By PHILIP CHANDLER
A new Arrowtown alternative rock band comprising three uber-talented musos is hitting the road to see how far they’ll go.
The Seaside Stranglers — frontman/bassist Sam Maxwell, 25, his brother, lead rhythm guitarist Tom, 32, and drummer Sam Baylis, 32 — decided to go on tour next month after being gifted a day’s recording at legendary Kiwi muso Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios in Auckland.
They’ve also booked recording studio time around the country.
As a result, they’ve organised a fundraiser — a ‘Casino Royale’ black-tie night at the Lake Hayes Pavilion next Friday — to help pay for that recording time.
They’ve also booked 13 gigs in venues like Waiheke Island, Coromandel and Takaka.
They’re travelling in a three-bed campervan sponsored by Maui.
Sam says they’ve got about a dozen originals — ‘‘just over an hour’s worth of material that we’re going to take with us and sharpen and hone’’.
The tour will finish with a gig at Arrowtown’s Slow Cuts, after the Arrowtown Long Lunch on December 4, a gig at the Wanaka beer festival the following day, then a gig at Arrowtown’s The Fork and Tap on the 6th.
Sam says they all contribute to the songwriting, though he’s the lyricist.
‘‘We just use our experiences and everything that’s gotten us to this point.
‘‘It’s eclectic — there’s soft songs, there’s songs that go really hard, songs that go for two minutes, songs that go for eight minutes.’’
Musos they’ve been influenced by include Iggy Pop, Kurt Vile, The Strokes and Neil Young.
As to the name, The Seaside Stranglers, Tom says ‘‘we were talking about how British detective shows are way better than American ones, and how a TV series would be like ‘The Seaside Murders’.
“It’s also an acronym of Tom, Sam and Sam”.
All three have amazing musical pedigrees.
They’ve all performed with success in songwriting contests, played alongside big international acts at the Gibbston Valley Winery Summer Concert and other festivals and earned prestigious studio time.
Tom has performed nationally for many years and is celebrated for his work on his original project, The Killergrams.
Baylis has performed locally for various bands, including Sam Wave.
Sam has also played in many bands, dating back to his high school days.
He first emerged as the winner of Margaret O’Hanlon’s Songstars, in 2013, and that year also starred in her rock and roll musical, 27.
She says the brothers are ‘‘just ridiculously talented, and they have that ‘it’ thing that makes people take note’’.
‘‘It doesn’t surprise me that doors are starting to open, or that they’re going and taking their music further, because I think that’s exactly what they should be doing, as musicians.’’
Meanwhile, Sam says they want to give a shout-out to the support they get from Slow Cuts and La Rumbla owners, Penelope Johnson and Sam Gruar.
‘Casino Royale — Classic Gathering’ black-tie night featuring The Seaside Stranglers, Friday October 23, 6pm-11pm, Lake Hayes Pavilion, tickets $30 from Eventbrite