Knowing me, knowing you. With Corduroy

January 27, 2021

Ahead of this Saturday night’s show, we got to ask Wellington favourites, Corduroy a few questions. Here’s what they had to say and let’s hope for a celebratory shot of Greek Liqueur!

Well hello Corduroy! Stoked to have you play Saturday 3oth with us. First of all, I wanted a little bit of background history of the band, how did it start/evolve? Where do your influences come from in your songwriting? 

Well… It all began early 2017, when we were all in our first year of uni, studying at Victoria university of Wellington. Simon (keys), Will (guitar) and Dean (ex-drummer) were all in a hall of residence together, having a jam. Will and Rosie went to school in year 13 together, and had done really well in a Rockquest band called Kairos, so a few weeks later he pulled Rosie along to join in on a jam. 

We were all at this inter hall competition a month or so later, where each hall performs a few songs against one another, and we saw this weird, sideshow bob looking creature playing the bass. We thought, oh boy, we just gotta have him! So soon we got Barry to join us on the bass, and voila, we started writing some OG tunes.  The start of 2020 brought us two more shredders, Rafe Swan on Drums, and Jacob Gasser on Sax. They bring plenty of exciting new content to the table, and have shaped our sound quite a lot.

When it comes to songwriting, we all have very, very different genre and artistic influences, which can be a pro and a con. We all love artists such as Parcels, Daft Punk and Alabama Shakes, but overall, Rosie loves more indie-soul and RnB, Barry loves Rock n roll, Rafe is a Jazz fanatic, Will loves Funk and Rock and Simon loves disco experimental, so we kinda pull in influences from all these genres!!  

You guys have been on the road for a while playing festivals such as R&V and Bay Dreams, what has been the highlight so far on your tour, and what are you looking forward to? 

Rosie: Loved Rhythm and Vines this year! It was our first show on tour, we had just had a really great rehearsal the afternoon before in Gisbourse at the music school, and we were all just so energised and ready to go. The sun was out, there were a heap of people there singing along with us and I just felt super lucky to be able to do that, and start a summer like that when given that most of the world is in lockdown.

Barry: For me, the highlight was hanging out in the artist tent at Bay Dreams, and mixing with so many talented New Zealand artists. It felt like a bit of a milestone, hanging out with so many artists with the same ambitions, young, old, extremely popular, or in the same position as us.

Will: For me the highlight was also meeting so many amazing people and just hearing their stories and advice. It was a pretty surreal experience to be playing on the same stage as musicians I have looked up to for years. I think the thing I’m looking forward to is seeing what opportunities might come our way from utilising all the great advice we received.

Jacob: I really enjoyed performing at RnV. It was my first performance with the band at a summer festival and it was pretty surreal. We really got into our set and the vibe from the crowd was awesome. I’m looking forward to releasing our EP in March, it’s got a lot of groove and genre variety.

Rafe: Unoriginal I know, but the incredible kiwis we’ve had the opportunity to hang with have made our travels truly worthwhile. Besides meeting Tom Scott my highlight has to be the four dollar tequila sunrises at Icon’s in New Plymouth for sure.  

The Raddlers will be joining you here at Yonder on the 30th of January for your second to last show of the tour before you wrap it up in Wellington. What’s it like having support from artists such as the Raddlers and how do these encounters add value to yourselves as musicians? 

We have been so lucky with support acts across the 3 years we’ve played. Not only have they all been really nice people, many of which we hang out with outside of music, but they seriously rip. The Raddlers in particular are some of the most wholesome, friendly guys you could ever meet, and their music is just so professional and sweet sounding. They are also crushing it at the moment, with a new EP which is definitely worth a listen and some awesome gigs such as Soundsplash. We try to get support from as many different styles of music as we can, which not only puts people who come to our gigs onto new music they might not normally listen to, but also allows us to get inspiration in songwriting and performance from a wealth of genres.

What’s your process for making a setlist, what goes where, and who decides? 

Oh the setlist is always a little bit frantic. We talk about it a lot before a show, and usually practice for a show with the setlist we will perform… but then day of the show, an hour before the show we go…“WHO’S GOT THE SET LISTS” and we realise we still need to find a pen and paper somewhere and write one. Then we usually have a bit more of a chat about which songs will stay or go for the show haha. 

But the set list changes a lot depending on the sort of show. For instance, our festival set list is a lot more up beat, and we place songs which transition well next to each other, and usually fill in the gaps a lot more with instrumentation and interactive moments. 

You have just released “I’m So Bored” in the lead up to your upcoming EP “Poor Man’s Velvet” how long have these releases been in the making and what should we expect from the EP? 

The EP is a child of 2020 lockdown mainly. We came to first practice post lockdown and everyone was literally overflowing with ideas. It was exciting. The next release (spaceships) was one we’ve had writers block with for about 2 years, but we finally cracked it during lockdown!

The EP’s decently eclectic, we don’t want to give too much away but it’s definitely funk/soul influenced! “I’m So Bored” is probably the biggest outlier from the ep.

Does the band have any pre-show rituals? Tell us all your secrets!

We always have a group huddle and go round the circle hyping each other up! This helps us get up on stage confident and excited. It also lets us all just connect and get on the same wavelength, head in the game and hearts on the set list. 

Our pre-show tradition isn’t the most interesting, but another little tradition we have is that everytime we release a song, at the next practice we all get round, take turns reflecting recent band highlights we have had and follow those with a shot of Greek Liqueur.

Cheers to Corduroy for the time and words! Greatly appreciated. Catch them and The Raddlers, for free at Yonder Live, this Saturday 30th Jan from 9pm.