What is the track that reminds you of your childhood?
“Kenny Rogers 'Islands in the Stream’ — I love that song. My stepfather was a huge country and blues fan and he played this off cassette tape. I do a mean ska version of that song actually. I grew up as a small kid in a country town called Kaikoura and my stepfather was a logger, so it was all about the country, forests, rivers and of course the mighty Pacific right on our doorstep. The ocean rules Kaikoura, so the song really made sense to me as a kid.”
What’s the first record that you ever bought?
“It was a 'Street Sounds' comp that I bought in Christchurch sometime in the late '80s. I was into breaking, but in NZ we mispronounced ‘popping’ and called it 'bopping' instead. Mum made me pants so I had 'bop pants'. New Zealand was much more isolated in the '80s than it is now, so the hip-hop culture came to us in snatches and glimpses. I'm sure we got a whole lot of things wrong but it all made sense to us at the time. In some funny way, Maori kids identified with the whole black American thing. They were way cooler though.”
What’s the cheesiest record in your collection?
“I used to listen to lots of new jack swing and '80s R&B. When I was a teenager, I was even part of an R&B singing group in Christchurch… now we were cheesy! But the cheesiest stuff I'm listening to at the moment would be [Justin] Timberlake and Robin Thicke. Fitchie’s daughter Mia is 14 and tours with us a lot, so we’re always discussing the latest and greatest in bad pop music. There’s been a lot of discussion on tour around NZ’s most recent pop success Lorde who is slamming the Billboard charts. There’s a lot of arguments in the band about whether she’s cheesy or not. Pretty cool for a teenager to be doing all that!”
What’s the track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
“Rolf Harris 'Two Little Boys' did it to me as a kid.”
What’s an album that you’re currently into?
“To tell the truth I'm not really listening to much music at the moment-I've got enough music in my life as it is. We've just finished recording and releasing a new album and now we're on tour playing everyday. I do like that new Snoop/Dâm Funk collab ['7 Days of Funk']. Our great friend Daniel Best gave us a compilation of GI disco from Berlin Checkpoint Charlie days, so that’s getting plenty of play on the bus. And of course, I’m still waiting patiently for the new D’Angelo record!”
The record in your collection that you most treasure?
“+'justments’ by Bill Withers. I'm a digital guy so most of my music is on my iPad. I do own a copy of this record and it's one of the few.”
Your all-time favourite track of all-time?
“There are definitely tracks I've listened to a lot over the years, but I can't seriously answer that.”