To wrap up her time with the performers at this year’s Festival One, Erica put three Kiwi artists in the hot seat. Read on to see what Valere, Lead Us Forth and Lost By Design had to say!



You’ve recently released an EP, tell me a bit about that. What was the process like in making that? Did you do it mostly on your own?

Around the end of 2014, I went back to my home country [the] Philippines and it was just a real cool visit, real cathartic. I had some songs already in mind but everything that I went through in that trip evoked the songs. I was really keen to make an EP about the trip. I was also keen to produce it on my own, but I had a lot of people help play on it. It was a long process, but it was easy because I knew what I wanted to do.

You did the Pop Music degree at Auckland Uni. Would you recommend that to young people who are into music?

Yes definitely. I came into the degree knowing four chords on the guitar and not much else. And then the degree just expanded my horizons and really taught me a lot of tools and skills. Most importantly, probably meeting people to work with. After the degree, if you want to go hard out on music it’s definitely about who you know and the relationships you’ve built. All the people that helped me with the EP, and other projects, have come from the degree.


Lead Us Forth. Photo by Erica McQueen.


What does 2017 look like for you guys?

We’ve recently had a big discussion about our future as a band. We’re quite keen to continue as we’ve been going but really commit ourselves to produce music that is going to stretch ourselves in a number of ways, technically and melodically. Stuff that we can really be proud of. We’re wanting to knuckle down and get writing some more. We don’t want to just come up with the same album again; we want to go in different directions. Apart from stretching ourselves musically, we want to make sure we get music out quicker.

What advice would you give to people just starting out in the metal scene?

Be prepared for disappointment. But enjoy the small things. Ensure that you’re really doing it for the right reasons. Be passionate. Make sure that there’s something pushing you forward. Make good connections with people. Communicate as a band, that’s really important.


Lost By Design. Photo by Erica McQueen.


What are you trying with your music?

Two things. We want to be really groundbreaking in the type of music we write. We want to write catchy melodies that people love and they can’t stop listening to. We also want to make an impact on the generation. We strongly believe that every single person has a purpose and every single person has a passion that needs to be seen and needs to be shown. So with our music, we try to inspire people to show their passion. And we try to declare in people’s lives that they do have a purpose.

Any advice for young people that want to get into writing and performing?

Be confident in yourself and believe that you do have what you need to pursue your dreams and fulfil your passion. Also, just find the right people around you to help you and support you. Know at the start what you want to accomplish and always refer back to that.


More Festival one interviews by ERICA MCQUEEN:

Unchained XL: Bringing the Energy to Hip Hop

Five Minutes with Paper Cranes

Sinai: One Year, 52 Songs!

Chem: Writing the Heartbeat Through Rhythm