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  #1  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:45 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Living the dream.

I've been in New Zealand for a week now, got 5 shows under the belt, 19 more to go.

Playing music for people who have never heard you and having a dance party break out, seeing beautiful sights you've never seen and meeting some of the nicest people ever.

I've been playing drums for 20 years, this is the first time I've travelled outside Canada with my music and all I can keep thinking about is how I've worked those 20 years for this moment. These are the times.

Happy new years everyone.

Jer.
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  #2  
Old 01-05-2010, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Congrats on your fun gig.
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  #3  
Old 01-05-2010, 05:37 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Nice one, jer. New Zealand is a great place. Are you playing all the gigs on the north island? You might not see the very south end of the south island because there's not much infrastructure there - but the scenery is incredible



And I also found the people to be relaxed and friendly.

How did the gig come about? What style of music is your band what kind of venues are you playing at?
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:40 AM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Glad you're having a great time Jer. The Kiwi's are good people.

Will you be coming to Sydney Australia?
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  #5  
Old 01-07-2010, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Down on the South Island now, in Dunedin... we are criss-crossing back and forth between the east and west coasts, few more shows here and we head for the North. Really looking forward to Milford Sound, but yeah, this is a beautiful country, and the Kiwi's are great! (great pic Polly!)

Not going to Australia, although our flight here did go through Sydney, only saw the inside of the airport as to avoid customs and our layover was only a few hours.

The band doing this is Jay Spectre, pretty sure the myspace link is in my sig, it's got all the dates and some pics on the blog if anyone is interested... mix of rock, funk, folk and some swing - stuff to get people dancing, which they have been :)

I have to give a shout out to The Ontario Arts Council, we were awarded an touring grant that pretty much covered our plane tickets, van and gear rental. We are staying in hostels or at 'new' friends places, buying groceries and trying to avoid spending a lot of money, our budget at the moment is showing $52 in the black - we aren't making any money, but the band is essentially paying for a month long trip of NZ, no complaints here!

I rented a kit and brought down my cymbals, snare and kick pedal - (a little concerned that I'm going to have to check my cymbals now with the current state of flying through the US, I bought a soft case specifically for the trip (Rock-Steady, which is awesome btw...)). The kit I got was from a mate as opposed to a store or hire company, 90's Tama Rockstar, good Sonar and Gibraltar hardware, but the drums themselves are rough - had to 'fix' a leg on the kick, basically put a bolt through it and tightened it and left it... reso skin on rack tom missing a lug screw, tuning was horrible until I could get to a music shop, same with the floor tom that was missing 2 lug screws... kick reso held on with 3, yes 3 screws. Not as much worried about it as I am the toms, I'll make do. Have them sounding passable now, but it took a few shows and some time but I got there, definitely better than spending the multiple hundreds we were quoted for a proper hire, our guitar amp cost $600 for the month...

Had an indecent with my digital camera and the tide coming in while watching the sun rise on the first morning we were here, picked up a new one yesterday - lesson learned... rocks really close to the water don't make good tripods in coastal regions, especially when you are up late enough to watch the sunrise when drinks were covered by the bar...

To make this thread less me-centric, I'd love to hear from some about when they first felt that (potentially years), of hard work finally paid off...

Arohanui!
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  #6  
Old 01-07-2010, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Congrats jer! Wishes of continued sucsess from your Canadian bretheren!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Thanks jer, interesting. A lot of organisation needed. Still don't know what kind of venues you're playing at, though :)

As you would have guessed, I took that pic at Milford Sound - such a spectacular place. I got up in the morning after three days at sea, walked out on to the deck and straight into a real life postcard. I ran back to the room and to see my (then) very cynical nephew, "Wake up! You have to see this!". He grumbled his way out of bed, walked onto the deck, then his jaw dropped and he said "[Fornicate] off!" in that way that young guys do when they are blown away :)

Dunedin on the other side of south island is nowhere near as pretty but I liked its rustic mood. It was like going back in time. Christchurch has a nice feel and Napier's great if you like art deco architecture (which I do).

Can't talk about all the practice paying off, though, because I've done diddly-squat. I'm just grateful I can play an instrument, really. People who can't play are often wish they could. From what I can tell you're enjoying the icing on the cake :)
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Old 01-07-2010, 03:12 PM
wy yung wy yung is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

It's Thurs and I do believe I missed a jam? Sorry.
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  #9  
Old 01-08-2010, 01:55 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Thanks jer, interesting. A lot of organisation needed. Still don't know what kind of venues you're playing at, though :)

As you would have guessed, I took that pic at Milford Sound - such a spectacular place. I got up in the morning after three days at sea, walked out on to the deck and straight into a real life postcard. I ran back to the room and to see my (then) very cynical nephew, "Wake up! You have to see this!". He grumbled his way out of bed, walked onto the deck, then his jaw dropped and he said "[Fornicate] off!" in that way that young guys do when they are blown away :)

Dunedin on the other side of south island is nowhere near as pretty but I liked its rustic mood. It was like going back in time. Christchurch has a nice feel and Napier's great if you like art deco architecture (which I do).

