Various Artists #2: Go With The Movers

It's hard to say exactly what hindsight will shine favourably on. One of the reasons I wanted to do some posts around local compilations of the last decade is because that time seemed like an explosion in local music. I'm not saying they're on the same level, but as the Gluepot scene or various Flying Nun bands were canonised, maybe time will look fondly on Eden's Bar and some of its luminaries.

Go With The Movers represents some figures from the Auckland/Hamilton/Wellington axis of that time. It's not exhaustive by any means - as Sam Walsh explains, it's a compilation built around degrees of separation. Pick three bands from the tracklist and it looks like a typical show that you might have seen Mole Music put on at Auckland's Eden's, Wellington's Bodega or Hamilton's Ward Lane in the mid 2000s. Also, many of the acts shared members, which goes to reinforce the idea that there's very few degrees of separation in New Zealand bands. Even if it seems really short at 12 tracks, the brevity helps maintain the cohesiveness and unity (despite the difference in sounds) the tracklist holds.

It's hard/impossible for me to be objective about this. Go With The Movers came out around a formative time in my musical life when I was young and idealistic and very excited about watching skinny dudes yell into microphones. But I think it holds up well. Probably better than any other compilation of the time it captures the sorta post-hardcore current that existed in the music scene at the time (I remember a Joe Nunweek article half-joking that perhaps so many Auckland bands were shouters/screamers due to the sorry state of the Eden's PA), and the sound of that blending with rock and roll bands as they shared bills.

The Vacants

There's The Blunts and The Popes of Del Ray playing Hamilton rock and roll straight and true, Amy Racecar and Connan and the Mockasins dialling down their energy for some warped ballads, The Vacants doing their grunge via Fugazi meets Joy Division kinda thing, Nova Echo's (most of who went on to form Cut Off Your Hands) post-punk blur of a track Cvision, This Night Creeps' daunting musical ability and The Batstorm channelling Blood Brothers styled hardcore.

At the time some of these bands seemed like the best in the world - which I guess they weren't, but the point was that they were here and you could see them. Watching shows as an idealistic young man I swear most of these bands were destined for really big things. Some have done some big things and others have have broken up or disappeared from view, and this snapshot is just a small piece of the picture of what was happening, but maybe we'll look back on what was happening and realise that there was a turning point taking place.

This Night Creeps as seen on the great Cheese On Toast TV show Something On TV

Here's Mole Music's Sam Walsh talking about putting together Go With The Movers.
Listening back to this compilation, what do you like about it?
I like how weird it is and because it was the first release I ever did it kind of holds this strange sort of sentimental value to me. I also like that my dad still plays it sometimes and knows most of the songs off by heart, its super cute. 

"We started meeting all these super rad people who were just as hyper as us about what they were trying to do and so there was this really lovely connectedness and kinship."
Compilations document a certain musical moment. Can you paint a picture for me - what was happening in music at that time? And what did you want to preserve from that time?
It was made over a time when the bands I was playing in and the bands my friends were playing in were touring and putting on crazy amounts of shows. From that I/we started meeting all these super rad people who were just as hyper as us about what they were trying to do and so there was this really lovely connectedness and kinship. It was a really fun time in my life and I think for a lot of the other people involved too. Its pretty old now but I'm still friends with most of the people on the compilation and I think that kinda sums it up in a way.

Can you tell us about the moment when you decided this was something worth doing, and what was your initial concept for the compilation?
When we started working on Go With The Movers I guess we were trying to capture some fragments of that hyperness and energy. I wanted to start a label and thought that a compilation would be a good first step. Me and Adam (McKay - My Business Bro at the time) talked about it on a tour once and I think and he came up with the name way before we even figured out how we'd do it.

What did these artists have in common that made them belong on a compilation together?
I've always liked doing projects that mix genre and audience and have always tried to do that with shows so it was basically the same sort of thinking. A mix of bands from different cities playing different styles of music but who had played shows together or were friends and stuff. I hadn't toured down South then so it's all North Island bands which is a shame but at the time that was really all I knew. The kinda concept for it was four bands from Auckland, Wellington and Hamilton, each representing a different sort of "genre" (i don't like that word but I can't think of a better one) of music from their city. It was based around the idea of "degrees of separation" and trying to showcase the "connectedness" of what was going on. I guess part of the mixed genre thing was to appeal to a larger audience and also to make it a bit more interesting as a "collection" if that makes any sense.

Did it seem to springboard anything for any of the artists involved?
I'm not sure about springboard and I didn't have a clue about how to promote or sell a record so it kinda just got made then floated around but I like looking back at it and seeing that most of the bands are still making music in some form or another and many of them have gone on to do some pretty rad things.

Tell us about your favourite track on the compilation.
Without sounding like a total butt-head I honestly really like all the songs on it.

Not counting this one - what's your favourite compilation?
I haven't listened to them in awhile but I was pretty obsessed with all the Fat Wreck Chords and Epitaph compilations that came out in the early 2000's. Like the Punk O Rama's and Fat Music For Fat People and stuff.

Is there anything else interesting that you can tell me about the compilation and its creation?
I wrote this super dorky manifesto-esque piece about music and the compilation inside the sleeve which is probably really silly sounding now. I also spelt "Moccasins" wrong which has bummed me out for ages. 

Who did the artwork and where can we find their stuff?
[This Night Creeps vocalist/graphic designer] Luke McPake did the artwork. It was one of our first ever collaborations together and he got super conceptual on it which was really rad. He made all the bands take a photo of themselves in a bathroom, in front of a mirror holding a flower in one hand, closing their eyes and there was some soap or something and I think it had a door in it and then he morphed all the pictures together. You can find his video stuff on Vimeo here.

Tell me about the FIRST compilation you ever owned? I think mine was Rhythm Volume 16 and I wish I still had it. 
The first compilation I ever owned was a chunky double disk of 50's and 60's hits that my uncle gave me for no real reason. I was only like six or seven so I can't remember the name of it but it was this mental bright pink colour and every now and then I try and find it again if I got to a record store but know I never will. My favourite song on it was Leader Of The Pack by The Shangri La's which I still think is one of the greatest songs ever written. I would play it over and over again and dance around to it and it got super scratched and worn out but never skipped or died. I have this really vivid memory of the girl who used to babysit us putting it on and laughing at me and my brother as we sang the lyrics and jumped around the lounge to Great Balls of Fire. I don't know what happened to it, I guess my mum threw it away to save herself from the mayhem it caused.

If your interest is piqued it's well worth tracking down a second hand copy of Go With The Movers at Real Groovy or borrowing the Auckland Libraries copy from here.

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