I’m nearly finished with the production phase of my documentary film. There have been ups and downs, and documentary film making is definitely a much more challenging undertaking than I ever imagined! However it has been an absolute pleasure working with the stars of my films, the passionate and talented musicians who have agreed to participate and have taken the time and energy to contribute to my project. As I begin editing my film together, I wanted to profile some of these artists here.
Brent Samuel Strathdee is the bass player for the self described “hard edge deep funk” group HANGMAN. I was lucky enough to come upon HANGMAN through a mutual friend who was a teammate of mine in the Auckland 48 Hour Filmmaking Competition. While Brent’s background is both Māori and Scottish, HANGMAN prides itself on being a multicultural group that reflects a universal human experience, rather than targeting an audience of any particular background.
Here are some passages from my enlightening interview with Brent, as well as some photos from the awesome performance that I recorded for my documentary. Enjoy!
Ainsley: How do you find the music scene here in New Zealand?
Brent: It’s the one I know, you know. It’s the music scene I know. I mean I’ve read about different things around the world and different ways of doing things, but at the end of the day it’s the music scene that I’m in. I mean, it has its challenges but those challenges are meant to be there, you know. Nothing worth having comes easily, so for all of the hardships, and I admit some days it can get me down or wind me up, but at the end of the day it’s supposed to be that way, you know. If your music is good, and you believe in it, and you have drive, people will, I believe it, they will ultimately, see that and gravitate towards it.
Ainsley: HANGMAN is a multicultural group with many different backgrounds. Does that play into your work at all?
Brent: Yeah I believe so. Not in an overt, deliberate way, but it definitely affects who we are as people and how we interact as a group of friends because any band that is really active together, making music and touring, you know you spend a lot of time together. If you’re in a band, any band that lasts any significant length of time has to be able to get on with each other and respect each other. [Being multicultural], it wasn’t something we set out to do, but its just, we gravitated towards each other I suppose. But it does affect how we write music, and it does affect the way we express ourselves in our music, and it does affect the way we interact with each other. So yeah, absolutely. I mean our music is an extension of ourselves, put it that way. We don’t do music. We are music.
Be sure to check out HANGMAN’s websites below. Cheers!