Somehow it's 2 weeks after the fantastic New Zealand showcase at CMJ and I still have interviews to post! Let's get back to it with this conversation I had with Pikachunes (aka Miles McDougall)
TWD: Can you give me a recommendation for a place I should check out if I'm in New Zealand that's not in Lonely Planet? Something interesting?
Pikachunes: I'm from Christchurch originally, and despite the fact that it's an absolute bomb site in the middle of town, it's quite interesting to have a look at the earthquake damage. I don't think they would advertise earthquake damage in Lonely Planet.
TWD: Those were very unfortunate.
TWD: I was trying to come up with questions inspired by your music, so where's your ideal spot to take a holiday that you haven't been?
Pikachunes: I'm about to go to Tahiti for the first time to play some shows with another New Zealand artist over the space of a week, which is a place I've always wanted to go on holiday. I'm looking forward to that.
TWD: The song "Just a Boy" seems like this really nice friendship; you know, platonic ideal. This is topic of discussion among people I know: do you think a man and a woman can be friends without any sexual tension? Some people don't.
Pikachunes: Yeah, I think so. I definitely think so. If you're not physically attracted to someone, then you're just not physically attracted to them. There's not usually sexual tension between to people that don't find each other attractive (laughs).
TWD: Right. Though some of my friends are convinced it's not even worth it, that inevitably someone will be attracted.
Pikachunes: Really? No, I've got some female friends that are like sisters.
TWD: Yeah, me as well. Anyways, in your song "Disco Baby," you talk about being supportive, a shoulder for people. I was curious of two things: What has been a shoulder for you, and two, has anyone ever expressed that your music was supportive to them?
Pikachunes: The second part, not so much supportive, but I get a lot of comments about the honesty of the music from people that are listening to the music in my age group. Even people slightly older as well, they can relate to the music because it does deliberate on things that happen to people quite often (laughs.) Who's my shoulder to cry on? Usually, if I'm in a pretty down mood, I tend to watch Family Guy, lots and lots of Family Guy. I guess that's kind of my shoulder. That's my hungover thing to do, which is usually when I'm at my lowest (laughs). I just like to watch a lot of Family Guy.
TWD: The song, "New Fiend," that's an intentional title, right?
TWD: Are you familiar with My Best Fiend?
TWD: Werner Herzog made a documentary about his muse / friend Klaus Kinski, he's in some of his films. That's the title. The whole idea of a turbulent partnership, or a person that drives you crazy but at the same time elevates you, do you have some of those people in your life?
Pikachunes: I have. I disassociated with them now. I had one friend in particular that that song was based on, both him and I delved into a pretty serious drug addiction together – as a friendship. It was the only basis for our friendship and the only thing we had in common. That was kind of the idea behind that, that was when I had first moved to Auckland from Christchurch and feeling the need to take drugs and party to fit in.
TWD: And that would be an increase in size of cities?
Pikachunes: Yeah, definitely. Christchurch is a very small population. It's not hard to stand out in a small population, but Auckland is a bit different.
TWD: The song "Tonight," you say that line "Anything you want me to be tonight." You can kind of read that two ways. On one hand, it's a powerful feeling like "I can do whatever," but on the other hand, it's like you're putting your identity into someone else's wishes. I guess I was curious about those situations. Have you been on both sides of that?
Pikachunes: Yeah, definitely. That song, when I wrote it, it was definitely from the negative perspective. But each time I get to play these songs, they get to take on a different meaning depending on the evening and mood, those sort of things. I like that about having songs that are both-sided. I can portray two different emotions, depending on how I'm feeling.
TWD: That's always great for listeners.
TWD: Are you familiar with the movie Spinal Tap and Almost Famous?
TWD: So if I ask you for a Stonehenge moment when everything's going wrong and if I ask for a golden god moment when you're triumphant, could you give me one of each?
Pikachunes: The Stonehenge moment (laughs) was actually a show that we played over here in Baltimore. It was pretty much a bar full of crackheads. We were all kind of worried things were going to get stolen or we were going to get hurt. Those were pretty serious down moments, that show. The golden god moment would be any show I have played at Mighty Mighty in Wellington. My favorite bar by far. Every show I've played has ended up in a crowd stage invasion and many wild party times.
This interview cut off before I could ask Pikachunes to do the chain questions or for the alien spaceship playlist, but luckily, he joined in at the end of my talk with Princess Chelsea to round that out. Look for that one soon to get the details!