kerryn fields july 2021

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NewTracks New Artist: Fyveyes

NewTracks New Artist: Fyveyes

Young Hawkes Bay rock newcomers, three-piece Fyveyes, released their debut album ‘Elephant Room’ in November last year, named after a previously abandoned band project which they thought had a great name. Their latest single Get By, taken from the album, made it onto NZ On Air Music‘s NewTracks compilation this February.

What’s your full name, where are you from and what instruments do you play (if any)?

The full name of each of our band members are Harry Young (Bass) Harper Champion (Drums) and Harry Champion (Guitar and lead vocals). Our bassist Harry is from Tutira, and my brother Harper and I are both from Wairoa, Hawkes Bay.

What’s the background story of how Fyveyes came to be? Who else is directly involved?

The three of us all went to the same boarding school, Napier Boys’ High School. After a previous band I was in disbanded, we decided to form Fyveyes in early 2019 to play a few gigs that I had booked in coming up. We then decided that we wanted to begin recording and releasing our music.

How and when did you come up with the name for the new project?

The band that I was in before Fyveyes, which Harper also played drums in, was called “Elephant Room”, we liked the name a lot so when we eventually did form Fyveyes we decided that the name would be perfect for our debut album. We thought it would be a great name for an album that is full of energetic hard-hitting tracks, as the idea of picking out an Elephant in the Room when you’re in a room full of Elephants is an interesting and cool sounding dilemma.

What makes Get By stand out for you as a single?

Get By is one of our personal favourite tracks off the album because of the way it combines many of our favourite elements, energetic, heavy, gritty, hard-hitting rock music, with a calming and smooth bridge which gives the track a lot more space. 

What is the story behind Get By?

Get By is simply about wanting to get by in life. Whether it’s getting through the workday or getting through a situation that is difficult. It comes from the feeling of being fed up with a lot of the bullshit in society and everything.

What’s your favourite moment, musical or lyrical, of the single?

For me, it’s the bridge. When the string section and harmonies come in, it just takes the song to a completely different place which is something that I really like in music.

Who did you write/record/produce the single with and where? Got a fun story about the making-of?

We recorded the majority of our album at a studio called The Porch in Hamilton with Regan John McKinnon producing it. It took us a year to complete the recording of the entire album, mainly because we are an independent band, with two of us still in High School and I was the only one with a job.

So what would happen is I would work at the local freezing works for a few months to save up, then we would go for a road trip for a couple of days to record the album piece by piece until eventually it was completed. It would’ve been out a lot sooner if it wasn’t for Covid, the day that we went into our first major level 4 lockdown was the day we were scheduled to go back into the studio and finish the last session on the album. But gladly we managed to get it finished and out there.

How do you generally work out what song would make a good single?

We usually base it on what tracks the crowd seem to really like at the shows we play and the songs we get the most compliments on.

Who else is in your team?

In terms of our team, at the moment it is just the three of us, we are independent and self-managed. But when it comes to production: One of the tracks on the album was produced and recorded with Simon Gooding at Roundhead, but the rest were made with Regan at The Porch Studios. The entire project was mastered by Bill Simpkins at Alpenglow Sound Studios, WA, United States.

Are there any other musical endeavours you’re working on that we should keep an eye out for?

I recently got to take part in last year’s Hawkes Bay Songhubs which saw some amazing music come out of it. I have a song from that week which I hope to release soon, as well as many other artists with some really cool tracks which you should definitely keep an eye out for!

Can you please name three other local tunes that would fit well on a playlist alongside your song.

  • Skinny Hobos – Jacked Like The Ripper
  • Dead FavoursOn Your Own
  • Achilles ComplexShut it

New Tracks is a compilation of new music from New Zealand artists which is distributed to broadcast and online platforms on the first of each month. Previously the Kiwi Hit Disc, New Tracks is one of the ways that New Zealand on Air promotes kiwi music to the industry, radio, streaming services, and media. To apply for New Tracks you must have a completed, airplay-ready song and a promotional plan.