8 Tuesday May 17 2016 our PEOPLE > Do you know someone who should be our next Our People? Nominate them now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org SELWYN TIMES Mel Parsons From concert halls worldwide Mel Parsons, talked to Caitlin Miles about her success at the Music Managers Awards last week, her South Island Wool Shed tour finishing and her upcoming tour to Germany So how did the Music Managers Awards go last week? It went well, it was a great night and I won the best independent tour so that was very cool to win something and be acknowledged for the hard work that goes into it, behind the scenes and everything. Those things are a lot of fun and great way to catch up with other people in the industry I haven’t seen in a while. Congratulations, what are the award shows like? It’s still insane, the awards shows are a completely different world. But on the other side of that I’ve been doing it for a long time so while it’s insane I feel comfortable being round it all and I’m pretty lucky being surrounded by the music industry here because they’re great people. A good chunk of the events is getting to catch up with people, it’s not all business, there has to be some play. The industry is small so everyone knows everyone which is what makes it great. You have been very busy touring, what’s the Wool Shed Tour been like? It’s been really fun, we’ve just finished the South Island part of the tour, what I love about the tour is going out to the rural areas. Wool sheds have big spaces and they have their own vibe when I perform in them. They are quite nostalgic places for rural communities. Getting to tour as part of a comedy gig just gets everyone in good spirits. What’s it been like touring with the Sons of a Bitch? We travelled by horse truck for the first time, that was a different experience, really nice though, no complaints at all. Again it’s been so fun they’re great to tour with. We’re all very great friends, which helps so it’s just very fun and silly being on the road with them. You’ve got a show in Germany coming up, is this the first time you’ve gone? No I did a show when I was out there about three years ago. It’s a great place to do shows, I had a great time when I was there last, the people are really cool so I always enjoy performing and being there. You’re also touring in Australia soon? I go over in June for some shows and then again in July. It’s another place I really enjoy going to tour actually, I think it’s because it’s similar to New Zealand, just a lot bigger. I’m also mildly obsessed with the animals. The wombats and kangaroos are cool. Unfortunately, I’ve probably seen more of them sleeping on the side of the road than actually in real life. What other places have you been to? Let me think, I’ve been to Canada, the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and some other places too that I just can’t think of. Has one place stuck out? That’s a tough one. Everywhere you go there’s something cool and different, each place has its own interesting bits. Ireland was incredible, the place and people were just awesome. But every place has its great things and experiences. The style of my music really suits North America so I really love being there because of the audience. New Releases Fabrics@Lincoln offers: • Quality imported fabrics for upholstery, curtains and dressmaking starting from $34m • Curtain measure, quote and making service • Top styling advice • An array of accessories including chalk paint, cushions and wallpaper • Sewing and craft classes Come and see us if you want your home to look amazing fabrics@lincoln quality imported fabrics Wednesday to Friday 9am to 4pm Saturday 10am to 2pm 601 Birchs Rd. Ph: 0800 333 577.
