Devin Abrams is an Ōtautahi boy, a founding member of Shapeshifter, successful music producer, and mastermind behind the solo project Pacific ...
After 20 years of playing festivals here and everywhere, Fat Freddy’s have the drop on how to make the most of the occasion. Saxophonist Scott Towers shares his wisdom.
What are you looking forward to this festival season?
I guess it’s just having the option to go out as often as possible or as often as you want. That’s the thing I am excited about. And also getting out and supporting promoters and the industry. I’m really conscious that business has been really tough for the last couple of years. Costs have spiralled out of control and promoters can’t really pass that on so they are wearing it. If we want there to be a music and arts scene in New Zealand we need to get out and support them.
After 20 years of gigging at them, what’s your No. 1 festival hack?
One thing we’ve learned is to always go around the food vendors before the doors open or before it gets too busy and work out who’s got the good eats. You don’t want to get stuck without a good meal. So do your research on the kai front, don’t get stuck with the crappy leftovers. There’s a reason why there’s a queue in front of one food vendor and not in front of another.
As an artist at a festival you do have a lot of time waiting. A backstage tip is we have a turntable and some speakers set up. We are always checking out the record stores wherever we go so we’ve got new music to listen to. So we set up the turntable and speakers and play music to each other during the day.
When we first got started, we always made sure we had enough ice – a warm cocktail is a terrible cocktail. We don’t have so many now, not before the show anyway!
Day or night – what’s your favourite time to take to the stage?
Freddy’s love playing during that changeover from day to night. You see the energy levels come up a bit. The heat has gone out of the sun, people have emerged from their tents having recovered from the night before. You can see them transforming in front of you.