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The information for this image was taken for a story that ran in The Manawatu Evening Standard on 5th June 1991.

"We heard this weird song in a café in Taupo that had all these death metaphors in the lyrics," says Chainsaw Masochist bassist Darren McShane, talking about the maudlin streak in their new album Periphery. "The original was pretty straight, so we got rid of all the twee stuff, accentuated the bleakness, and The Last Waltz ended up with a whole new meaning.

While Engelbert Humperdinck would probably bust his cummerbund over the attitude of these Flying Nun guitar slappers, the approach illustrates the "hard-edged melody" approach which caresses their sound. "We have the traditional line-up of two guitars and bass play separately, trying not to play the root note of the chord, trying to achieve a layered effect," McShane says.

Similar to the Verlaines, perhaps? "Yeah, there are some similarities there, although Graeme Downes does even more bizarre chords." Chainsaw Masochists formed over three years ago, combining the talents of principle songwriter and vocalist Murray Couling, guitarist/vocalist Debbie Silvey, bassist McShane and his brother Ricky on drums. The early material was pure guitar grunge, hence the band's name. The fact that all members have a pretty similar outlook has kept them together through some pretty tough times, says McShane. "We had all been in bands at school, but nothing had really clicked. Then I met Murray, and we discovered we had exactly the same musical tastes.

In this business, you get to the point where you just don't want to be on stage together if you're not enjoying it. But everyone in this band likes everyone else's ideas, so there's plenty of mutual respect, which is great." McShane admits the band sometimes comes under fire as a reworking of the well-established Flying Nun formula, which he rejects. "People say to us this traditional formula has been done to death, but I feel you have to keep detached from the musical fashion, just switch into this creative mode and forget about it. Yet we do things you might not at first notice; the off-kilter guitars have not been very well explored, and Debbie's harmonies are certainly very different. So we're all still evolving, and we're certainly not going to get stuck in some easily classified rut."

While Periphery sees the band integrating acoustic instruments and integrating accordion and strings into their sound, the music on display at Super Liquor Man Friday night will be harder-edged. "The ballads on the album are more our studio sound while the full-on songs are very close to the live sound we're touring with." Chainsaw Masochist are playing five cities on this Periphery tour, with Palmerston North being the only city outside the main centres. "We've heard in Auckland there's a pretty healthy live scene happening in Palmerston North at the moment, and the (student) radio station is pretty helpful. That's definitely a reason for playing there."

Identification

Object type
Image
Archive
Manawatū Evening Standard Negative Collection
Relation
2017-20
Date
June 5, 1991
Digitisation ID
2021N_2017-20_038218_004
Format
B&W negative
Held In
Coolstore

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Taxonomy

Tags
chainsaw masochist,
music,
performers,
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