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Q&A w/ Sola Rosa

Does each member of the band have a nickname? If yes, spill them! If not, please make them up right now!

We’ve had different nicknames over the years, depending on the tour. We’ve also had different band members so here are a few nicknames fro over the years…

Andrew Spraggon – Sleep Depp

Ben White – Double D

Cherie Mathieson – Shaniqua Roughbounce

Matt Short – Food Bwoy

Anna Coddington – Kung Fu Coddington

Spikey Tee – Black Johnson

A Mitchell – Laurence Missile

Have you been involved in any previous projects before this one?

I sang and played guitar in an indie guitar band called Cicada for 6 years back in the 90’s. Also played bass with Shayne Carter (Straightjacket Fits) in his band Dimmer in the early 2000’s.

All artists go through periods where they seem to lack creativity, when you’re experiencing one of these phases, what do you do to get yourself out of it?

I used to get extremely frustrated and worry too much about not being able to be creative during these moments. I found that a good remedy for me was digging for vinyl. All my tunes usually start from a vinyl sample so I go digging, find samples and add to my library.  This usually sparks the creative process and I’m back in the zone. If that doesn’t work I try to spend time with my kids, watch a movie and not worry so much about it.


How do you think social media has affected the Australian music scene?

I have no idea as I’m from New Zealand but I imagine it’s the same here. I can’t say that it affects any scene, but I find it a bit of a chore sometimes. The post punk kid in me hates it at times. I think where is the mystery behind an artist these days?! But then I also really like it. I love filming and taking photos when we’re on the road especially. Its just part of the job of being an artist these days it seems.

What is your local scene like?

I don’t really find there is much of a scene in Auckland. There’s a bunch of artists that appreciate each others work and some collaborations going down but as the smaller venues close there’s less places for a scene to get established. Plus Auckland’s quite spread out. There’s less people living in central city due to rent prices so less chance of people working together in close proximity.

What is your favourite track to perform live?

Del Ray

What are some of your earliest musical influences that have found their way into the music you’re currently making?

I don’t know that any early influences find there way in to my music these days, maybe a little Kraftwerk. I was an 80’s synth kid so loved Depeche Mode and all those electronic acts. I then thought synths were uncool and went to guitar. With Sola Rosa I found my way back to synths so its all in the music somehow.

Aside from other artists and music, what inspires you?

Books, movies, I love to cook, especially Mexican food. Been to Mexico a couple of times and fell in love with the place and its cuisine.

Do you have any in-band memes? Plzzzz share one.

Not that I’m aware of.

What streaming sites do you think offer the most value to a band?

Spotify would be the biggest one for us. I like Spotify, yeah we’re not making the money we did when CD’s were selling but I like the platform.

Care to give us a gear rundown?

I can give you a studio run down…

iMac running Ableton Live 10

Maschine  MK2

Universal Audio Apollo Quad

Novation Bass Station

Roland SH101

Roland SH 09

Genelec Monitors

Technic’s MK2 Turntable

Rane Mixer

Have you ever tried to learn a new instrument or technique and just flat out failed at it?

Not really, I’m not great on any instrument. I play a bit of keys but the studio is my only instrument that I’m any good at. I collaborate with many players. I wish I had of paid more attention when learning keys as a kid.

Most people ascribe to one idea or another about how the universe began, what do you reckon about it all?

Big Bang, but then before that makes my brain hurt.

All touring bands know that no two venues are created equal. What are some of the best rooms you’ve played and why?

Best rooms have mostly always been outdoor festivals. A few would be Green Man (Wales), Shambala (UK) and more recently Reverb (Perth).

There’s a full 80s/90s pop culture and music resurgence happening right now, are you into it?

Nope! I grew up in it so there’s no way I want to repackage it. Tbh I can’t handle listening to 80’s music any more, so hearing bands replicate it doesn’t appeal to me.

Are there any band photographers that you’re into and would love to be shot by?

Jonathan Mannion

What is the first song you ever wrote and did it make it onto a release?

I was writing songs on 4 track around age 16 which definitely didn’t make it to release.

If you HAD to choose, would it be; The Baby Sitters Club or Sweet Valley High? Please answer in as much detail as possible.

I know nothing about either of these.

What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome as a band/artist so far?

Depression and anxiety.

Fuck/Marry/Kill: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter?

Fuck – Twitter

Marry – Instagram

Kill – Facebook

Recently, creating more diversity within the Aus music scene has been a high priority for event organisers and music curators everywhere, what changes have you personally seen and how have they affected you/your band?

Again – no sorry as I’m from NZ.

What festival is #1 on your list that you’d love to play one day?


Without invoking genre, describe your music…

The soul of Sola Rosa is in hip-hop. Most recently there’s a lot of neo-soul influences. I’m inspired by all kinds of music and that’s reflected in the sound of my production. There’s been hints of jazz, Latin, funk, electronic and disco in the mix over the years.

How was your high school experience? Were you in a band?

I was not a great student. Class clown. I was in a band, we were called The Voice, typical crappy name for a high school band – drums, bass and 3 synth players. We played the school social through hifi speakers.

Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?

Noah Slee

Eva Lazarus