Interview: Fazerdaze talks all things her return to music + the 'Break!' EP.

It's hard to decide that the act of breaking is a good thing. And being able to finally accept that what is in front of you isn't what you want any longer is exactly what Fazerdaze (a.k.a. Amelia Murray) did when she embarked on her creative journey with her new 'Break!' EP. "Giving up is to choose something better for yourself. It's scary to send that message outwards that I deserve better... But now, I think choosing yourself and choosing happiness for yourself, is the least selfish thing you can do," shares Murray on finally making that decision to break - for the better. 

We caught up with Fazerdaze alongside the release of her Coup De Main x NZ On Air zine after the release of her new 'Break!' EP to talk all things her return to music...

COUP DE MAIN: 'Break!' is such stunning opener to the EP and a perfect introduction to the return of Fazerdaze - what was running through your mind when you were writing this track?
FAZERDAZE: Thank you! What was different for me with this track was that nothing was running through my mind, it was more just words, and melodies coming through me unfiltered and unjudged. It was the first time in years I’d let myself do this which is exactly why it felt so good and liberating to write this track. I was just having fun, being silly writing about myself in the third-person, making a joke of myself. Felt like I was finally about to get out my own way and voice the things I was too shy or embarrassed to say in my everyday life. The rest of the EP really flowed after this song.

CDM: Do you find songwriting therapeutic? Or is it more of an emotional dump situation where you leave it all on the floor?
FAZERDAZE: Yeah, both. Sometimes songwriting to me is a necessary dumping for all the emotions, and other times it feels more subtle. Like a conversation with myself to figure out where I’m at.

CDM: In 'The Thick Of It' short film you say you released 'Morningside' and then you disappeared and at the time you didn't know why - do you find when you look back at older versions of yourself in memory, it feels like a different person? Or more of an evolved Amelia looking back at a less evolved version of Amelia?
FAZERDAZE: Yeah, that’s a good question! Well I definitely feel like the same girl who made 'Morningside'. But less apologetic now, less people-pleaser-y, more trusting of myself, and a litte bit more wise. I think in a weird way, I feel younger or perhaps lighter than the person that made 'Morningside'. Probably because I’m not carrying around as much self-judgment and heaviness as I was back then.

CDM: In 'Winter' you sing, "I was hoping it would differ this time" - is it the hope that kills you the most?
FAZERDAZE: Oh my gosh, yes. That song to me, encapsulates the feeling of being let down consistently, after giving someone a second, third, or fourth chance. Eventually you realise you’re the fool and that your niceness is just enabling someone else's poor behaviour. So yes it’s the hope that really stings!

CDM: You also wrote 'Thick Of The Honey' with Bic Runga - what was it like working with her on this track? 
FAZERDAZE: Well that was a dream come true because I grew up listening to her music and was really inspired by her writing and producing her own music. I feel like I owe a lot of Fazerdaze to her. So yeah, getting to work with her was a dream come true, but also felt really right and safe and normal. I felt like we both approach music in a pretty similar way, and we are both really sensitive people so the dynamic between us felt very balanced. Also, she's so incredibly good on drums and has such a distinctive playing style, it was just really cool to have a jam with her. I want to do more stuff with her.

CDM: Is there a lyric from the EP that you're most proud of writing?
FAZERDAZE: It might be on track six, which is kind of a weird bonus track that has only come out on vinyl at this stage. The lyric goes, "we dissolved right in but overtime, I was losing the edge of myself so I drew a line," and I think that perfectly articulates the way I lost myself in other people’s energies over the last few years but that I’m reclaiming myself again. I'm really proud of that lyric, or maybe not proud, but just moved by what came out of my mouth.

CDM: You've talked about this EP being about finally allowing yourself to give up. The concept of giving up can be so looked down upon in our society to the point where we trudge through unhappy situations for longer than we care to - what do you think it is about giving up that has people so evasive of ever doing it? 
FAZERDAZE: I don't know why it feels so looked down upon. For me, giving up was viewed as selfish in the situations I was in. Giving up is to choose something better for yourself. It's scary to send that message outwards that I deserve better. It’s an amazing question you’ve asked, and I think for me I had this idea that giving up on somebody else was being selfish and that being selfish is a negative trait. But now, I think choosing yourself and choosing happiness for yourself, is the least selfish thing you can do. I think when people are brave enough to choose themselves and honour that - there will be so much more light people can give to the world. I think we need to dismantle this idea that giving up is a negative thing or thing to be looked down upon, because it can be really powerful. Sometimes perseverance and being noble and loyal, and I think those values may appear to be 'good' values but you have to go deeper than that and ask yourself, "Is this situation really making my inner being feel full and happy? Or am I buying into these values and just playing them out accordingly?” 'Break!’ EP is all about severing myself from those constructs. It was the most shaky time in my life and I lost a lot of people around me. It was terrifying, but when I finally broke some things off in my life, there was this really quiet peace that emerged in me that I hadn't been able to feel for years.

CDM: Now that the EP has been out in the world and in people’s ears for some time now, do you find your personal relationship with the music has changed? 
FAZERDAZE: I feel a little bit more vulnerable now that the songs are out. I have to work every day to trust the reason why I wrote them and trust this weird little body of work I created. I'm working every day to untether myself and unplug from how well things are being received or not. I feel like my relationship with songs have changed in the sense that they're no longer my secret and no longer this fun weird project I have on my computer. They're out in the world, and I'm just learning how to let go of my love for the songs and what they mean to me. Now that they're out, the real work begins of just letting go.

CDM: What does a perfect day look like to you?
FAZERDAZE: My perfect day would be waking up reasonably early, but naturally without an alarm. Then probably doing yoga in the sun or going for a walk in the park - somewhere with nature. Probably having breakfast with someone I love and then making music or some sort of art from a place of ease and flow. Then probably the other end of the day, some sort of sweaty workout or climb a mountain, get outside into nature, and then see some people I love for dinner.

CDM: Have you found a solution for overthinking? Is there a go-to thing you know that will always put a stop to the thoughts?
FAZERDAZE: Oh my gosh, that's a constant work in progress. Moving my body helps me get out of my head. Things like yoga, running and working out, or just going for a big walk in nature. Socialising and seeing people also helps, but if I'm not feeling good, being really careful with who I give myself to in those vulnerable moments. I think sometimes it is really good to push through and force yourself to see people, but there have been times that I've done that and then found myself feeling even more down and isolated, because I wasn't hanging out with people that made me feel heard or seen or even safe. I guess now I'm just really intentional about who I surround myself with and that's been really helpful for getting myself out of my head. When you hang out with people that just adore you unconditionally, you can unravel and you can be a puddle and you can cry, but you can also laugh hysterically. That's the kind of safe space I've needed to help me get out of my head by being a fully unfiltered version of myself. Especially when I'm feeling vulnerable or insecure. Those two things, seeing people I love and moving my body, really help.

CDM: If you could describe 'Break!' in three words, what would those words be? 
FAZERDAZE: I'd probably say: unfiltered, gritty, and fun.

CDM: And lastly, you've also got some live shows coming up! Is there a song from 'Break!' that you're most excited to perform live?
FAZERDAZE: I'm excited to play 'Thick Of The Honey' live because it's got a lot of shouty bratty backing vocals, and Indi, Kat, and Dave (in my band) really nail them. There's a lot of energy in the EP so I'm looking forward to bringing them onto the stage into a live audience because I think that's when they'll really translate.

Made with the support of NZ On Air.

+ thanks to The Capitol Cinema for hosting this zine shoot!

Watch the video for 'Winter' below...

Load next