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Vox Pops: What We Do In Winter

Vox Pops: What We Do In Winter

What do you do in winter? Are there any things in your life in music that you typically do during NZ winter? Do you hibernate? Write more sad songs than usual? Focus more / take on extra shifts at your day job? Steam your voice daily. Play the northern summer festival scene. Start work on major projects for later in the year? Focus on marketing? Or does nothing change for you? NZM asked, and these are some of the responses we got back.

Ed Waaka, Musician, Auckland

Winter usually means fighting the urge to stay in bed and go down the rabbit hole of youtube documentaries about conspiracy theories, aliens and the new world order 🙂 It also signals a time to reflect on personal growth, direction and tiny triumphs. Songwriting for me is really relaxed, no matter where in the world the sun decides to spend its time. I’ve never had the discipline nor a set routine when it comes to sitting down to write songs. This is usually done when I’m in transit. I’m constantly trying to experience the present moment and condense my thoughts into something that sums up that feeling with the least amount of words, and this usually ends up being lots of random metaphors or haikus that I write down in notepad on my phone so I don’t forget. If all else fails a couple of documentaries doesn’t hurt. 🙂


Sam Dunlay, And$um, Christchurch

For me, winter provides some of my best songwriting inspiration. When it’s a cold dreary night with nothing to do it kind of forces me to be creative. I know that I can just lock myself away in my room and do music, without feeling guilty for missing out on something. There’s just something about staying up on a late rainy night making music that brings out a really creative and different side of you. Here’s an example of a song I made on one of these cold dreary nights, haha.


Ivan Moir, Nivara Lounge, Hamilton

We are always trying to get people off the couch or away from their internet to experience live music and other live entertainment. Year round, though.


Surinder Jayruth, Musician, Wellington

During winter I find myself staying in more and working on my craft, whether that be for releases that I’m working on in the following months or putting together projects for the next year. 

I don’t think I really focus on sad songs during winter but I am kinda going through an emo/punk phase right now.. haha. However, I am conscious of releasing the right songs for the right season. For example, I’ll release a chill vibey kinda song for winter and save the funky droptop music for summer.


Courtney Newbold, Anti Matter, Auckland

Winter is a time for songwriting for me. The gloomy skies make me want to stay inside and write melancholic tunes. It’s easy to produce music in front of a laptop when it’s raining outside. When summer comes around I am all about gigs and festivals.


Tim Julian, Colour Field Recording Studio, Tauranga

Winter at the Colour Field Recording Studio…  time to sit back and reflect on the amount of work carried out since January and contemplate the work still to do, whilst warming the heart with a dram or two of decent single malt.  As the Tauranga snows pile up around outside (poetic licence here), music making still perseveres in this almost Antarctic environment – where we’ve had to start wearing long trousers. Amongst the goodies heading to the outside world in time for Christmas is the latest offering from Grant Haua – we’re adding the final touches now and know you’ll love it! Regarding Grant’s album, it’s a beautiful piece of work that extends his work on Knucklehead and adds percussion, bass and keys (courtesy of moi) – we’re both very proud of how we’ve crafted the songs.  


Caitlin Cherry, Director of Content at RNZ, Wellington

Moments before I got this email, Bryan Crump and I were discussing which duet we were going to perform at the RNZ Christmas party. This year we will have a live RNZ band. A few years ago we did You’re The One That I Want from Grease. Aiming for something different this year. Bryan sings in a choir, the Doubtful Sounds and has a lovely voice. My next musical job will be going through all the entries for our write an original Christmas song competition and making a shortlist for our Christmas music expert to choose a winner from. 


James Fitz, Dead Beat Boys, Auckland

We usually pick up the pace in winter actually, we book more shows, usually hit the road as well. There’s something we love about freezing our asses off, loading gear into a venue, before getting a bunch of bodies in a room to warm the place up. Plus it’s actually dark outside well before 8pm so you don’t feel stink playing in daylight. 

Richard Giles, Thunderground, Auckland

I drink milk and look at penguins for inspiration.


Scott Armstrong, The Slacks, Taranaki



In Business, Whanganui

We seem to gig more at local venues in the winter. Maybe it’s because they feel warm and familiar.