8 Apr 2017

Living in the moment with The Map Room

From RNZ Music, 2:00 pm on 8 April 2017

Audio engineers by trade Simon Gooding and Brendan Morrow have brought all their talents into action to create the lush instrumentation featured on their second album Weatherless.

"We’re usually on the other side of the glass, but every now and then we jump out. It’s quite nice to be on this side actually. 

I’ve always sort of said that it helps and hinders us. It helps in the sense that we have access to a lot of good studios and we don’t have to pay an engineer we can do it on the cheap. The other side is that we tend to tinker a lot."

The only downside to having two engineers as collaborating songwriters is their inability to let songs lie, there's always just one more audio layer to add or subtract.

"There is one song that went through seven or eight different versions. Three of them were mixed. All full different versions, overdubbed, mixed and mastered. It’s a level of deal that may verge on the ridiculous."

Their debut album was written on the road as the two of them backpacked throughout South America, but the journey towards Weatherless has been an entirely different prospect.

"We got back from that trip and we had run out of money. We always knew that we wanted to continue, that our debut album wasn’t going to be a one off.

If the first one was about meandering around, this one is about that time when you’re back and some of the themes that have come out have been interesting.  After the fact when we look at all the songs  a lot of it’s about trying to be right here and right now and not look forward or look back."

The four years between albums hasn't been entirely longing for overseas travel, the band featured on the bill for a festival touring India, an experience that was both musically and personally thrilling.

"Basically a promoter got in touch and loved the record and asked us to come and play six dates in India right around the country and we jumped at the chance. We went for two weeks all up travelling around playing this sort of Laneway type festival there were some really good acts, Mark Ronson was headlining he was right in the middle of that ‘Uptown Funk’ phase."

Weatherless is a beautiful glimpse into two aural artistes coming down from the excitement of international experiences.  

'One of the coolest things about making records is that you never really know what the themes are in your life. Then you write all these songs and it’s almost like after the fact you listen to the whole thing and you realise that there is a common theme running through them and it can become a snapshot of time.' 

The Map Room will surely hold their memories of international travel close to their hearts while focussing on being in the present moment and bringing their songs to life in upcoming live shows.