Opshop, the most popular and biggest selling rock band in the country are going country.
The group spent Labour Weekend recording a new album which they hope to have out in time for their headlining Summer Vineyard Tour with Missy Higgins, Che Fu and Aaradhna.
"I would say it's kind of country but it isn't," says frontman Jason Kerrison. "it's not even old country. Being from Invercargill and having played at the Golden Guitar Awards in Gore, I am a country fan through and through.
"I grew up with country music so it's like harking back to home and having a bit of fun. As far as the vineyard tour is concerned it's about getting people up and dancing.
"We've got some great rock songs but in those kinds of environments, people, after they have had a few vinos, just want to boogie and chew some grass. So our intention there will be to get people to have a bit of fun, some stomping and rebel rousing."
Opshop recently had to pull the plug on their Hits and Giggles tour.
"One of the boys had a gardening accident, so because we have got other things coming up we thought we'd better pull the plug on the tour rather than putting him through three weeks of grueling pub shows."
2012 has been a huge year for Kerrison. He's teamed up with Jamie Greenslade as part of the Babysitters Circus, has been overseeing projects on his Control Freak label and more recently has been a judge on New Zealand's Got Talent.
"I just have a musical curiousity really for anything that excites," Kerrison says. "I really only have one rule - if it doesn't excite me, I won't do it. That's my one guiding principle. The great thing about The Babysitters Circus is it's a reasonably complex situation for me where I am trying to make sense of electronic equipment where I have no real expertise."
The Babysitters Circus debut album will be released on Control Freak.
"Jamie and I both served broadcasting internships at Mai FM. We had that relationship and when he came back from New York, we met at the APRA Silver Scrolls and not long after on one hazy night he asked me if I wanted to produce his next record and release it on my label and I said yes and then thought what have I done.
"Control Freak was not something I had really planned. It came out of necessity. Opshop had come off a label and we had an experience that we would rather no one would have to go through and so I thought the best way to do that and to prevent other artists from going through that was to set up a label. The irony of the name is that we allow the artists to be the control freaks and we simply provide the support mechanisms for them.
"The crazy thing was that in the midst of all of this I was asked to be a judge on New Zealand's Got Talent. It's been or as really amazing. I think I've got one of the three best seats for the best show in town and I'm really rapt to be a part of it."
- © Fairfax NZ News