Fraser Ross
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Fraser Ross

Band Folk Acoustic

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"Anarchist of Love and Grace"

I’ll let you in on Aotearoa’s best kept musical secret, though almost I’m reluctant to share him. His name’s Fraser Ross and there’s a disarming depth to his eyes. He radiates a worldly peacefulness that makes me feel my questions are inadequate. Jennifer Niven enjoys an interview with musician Fraser Ross.
Perhaps we should be discussing some deep unknown – the nature of the cosmos, not his musical projects, which include the upbeat Newtown Rocksteady and party-folk setup Fraser Ross and the Felt Tips. He’s the lead for the Felt Tips and one of the 12 Rocksteady brothers, adding some enthusiastic percussion – “I dance a bit, too.”
Ross is from Christchurch and his musical inclinations blossomed early on, when he picked up cricket bats and “played” Dire Straits and Queen covers with the “ragtag neighbourhood kids,” selling cask wine to the parents. He has graced Wellington for five years now, having followed good friends up “like a puppy” (he grins).
Those puppy eyes go wide when I tell him I’d like to make him the focus for my story – “Errr… me?” – and it’s the exuding of this humble simplicity that strikes me about the ferociously talented musician, closely followed by his singing voice, soft, low and... well… beautiful.
He can play guitar, too, really play, and says he was taught in a “down-home, play-chords” style by a cool 18 year old.
“He had a convertible Triumph Herald. A Marshall Stack. And a tattoo. Yeah, he was the man.” He laughs.
Ross thinks in music, “It usually starts with sounds”. The words come second, but when it comes, it’s poetic.
“I write about personal issues, political issues and stuff I don’t understand. My music is a tunnel looking for a mountain to be useful in,” he smiles.
Ross harbours an earnest, bare-chest-and-arms-to-the-wide-sky love for nature. He sees the world with his head tilted sideways, seeing things I can’t, though I’m trying. When he plays, smiling quietly to himself, he angles his face upwards to the lights, eyes to the ceiling. I reckon he’s seeing straight through it and playing to the stars.
Thank you for the music, Fraser, you’ve opened my ears and my eyes. Go get ‘em - - Capital Times, Wellington, NZ


Discography

And Birds Do Sing (EP - 2009)

To Places (EP - 2012)

'I Want to Take You to Places' (Single - 2012)

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Bio

Fraser Ross moved from New Zealand to Scotland in 2012 to follow a girl – typical isn’t it? He grew up in Akaroa, a small tourist town in the South Island of NZ, where he used to skateboard, go to the beach, and kick around with friends eating mint choc chip ice-creams and fish n chips. Once he left high school he studied endless things at University until he finally finished a (rather expensive) Arts degree. He then had an epiphany one day after giving a dollar fifty to a Hare Krishna, and decided he wanted to be an artist. He quickly realised this wasn’t that easy and took a job driving trucks, until his skills were as big as his dreams. Playing with friends in a big Jamaican dance band he learned how to play good and have fun doing it. They toured all over New Zealand and he eventually started opening for them, even roping in a couple of them (eleven) to back him up. Once he’d played many, many embarrassing shows (and some quite good ones) he jumped ship for the Motherland with the sweet smell of perfume in his snozz.

Fraser loves to write, and he plays guitar all the time. A passionate mixture of youth and wisdom, precision and imperfections; he’s a gifted story-teller and singer who swirls the microphone of life. He sings to celebrate his loves, and his ideas, and because it makes him happy. He gets very sweaty on stage, and tends to scare old people (and conservative people). From time to time he kicks things over in orgiastic explosions. He’s a passionate man.

Winning Dundee’s Battle-of-the-Bands 2012 by himself just after arriving, he’s been going down a treat with the Scottish audiences (Some people think he’s a bit odd, but other people LOVE him).

Playing his Pacific-folk, rough-pop style with a baby-guitar, stomp-box, and a commitment to fine lyrics; he can scream explosive party numbers, or serenade you with story-ballads. His heart-on-sleeve style can create intimate shows, whilst his boundless enthusiasm can also produce a thumping atmosphere if there’s a keen dance-floor.

Like his gigs, Fraser’s two EP’s (And Birds Do Sing (2009) & To Places (2012)) both have a spontaneous vibe, although they fail to capture the intensity, and passionate deliveries of his live shows. They do however show he can be a deep thinker in his quieter moments. See him live though; it’s very refreshing to smile, think and dance as somebody meows at you. That’s right; Meow.