Rising Auckland four-piece Artisan Guns have all the right qualifications for a career in rock.
Three of the band study music at the University of Auckland and another is doing a degree in fine art.
It means the guitar-toting group is already a nicely self-contained unit.
“We not only write and perform our own music but also direct our own videos and design our own artwork,” singer Matthew Hope. “Creatively, we keep everything in-house which is great when you are putting out your own records.
“We’ve known each other since we were kids and formed at high school, so I suppose going to uni together was just an extension of that.”
Artisan Guns’ debut CD Bird & Bone was well-received by radio stations across New Zealand and Australia.
Now they’ve hit the road for a five-date NZ tour to launch their second EP Hearts, recorded at the studio of Kiwi music legend Dave Dobbyn.
The band makes its live Queenstown debut at the Dux on Saturday and will blast out an intriguing mix of indie-rock, folk, pop and country.
“When I was a kid we lived in the United States and my parents took me all over the place, so I got exposed to all kinds of traditional country and bluegrass music I wouldn’t have heard otherwise,” Hope explains.
“Those kinds of influences mixed with more contemporary sounds have given us a bit of a different identity.”
After their current NZ jaunt, Artisan Guns next month head across the Tasman for a three-week tour of Australia’s eastern states to support the bizarrely-named Hungry Kids of Hungary, before working on new material.
“We’ll eventually get around to recording our debut album but we are progressing pretty well musically and we don’t want to rush in there and push something out for the sake of it,” Hope adds.