Q&A Scene: Nicole Gaffney ~ CARB ON CARB

Tell us about your current tour? What keeps you coming back to Australia?

It’s going so well so far! We’ve done Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Doonside and they’ve all been so great, made some new friends and saw some ridiculously good bands already! We worked out that we’ve had around 10 Australian tours over the years haha we love it here, the DIY scene is so good and everyones always so welcoming and kind to us.

What’s the story behind ‘It’s been a rough year’?

I wrote “it’s been a rough year” after Trump got elected and I feel like so many of my peers just felt so disillusioned by the state of the world after that. it’s a song for my friends who might be going through a tough time to try and reassure them that everything gets better!

How would you describe your sound in food form?

Carb on Carb’s name came from my daily diet so I’d say it sounds like 2 minute noodles in a toastie sandwich.

Tell us a story from when you’ve been on the road or in the studio.

This past weekend we played in Canberra and on our way out we stopped in a town called Collector on a friends recommendation. Apparently there was this guy who decided to build a huge sculpture with these creepy demons and angels and spider webs but he didn’t get an ok from the town and one day he just stopped making it so it’s been slowly falling apart. it’s super creepy and i’m pretty sure we caught a ghost in a picture we took!

What, or who, inspires you?

I’ve been involved in the Australian and New Zealand Girls Rock programmes for the past 3 years, they’re school holiday programmes that focus on teaching women, trans and gender non conforming youth how to start a band and to be confident in themselves. the people i have met through those programmes have inspired me so much, both the campers and mentors. it has become this amazing network of badass people that are the most supportive and generous people ever.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

I wish I wrote Mitski’s “your best American girl”. it’s such a huge banger and so relatable, the lyrics “your mother wouldn’t approve of how my mother raised me” crushed me. i feel like its a defining song for so many marginalised people in my generation who are forced to assimilate into western cultures.

What’s next for Carb on Carb? You have an album coming out this year, correct?

Yeah! we’ve got our second album coming out in may and we’ll be touring a little bit around that. its pretty exciting, we’ve spent a lot of time on it so it will be great to have it out, it’s a little different to our first album and a lot more refined.

What’s your scene?

Our scene is little pockets of DIY stay true young emos around the world.


“Sonically, Carb on Carb share similarities with emo peers like Algernon Cadwallader and, thematically, their tracks deal with feminism, friendship and finding peace with your hometown… their words are sharp, intellectual and always wrapped around a singable melody… reflective, a bit shambolic and, ultimately, a lot of fun.” – The Wireless

New Zealand-based emotive-punk duo Carb on Carb are stoked to announce the release of their new single ‘It’s Been A Rough Year’, and announce a string of Australian dates which will see the two piece play all down the East Coast and Adelaide this March.

‘It’s Been a Rough Year’ brings a new sound for Carb on Carb, a self-professed ‘emotive-punk band’. Written at the end of a hard year for them and many of their friends, ‘It’s Been a Rough Year’ plays with nostalgic guitar lines and emotive pauses, engaging the remnants of 00s power punk. The track’s summery vibe blended with alternative guitar lines make for a feel-good anthem, with belting lyricsresilient, you’ve got this right” attesting to the individual power to overcome life’s challenges. It’s just a matter of time before “you’re in control, you’re not alone” is an assured dancefloor shout-out. The track was recorded recorded by Dylan Adams in Sydney, mixed by Chris Teti (The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die) in Connecticut, and mastered by Dan Coutant in New York.

Carb on Carb – Nicole Gaffney (vocals, guitar) and James Stutely (drums) – will be playing shows in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Newcastle and Sydney – plus a house show in Doonside on their single tour this March. They have already racked up an impressive touring resume, including dates across China, South East Asia, two massive tours in the US, including showcases at the prestigious CMJ and Gainesville’s The Fest (twice), plus multiple runs across Australia including at Sad By Sad West and shows with The HotelierJoyce ManorJess LockeThe Courtneys and more.

2015 saw the break-through of Carb on Carb with their self-titled debut album released through Sydney institution Black Wire Records, which Under The Radar labelled a “finely honed brand of emo-punk”, with Happy adding “they’ve nailed angst-pop (I think I just coined that term) perfectly”. It was followed by a split release with Philadelphia band For Everest, after meeting on tour and becoming fast friends. Although technically based in Auckland, Carb on Carb band spend a lot of time across the Tasman Sea, kicking around bars and playing shows on Aussie shores.

Connect with Carb on Carb:
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About Mary Boukouvalas 1078 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.

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