20 Essential NZ Releases
HOME BREW 'Home Brew (Special Edition)'
HOME BREW ‘Home Brew (Special Edition)’
Released May 2012 (Digital / 2 CD / 4 x LP)
Home Brew for me represents memories of living in Auckland. I remember first meeting Tom at Scratch 22’s flat in Grey Lynn at some point years ago. I remember hearing Tom freestyling live in the old Base FM studio next to George, back when Truent was skipping school / work. I remember Substance always being around and making things happen. I remember when we had Home Brew play in our lounge for Ed G’s 30th birthday (I think we still owe them a bottle of something for that too). I remember when Chip would always play ‘Friday’ on the breakfast show on Fridays. I remember when Haz gave me a bunch of demo’s and rough mixes and I still play that version of ‘Plastic Magic’ with the typo in the title. I remember the 48 hour release party at that saloon in Kingsland because it was my birthday weekend and I put in at least 24 hours at that place. I remember they always did things their own way, even if it ended in near disaster. I remember they always made the best promo videos. I remember GetBan was the man. I remember when Tom, then Haz, then Lui all started shows on Base FM. I remember I had to hide the airhorn sample. – Dylan C (May 2016)
The following article appeared in the Lifestyle section of The Aucklander (27th April 2012), ahead of the release of the album Home Brew (Special Edition). By Daisy Sillis
Auckland hip hop crew Home Brew have answers ready for any controversy their debut album may cause. Divided into Light and Dark sides, it documents the band’s “live it up” lifestyle of partying, drinking and taking drugs – and the haunting, inevitable comedown.
“You can live a wild lifestyle but it’s going to catch up to you,” says lead vocalist Tom Scott. “Who made musicians the role models? I never asked for anything like that. Life doesn’t throw me anything medium. It’s high highs or low lows. I wanted to capture that with my music.I always want to party but, at the same time, that party lifestyle f**** you up eventually.”
Like Tom, Home Brew producer and beat maker Haz Huavi says he tries not to glorify their lifestyle. But he says younger audiences are already aware of the drugs and drinking culture. “I do feel a little responsible but it’s not like I’m putting drugs or alcohol in their mouths. Kids aren’t dumb. We’re just telling them how it is from our point of view.” Haz calls the album a “soulful infused truth of the ups and comedowns”.
The musicians – their third member is Lui Gumaka – have spent three years on the album, which was meant to be released in January. Home Brew’s hunger to get it perfect delayed the release until May.
“The album was finished in September, but there is a lot more to be done then just writing the words. Haz really wanted to go to town with it,” Tom says.
You may expect the 27-year-old to enthuse about the launch, but Tom says much has changed since they finished the album last year – not least himself. “As an artist I just always want to keep pushing myself and try different things. I didn’t know about the world six months ago. I hadn’t seen Cambodia; I didn’t know what genocide was. There are so many things I’ve learned about.”
He says listening to the album now “is like having to meet the person you were six months ago. It’s a cliche but the more you know, the more you don’t know”.
Home Brew is not signed to a record label. Instead, Tom has formed his own, Young, Gifted and Broke, which acts as a creative hub for like-minded musicians. “It’s our circle, all of our people, on a website. We want to get everyone out there otherwise they would just be sitting in their bedrooms making music forever.”
The band also uses the Bandcamp website to sell their music. Listeners pay what they think it’s worth. The website takes a small cut of profits. Home Brew are big on being different and will also be involved in another form of marketing in May when they perform a “hostile takeover” of music magazine Volume. Editor Sam Wicks describes the trio as musical geniuses and has given them full license to translate that to print for one edition.
Tom, who studied psychology and philosophy at Auckland University, says his music is best described as existential. “It’s about my existence and analysing my existence whether I’m at a barbecue or talking about immortality. I’m always analysing existence, what’s going on, why it’s going on.”
Having played at the 2011 Big Day Out and being nominated for the 2010 Music Awards Critics’ Choice prize, Tom and Haz say financial rewards are rare. “I do music because I don’t want to waste a single second doing anything I don’t like,” Tom says. “I might be broke and 27, and I still can’t afford my own car, but I haven’t wasted my life working in a factory job or doing something that I’m scared of. That’s my way to battle death.”
SIP AND SEE
WHAT Home Brew’s album, Home Brew, is released on May 1 (JB Hi-Fi, Real Groovy, Conch Records. It can also be ordered on ITunes).
WITH 48-hour release party at Shooters Salon bar in Kingsland, May 5.