though we do it to a track it’s sort of free, but it just works when we read off each other and just takes it slow or we speed up.

AL: It’s not in a particular time. The timing shifts between the verses with my phrasing.

JP: That’s what makes that verse so beautiful live and so cool.

AL: It’s really volatile because it feels like at any moment it could slip out of time, and you catch up on me and I catch up on you.

MD: I think for the listener, it keeps them on the edge of their seat. Even though as a listener you don’t realise the timing is weird, it’s that something feels weird listening to it.

AL: And then it goes into that chorus which is like ‘boom boom boom boom!’ Which is just so straight. I love that song.

JP: Guitar-wise, that was one that we were all jamming and I just came out with that verse riff. Personally, for me it’s great because you get to do tremolo and tremolo-ing chords.

AL: You’re the tremolo king. You tremolo a lot. You’re good at it though.

JP: I’ve done it a million times.

AL: You have to move your hand as fast as you can. I can’t do that, eh. It’s so hard. You do it so fast! And is it all down-picking?

JP: No, it’s up and down, but there’s techniques to it.

AL: Like a circular motion?

JP: You can do circular. Sometimes I do circular – you get a different tone. Or sometimes you do up and down, or put your pick on an angle and you get different tones depending on what it is. That’s Dillinger-inspired. It’s just frantic.

AL: We feel the song in different places.

JP: We have different timings.

AL: All of us frame the song in our minds completely separately. James will say, ‘go into the chorus’ and I’ll be “I coulda been anything…” and he’s like ‘go to the other chorus.’ But that’s because it’s section A, section B, section A, section B, section C, section D, section B, section C and then B again. It’s like fuckin’ orchestral crazy. Symphony – we’re making symphonies.

MD: On to Scorpio. Which I think, when you played at Whammy, you opened the show with that one.

JP: Scorpio would have been second. Usually we open with Two Hits.

AL: So, my mum’s a Scorpio. So’s my brother. And so are two of my exes. And I find horoscopes kind of comically flawed, but at the same time, strangely believable. Much like myself. So it’s probably the lightest song on the record in terms of feeling.

JP: Talk about the vocals and the recording process of that.

AL: Oh yeah, we actually used my tracking vocal from the live tracking. You know how I said we recorded the bass and the drums in the main room? I do a tracking vocal to it cos it helps the boys feel and I’m like really visceral when we record in the studio. I don’t like stand at the mike cos we try to get it as close to live as possible.  And the vocals on the album are actually the original tracking vocals, which was really cool.

JP: The vocals were perfect in the sense that it was so light.

AL: It was one of those ones where it just came out so good. Every overdub we tried just ruined it.

JP: It was so light, so playful. And that’s what we wanted with that song. Any time we tried to overdub it, it just became too serious.

AL: This was one of the songs that the Americans loved. Americans love Scorpio.

MD: Really? Do you notice there’s a difference?

AL: There’s a massive difference between what songs people in America vs people in New Zealand vs the UK like. So Orchid is a favourite for us and it’s a favourite in New Zealand.  People in America were just like… what??? They just did not get it. You really feel it. With a show like ours where it’s so… we rely on the crowd’s energy and they rely on ours. When a song isn’t popping like it does somewhere else, you can really feel it. It’s funny. And then we go into a riff like Scorpio which is almost a throwaway song, but it’s not. But they’re just like ‘yeah, omigosh! Yeah!’ That bouncy drums is in it.

JP: You never know what’s gonna stick with the crowd.

MD: What’s big in the UK.

AL: A couple of tracks, like Enemies. They really liked the heavy stuff. And then BBC Radio really like Best Girl. I think they like the more pure sort of rock-y angst-y stuff.

MD: That takes us to another short one, Please Waste My Time.

AL: This song is so funny.

JP: This is the only song that Tom Healey didn’t like.

AL: When we got the mixing and the recording done on this, this was the only song that we were like, ‘yeah it’s good. It’s a banger’. We didn’t even do many overdubs, there’s no synth.

MD: It’s very punk-y.

AL: It came out well. Didn’t we write this a few days before recording it?

JP: We wrote it very quickly.

AL: So quick and the recorded it so quick.

JP: It’s just classic punk rock. In your face. Fun, aggressive. It’s cool. It’s the type of punk rock I liked to listen to growing up.

AL: And it’s just about being around people that treat you like shit and being like, Fuck you!

