By HAZEL REID

 

Decades are a four-piece band hailing from Christchurch and are no stranger to the music industry.

They’ve been playing together for years and their new album dropped last week so we gave the lead singer Emma Cameron a call to chat about their new musical chapters, inspirations and touring.

 

Tell us what the experience of creating your new album, The Truth and Other People was like?  

We started working on it over two years ago and it was a huge shake up in how we’ve been operating. We’ve been together for about 10 years now and most of that was completely independently writing, recording and releasing our own material. About two years ago, we met our producer Tom Larkin and he made us take a different approach. Beforehand, we were just writing a song and spending a couple of months working on it – instead we had to write songs every day and we ended up writing about 200 songs in six months. It completely shook up the process for us and it made us evolve and develop our sound because we were trying out so many things.

 

Do you have any musical inspirations? Musicians you admire?

It changes all the time; at the moment I’m listening to a lot of No Doubt and Alanis Morissette. It’s been really inspiring because growing up I didn’t have much exposure to rock music in general, let alone women in rock. I’ve been throwing it back and getting into that music again.

Over the course of my life, Michael Jackson, from the age of three has been my favourite artist. I was a professional dancer for 15 years. I got into dancing before I got into music because of Michael; that’s how I learned about rhythm and he’s the hugest influence melodically and performance-wise.

 

How did the band form and where did your band’s name originate from?

I was in high school, I was playing guitar and I wanted to be in a band – there was a rock band at my school but it was all boys and I couldn’t really join that. I started going to lots of local rock gigs when I was a teenager and meeting new musicians. I ended up meeting our drummer Dan through a mutual friend and we started a band. When we needed a songwriter, Dan played in a band at high school with a guy called Liam, so we asked him to be in the band and that was about 10 years ago now. We went through different line-up changes and we got our bassist, Curtis on board. At the time, we were called ‘Ashei’ and we were doing pop-rock.

We wanted to be more heavy-duty rock and when we got into the studio with Tom, ‘Ashei’ wasn’t really cutting it anymore. We needed to re-brand as something new. We took the same approach as songwriting where we came up with as many names as possible, which ended up being a painful process when we were going through them all as there were 100 [options]. Tom and his friend Jim liked Decades, which worked out as at that point we’d been together for about 10 years.

 

You’re on tour in celebration of your new music, what can we expect to see at live shows? 

Lots of volume basically – it’s loud and it’s high energy. I’m singing so I can’t really move around a lot, but Liam and Curtis really make up for that and they put on a super huge performance and go nuts. People bring that up at the end of the show – people can expect to be entertained.

 

What’s your favourite song to perform live and what’s the song you’re most proud of? 

My favourite song to perform is The Truth, which is the album’s namesake – it’s really fun and you can dance to it. Coincidentally, that’s my favourite track off the album and the one I’m most proud of – the message talks about my break-up, it’s my favourite song all round.

 

If you wish you’d written one song, what would it be? 

Michael Jackson – Thriller, it would be insane.

 

Where would you love to see yourself in a year, or three years?

We’ve been together for so long, I don’t have any intention of slowing down – I want to see it keep going and would love to go overseas, tour outside of New Zealand and release album number two. We love doing this, we’ve done it for so long on our own, it’s just what we naturally do – keep developing it, keep growing, learning and keep having fun. We don’t set specific goals for ourselves, we just want to enjoy it.

 

Decades’ new album, The Truth and Other People, is out now and you can catch them on their tour in Christchurch and Dunedin on the 28th and 29th of July. Head to their website for all the info! 

Photo supplied by Warner Music NZ.

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