February 28, 2013

Tiki in Dubai

Here's an excerpt from my book I believe you are a star - part of an interview I did with Tiki Taane, back when he was in Salmonella Dub. He got into a bit of strife on tour, while, in Dubai. Seems tattoos get a different reception there...

Platitudes: Salmonella Dub 

Published in Pavement, August/September 2001

If you have been wondering what happened to Salmonella Dub, two words offer an answer: global domination.

The last 12 months have been an exciting time for Salmonella Dub. Following the commercial and critical success of their last album Killervision, they launched themselves out into the big world, touring to Australia, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East, after securing release of the album in these countries. In between all this travel, they started laying down the foundations for their fourth album, Inside The Dubplates. Soundman and vocalist Tiki says its been a year of exciting new places and strange adventures.

"I got in trouble in Dubai," he recalls, relaxing in the record company boardroom in Auckland, a long way from the political hotspots of the Middle East. "It was so hot, I went out in shorts and a t-shirt, and people would cross the road, freaking out at me, big time. I couldn't understand why. People were stopping their cars and watching me.

“I spent the whole day walking round, just going 'why are these people freaking out at me?' I went back to the hotel and the reception guy was totally freaking out, going 'oh my god, you didn't go out like that did you?' I said 'what do you mean, like that?'

“And he said, 'oh, you should cover yourself up'. I said 'why?', and it was something to do with the tattoos, the moko and the dreads, it meant they thought I was the devil, basically. When you're born, I think they believe that you should die as you were born, without any markings or anything. If you do mark yourself then you are going to spend the rest of your life on earth in eternal damnation! And then I understood.

“The cool thing was, I had a bunch of kids running up and touching me, checking me out, going 'where are you from?' I got talking to them, and they were saying you just don't get bands here, it's really hard to get exposed to anything else that's happening in the world. The kids there are really starved for Western culture. That made me realise how lucky we are. Even though we're from the South Pacific, these guys were way closer to the rest of the world than what we are, but they're still so isolated."

February 27, 2013

What's this book about, then?

Here's the front cover of my book - the photo of Pitch Black is shot by Tony Nyberg, cover design by me.

Before starting my blog Dubdotdash in 2003, I'd been a freelance journalist for a handful of magazines, including Real Groove, North and South, NZ Musician,  Rip It Up, and going back to Planet, Pavement, Lava and Stamp. Over the past year I've been working on pulling together a collection of articles I wrote during that time, scanning and converting the text, and will be publishing them via Amazon's Createspace as a book/e-book.

There's some interesting threads in there, like Stellar discussing their sizeable album budget, comparing it to SJF or JPSE, then Fiona McDonald having a similar conversation round her album budget, citing JPSE and Stellar. There's an early interview with P-Money (before he'd even released any of his own recordings), which he later told me his Dad liked cos it was the first interview that actually sounded like him!

Or Bailterspace talking about going to the beach, but the UV index being so high they had to stay in the car with the windows up. Or Shayne Carter making me sit in the Sony boardroom and listen to the first album by his band Dimmer in its entirety, as he didn't want to send out any advance promo copies.

Other interviews featured include Darcy Clay, Salmonella Dub, Sola Rosa, Dean Hapeta (Upper Hutt Posse), Kog Transmissions, HDU, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Tigi Ness, Black Seeds, Jakob, Pitch Black, JPSE, and more. Interviews done between 1992 and 2003.

Official publication date is 20 May, 2013. Book launch at Conch Records, Saturday May 25, 3pm, with Dylan C DJing all-NZ vinyl set, books for sale on the day, with the author signing 'em. Published by Dunbar Noon Publishing.

You can buy the book (RRP $19.95) at Conch Records, Real Groovy (Akl), Slowboat Records, RPM Music (Wgtn) FlyingOut mailorder (NZ) and online from Amazon.com, and also on Kindle here