Female harmonies meet loud guitars on stage
Haunting female dual harmonies and loud guitars are part of the pagan folk punk-metal that Wellington indie band HEX blends on stage.
The group, Kiki and GG Van Newtown and Liz Mathews played CubaDupa’s Garage stage at 3pm to a relaxed afternoon crowd.
The all female three piece has been busy over the last year and a half.
They have played the Newtown festival this year, and are at Auckland’s Psych Fest this weekend.
They also opened for New Zealand post rock band Jacob late last year.
“They were just super nice, super friendly,” Kiki says.
“I’m always a bit nervous when we open for big acts that have an established following, because it’s usually quite a masculine following and that night we were the only women on the stage.”
“But everyone was so cool, so chill.”
Kiki, who plays bass in the band, contrasts festivals and clubs.
“The festivals have a totally different vibe because people aren’t going home,” she says
“I think people are way more relaxed at festivals and it feels like you can goof around a bit.”
The band formed when wives GG and Kiki Van Newtown moved to Auckland for six months and were joined by drummer Liz Mathews.
“Then GG and I moved back to Wellington and about a year or two later Liz followed us.
“We started playing music again together, did about four shows and then we stopped because I had a baby but we started playing again late 2015.”
GG and Liz are chefs and Kiki is an administrator in their day jobs.
Kiki says the fact GG and she are wives does impact the songwriting process.
“Ever since we met, we’ve been playing music together, we’ve always been in bands together.
“I think that’s part of what our relationship is based on, it’s rare to meet someone who you musically connect with,
“I think that’s a large part of why we love each other so much.”
Also the fact that guitarist GG is actually a drummer and Kiki is a guitarist makes their songwriting styles complimentary.
Part of the band’s sound are the vocal harmonies between Kiki and GG.
“I love vocal harmonies. If I could be in a barber shop band that played the music we do I totally would be,” she says
“GG also loves harmonies, we both grew up in school choirs and in musical theatre, so it just comes out of us.”
However Kiki says doing harmonies wasn’t a conscience choice.
“We’re just those people who are listening to the radio in the car and automatically sing the harmonies.”
Wellington, despite its population of just over 200,000 people has over 200 gigs every month and Kiki’s says the strength of Wellington’s scene is the fact it’s small.
“There’s so many insanely good bands in Wellington at the moment and it’s the most supportive I’ve ever felt it being.”
The group released an EP last year and are currently working on their debut full length album. They also plan to tour Australia later this year.
Check out HEX at the following sites.