One Man Bannister - Moth
Moth is a CD of songs written and performed by Matthew Bannister (ex Sneaky Feelings, Dribbling Darts of Love, author of Positively George Street) over the period 2002-2006. It was put together using just a computer, a guitar and a voice at his (former) home in Sandringham, Auckland. And there's plenty more where they came from. "I've probably demoed almost a hundred songs, so these are the tip of the iceberg," he says.
Working solo allowed Matthew to do exactly what he wanted, unconstrained by the demands of hi-fidelity. "I don't really think of myself as a producer or engineer, so the sound quality isn't always that great - initially I thought of the tracks as demos that I would redo later in the studio, but eventually I realised that probably wasn't going to happen, so I put them out as they were. There's something about the first version of a song that's hard to recreate, closeness to the original source, perhaps."
The CD's distinctive cover art was designed by Geoff Clark (Wintec), off the cover of an old book called British Moths. He also supplied the album title. "I thought that the word Moth was quite evocative as it suggested night-time, which is when the album was made, and also stuff like getting (too) close to the flame, burning the candle at both ends," says Matthew.
The CD is a companion piece to Aroha Ave, by Bannister's band the Weather, which comes out later this year. This was a "proper" studio album made with a full band and produced by Ed Cake. "Aroha Ave sounds more like a proper album, with higher production values etc. But there's also a market for stuff like Moth which is a bit weirder." Aroha Ave was completed with assistance from Wintec (Waikato Institute of Technology) in Hamilton, where Bannister now works.
Can Moth be performed live? "I teach the songs to the band, and some of them work, some of them don't. They tend to come out a bit different, but still recognisable."