A change of direction for duo

IT’S the end of an era for awardwinning Into The East (ITE), as Liv McBride and Graeme Woller prepare to go their separate ways at the end of the month. However, before they say goodbye, the duo have released their second album How To Turn A Blind Eye, and are touring with Arts On Tour New Zealand and will be performing one last time in Invercargill — where it all began — on Tuesday night. Ahead of their final gig, reporter AMY JOHNSTONE asked Liv a few questions.
We were sad to hear this is the last tour for Into The East. How did you come to this decision?
It wasn’t an easy decision, but we had just had offers to tour internationally. We’d both been feeling the tug of war between our career and our home life and in the end, the call was made to focus on our young families. Our kids are only this little for a few more years. For Graeme it’s even harder as his are both preschoolers. To leave those wee faces for three months at a time wouldn’t have just hurt them, it would kill us. FaceTime wears thin after a few weeks on the road
Does your songwriting inHow To Turn A Blind Eye reflect this change?
There’s tracks like We’ll Be Gone that evolved over the past five years and definitely ended up knowing before we did that it was over, if that makes sense. But with this album, we were looking at the world and the people around us. Now as we’ve been touring the songs, it’s pretty clear what some of these songs were trying to tell us
How has your final tour been going?
Oh, so good! Really good crowds, full of our friends and family with a good dollop of new listeners. Arts On Tour is such a blessing to be ending with. They do everything for us and we get to focus on the music, and saying goodbye to everyone
What will you miss the most about performing with each other?
There’s a real sibling connection. I’ll miss that. We debate and laugh and grump and prank and solve the world’s problems and he tries to teach me about cloud formations and I try to get him to wear skinny jeans. I’m sad we won’t be performing together. Not have my ‘‘brother’’ or the Woller clan to hang out with as often is going to be a sad adjustment
What do you think has been your greatest achievement as a band?
Realising how valuable a good live sound engineer is. Vance Manu, I’m looking at you. Incredible. And now he’s out of an annual job, so he’s going cheap, touring bands
Why was it important for you to schedule the Invercargill gig?
We started on Esk St, busking for Starbucks coffees and grocery money 12 years ago. We thought about lots of other venues, but it felt right. We cut our teeth at the SIT Friday concerts that are now being held at Centrestage. Invercargill is symbolic. It’s home
What’s next for each of you?
I’ve already begun work, cohosting/annoying James McRobie at The Hits [radio station] and Graeme is about to build an earth house, so we’re both going to be busy. Musically, the flood gates are open. Wehave been so focused on ITE that we haven’t really thought of much else for a long time. We’ll both still write and perform and produce individually, and there’s a few ideas floating around, but right now, we’re only concerned with the goodbyes
Is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
Thank you for being hilarious and furious and there for us. We hope it was all worth it and fun for you. It certainly has been for us. No regrets. Even the bad stuff has brought forward good stuff
Where can we still find your music?
You can find our music at Centrestage on Tuesday night (winky face). Physically, our CDs are still only available at our shows and then once we’ve wrapped up, we’ll distribute into stores that believe in New Zealand Music. Digitally we’re online everywhere.
Í Into The East’s last live show, Tuesday, 7.30pm, SIT Centrestage Theatre, Invercargill. Tickets from TicketDirect.