NZShapeshifter ‘Delta’ interview
NZShapeshifter have been touring their new album Delta and I caught up again briefly.
DB: What sort of things went into the creation of the album in terms of personal change/stories in general and VIBE that you were reaching for?
SS: The new album was written in three phases – we started in Wellington (New Zealand), then we broke it up and lived in Berlin for a while and then came back and finished it in Woodhill (New Zealand). I think going to Berlin together had a big impact on the album – we all lived quite close and had a studio set up and anyone who’s experienced a Berlin summer knows it’s a good time! We wrote a lot of the tunes there and I think that positivity comes through on this one.
DB: Did you have something in mind for the entire vibe of the album?
SS: We never really aim for anything in particular, I think the main thing is that we all have an input and the result is something none of us would have come up with by ourselves – it’s its own monster. We came up with a few of the tunes that weren’t entirely like our old sound in Berlin, like ‘Diamond Trade’.
DB: What went into the blender in terms of influences?
SS: I think a big influence was the run of Euro and UK festivals we were doing like Glastonbury and Big Chill, UKWomad and the like – getting blown away by all this music that ordinarily wouldn’t always make it as far as New Zealand. We’re not that starved by any means but nothing like this.
DB: So with all that activity would you say it’s geared to be performed live?
SS: Yeah we often trial new songs live – most of those festival gigs we were playing potential songs off the album, trying them out on the crowds. Sometimes getting a good response and sometimes getting no response. We might also consider what part each of us would do live.
DB: What’s a snapshot of the recording period of Delta?
SS: Back in Woodhill we set up studio in the countryside at a friend’s mini farm – but it wasn’t so much a farm but a haven for unwanted animals – ducks, turkeys, one eyed/one legged donkeys. We had a gun we fired to get the turkeys and ducks out of the studio and believe me we used a lot of ammo.
DB: What changes are you seeing within the music near you guys?
SS: I think as time goes on, the more genres merge – or genres become less precious with tempos and a lot of music could fit a number of pigeonholes. But it might be just what I’m going to… but on a night out DJs will play all types of music in their set. Where in the past there would be a ‘Drum and Bass’ night or a this or that night. Seven DJS playing the same tracks all night long. I reckon the scene’s getting better.
DB: Speaking of genres, what you guys checking across the range?
SS: Boligee, Taurus Scott, Great Dane, Schlachthofbronx, Hudson Mohawke, Carnage, Borgore, Hydraulix, Wood Holly, Sinjin Hawke, Diplo, Frank Ocean, Bambonou, Wuki, Noisia, The Upbeats, Teeth, Doctor Jeep, Mele, Young Mind, Addison Groove, Audio, Brookes Brothers, Netsky. Just to name a few.