Prison Tapes

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Peter Ruddell is 1/3 of New Zealand's most well known “guitarless guitar band,” noise-rock trio Wax Chattels. He has debuted his solo project SULFATE with the cathartic single, 'Speaking For Others', and is touring around the North Island of New Zealand - performing with David Harris on Drums.

A departure of frantic and frenetic nature of Wax Chattels, Sulfate is doomy, but with strong harmonies supported by its minimal instrumentation. Heavy drums and a distorted electric piano wash throughout while Peter's ambient baritone is complemented by sparse female vocal harmonies.

"This is a record about New Zealand from a distance. Most of the lyrical content was written while overseas while on tour with Wax Chattels. With lots of downtime sitting in vans / airports, and generally being in a worn out state of mind, I noticed my mental health deteriorating - particularly on our first US tour, where I was very aware of my New-Zealander-ness. I came back with a bunch of lyrics and song ideas, and wrote the music to them as a way to try and come to terms about why I was experiencing this. It formed a pretty cohesive set of songs thematically, as almost everything I wrote came back to aspects of NZ - being an island in the South Pacific far from everything else, with its own culture, climate, peoples.

This a DIY record, written, recorded and mixed by myself - along with all the being artwork my own woodcut prints. As someone who struggles to sit still, it was a bit of a test to see if I could see a project through from inception to completion. From the get go I wanted the record to be very focussed sonically - a particular sound and energy from a particular time and place - so I didn’t labour over it - and for all there is a large amount of sound that washes over you, the arrangements and instrumentation are very minimal. I didn’t want to spend six months finding the perfect synth tone to enhance the second verse - I wanted it to be raw.

So many of my favourite albums have mistakes, “questionable” mixing etc. but they still have this energy to them that keeps me coming back. Provided there is emotion in the songs, they're winners. That’s what I tried to achieve with Sulfate." - Peter Ruddell