Can't talk about all the practice paying off, though, because I've done diddly-squat. I'm just grateful I can play an instrument, really. People who can't play are often wish they could. From what I can tell you're enjoying the icing on the cake :)
Sorry Polly, bars and pubs for the most part, a few dedicated live music venues a couple restaurants and one outdoor band shell, (which was pretty amazing).

Really looking forward to Milford Sound, part of the deal we worked out is getting out on one of the tour boats, should prove to be as jaw dropping as I've seen in pics - but yeah, this place is all one big postcard, insane how much the landscape changes over such short distances. Lots of sheep. Dunedin was for sure a bit of a trip into the past, especially Port Chalmers, where we played. Currently in Queenstown, reminds me a lot of Whistler, there are obvious similarities in landscape, but the people remind me too, I've met more foreigners than locals so far... no one actually seems to be from here.
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  #10  
Old 01-08-2010, 02:18 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

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Originally Posted by jer View Post
Sorry Polly, bars and pubs for the most part, a few dedicated live music venues a couple restaurants and one outdoor band shell, (which was pretty amazing).

Really looking forward to Milford Sound, part of the deal we worked out is getting out on one of the tour boats, should prove to be as jaw dropping as I've seen in pics - but yeah, this place is all one big postcard, insane how much the landscape changes over such short distances. Lots of sheep. Dunedin was for sure a bit of a trip into the past, especially Port Chalmers, where we played. Currently in Queenstown, reminds me a lot of Whistler, there are obvious similarities in landscape, but the people remind me too, I've met more foreigners than locals so far... no one actually seems to be from here.
Nice mix of gigs, jer. Listening to your band's tracks right now and I can see how you guys would go down well in NZ. Great music! Kiwis seem to like that kind of offbeat pop. In Sydney's musical heyday in the 70s and 80s the NZ bands tended towards quirkiness and classy musicianship - Split Enz, DD Smash, Dragon and Crowded House, which was fronted by a Neil Finn from Split Enz. I'm sure you've noticed that Maoris tend to be naturally good singers too.

We were lucky at Milford Sound because there are more rainy days than sunny ones. Even if it's raining I'm sure it will be a buzz.
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Wow Jer, I've been off the site for a short while. Didn't know you were off on such an adventure. How fantastic your journey must be. Good luck in every gig and have the time of your life. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2010, 12:37 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Nice mix of gigs, jer. Listening to your band's tracks right now and I can see how you guys would go down well in NZ. Great music! Kiwis seem to like that kind of offbeat pop. In Sydney's musical heyday in the 70s and 80s the NZ bands tended towards quirkiness and classy musicianship - Split Enz, DD Smash, Dragon and Crowded House, which was fronted by a Neil Finn from Split Enz. I'm sure you've noticed that Maoris tend to be naturally good singers too.

We were lucky at Milford Sound because there are more rainy days than sunny ones. Even if it's raining I'm sure it will be a buzz.
Crowded House on the radio here in the internet cafe as I type... ha!

Sounds like there was a good sized punk movement here in the 70's-80's as well, but yeah, everyone mentioning the bands you did. Haven't yet experienced much of the Maori culture, but in a lengthy discussion about music with a local last night pointed out the same info about their singing. Thanks for the comp. on the music, people here seem to be diggin it, fully. We've not had a show where where people didn't end up dancing at some point. Dare I say we've getting a following too? Folks we've met along the way have come to more than one show and last night we had 3 different groups of people that we met come out, thay all love dancing, so they usually get the ball rolling on the dance floor - makes gig so much better for me when you know the crowd is feeling it.

KIS - thanks, friend. I didn't really discuss the trip to much before hand on the forums - rather tell it like it is than speculate what it's gonna be like, if that makes any sense...

We are now at the point where we've toured as long as we have in Canada, you really start to see the body pushed to it's limits when indulging in social activities at shows, can't keep it up too much longer, hard when bar tabs are included in the deal, I can sometimes be weak when the party is happening. That's a huge drawback (imo) to doing the bar circuit. For everyone else it's a one night happening, a reason to celebrate, for us it's just another day at the office, but you really want to have fun with the folks that made the effort to come out to your show.

I need to eat more greens, to many fish and chips and van food (pb+j, granola, bananas), should really get a good salad in me...

Cheers everyone.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

I am so happy for you! To work for so long then arrive at this moment....well, just thanks for sharing your journey with us. Life SHOULD be an adventure! Take lots of pictures! We'll figure out how to see them when you get back :)!
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

The NZ expat bands who played here were always super-classy. I guess they were the cream of the crop, outgrew their local followings and decided to try it in the "big time" in Oz.

