An extra dimension was injected into the Dunedin music scene when bassist Lucy Hunter and drummer Tim Player moved from Gisborne to Dunners to bring us eery but energetic experimental pop music. Now, joined by guitarist Reg Norris, this charismatic trio are Opposite Sex. Lucy and Tim took time out from their busy work and music schedules to chat to us about their band and how it came to be.
Lucy and Tim have travelled different musical paths to get where they are now:
Lucy explains “… I played piano and trumpet when I was growing up and just learned bass, just after [high] school, but Tim hadn’t played anything at all.” There is pretty much no instrument that Lucy hasn’t dabbled with.
“Prior to Opposite Sex, my ex-boyfriend was Connan Mockasin so I played with them [Connan and the Mockasins] a bit and that got me into music I guess. After that I had a band called The Ravishes and that was alongside Opposite Sex.”
What strikes us about Lucy, though, is her unique voice, which ranges from angelic in recordings to frantic and punk-like in live performances.
Tim, on the other hand, had no musical experience prior to Opposite Sex. Nevertheless, he is very talented and musically knowledgeable.
“All I can say is that I grew up listening to music from a young age …” He credits international bands The Birthday Party and Half Japanese and NZ band The Blueness as inspirational. He mainly plays drums and a bit of free-form guitar.
Opposite Sex has been making music since 2010 and is no stranger to the Dunedin music scene. They feel at home here and have enjoyed supporting local bands, including The Puddle, Snapper and Space Dust. Lucy and guitarist Reg more recently played in a side project called Sonny Carver and have contributed to the massive Dunedin collaboration Operation Underground by playing at a porch session. However, a real turning point for the band was being discovered by Fishrider Records owner, Ian Henderson.
“It was sort of through [Ian’s band] The Puddle and Ian got in contact with us … he’s always been supportive,” recalls Tim.
Under the FIshrider label, the band released their debut album ‘Opposite Sex’ in 2011 and are now working on a new album, ‘Hamlet’, which will be out later in the year. Lucy, the main songwriter, describes the process:
“Usually I’ll lay down the bass line and the vocal melody but I still have it in my head for quite a long time before I put it to music …”
Studying for an English degree definitely adds flair to Lucy’s songwriting.
“… I’ve done quite a few crime papers and a gothic fiction paper and I’ve been writing some really gothy songs which I wouldn’t have done before, so I guess that’s been directly inspired by university stuff.”
Lucy and Tim hinted that the new album will be darker, with longer, more complicated songs than their previous album. Since Reg joined the band, the guitar sound is more “distorted and aggressive”.
The band members were stoked about the opportunity to support Wellington-based band Shocking Pinks at Chick’s Hotel, Port Chalmers last Saturday.
We’re really looking forward to hearing their new album, ‘Hamlet’. Good luck guys!