Down in the deep South, we caught up with the boys of Nation. Maybe you haven’t heard of them yet, but keep your ears peeled for this electronic rock four-piece. They have a distinct new sound and we like it a lot.
By TEARAWAY Mavericks REBEKAH BRENNAN and PATRICK CAMPBELL.
Miharo Gregory, Jo Hutchison, Hertzog Burger and Andrew Cornford have known each other for just over two years, beginning to jam in 2013. The four guys, who play, study and live together in Southland, are now preparing to take their music to the masses.
Miharo Gregory (Vocals, keys, guitar)
AKA: Cuddles, Meatz
Favourite tunes: Rage Against, The Machine, Muse, Dirty Loops, Cory Henry
Biggest fear: Andrew C’s freakishly large neck
Dream sandwich: Lots of steak
Pet peeve: People Facebooking on their phones while I’m trying to hang out with them
Andrew Cornford (Bass, backing vocals)
AKA: Fabio, Andy C
Favourite tunes: Bon Iver, Childish Gambino, The Doors, School Boy Q
Biggest fear: Miharo’s long, slender piano fingers
Dream sandwich: All of the meat
First concert: Bananas In Pyjamas & Barney
How did you guys meet?
Andrew: It was 2012 that we met; the start of the Bachelor of Audio Production [at Southern Institute of Technology].
Jo: It was funny, because the first thing [Miharo] said to me was: ‘Hi, I’m Miharo,’ and I was, like: ‘Crap! I have no idea what he just said to me’.
You study, live and play together; do you ever get sick of each other?
Hertzog: Yes. We get over it by fighting daily.
Jo: And we have an annual physical fight.
Where did the name Nation come from; what does it mean?
M: It has a very deep meaning to it.
A: It’s very philosophical.
H: No, it’s not!
J: It was really late and we started talking about names, then I fell asleep for about an hour and a half. I woke up and they were, like: ‘Our name’s gonna be Nation.’ And I was, like: ‘Sweet’. And that’s how it came to be.
M: To me, it means new beginnings.
Who are your musical influences?
M: Shapeshifter, Muse.
What is the writing process like?
J: We all write songs collectively.
M: We put an idea on the table and we…
A: Eat the table.
M: We metaphorically eat the idea.
How would you describe your music?
H: Electronic rock.
A: Bad-ass heavy riffs. We have riffs that are heavier than lead. You released your first single Push and Pull recently. What does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
M: We’ve been recording and we hope to release that soon. We’re also heading to Australia to record.
A: Byron Bay in August.
H: Hopefully we’ll have an EP out soon.
J: More gigs, too.
Do you think it will be difficult to make a living as a musician in New Zealand?
H: With our kind of music, maybe.
A: I don’t think so; not any more, with the technology we have. If you could permanently base yourselves somewhere else, where would you be?
J: Europe somewhere.
M: I’d say Europe or Australia.
A: Europaussie… Euralia.
What are your dreams for the future?
J: I want to be playing in stadiums.
H: I want to be playing at birthday parties!
M: We want to be in the charts.
A: Hopefully in the global charts and playing in stadiums.
M: We’re ready and we’re sticking it out as a band.
Say you were to add a fifth member to the band – anyone at all – who would it be?
J: Oooh, Rhiannon Fish From Home and Away.
H: Emma Watson.
M: Yeah, Emma Watson on the second bass.
You all have glorious hair; what kind of shampoo/conditioner do you use?
J: I use Herbal Essences of some sort.
A: I’m quite an advocate of Tresemmé, but at the moment I’m using Sunsilk Longer and Stronger.
H: I use Sunsilk too.
M: Colgate. I actually use Sunsilk.
Which one of you is most likely to survive a zombie apocalypse?
J: Definitely not me.
H: Yeah, probably Andy.
M: I’ll be the zombie king.
J: I think I’ll go with Andy.
A: Just because of my stellar good looks.
If you weren’t pursuing music, what do you think you’d be doing?
A: Jo would be a boiler man.
J: I don’t know…
A: Actually, Jo would be a full-time house husband.
J: Yeah, probably! I have no idea. Probably a civil engineer, I looked into that.
A: Archeologist. Anthropologist. Audiologist.
M: Interpretive dancer…
H: An artist.
Jokes aside, the four members of Nation are sure that they are at the beginning of a big career – and it’s easy to see why. Aside from their loveable, quirky personalities and casual banter, the boys are super talented musicians. They really seem to ‘get’ each other, and the result is amazing, original music, with a kind of Pendulum-crossed-with-Shapeshifter vibe.
Combine this all with their glorious hair, and you’ve got the recipe for a killer band. Watch this space…