Pretty funny since we're such a backwater. A lot of the gear I read about in these pages isn't available in Oz (I've never looked an Istanbul or Petriloo PS4 in "person") and hardly any northern hemisphere companies will do online business with us convicts downunder :(

Whatever, I'm not in the least surprised that the Kiwis are embracing the band.

Quote:
For everyone else it's a one night happening, a reason to celebrate, for us it's just another day at the office, but you really want to have fun with the folks that made the effort to come out to your show.
There's an art to looking as though you're partying as hard as everyone else while actually drinking at a much slower rate. Not easy to drink slowly when you're on a roll, feel thirsty, and there's a drink in hand. Maybe have the occasional sparkling mineral water (if anyone asks, just say you're thirsty) and excuse yourself at the first possible "acceptable" moment? Then there's always, "Sorry, but I need to sort out my gear" to help move on gracefully.

And yes, fruit and veggies! I'm past the half century mark but I'm often told I look as though I'm in my thirties - despite a youth spent smoking, drinking and generally getting trashed and having late nights. But I always ate lots of fruit and veggies :)
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:27 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

It becomes harder when the bar staff are pracically pouring it down your throught... kinda common that a round of shots are sent to the stage multiple times a night... anyways, had a quiet couple of days with little drinkging, feeling better now. We had amazing weather in Milford Sound as well... killer show too - played for mainly staffers who worked at the lodges or on the cruise ships, we had the entire place (but 2 guys we had the crowd Boo! for not getting up), dancing, Jagerbombs, open bar, 3 hours sleep and a drive to Christchurch, gig there, 4 hours sleep and a drive to Picton, played on the ferry over to Wellington, had a night off last night, i thiknk it's 6 shows in a row before we get a day off again, there is laundry here so I'm taking advantage...

Our day in Milford Sound...



Thanks for the advice and encouragement Polly...
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Way prefered the South Island to the North by a mile........Been to Christchurch, Dunedin (damn cold at the time) and Queenstown (best place in New Zealand I visited)

Up North nice enough but didn't find people as friendly as the South. Rotora, Taupo then up to Whangeri!!

It is a beautiful place, it's a myth about the sheep...........man never seen so many cows!!!
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:12 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

Jer, that's a fantastic photo! I was on a cruise ship and unfortunately never went ashore. Playing a gig in Milford Sound - definitely something you'll never forget. I'm feeling jealous now :)

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It becomes harder when the bar staff are practically pouring it down your throat
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Old 01-14-2010, 07:16 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Living the dream.

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Way prefered the South Island to the North by a mile........Been to Christchurch, Dunedin (damn cold at the time) and Queenstown (best place in New Zealand I visited)

Up North nice enough but didn't find people as friendly as the South. Rotora, Taupo then up to Whangeri!!

It is a beautiful place, it's a myth about the sheep...........man never seen so many cows!!!
Queenstown was pretty rocking, for sure... I'm still in Wellington, so I won't make any calls on preference until I get around here for awhile..., c'mon - I've seem millions of sheep and only tens of thousands of cows, I do come from rural Ontario - we have our fair share of cows there, so maby I don't notice them as much...

Malti - thanks for the kind words! I hope to get as many photos online when I get back, until then...

Mt. Cook...

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Old 01-14-2010, 10:00 AM
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Glad to hear the tour's living up to expectations. I'll have to get to NZ one day. So you're in Wellington. My sister in law lives there and is giving birth in one of those birth pool things as I type this. As you have a day off, maybe the band could go round there and provide a rousing serenade? (the ? at the end of the sentence is my very English nod at a typical Antipodean upward inflection, eh Pol?). I know the birthing pool doesn't quite compare to Milford Sound, but think of the unique band photo opportunity!! Shall I call her & confirm? LOL, KIS.
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Old 01-15-2010, 10:36 AM
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Sorry Jer, you missed the gig. She gave birth to a 9lb boy at 2:00 AM Wellington time. Recon you should be relaxing after your gig by then. How did it go? My sister in law tells me the Wellington crowd is quite music savvy. Good luck for the rest of your tour.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Living the dream.

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Sorry Jer, you missed the gig. She gave birth to a 9lb boy at 2:00 AM Wellington time. Recon you should be relaxing after your gig by then. How did it go? My sister in law tells me the Wellington crowd is quite music savvy. Good luck for the rest of your tour.
Congrats to your sister!

Ya, I think we were still rockin' Welly at 2am. Was a very enthusiastic crowd, got 'em dancing once again - treated awesome by the folks at Royal Hotel in Palmerston North, thin crowd there, but had 'em up dancing none the less...

Comped steak for dinner tonight, chocolate mudslide cake and ice cream for dessert, open tab at the bar... saw the sun come up again last night, found good sleeping position in the van that doesn't paralyze my back - a good day.

Does the new born have a name yet?
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