Interview by Heather McMillan

Thanks to Carb on Carb for their time, and we can’t wait to hear all about their Japan tour when they return to Auckland!

Q: Super exciting about the upcoming video release show on May 3rd at Whammy Bar with support from Being, Ana Te Kōtiro and Blush Juliet. What can we expect from the forthcoming ‘Annual Leave’ video?
A: Lots of us playing the song around a farm in Northland. Emo music classically has quite a suburban backup, but I (James) grew up on a farm and wrote some of the guitar parts on for ages with that backdrop, so we wanted to play with that imagery.

Q: The song is about the commonality of living to work and working to live. It’s really true how we’re all holding out to get to annual leave when working. How did you both get the courage to move away from that and start touring? 
A: Annual Leave is more about the prioritising of work over other aspects of life (family, friends, enjoying life) and questioning the value of disposable income when weighed against having time for those things. In regards to touring, we were both just set on touring from the start, and had a lot of support from the scene. Being part of the DIY community, touring is more like an exchange, and doesn’t require the bullishness of commercial touring.

Q: Kiwi touring royalty, what would your top tips be for musicians going on tour for the first time? 
A: Buy food and coffee from the supermarket not cafes. Book the shows you want to see. Watch all of the bands playing with you. Hustle for the cheapest flights and car rentals. Be nice to people.

Q: A 9-date Japan tour has just been announced this month what’s got you most excited for that? 
A: Neither of us have been to Japan at all, so we’re basically excited for every little part. We are playing a festival called Shimokitazawa Sound Cruising which goes from dusk til dawn which should be a highlight and another should be playing with a band called Falls that I’ve been a fan of for years.

Q: Why is it that Carb on Carb suits the touring life so well?
A: A combination of loving it, being willing to prioritise it and being privileged in the sense that we don’t have to provide for anyone but ourselves.

Q: How important are music videos for the narrative of your music? 
A: They’re not important to the narrative of the album. They’re interconnected but the music definitely came first and independently.

Q: I saw a Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron poster on the wardrobe in the ‘It’s been a rough year’ video. My curiosity is loud on which actor or actress you’d pick in the world to feature in one of your videos and for which song? 
A: Keeping to the Disney channel vibe, I’d probably say Zendaya playing Nicole and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to play James for the song Mititmiti. 

Q: Also what has inspired the sound of Carb on Carb? 
A: A combination of emo revival, 2000s pop like Liz Phair and Michelle Branch, with tonal influences from Bailterspace et al.

Q: If you could give any advice to aspiring kiwi musicians about touring and the local music industry what would it be?
A: You can make it happen if you want to. Also, don’t bother with dodgy gear, just invest in decent stuff, will save a lot of time and stress in the long run. 

Q: Lastly what’s your most memorable touring moment in the history of Carb on Carb? 
A: Probably playing with our favourite band in the world (The Hotelier) at our favourite venue in the world (Black Wire Records).

About The Author

Chontalle Musson
Photographer & Music Editor

there is always time for good coffee

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