Summer music: Shapeshifter - Nick Robinson

We asked Nick Robinson of Shapeshifter, who is one of the many local music stars hitting the beach pub circuit in the coming weeks, to discuss the joys of touring and what it's like to have a job keeping the holidaying hordes entertained.

Shapeshifter. Photo / Supplied
Shapeshifter. Photo / Supplied

Your preferred transport for summer touring?
In Europe we tour on a tour bus, and that would definitely be my favourite way to go. Some of the boys ride their bikes from town to town here in New Zealand, and it's good times leaving early and having time to drive slow and stop for swims along the way.

Who does the driving and who's not allowed to drive?
We used to have some of us banned from getting behind the wheel for various offences but these days we have a tour manager - band dad Iche - who handles the driving.

What's on the car stereo?
It could be anything, between all of us we have a wide range of different types of music on the stereo. Digsss [vocalist] has an FM transmitter on his phone so he often sets the controls. Which will mean smooth R&B on shuffle with a bit of drill-core here and there.

If you had a talking GPS in the vehicle what famous voice would you want?
Maybe Samuel L. Jackson in his Pulp Fiction character.

Your favourite summer venue?
Waihi Beach is magical, the Coromandel Gold site, Kaikoura Roots festival, Riwaka and the Tasman area.

Favourite spot on tour itinerary which isn't a venue?
The whole crew always has a cricket game on Waihi Beach every year and I love that beach, so I'm going to say that's the spot.

Any New Year's Eve gig traditions?
Not really, New Year's gigs are usually quite nerve-racking. We all get nervous so it's not so much of a party vibe but I guess we usually have a few tequilas afterwards.

What's the difference between a summer pub crowd and a winter city pub audience?
At winter gigs people are needing a good party so they go hard but they might take a bit more warming up. Summer beach gigs are full of people in holiday mode, it's such a carefree vibe yet quite wild at the same time. In summer we can have 2000 people going nuts and not have one bit of trouble in the crowd. Everyone's chilled so they have a lot more time and patience for one another.

What's this year's likely encore song. Is it the same as last year's?
No it won't be, we've been choosing different encores recently. We won't plan an encore, it's up to the crowd if they actually want one or not, we could never just assume we were going to get asked to do one. If we do get asked, it'll be an old classic or something random.

Can you really call this work?
The gigs are never work but sometimes it's hard being away from home. But I guess if you love doing something, then it's not work. We would all be doing this music thing no matter what successes we may have had. Everyone's got a responsibility to shed a bit of positivity on the world and hopefully our music gives our listeners a bit of extra love on top of what they already have - just like so much music has done for us. That's definitely not work.

Dates: Ascension Wine Estate, Matakana, Dec 29; Corogold, New Year's Eve (sold out); Riwaka Hotel, Jan 2; Brewers Field, Mt Maunganui, Jan 6; Waihi Beach Hotel, Jan 7


- NZ Herald

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