All In The Family - Boh
Boh's start in the music
This interview first appeared in Espy
Magazine, and the original content is copyright to Espy Network Ltd
Boh, how did it all start?
I have always been interested in music, it is all I ever wanted to do. But
stellar* started when Andrew Maclaren who is the drummer and the programmer in
our band, when he and I moved up from Christchurch to Auckland. That was about
10 years ago. It was basically just to find people who were in tune with what we
wanted to do. You have to go to bigger populations, meet more people, and find
people who want to do what you want to do.
What happened when you got to Auckland?
It was difficult. The Auckland scene is very cliquey as in any area. So you sort
of had to introduce yourself, get to know people, go to gigs, do the whole buzz.
Eventually we hooked up with Kurt Shanks, our bass player and with Chris van der
Geer who we worked with. He is an engineer as well, he was actually working with
the demo stuff earlier on in the days. Eventually he became our guitarist, so it
worked out really well.
Until then how many albums or singles had you done?
We had done two independent releases with a little label at that stage. That was
OK, it didn't get much recognition. Like battling up stream. But that was good
for us, we worked really hard. We just focused all our time and money into
getting our music out there. After a long, long time, we were noticed.
What were some of the things you had to do to attract record companies?
We would send demos around, and just play a lot, just get out there. Playing is
such a major thing, you just have to keep going, even to two people or whatever.
Did you get loads of rejections?
Oh, masses. Especially having a sister who was already successful. You know Bic
was a very successful artist, it was kind of like ," there is another
Runga, but what does she do? " It was very much like that. It was a little
bit , "oh they are not really like Bic, or are they like Bic?" We are
very different. That kind of thing, where people just didn't want to take
interest. I think we got better as well, so our demos got better. Then… Our
break came when I was playing guitar for the Straw People, doing showcases in
Australia. On the way over there I was talking to Michael Gladding who is the
head honcho of Sony Music New Zealand. He said "What are you doing?" I
said I have got a band and we are just doing demos. He said "I would really
like to hear it." It came about from that.
So he was quite supportive?
He was very supportive. He sent Malcolm Black to have a listen to what we were
doing. He had just been given the A & R job at that stage. We were his first
signing. That was kind of cool for him and great for us. You always think that
being on a major label would be great, so you are sort of always thinking along
those lines. But when it happened, it was cool.
There must be thousands of people who have the dream of being the big rock
stars, what do you think you do differently?
You have got to get out of your bedroom. It is a hugely competitive industry. I
mean there is a lot of support out there, ways you can get your music out.
Funding support from various places, like New Zealand On Air. But it is still
competitive. You have just got to get out and play and make yourself known to
people. People won't know who you are if you stay in your room and keep
practising. You've just got to get out there, it's show biz I guess.
So what drives you?
I just love it. There is something so exciting about having people sing your
song back to you at a live concert. To get to that level where people actually
know your songs is so unbelievable. Even though I always wanted to be in music I
always thought I would be a Do-Wop girl in the background. But I love playing
guitar and I love singing. I just really appreciate the fact that people enjoy
Have you got a plan B?
I don't think I have a plan B. I have schemes and ideas, other things I would
like to do, but they are not my main one. I have got a video game. Andrew and I
have come up with this video game which is bloody brilliant and no one has done
it. But, that would be like a side thing.
Talk about Genetic Engineering.
We have such a great country (NZ). We have got the potential to make ourselves a
beautiful boutique. We are small enough, we are contained enough to make our
goods so desirableto anyone else overseas, purely from the fact that we can
actually control our environment reasonably well. It feels like we are leaping
on a bandwagon, we don't want to get left behind. I am talking about foodstuffs,
I am not talking medically. I don't disregard the fact that there are people
that honestly want to make things better, I just think we are missing out an
opportunity to make great organic produce.
So where do you want to go? What is the end result? If you could have a
I wish that Stellar* would get some international releases, just so we can
actually keep doing what we do. I think what we do is great, I enjoy it so much,
and I think the guys do to. And I think if we just had the opportunity to get
out there, to play in front of other people outside of this country, outside of
Australasia, I think people wouldn't be disappointed. It is all a matter of
time, it is all a matter of luck, you just got to stick at it. The biggest thing
for us is to keep going.
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copyright © 2002 Espy Network Ltd