JP: We were doing Best Girl in the big room with Ollie because we had a different audio engineer at the time cos Tom Healey was away. And it took us – we did Best Girl and Polio, I think and then Please Waste My Time and it took us five hours to do the first two, to get those right. And then as soom as we played Please Waste My Time

AL: We did like one take.

JP: Yeah, we were like, we’ve got one hour. Let’s record another song, just in case. Just make the most of our time in the studio. And as soon as we blast out Please Waste My Time, I was – that’s the fucking shit.

AL: Yeah, he [Ollie] was so silent the whole session and we did that and he was so into it.

JP: He was always so quiet, in the background, but as soon as we did Please Waste My Time, he goes, “that’s the one!”

AL: Well it’s funny recording the songs in the studio because I feel like a lot of producers don’t expect that. And I really mean it about when we record as if it’s live. We really do. And we’d just been recording all these songs and he’s, ‘okay, next song’ and we go, ‘this is unnamed.’ ‘OK go ahead’ And I’m like FUUUUUCK!!!! Danna nanna na… and he was just ‘Oh My God!

JP: We did that in one or two takes. I think we did three, but the first one was perfect, so we just kept the first one. Literally, we just did it cos we had some time. I remember that being funny cos Ollie really liked it and then Tom Healey, when we were picking the songs, which ones we’re gonna keep on the album. And Tom Healey was like, “I don’t know about Please Waste My Time.” And were all, “That’s the banger!”

AL: There’s unfortunately no time to breathe on this song, though. Oh my god, this is the hardest to play live in our entire set. And it goes in a weird timing…

JP: It’s like a four bar over five bars. So it goes four and a five in the bridge.

AL: Yeah, it’s a bit math rock-y in the bridge. And it’s so hard to keep my timing. (sings)

JP: Annabel goes hard on the pant, so she’s screaming.

AL: It’s so hard. There’s this one bit where you do your guitar breakdown. And I turn around onstage. Chris has taught me a bit of breathing technique for on stage. And I do my (breathes) and I try to get as much air as I can in the bottom of my lungs. It’s so hard.

MD: Finally. The last track is Polio.

JP: Poliosis

AL: I love Polio

JP: How did we come up with the name?

AL: Polio is – I made the guys listen to song called ‘Feather of Forgiveness by Polva. And I said, I want to write a song like this – with that really jarring guitar and super heavy bass and drums. And then James kept saying ‘Polva Song’ and then he kept going, Polio

JP: I pronounce things weird. I mix things up.

AL: James always gets the names of songs wrong.

MD: But now it’s right.

AL: I said, fuck it – we’ll just call it Polio. Polio is a condition which has now been eradicated through vaccines.

MD: If they keep taking the vaccines.

AL: Anyone who’s an anti-vaxxer out there, um… unsubscribe. Cos measles epidemic… okay, I’m not going to get into anti-vaccines. But…. Polio… You still see some older people with it. It gives them bone deformities, one leg shorter than the other sort of thing.  It’s a crippling illness. So I think that song is really about, inspired by a number of things that cripple us from being better people, whether that’s money or selfishness or abuse of power.

JP: Or people trying to box you into their time, their ideals. Trying to have control over you.

AL: That’s where that line ‘It always falls through the cracks’ comes from. You can try and people please your whole life. But if you’re someone like me who struggles to be anything but themselves, it will always fall through the cracks.

JP: Guitar-wise it’s cool.

AL: Guitar was sick. It was really interesting for you to do, eh?

JP: Yeah, cos I’m not much of a noise guitarist believe it or not.

AL: Really, you’re not. You’ve come a long way.

JP: I’m quite traditional in a sense. I grew up with Guns N Roses, rock & roll, Ramones.

AL: Ugh. Guns N Roses!

JP: Pearl Jams. I was a grunge kid. Alice in Chains and stuff like that. I like my pentatonics, and I like my solos, but they hold me back…

AL: James always says that Jono from The Beths gets a solo in every song.

JP: And it’s always a bluesy pentatonic

AL: You get a solo in Twitch.

JP: Yeah, but it’s two notes! Let me burn some leather! Let me get at it. So Polio is cool.

AL: For me, the whole song is a solo for you.

JP: Polio is cool because the verses especially and the bridge and even the endings are improv.

AL: That guitar is so sick.

