Having played with such artists as The Hives and R.E.M, with the latter’s Michael Stipe being one of the band’s biggest fans, New Zealand’s The Checks have had their fair share of success. With their two albums Hunting Whales and Alice By The Moon being well received by critic, the band are currently living back in New Zealand after 18 months in London, working on new material. Set to headline the massive Go Here Go There Event presented by Mum in partnership with Chocolate Jesus Industries which is set to take over all three levels of World Bar as well as Melt and Iguana Bar this Friday Dec 3rd, we caught up with lead guitarist Sven Pettersen for a quick chat ahead of the show.
Music Feeds: What made you move back to New Zealand from London?
Sven Pettersen: The touring cycle for Hunting Whales had finished. We went back to right some new songs and chill out for a while.
MF: How do you find being home compared to the UK professionally?
SP: London is a real buzz. A proper big city with all the good and bad that that can bring. So really exciting and depressing at once. New Zealand is very moderate. That being said it is beautiful with beautiful people so I love writing here.
MF: Is it a bit strange going from touring Japan with The Hives and playing with REM etc to playing smaller shows? Is it fun being back in more intimate venues and being able to connect with the audience?
SP: Yeah its mean being in small venues. I love meeting some musicians and songwriters that I love, but at the end of the day I just like smashing our stuff and it often goes off better in clubs.
MF: Most of the music you here coming out of NZ is in a sort of dub, hip hop vein, which is odd considering it’s also given us bands like The Clean and The Dead C. Is there still a thriving rock scene over there or is it sort of battling?
SP: There are some really cool things coming out such as The Psychs, 2am Orchestra, Space Creeps. Not necessarily straight up and down rock but great songs none the less.
MF: Are you looking forward to playing World Bar for Go Here Go There? Have you been there before?
SP: I love Sydney and have a few good friends there, I think we’ll have a swell time.
I’m not sure I may have been.
MF: What do you have coming up after the show? Any new material in the pipeline?
SP: Heaps and heaps of new material. As I write this Karel is fanging out on Callums loop pedal with some type of new material which sounds spiffy.
The Checks play Mum@Worldbar this Friday December 3rd
*Photo by Lindy Hickman