Six60 guitarist ji Fraser finds inspiration from fans wherever he goes
Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
Sydney and the Gold Coast in Australia when I was around 9 or 10. I loved being with my family there. I remember Dreamworld, going on the Giant Drop with my dad. I remember thinking how big it was coming from a small city in New Zealand. Sydney was probably my first experience of a major city and a place I still love being in.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Lake Waikaremoana, which is about 80km southwest of Gisborne. Camping, fishing and driving the boat around the lake.
Who has most inspired your travels?
Funnily enough, mostly our fans. My world travels have almost entirely revolved around touring and either reaching our fans around the world, or connecting with new fans in areas we haven't been yet. Wherever SIX60 can go to achieve either of those things is inspiration enough.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
The best trips of my life have been with my wife, Jacquie. Whether it's on a beach in Rarotonga or staying in a cottage in the Cotswolds in England with an open fire. I've never had a bad time in New York either. But Japan with the SIX60 boys and the All Blacks is hard to beat.
And the worst?
I've never had a bad overseas trip . . . does transit in LAX count? Because that's awful.
What's your approach to packing for an overseas trip?
You don't need half the things you just put in your bag. Less is more, which is hard when you are playing shows. So if I'm not on tour I like to pack as lightly as possible. You feel better when you carry less around.
What is the destination that most surprised you — good or bad?
My first trip to Japan a few years ago was a good surprise. We had just played a show in Guam and we decided to stay three nights in Tokyo on our way back to New Zealand. I had no expectations of the city and ended up having an amazing time. I'd never been somewhere where there was so much going on all at once - great food, culture and just a mind-blowing city to walk through.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Hug my wife, daughter and my dog, in that order.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
Definitely my family, but I don't dwell on it because I'm pretty lucky to do what I do. And I can always video call them if I ever feel a bit homesick.
Where is the one destination you must see before you die?
I have to see South Africa and South America. Although I've been to Scotland many times, I've never travelled to Inverness which is where my family emigrated from in the 1850s. But I don't really think too much about needing to go places before I die. I know that SIX60 will continuously take us to new parts of the world and I'm genuinely blown away by everything I've seen so far.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
It makes you appreciate where you came from.
SIX60 Saturdays 2020 kicks off in Lower Hutt on January 25 and ends in Dunedin on March 7, playing Saturdays at various locations nationwide in between. See eccles.co.nz for all details and final tickets.