JP: So, we just improvised. For the verses we took just a live tracking that we did because the live tracking was perfect for the singing. It was hard to make noises. When you’re doing the overdubs, not all the parts are there yet, especially vocals. It was hard to overdub noises when there was no vocal. But when I did it live I just know where it goes in. You can hear things and add that. It’s a lot freer.

MD: It sounds like you’re pretty happy with the record.

AL: Yes.

JP: Yes.

AL: Anything like this is never finished in your eyes.

JP: It’s cost us a lot of time and a lot of headaches.

AL: We’ve had it mixed a number of times. Some songs I re-sang the vocals four times. I did Enemies vocals and not even saying takes. I mean doing the entire tracking and doing all the overdubs and finishing it entirely and then coming in and scrapping it. For Enemies, maybe four or five times?

JP: Literally. It was a lot airier and lot softer the first round of Enemies. And the we listened to it. We liked it. And came back a week later and no, it needs something else. She did it again, it wasn’t enough. Did it again, wasn’t enough. Did it again and the last one was just – that’s the one. Punk rock with it.

AL: We had it mastered twice. We paid for someone to completely master the whole album, a guy in LA. Got it back. Didn’t like it. Sent it to a different guy in LA (laughs). Paid to have the whole thing mastered twice.

MD: So was this before or after you’d been signed?

AL: After.

MD: At least you had that backup.

AL: And just to know as well that we’ve gotten a lot of support from New Zealand on Air. And we definitely could not have made it without them, because before we were signed, we literally relied on the good will of our producers to do this for us and survive from that funding money.

JP: Exactly. We’re so lucky.

AL: So lucky. New Zealand is so lucky to have those programmes in place. And the Outward Sound for touring. We couldn’t have done this record without them.

JP: We’re so lucky to have all the support, even like you, Marty, having you at all our shows.

AL: Yeah, and that’s a beautiful thing about being from New Zealand.

JP: Even like Tom Healey. He’s really the fifth member of our band. He’s like a brother to us.

AL: I miss him. The second we finished the album. Our last session, I was… maybe I’ll just come back one more time… we’d just go in there and hang out. For hours at a time.  And I would look forward.

JP: told me all about the trampedes. We’d have a tramp session.

AL: And we’d play…

JP: He’d play us Megoes, he’d play us Future.

AL: He got me into Pusha T again. Just shit to break it up.

JP: And dance breaks. It was fun.

AL: And we had that one session where we played on that 808 machine for ages. Yeah, it was so fun.

JP: He encourages it.

AL: He, more than any other recording engineer that I’ve ever worked with, knows how to record my vocals. I’m great with criticism, but I need extremely specific criticism. So he’ll be, ‘the second vowel of that word is just a little off.’ He is phenomenal.

JP: I think the band and him just fit like a glove. He knows how to handle each of our personalities. The way he knows how to talk to each of us. And the way he knows what we want and how to get it.

AL: I use his recording techniques now. When we were in LA we did this recording session with Part-time Punks. So we went into the studio and we recorded four songs with Josiah, the nicest man in the world, who’s one of the engineers who works with Part-time Punks and it’s easy for me now to record vocals with strangers because I just use the techniques that Tom Healey and I did. So we’ll go literally line by line. So, you’ll go – all the verses. And then you do all the choruses. And then you do the outros so as not to blow out your voice recording. And it’s the skills he’s taught me. And I think you as well.

JP: We’ve learned so much.

AL: It’s an unparalleled experience I had with any other engineer in my life.

JP: We were lucky to learn, have support, make friends from this crazy game. And still be doing it, dog. We’re old now.

AL: Speak for yourself.

JP: Talking about the album. I could still go and change this, take out the mix… I’m very proud of what we did as a collective. I’m really proud of the songs and feel that it’s from honest places. It’s an honest representation of who we are as people.

AL: It’s so brutally honest, it’s actually quite difficult for me to release it to the world. Some of the stuff on there is so brutally personal that it’s really confronting to release it to people.

JP: It’s scary. We love it so much.

MD: But I think that’s what connects with the audience, especially when they here you play it live. It comes across.

AL: Thank you. I’m glad it comes across.

JP: Thanks so much. Thanks for having us.

MD: Thank you. That was fantastic! Now I really love the record.

AL: Thanks Marty! We love you Marty!

MD: I hope it does everything you want it to.

AL: Yeah

MD: And I look forward to number two.

AL: We’re going to try and get number two out quick.

Catch Miss June live at Galatos this Saturday night. Click here for tickets. 

Marty Duda
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