Queenstown-bound: Adam Hattaway, second left, with his fellow band members


If there’s one thing Christchurch singer Adam Hattaway has no problem doing it’s filling a blank page.

While some may struggle with writer’s block, Hattaway’s churning music out at a rate of knots.

So there’s a high chance those popping along to Yonder tomorrow night could attend the same gig next year and hear all new tunes.

Adam Hattaway and The Haunters are set to release their third album and another’s already in the pipeline — they’ve only been an outfit for just over two years.

“I think some bands are just really slow, one album every three years?

“Come on, get off your arse,” Hattaway says, mystified by how long it takes others to put out a new batch of songs.

“Then again, I don’t do much else than music.

“I teach guitar and do some pub gigs, but outside of music I don’t do anything else, I have enough time on my hands to write music, so to write a song or two a month that comes out pretty good is a good aim.

“Bob Dylan used to put out three albums a year, so that’s the ultimate goal.”

Dylan’s a particular influence on Hattaway and he’s quick to namecheck him.

Growing up in Christchurch there was always music playing in the house, he says.

“My dad works as a vet and my mum is a librarian, but they love music and it was always on in the background.

“I vividly remember hearing Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and classical music — as a kid I loved Beethoven.”

Then it was on to discovering Dylan, the Rolling Stones and 90s indie rock band Pavement. By age 12, Hattaway told his parents he wanted a career in music and says they fully encouraged the idea.

During high school Hattaway teamed up with bass player and fellow “Dylan worshipper” Liam Quinn.

On leaving school Hattaway tried to recreate the Pavement sound with his own band, but as he got older his passion returned to somewhat more classical rock’n roll.

“Anyone who plays music should try to take in all their influences and see what comes naturally from that amalgamation,” he explains.

“Like any musician’s journey, you want to pick at everything and become something somehow unique and your own.”

After a few years on the local music scene, Hattaway recruited Ryan Fisherman — once of acclaimed Kiwi indie-electronic band Doprah — to play drums and added guitarist Elmore James to form The Haunters.

He says the two-part names reflects how he takes the lead on songwriting and fronting the band, while also recognising how important the others are.

But his fellow musos are free to share the load, Hattaway says, and James has been chipping in more and more with the songwriting process.

The next album will include a third of songs penned by the guitar player, while Quinn’s also written one.

“At the start it was just completely me, which is one of the reasons the name is how it is,” Hattaway says.

“I want them to write and to write with them, but they don’t have to.”
He aims to create songs that resonate with people, but not employ cliches or use basic lyrics that “tell me what the singer had for breakfast or read like a postcard”.

“I want somebody to think, ‘yeah, I have felt that way’.

“You want to be interesting, not cheesy, to tread the line between the obvious and the obscure, and come up with words that sound good together.”

Tomorrow marks the 12th and final show of a tour that’s seen Hattaway and co play in a different region each weekend for six weeks.

“It is basically alternative rock ‘n’ roll, so it’s got the classic rock ‘n’ roll swagger with a kind of wild, feedback to it.”

Adam Hattaway and The Haunters, Yonder, Saturday, 9pm, free. Warm-up act’s Arrowtown-based alt-country/rock band Killergrams