THEAUSSIEWORD.COM – special interview with New Zealand based dream pop artist T. G. Shand.
How and where did it all begin for you? What drew your interest to the music industry?
Was just born loving music. Used to march around the living room in rural NZ as a kid, listening to a Ravel’s Bolero record. I’d sit and play the piano for hours until it got so dark that I was scared to walk to the light switch.
What motivates or influences you in your quest to make great music?
Hearing awesome new music!
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish?
Goals are hard in a subjective industry – just to keep making and releasing music. Would love to get back into doing soundtrack work and play some more festivals.
What can we expect from you in the coming months? Any plans to tour?
An EP is in the works, the tracks are written just have to finish production on 2 of them, will be another track out over summer and then the main single and EP out Feb/March.
Tell us a bit about your latest release and how would you best describe your music?
WAWO is a heavier beast than what I’ve been releasing with T. G. Shand, more towards darker shoegaze obsessions like Tamaryn. I’d been playing around with this chord progression, but it just sounded like a doily when it was played clean, so it was on the back burner. At some point I got a bit angsty about liking a guy, turned the ol’ Dan Electro 3699 Fuzz on, and instantly heard the bassline. That bass progression still makes my heart hurt a lil bit when I hear it.
Give us an insight into your creative process. What gets you writing songs?
Sometimes you wake up with a full song idea and scramble to record it, sometimes it’s playing around with ideas and beats until you hear something else in it. Usually needs to tie in with having some sort of emotional thing. It’s pretty messy, which I like. Because I do the production at the same time it’s never efficient – you go into all sorts of holes and get distracted by reverb/distortion rabbit holes, samples etc. I’ve tried writing the song first and then doing the production but it never works.
Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Don’t know about hidden! I’m pretty closed off with people in general, so emotion tends to come out in music haha.
Success, what is the secret to it?
Wish someone would tell me 🙂
What has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Playing NestFest this year was awesome, the process of getting a band together, the friends who encouraged me etc – it was pretty life changing just having that support! And having the sound quality of a legit stage was so much fun.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
So so many. James Lavelle was always a big inspo. Nuclear Daisies are my fav at the moment!
Are there any new projects in the pipeline?
So many ideas from lofi hip hop projects to soundscapes and more T. G. Tracks.
The music industry is constantly changing, where do you see yourself a few years?
Honestly no idea – the plan is to just keep making music and do the best I can with any opportunities that come up.
What is your favourite and least favourite part about this line of work and why?
Making new tracks is the best part, the creative process is such a high. The hardest part is releasing it for sure, always terrifying.
Name a few of your favourite Australian artists.
Hatchie! Finally saw her in London last month. Flyying Colours, Tame Impala, Pond, Japanese Heart Software, Sunbeam Sound Machine, and of course all the Melbourne crew when we were doing Miniatures over there – Contrast, Lowtide, Hideous Towns, Bloodhounds on my trail.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
Yeah the business model is super broad, I’m not so great at the social media stuff, I just like making music.
Re. getting records out into the public eye, I’m not that great at it – I just kind of put them out and send them around, see if people like the music. It’s a funny balance of making what you want to hear, what comes out naturally (not always what you want to hear lol), and considering what will provide people with a sense of connection. Though that’s impossible to think about when you’re in create mode. I guess that last part happens when you’re screening tracks to release. I have so many shitty tracks that are lost somewhere on old hard drives that should never be heard haha.
How will you continue appealing to the international market?
Do you collaborate with others? Who is on your wish-list?
Yes love working on joint tracks. So many on the wish list. Too embarrassed to say!
What advice do you give for other artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I think this question was meant for someone else! No one knows the answers.
A message for your fans. How do you best interact and respond with your followers and fans?