Shayne Carter

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Shayne Carter
Origin Dunedin, New Zealand
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1979–present
Associated acts Straitjacket Fits
Dimmer
DoubleHappys
Bored Games
The Adults

Shayne P Carter (born in Dunedin, New Zealand) is a musician best known for leading Straitjacket Fits from 1986-1994, and as the only permanent member of Dimmer (1995-2012). He currently operates under his own name.

Accolades Carter has earned during his career include membership of the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame, the New Zealand Herald Legacy Award (both earned with Straitjacket Fits at the 2008 New Zealand Music Awards), and New Zealand Music Awards for Best Group and Best Rock Album (Dimmer, 2004).

Musical history[edit]

Early career and Bored Games[edit]

Shayne Carter comes from a musical family. He was born to a Caucasian mother and a Māori father who was adopted by a Pakeha family.[1]

Carter attended school at Kaikorai Valley High School.[2] While at Kaikorai in 1978, he formed the rock group Bored Games with Wayne Elsey (bass) and Fraser Batts (guitar), Jonathan Moore and Jeff Harford on drums.[3] The group debuted at Kaikorai's talent quest in 1979, then went on to play a gig supporting Toy Love. When Elsey tired of being in the band (he and Carter having had arguments onstage at times) and left to form The Stones, has was replaced by Terry Moore.[4] In 1981 Bored Games broke up, before the 1982 release of their only EP, Who Killed Colonel Mustard, on Flying Nun Records.[5] Terry Moore would later join The Chills, which grew out of another Dunedin high school band, the Same.[3] Musical historian John Dix calls Bored Games and the Same "the most important...teenage Dunedin bands" during the emergence of the Dunedin Sound.[5]

After finishing high school, Carter worked at Radio 4XO as a journalist for 2½ years, and later worked for fledgling campus radio station Radio One.[6]

The DoubleHappys[edit]

In 1983, Carter reunited with former Bored Games bandmate Wayne Elsey. Elsey's band The Stones split up in August 1983, so he and Carter formed DoubleHappys, along with a temperamental toy drum machine they called "Herbie Fuckface".[4][7]

Carter and Elsey would be really hitting it, showing off their musical prowess, tearing off a Bathgate-type assault, feeding back, tension building, except... Herbie would be left behind at the second furlong: Rrrooomchchchchch Rrrooomchchchchch Rrrooomchchchchch. At other times...out would come some terrible bossa nova.[4]

Carter and Elsey eventually recruited their high school friend John Collie to replace the machine before touring New Zealand with Flying Nun's Looney Tour in 1984.[4] The same year they recorded the "Double B-Side" 7" single. In 1985, the group released the "Cut It Out" EP. While on tour later that year, Wayne Elsey was killed in a freak accident on a train.[7]

Straitjacket Fits[edit]

Main article: Straitjacket Fits

Carter and Collie continued on the year after Elsey's death, recruiting David Wood (bass) and Andrew Brough (guitar, vocals) and naming the new band Straitjacket Fits.[8] The band then recorded their first EP, Life in One Chord. Straitjacket Fits were considered the best of the bands to emerge from Dunedin at that time, although they had built more of a solid following overseas than in New Zealand. Brough, who also contributed songwriting, had a style that contrasted with Carter's. Brough's songs concentrated on melodies and pop-hooks while Carter's songs were more guitar-driven and edgy.

The band then moved briefly to Christchurch before settling in Auckland. They released their first album Hail in 1988. They recorded Melt in 1990. Due to musical difference with Carter, Brough left the band and was replaced by Mark Petersen. By the time they put out Blow in 1993, the band signed to Arista records to a potentially lucrative worldwide deal. However, by 1994, they had broken up. Straitjacket Fits reformed for a reunion tour during April and May 2005 without Andrew Brough.

Shayne Carter & Peter Jefferies[edit]

Shayne has released 2 singles with Peter Jefferies:

  • "Randolph's Going Home/Hooked, Lined And Sunken", 1986, Flying Nun Records FNCJ001
  • "Knocked Out Or Thereabouts/Spark Off A Wire", 1992, Flying Nun Records FN236

Dimmer[edit]

Main article: Dimmer (band)

Following the demise of Straitjacket Fits, in 1995 Carter formed the group Dimmer. This began largely as a solo project with Carter as the creative nucleus, working with different musicians for recordings and performances. In its later years, Dimmer was a settled four-piece band.

There were four Dimmer albums released, with You've Got To Hear the Music (2004) the most successful. It was certified Gold in New Zealand, and led to New Zealand Music Awards for Best Album and Best Group.

Carter disbanded Dimmer in 2012 with a series of final concerts in Auckland and Wellington.[9][10]

The Adults[edit]

In 2011, Carter joined The Adults, a New Zealand super-group formed by Jon Toogood of the band Shihad. Along with Julia Deans he performed on & co-wrote some of the songs on their debut album, and is also part of the touring ensemble.

Shayne P Carter, Offsider[edit]

At the same time as calling an end to Dimmer in 2012, Carter described a new plan to learn piano, and record an album with it as the main instrument.[9] Piano became part of his live shows in 2014,[11] and in August that year he launched a crowdfunding campaign for "a new album in its final stages of production" - written entirely on piano, and recorded ("free of record company backing") with Gary Sullivan and other guests. The successful campaign had a goal of $8,000 and raised over $9,500.[12]

Performing and recording as Shayne P Carter, he announced the album name Offsider in 2015.[13][14] The first music released from Offsider came out more than a year later, in June 2016, when the song 'We Will Rise Again' appeared as a digital download.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shayne Carter interview at the New Zealand Listener". 4–10 September 2004. 
  2. ^ "Former police boss keen to track down KVC alumni". Otago Daily Times. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Bored Games Biography at The Big City". 
  4. ^ a b c d Dix, John (2005). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand rock and roll, 1955 to the modern era (Rev. ed.). Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Group. pp. 238–9. ISBN 0143019538. 
  5. ^ a b Dix, John (2005). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand rock and roll, 1955 to the modern era (Rev. ed.). Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Group. p. 234. ISBN 0143019538. 
  6. ^ Dignan, James. "Radio One". Audio Culture. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  7. ^ a b "The DoubleHappys Biography at The Big City". 
  8. ^ Dix, John (2005). Stranded in Paradise: New Zealand rock and roll, 1955 to the modern era (Rev. ed.). Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Group. p. 276. ISBN 0143019538. 
  9. ^ a b Kara, Scott (17 May 2012). "Shayne Carter says it's time to switch off Dimmer". The New Zealand Herald (APN Holdings (NZ) Ltd). Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Shayne Carter Announces Final Dimmer Shows". Under the Radar. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Betts, Richard. "Shayne Carter. Piano. Just Because". Witchdoctor. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  12. ^ "Shayne Carter Solo Piano Album (crowdfunding campaign)". Boosted. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Carter, Shayne P. "Page name change - from Dimmer to Shayne P Carter". Facebook. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Shayne P Carter Announces Three Solo Shows (March 2015)". Under the Radar. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  15. ^ Carter, Shayne P. "We Will Rise Again". Bandcamp. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 

External links[edit]