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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Deadly Deaths Interview

On Saturday the 11th of August three piece Hamilton based “restrained indie synth pop” group, the Deadly Deaths are heading our way to play at gig at MVP with Little Pictures, Matthew Holleman and Peneloping. So in the name of journalistic integrity Salient Music Editor, Stacey Knott caught up with singer/keyboardist Tuhua Mutu, who is the past has been described as “charming, confident yet unpretentious,” and is also one third responsible for one of her favourite CDs of 2007.

Salient: Your name is pretty metal… Are you being ironic?
Tuhua: We really wanted a name that kinda jumped out and slapped ya in the face but then instead of making you angry it made you laugh. Then after spending some quality time with it you ended up thinking that it was coolest name around… Or something like that. It’s the type of label that might make you feel a wee bit apprehensive but hopefully pleasantly surprised once you actually hear the music. Also blame Heath for the name… (
S: This music being “restrained indie synth pop”. Which is a description used in pretty much all of your reviews, who came up with the term?
T: I coined the term when I was foolishly given the task of writing a bio for the band. I don’t think anyone in a band likes being asked to label their music but I had to try to sort out some kind of description. If you take out any single word of the phrase it doesn’t really have the same accuracy I feel. That said I like it for describing where we are at now, but am not sure if it will always be applicable in future offerings.
S: Hamilton isn’t really renowned for its “restrained indie synth pop” in fact isn’t more known for hardcore? So do you guys have any similar bands you play with/ is there much of a synth pop scene in Hamilton?
T: It’s true I can’t think of any other H-town bands that operate in the same specific genre but that’s the great thing about our town. When you go to a gig in Hamilton every act is totally different but everyone co-exists well. We gig lots with great bands like The Gills, The Shrugs and Sora Shima and often party with local crazy MC Stormtroopa. We are a small town compared to some but we’re pretty mighty…
S: You recently played with the Black seeds one night, then So So Modern, Cut Off Your Hands, etc soon after. How does your sound fit both these bills, or appeal to both sorts of audiences?
T: I think that although ‘The Deadly Deaths’ moniker sounds like a band that could make your ears bleed, we mostly play smooth songs with a strong straight beat… i.e. easy to groove to. I think that this aspect is why we communicate surprisingly well with both the radio friendly Black Seeds crowd and also with the people who come to see wicked indie bands like So So Modern and COYH. Everyone likes to groove!
S: Who is your usual audience?
T: Actually our normal audience is normally made up of our friends, our friends’ friends, at least one poor bugger who doesn’t know how to get to the local brothel and is looking for directions, and the other bands all looking for an excuse to get trashed and party. Thankfully we guarantee to satisfy 99% of the aforementioned audience members and their party requirements, the other 1% get directed to the doorway with the red stairs just down the street, and to ask for the ‘happy ending’ (though they usually come back afterwards).
S: Why haven’t you played Wellington before? Are you excited about coming?
T: Rising petrol cost concerns? Actually the best time we’ve had so far as a band was Camp A Low Hum held just out of Wainuiomata. Ever since we’ve been trying to relive the experience and figure that seeing as so many of the cool Camp people were from Wellington, gigging in your town has gotta be the next best thing until next year’s Camp (which you better believe we’re in countdown mode for). We’re very stoked that we’ve managed to hook up with such cool acts for our first Wellies experience too. Little Pictures are awesome and I think I have naughty (Hetero) feelings for their song ‘Eliot’ (it’s short but super sweet!), Peneloping sound frickin great, and what I’ve heard of Matt Holleman via the magic of MySpace sounds excellent. I’ve heard nothing but good things about MVP as a venue and I remember that certain music journos party pretty hard too, so I can’t wait!
S: Rumour has it your music video for ‘Bury it’ was on C4? What kinds of feed back have you received?
T: Thankfully all of the feedback that we’ve gotten has been positive. Nick, our resident creative genius, is responsible for both of our videos thus far and as a band we’ve been stoked with his results. Apart from enjoying the pretty lights and patterns, a lot of the praise that has been received is for achieving a decent quality video with a zero-budget. This has led to a few requests from our friends in other bands to make their videos too (though Nick isn’t committing to any other projects just yet). Oh and we’ve also had lots of texts from excited friends and family saying, “Hey! We just saw you on tv!”
S: Your website features links to other bands, while one would presume these are some of your influences, such as Kraftwerk and The Knife, but what’s with The Datsuns and Cornerstone Roots? Are these favourites?
T: I guess we’re showing our Waikato colours a bit there. Nick and I have been in Hamilton since 1999 and when we first started going to gigs The Datsuns were still called Trinket. We used to go to their gigs, get trashed and rock out lots of the time and I guess we have fond memories of doing so. I’m still a fan but it’s definitely a case of liking their old stuff better than their new stuff. Cornerstone Roots do lots of good work too and are perfect for sitting back and chilling out to.
S: Speaking of these reviews, you must be very pleased with them? Did they make album sales quadruple?
T: Ha! I’m the wrong person to ask about amount of units being shipped but last that I heard stocks were running low of our debut album, or at least its initial run. We are very happy with the reviews received, though it has set a high benchmark for personal expectations with regard to our future recording material. We’re getting even fussier with our recordings because we only want to release stuff that we’re going to be proud of.
S: How bout the t-shirts? Do your parents wear them with pride? Or are they more the territory of the young, hip fans?
T: Ouch! It’s like you know my parents…Ha!


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