Preview the band's new EP The Strowl ahead of it's official release tomorrow.
It’s officially out tomorrow, but we have the good fortune to be able to bring The Strowl EP to you a little early. To celebrate the release, we also shot Pat a few quick questions to find out more.
The Strowlini Orchestra is an experiment in orchestral electronic music - it’s a project driven by yourself, yet it also features a prominent horn and string section. What’s your thinking behind the idea?
It came out of a love for both acoustic and electronic music, and a desire to blend the two; finding where they meet and dancing around that spot a bit. The band itself was sort of a push against groups I was in where we were behest to heaps of peoples’ schedules. That gets tiresome pretty quickly, and as a result I had heaps of music and ideas that I wanted to go somewhere. So I created an even bigger band with even more schedules! (I’m not very good at this.)
Cham, which features Angelo King, is notable for being one of the few songs with any vocals at all. It’s also an intensely personal track that covers class, faith, and death in its lyrics. Did you always have it in mind to shoulder-tap an MC like Angelo to jump on board?
Yeah it was on the cards from early on. Angelo and I have been friends for a while and had talked about making music for some time. He’s a great MC with a great sound and wisdom beyond his years. We had also talked about making music with Chris CK (the Orchestra’s mainstay MC who performs on this track as well).
When I started on The Strowl, I had a few ideas. I knew there would be at least some rapping on it, so I reached out to the two of them and through more permutations than I can remember, we ended up with Cham. I’m stoked that the two of them brought some of their most poignant and honest work to the table for this one.
You’re a core member of Wellington outfit Brockaflower and you also release music under your Pea Stew moniker. Is it tough to decide which project takes priority?
It can defnitely be tough, though more and more recently it’s been easier. To me, the ‘Pea Stew’ moniker is just whatever, so that it’s not hard to prioritise in that it’s only ever what it is. If I make something that’s not being used in any of the bands or groups I’m in, then it’s Pea Stew.
Deciding between the Orchestra and Brockaflower can be quite hard, but both have so many members with so much going on that a lot of the time it’s decided for you. As is the nature of the music scene in Wellington, everyone’s got a couple of things going.
Is there potential to road-test these new songs outside of Wellington? What can people expect from the live Strowlini experience?
There is, but as of mid next month I’m relocating to The Netherlands and taking the music with me. I’ll hopefully reform the band over there, and if I get an opportunity I’ll definitely tour outside of Wellington here in the times I’m back. I’ll save it for times that I feel like I need a few more grey hairs though.
The live Strowlini experience is rare but familiar feeling; soft yet crushing, dissonant yet beautiful. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be like. I don’t actually know; I’ve never got to stand in the front because I’m always at the back yelling at string and horn players.
For more, follow The Strowlini Orchestra on Facebook.