New Zealand duo Carb On Carb provides you with dreamy punk music of the finest qualities. The sensitive autobiographical lyrics of frontwoman Nicole are one of them. If you´re currently caught up in a modern-day existential crisis, their latest album for ages (May 4, 2018) is a record that will ease your mind. Today I have the pleasure of having a track-by-track chat with one of the original creators, drummer James Stutely, about what for ages means to them.
Hi James, thanks for taking the time to talk about your album. You just came back from a Japan tour at the end of May. How are you doing right now?
We’re good! It’s been really busy with our day jobs since we got back, especially Nicole with running Girls Rock Camp in New Zealand.
#1 Fake Meat/Real Friends
The album kicks off under the stars. „Fake Meat/Real Friends“ seems to be based on one of those moments that tells you „life is crazy, but we got this“.
Yeah, it’s about those moments of intense clarity and openness with your close friends.
#2 It´s been a rough year
I thought about jumping on my bed to this song more than once. What a wonderful rebellious line: „They´re getting old, surpass them all“. „It´s been a rough year“ is like that anti-parents song.
Haha – not anti-parents as such, more like sometimes you shouldn’t listen to what your parents and society say, go ahead and forge your own way.
#3 Home Again 2
This song tells of the conflict between a life on the road and finally settle down. It doesn´t feel like a struggle, though. More like accepting that there is this challenge to find the right balance for yourself.
Yeah, it’s about finding balance, stability, and home when your lifestyle is quite tumultuous and temporary. Working out how to keep doing what you love without burning yourself out.
#4 Man Says
Love the LP reference. Was it a challenge to become rock musicians for you or is „Man Says“ rather about the progress to find out who you are, when you are young?
It’s about both of those things, and also looking back to see how you defined yourself in the past and using that to appreciate what you have in the present.
#5 Nicole´s Express
I think that creative people tend to stress themselves the most and best. What do you guys do to calm yourselves down?
Watch movies, go hiking, try not to take too much on but we always do haha.
Sometimes it can be really hard to give back as you were given to the ones that love us. What do you want to let us know about this song?
The lyrics are all true, about Nicole’s two grandmas, and the message is: appreciate your grandparents while you have them!
What does it mean to you to get older? Especially acknowledging that your youth kind of slips away over time?
I guess our perspective, in a nutshell, is the chorus: “getting older, getting wise is being happy as your body slowly dies”
#8 Annual Leave
What does work mean to you guys regarding your personal experiences and philosophies?
People often give work primary priority in life regardless of what the work is. We prefer to give friends and family that priority, but it means we don’t have much money haha.
#9 Extended Family
A family isn´t always about being of the same blood. Do you have a big extended family and how does it affect your life?
I don’t have a large extended family, but Nicole does, including a bunch of people who aren’t related by blood. She has a lot of big family events to go to and has been to 10x as many weddings as I have.
„We don´t go away to get away“ is a line of this song. Why do you go away?
To go on tour! It’s saying we go on touring cos we love touring, not to escape NZ.
Please feel free to take this moment to let people know anything you would like to get out to them right now.
Thanks for listening to our music from the other side of the world, we hope to make it to Europe someday!
Thank you so much for the interview and your answers. Cheers to Carb On Carb and all the best for the future!