My Holiday: Thom Watts

Thom Watts from Villainy. Photo / Supplied
Thom Watts from Villainy. Photo / Supplied

What was your greatest holiday? I saved many pennies and visited my brother and his wife in Mexico fresh out of high school - watched a lot of Mexican wrestling and drank a lot of cheap mezcal.

And the worst? Don't know if it counts as a holiday per se, but our first tour was slightly dire - it was your standard middle-of-winter driving-through-the-night to get to Wellington in a rusting 12-seater diesel-powered beast and spending the drive through the Desert Road trying to sleep next to someone who was having Tramadol-soaked dreams which involved a lot of flailing.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing? I'll be eating. A lot. If I'm eating out, I'll tend to go four small dishes because I've got major food fomo.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be? Kohukohu in Northland. I spent a lot of time up around there as a child and went back recently. We stayed in an old converted butcher shop on stilts over the bay - it's a little less macabre sounding than that description makes it seem.

You can't help but feel pretty bloody lucky hanging out with seabirds, writing some riffs as the water meanders past. The local cafe (there is only one) also makes excellent muffins.

How about for a dream holiday internationally? Down to Antarctica to hang out with some fur seals, orcas and melting ice caps.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling? I accidentally smuggled some illicit substances into India.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ... My hooded leather jacket - I travel with the same jacket everywhere, with tickets in the inside left pocket, phone in the right. It's the same jacket I wear all tour too. Sometimes I wash it. Not often though. It serves to hide any poor quality T-shirt decisions and also doubles as a comfortable blanket

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given? Pack light. Playing in a band often means all our checked luggage is accounted for (my set-up is roughly about 85kg) - so being able to fit two weeks' worth of clothes in an overnight bag is a skill. This is probably a skill that more people should embrace - it means you get comfortable with the idea of having less with you to begin with in order to purchase yourself many gifts later.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? I was paid $100 to eat 36 dumplings and drink the leftover sluice of soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli at Chinese Noodle Restaurant in Sydney.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? A sitar from India. I bought it quite late at night after some very low-quality haggling without considering how to get it back to New Zealand. It's got a couple of dents in it thanks to lugging it around for two weeks on the Indian railway.

Favourite airport to land at? Wellington in a storm. Flying into a place when you fear you might die makes you appreciate landing more. We always clap the pilot whenever we land too.

What's the next trip you've got planned? Japan. I owe my understanding wife a honeymoon, so we're flying out the morning after the tour ends. I'm excited for Robot Cabaret, the Ramen Museum and a lot of second-hand guitar shops while she's pretty certain she's never going to leave the Ghibli Museum.

Thom Watts is the lead guitarist from Villainy, who play at Galatos, Auckland, on April 16. Tickets via Ticketmaster.

- NZ Herald

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