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Ragged: Ticking all the boxes


interview

It has already been a big year for Ragged with the release of their EP, winning the OUSA Battle of the Bands and numerous shows all over Dunedin. I catch up with Reece Vaitupu, Jackson Rodeka, George Giblin and Dylan Walker to discuss their progress and plans for the future.

DMC: First of all, please tell me about yourself; where are you from originally?

R: We are four young stallions all born and raised in mighty Dunedin.

DMC: What is your history in Dunedin and your involvement with music?

R: Well, like we say we are all locals, and have all been messing around with music since we were kids. Reece grew up singing in church. George taught himself to play "Leaving on a Jetplane" when he was nine. Dylan claims he learnt the ukulele when he was two and Jackson comes from a rockstar family… his old man Marcel played drums for the classic Dunedin band Mother Goose.

DMC: Marcel is a local legend, so no doubt you had plenty of music in your youth. Tell us about Ragged. How did you guys start up?

R: Reece and Dylan met at Rainbow’s End on a school trip back in 2006 and I guess that’s where the first sparks of Ragged were born. They began playing together and busking around town etc. Coincidentally, George and Jackson also busked back in the day so they could afford flip-top Hyundai cellphones. A few years later Dylan and George met at Otago University, as they were both doing courses in music. Dylan sparked up the idea to start a band and here we are.

DMC: So the pieces of the puzzle fit together! Obviously, John Denver is an influence on God Himself. How would you describe your style of music and what other artists have influenced the Ragged sound?

R: Ha, well its a bit of an eclectic mix really. We often joke that we shouldn’t be a band since we all have such differing tastes, but in reality it’s a positive as it means we have a lot of different sounds to draw from. If we had to name a couple of bands/artists each though…
George: The Wailers, Curtis Mayfield
Dylan: The Band, The Stones
Jackson: Michael Jackson, Chili Peppers
Reece: Queen, Billy Joel

DMC: What have been some of your successes as a group?

R: I guess winning OUSA Battle of the Bands this year was a pretty big success. There were some cool bands in the competition and we were really surprised when they announced we won. Releasing our EP earlier this year was an awesome feeling also… It was cool to finally have some of our original music to share with people and to hear all the positive feedback.

DMC: What plans are there in the future, both the near and the far?

R: Short term - we are heading into Albany St this weekend to record a few new singles for our debut album, so that should be pretty exciting. After that we are really looking forward to getting out on the road come summer time. We have locked in some pretty cool festival gigs already that we are fizzing for. In the long term… I guess like most bands we just want to keep working hard and take our music as far as we possibly can.

DMC: Locked in, eh…? Any sneak info on which festivals? I’m sure there are plenty of fans out there who are looking to organise their holidays this summer…

R: Well like a lot of other Dunedin bands we will be playing at Waikerifest come January, which sounds like it’s going to be a heap of fun. Then a couple of weeks after that we are playing at a pretty big show… We haven’t actually told anyone yet but I guess we could spill the beans since you asked… We will be opening for Foreigner, Heart and Three Dog Night at the Gibbston Valley Winery Festival. There were 14,000 people at this year’s one, so it’s gonna be pretty insane for us to play in front of a crowd like that. Will probably be needing a few shandies to calm the nerves.

https://www.facebook.com/WaikeriFest
http://www.gibbstonvalleynz.com/concerts

DMC: What are some of the best things about Dunedin in terms of music and music making?

R: It’s awesome to live in a city with such a vibrant music scene. Dunedin musicians are all so supportive of other local bands regardless of genre and it builds a cool little community. I guess Dunedin, being so small, gives you a better chance to get your music heard and shared also.

DMC: Fantastic. So, what are some of the most frustrating things then?

R: It is frustrating that we have not had any coverage on Channel 9 yet. That’s our target audience and they have been dodging our relentless emails. Bastards.

DMC: Now, now. Have patience and the good things will come. You could always create your own Youtube channel. Speaking of which, any plans for a video coming up so we can see more of your charming faces on demand? If so, what song do you think you’ll work on?

R: We are filming a video really soon for our song “Got Soul”. It seems to be the song that people get down to the most. George’s Mum said it should be on the radio. What more of a blessing could you need...

Ragged’s debut EP is available on Bandcamp

By Brendan Christie More articles

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