BY HAZEL REID
We caught up with Openside’s lead singer Possum Plows to chat their new single, their upcoming tour this month and supporting international artists.
You wrote your latest single, No Going Back, with Josh Fountain and Dave Baxter (Avalanche City). What was the inspiration behind it?
It was inspired by a phone call I had with my ex… We had been separated for about six months and I was trying to figure out if our future was going to be together or apart. It can take a while to finally acknowledge when it’s time to move on from something that was such a huge part of your life, but that phone call was the moment I finally knew that it was time to close the door on that chapter.
Alternative Press premiered the awesome music video for No Going Back. Did you come up with the creative concept as a band?
We worked collaboratively with the director Shae Sterling. He is a friend of mine and he had pretty intimate knowledge of the relationship that the song was about, so we talked for many hours about how to get the tone of the music video to support and enhance the themes of the song. We put a lot of trust in him creatively and it really paid off.
It’s a bit of a different sound for Openside. Was this intentional and how was the recording experience?
When we were writing it, the focus was really just on how to set up the sonics to best serve the journey of the lyric. We were trying to write something honest, and both mournful and triumphant in the wake of moving on from an important time in your life. Those ideas fell naturally into this more eighties/nineties power ballad soundscape.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
So many people! Collaborating is one of our favourite parts of songwriting. For me personally, it would be a dream to work with queer icons like Hayley Kiyoko, Troye Sivan, and Kehlani.
What’s your favourite song to perform live?
I Feel Nothing. It has this natural groove and carefree energy and people get so into it.
You’re about to embark on a tour across a couple of hotspots in NZ. Where would you love to play a show?
It sounds kind of cheesy, but literally just wherever the fans are. I’ve always had a thing for smaller venues and more intimate shows because concerts for me are all about the connection between the people in the room. Anywhere we can go and share a night of music with people who feel inspired by or understood by our music, that’s where we wanna be.
What do you love about touring?
Meeting the people! It’s still always a genuine surprise when we visit a new town and people show up and know all of our songs. In Auckland, we know a lot of the long time fans personally, which is great too, but it’s such a trip when you finally get to meet the ones who have been stanning you from afar.
You’ve supported some pretty big names (Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots and Ellie Goulding to name a few). What was the most memorable show you’ve ever played?
Every time we have had the opportunity to share the stage with an artist we look up to was a dream, but I think the most memorable for me would be the first Twenty One Pilots show we did at the Powerstation in 2015. It was right before they blew up big time and we were still a very new band but they were so kind to us. We made a lot of our first real fans at that show. I still think about it all the time.
What’s coming up next on the horizon for you?
We’ve got a bunch more songs coming out this year that we have been collecting and workshopping for a long time, so we’re super eager to finally release them. Big picture, we’re working to create more opportunities to travel and take our music and ideas out to the rest of the world.
Check out Openside’s music video for No Going Back below for a taster of their upcoming shows. Catch Openside in Christchurch this weekend (15th) at the Foundry, The Stomach in Palmerston North on the 22nd, in Wellington on the 23rd, and at the Meteor in Hamilton on the 29th. Tickets available here.
From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, HAZEL REID is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.
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