Interview with Violinist: Etienne Bizjak
1. When/how did you discover your ‘love’ of music?
When I (first) heard my father play the violin. I was about 5 years old. That made me feel a real ‘intense’ moment of happiness.
2. Where do you get your inspiration from?
From my emotions and feelings. Life hands me experiences, which I communicate through my music.
3. How long have you been playing the violin?
For 20 years…
4. How did you come by the name ‘Twistin’ the Swing’?
Twistin’ the Swing is the young brother of Fever Swing. A cover band that Mike and I created when we started to play Gyspy swing music. After two years playing together, we needed something fresh to bring our original music to the public. It’s really hard to think of a name! We are really bad at it. I remember that we wanted something ‘original’ which doesn’t sound like a cover band. Swing is the kind of music we (still) play. Twistin’ because we liked the word, and that brings the idea of something distorted.
5. Tell me more about your last gig with WHORE?
I went to see the play three times because my friend is one of the characters. I met all the actors, Melissa and the rest of the team and felt a really good connection with them. So at Lot23, we naturally played music and hope to collaborate again soon.
6. Who would you like in your next or future audience? Universal records?
I don’t expect anyone in particular. I’d like to see anyone (really) who I can entertain, and also make them happy while listening to us.
7. Any influences?
Stephane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, Alexandre Cavalière and many others!
8. What is the most interesting thing about you?
I am an aerospace engineer.
9. Do you eat breakfast?
Sometimes. I love having breakfast, however it depends of what I have to eat (in the house) and what time I get up!
10. What makes you smile?
A lot of differents things. I try to smile (all the time) because it makes life a little easier. I notice when I busk on the street, people smile which makes me feel really content. Hopefully I brightened their day – this makes my music meaningful.
Paying Tribute to Dave McArtney
I only met Dave McArtney once last year, during a theatre production I was directing, in Auckland. His daughter, Moana was one of the characters (Tomasina) in the play, ‘pURe’. Dave sat in the front row, and watched his daughter perform, with pride. He was friendly, down-to-earth and gregarious. Well known for his musical abilities (on guitar/vocals), he was the founder, of the band ‘Hello Sailor’ in 1975, then ‘Dave McArtney and The Pink Flamingos’ formed in 1980.
He was a distinguished songwriter and musician, in his own right.
‘Gutter Black’, written and sung by Dave McArtney, is the theme song for ‘Outrageous Fortune’ (NZ comedy-drama television series) which broadcast from July 2005 – November 2010.
Dave contributed 38 years (of his life) to the music industry. He was 62- a father, husband, friend, icon, musician, songwriter, all-round ‘good guy’. Great smile, too.