While BBM’s BEN HARLUM didn’t confirm that Jesse from The Naked and Famous was indeed naked, the Kiwi band are definitely famous – nominated for the BBC’s Best of 2011 poll and blitzing around the country for the Big Day Out. On the eve of their festival and solo shows, Ben caught up with Jesse and here’s the result…
What’s the music scene like over in New Zealand?
There’s about five venues in Auckland with the same bands playing each week, with the same fans there and different variations of the same songs. It’s great if it was a hobby but there’s not enough there to support bands full-time. A lot of bands will see if they can make it in Australia with America and London being the second target.
I read that you’re a recovering Tool fan, are you going to get your fanboy out when you do the Big Day Out?
I am a diehard, I have a long-sleeved T-Shirt somewhere. [laughs] The guy who runs our record label is the bass player’s brother so that’s going to be my icebreaker if I ever get into a conversation. At least I have something up my sleeve just incase, although our lead singer Thom is planning to use the same line.
How do you approach the live sets, especially with the much broader audience the Big Day Out brings?
We don’t really change too much, we’ve been working on the live shows for quite a while now but we make sure it’s quite close to the album – we spend a lot of time replicating a lot of the elements from it in a live setting.
There’s a lot of time spent getting a specific noise or sound and with the intricate setup we’ve got, it’s quite exciting when everything comes together and it all works.
The Naked and Famous play Big Day Out nationwide, as well as solo shows in Sydney and Melbourne (see page 24). Their album, Passive Me, Aggressive You, is available now.