SELWYN TIMES Tuesday May 17 2016 9 to chilling out in Springfield How did you develop your style? Being a singer/songwriter I just want to tell stories. I don’t think I made a conscience choice in style, but what I do is a product of what I listen to and what I enjoy listening to. I didn’t set out to make a certain sound it kind of just worked. Who is your idol and why? Mark Knopfler. I’ve just loved his music ever since I was a kid. When you were growing up did you want to be a musician? I think when I was growing up I changed my mind nearly every week, I wanted to be a lawyer one week then I’d change my mind and want to be something else the next. I always loved music and I learnt to play instruments from when I was little, so it became the natural path. What instruments do you play? I learnt to play the piano when I was five and kept playing right through high school and when I was about 14 I picked up a guitar and that’s when I started writing songs and singing other peoples. I also played the drums for a while when I was 16. I’d only have a bash around for fun now though, I couldn’t do it professionally. Have you got a musical family? My mum can play piano, I have three siblings, most of them could probably play chopsticks if pushed, and everyone enjoys music, but no one else in the family was mad enough to choose it as a career though. What made you ‘mad enough’ to pursue music as a career? It was always a passion, I studied a music degree at Auckland University, and then travelled around North America for a bit performing and writing and stuff and when I came back I realised if I was going to do this I needed to knuckle down. So that was in 2007 when I decided to work on my first album. How do you go about writing a song, do you have a special spot where you write? No, I don’t have a special spot, for me it’s more about finding and setting aside time. I’m on the road a lot and being selfmanaged there is a lot of paper work and admin, so whenever I have a bit of time I try and write. What’s the journey been like so far? It’s great and it’s been really rewarding. Being self-employed you have to stay motivated, which can been hard at times but I have a wonderful audiences and support base. I get a lot of FRIENDS: Mel Parsons has been touring with Sons of a Bitch comedy duo Emma Newborn and Amelia Dunbar. enjoyment from the hard work I put it, so I feel really lucky. Are you creative with things other than music? I used to love painting when I was younger, and I like making cards and writing letters when I have time. But most of my creative energy these days gets channelled into my music. What do you think when you sit back and look at all the things you’ve done? I haven’t really sat back and thought about it, I never really have time too. When I look at my air points though I realise how much I’ve travelled and how lucky I’ve been. So Mel did you grow up in Selwyn? I didn’t actually, I grew up on a sheep farm just out of Westport. Where in Selwyn did you move to? I moved to Springfield about six years ago. Why did you move there? It’s a great community, lovely people, and we have an awesome local gym. The big appeal geographically is being so close to the mountains, we have some amazing skiing right on our doorstep. It’s also nice to come home to somewhere quiet and peaceful in between all the chaotic touring and travel. You’re lifestyle is pretty hectic. Do you get any down time? It’s a fairly busy schedule but I do book some down time, I love skiing, I’m a mad keen skier so I carve out time in the season round August and September so I can go up there. Living close to the mountains is ideal for that. That’s what I do in my down time. What are the plans for the future? As of right now I just plan to keep touring and writing music and performing well down the track. “... Into The East will draw you in with their harmonic charm, spit you out with their cheeky Southern wit and pull you closer with their award winning music...” “... A truly world class acoustic duo, Graeme Woller and Liv McBride melt effortlessly between genres, talk a big game and will flip you from a belly laugh to a wrenched heart throughout an acclaimed show you simply cannot miss this year...” Monday 30 May 8pm The Laboratory Lincoln $15 Book: Eventfinda or at the LaboratorY The Laboratory are pleased to announce their next Arts On Tour NZ (AOTNZ) event will be on Monday 30 May presenting country/folk duo Into The East. The Southland couple have been refining their craft for the past nine years. They achieved hit status on their 2015 AOTNZ tour, winning many fans around the country as well as $10,000 US for a new recording contract on artisissignal. com This is an emotionally cohesive batch of songs that serve as internalised meditation on the up and downs of life and love. The Laboratory is opening especially on a Monday (when normally closed) so the whole venue will be given over to the show. The show starts at 8pm and will run for a couple of hours including an interval. The bar will be open with a limited menu available on the night and seats are limited, so do book a table by calling 325 3006 if you have purchased a ticket and want to ensure you get a great seat to dine while you enjoy the show. Tickets are $15 and available over the bar or online from eventfinda.co.nz Look forward to more great performances at ticketed events at The Laboratory throughout 2016. Check out our website for these and other great community events at The Laboratory - www.thelaboratory.co.nz “…a truly world class acoustic duo, Graeme Woller and Liv McBride melt effortlessly between genres, talk a big game and will flip you from a belly laugh to a wrenched heart through an acclaimed show you simply cannot miss this year” “…Into The East will draw you in with their harmonic charm, spit you out with their cheeky southern wit and pull you closer with their award winning music…”