'Tis the season to be a band in a van

As most of us are thinking about holidays, many of the country's musicians are heading to work and hitting the road for the high season. Here are Kora's Dan McGruer and Ladi6 pondering their upcoming tours.

Ladi6 (centre), seen with Parks (left) and Julien Dyne, loves summer reggae. Photo / Supplied
Ladi6 (centre), seen with Parks (left) and Julien Dyne, loves summer reggae. Photo / Supplied

Dan McGruer of Kora

Q: What is your preferred mode of travel for the summer tour?

I prefer a private helicopter, but the band will most likely have to settle for a Mercedes 14 seat van.

Q: Who does the driving - and what does it say about the internal politics of the band?

Our tour manager Ben Brownless takes care of getting us from place to place. We trust his driving and the boys can chill and be lazy on the ride.

Q: What's on the car stereo?

Suga Free, Lucy Love, Roots Manuva etc ...

Q: Your favourite summer venue?

Shotover Festival, Queenstown, South Island in February.

Q: Where else are you looking forward to visiting along your tour route (that isn't a venue)?

We have four free days in Queenstown so I'm really looking forward to hanging down there, in the mountains with family and friends. Kora's early songs were written there so it's a special place for the band.

Q: Any sage advice about surviving the silly season?

Don't be too silly, beware of bad girls.

Q: What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

We'll be on stage at Coro Gold for the New Year's countdown. It'll be epic. The vibe at Corogold is always awesome and festivals are great to catch up with our friends from other bands, such as Katchafire, Ladi6, Shapeshifter. It's always lots of fun.

Q: Do certain styles of music make more sense during the hot and sweaty months of summer?

Yes they do, for sure. In summer most people listen to happy, sunny music. But I still prefer dark dingy sounds.

Q: Is it tough having to work over the Christmas/New Year break when everyone else is partying and on holiday?

When you have a job as a musician, a lot of people want to party with you, this is part of the job ... so the hardest part is knowing when not to party.

On tour: Black Barn Vineyards, Havelock North, Dec 22; Commercial Hotel, Whakatane, Dec 23; Brewers in the Park, Mt Maunganui, Dec 26; Butler's Reef, Oakura, Dec 30; Coromandel Gold, Whitianga, Dec 30-31; Matakana Country Park, Jan 2 (with Shapeshifter); Opononi Hotel, Jan 3; Mangawhai Tavern, Jan 5.


Ladi6

Q: What is your preferred mode of travel for the summer tour?

Two vans and planes.

Q: Who does the driving - and what does it say about the internal politics of the band?

The tour manager, or the one who is sober, or Steve.

Q: What's on the car stereo?

An eclectic bunch of stuff from mix CDs done by Parks and Julien Dyne.

Q: Your favourite summer venue?

Anywhere close to a beach.

Q: Where else are you looking forward to visiting along your tour route (that isn't a venue)?

My sister's place in Wellington.

Q: Any sage advice about surviving the silly season?

Sunscreen, lots of water, cheer up.

Q: What are your plans for New Year's Eve?

We're at La De Da in Martinborough, and then Wellington (hopefully) with my sister and her husband.

Q: Do certain styles of music make more sense during the hot and sweaty months of summer??

Yes! Reggae.

Q: Is it tough having to work over the Christmas/New Year break when everyone else is partying and on holiday?

No, not really, it's been 10 years now. I think I got over that in my fifth year on the road in a row.

On tour: Mangawhai Tavern, Dec 26; Opononi Hotel, Dec 27; Coromandel Gold, Whitianga, Dec 30; La De Da, Martinborough, Dec 31; Station Village, Lower Hutt, Jan 4; Butler's Reef, Oakura, Jan 5.

- NZ Herald

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