INTERVIEW: Openside 

New Zealand pop-rock outfit Openside have had a pretty crazy couple of years. They’ve toured with the likes of Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots and Ellie Goulding and have established themselves as one of New Zealand’s most energetic live acts. Whilst working on their next release the dynamic four piece have released a new banger to tie you over in the mean time. The colourful ‘Character Flaws’ hears them citing influence from Paramore’s latest album ‘After Laughter’ and transforms their pop-rock sound into the synth-pop realm. 

I recently chatted to lead singer Possum Plows about the empowering production behind ‘Character Flaws’, their upcoming vibrant music video and discussed the importance of having a strong support system around you in times of self discovery. Check it out; 

TB: Your new single ‘Character Flaws’ is a pop-rock anthem with an empowering production. So what is the story behind this song?

PP: The song just kind of appeared out of personal necessity. At some point, these thoughts get so loud in your head that you have to get them out somehow. It’s become our anthem for the insecure.

TB: The song has a bit of a Paramore, ‘After Laughter’ synth vibe to it. Was this a sound that you were inspired by during the creative process? Or what was there some other styles/artists inspiring the production? 

PP: We weirdly wrote and produced this song before ‘After Laughter’ even came out, but that album draws on a lot of the same emotional places we had been writing from. I’m super grateful for the way Haley has been so open about her journey on their record. Emo pop is well and truly alive!

TB: From the wording of the single title, can we expect different instalments of this story? Or how are you planning on structuring your forthcoming releases?

PP: ’Episode One: Character Flaws’ is the name of the release, which will feature more tracks as well as other art pieces to be released very soon. It is the start of a little story we felt compelled to tell about one’s inner monologue of insecurity and self-doubt. ‘Character Flaws’ is the first single from it!

TB: I’ve seen a photo from your upcoming music video that you shot in China and it looks very colourful and fun. So what can you tell us about the creation process of this video?

PP: It is directed by Shae Sterling, who also did our previous two videos along with stylist Sammy Salsa. It’s awesome to get to work with a trusted team and Shae is a total visionary. This is definitely our most ambitious video so far, so keep an eye on our socials for the release soon!

TB: The current state of the world is a little bit scary, so what advice do you have for anyone questioning their sexuality or identity and are scared about coming out or unsure where to turn to?

PP: One of the most valuable things you can do is find someone you can trust, who you can really talk to about what you’re going through. There will often be people in your life who struggle to understand, so knowing that you have a safe place to return to is really super important. Even if you’re not ready to come out to the people in your life yet, there are lots of amazing communities online who can offer support too.

TB: Over the past couple of years you’ve done a lot of touring and opened for some incredible bands and artists including Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots and Ellie Goulding. So what has been one of your favourite touring experience or your favourite show memory?

PP: The first time we opened for Twenty One Pilots was right before they blew up, and they were so unbelievably gracious and kind to us. Playing with artists that we look up like this has taught us a lot about how we want to conduct ourselves in our own shows. Those guys put on such a passionate, engaged and committed show.

TB: And I have to ask, when are you finally going to come to Australia to play some shows for us?

PP: Very soon! We have just been over in Sydney doing a small showcase for some of our team over there, so plans to return are definitely in the pipeline.

TB: So, let’s play a little game where you answer these questions with the first thing that comes to mind.  

PP: Okay!

TB: The emoji that best describes our band is… 

PP: The black heart.

TB: If we weren’t called Openside we would be called… 

PP: Blindside!

TB: The messiest person on tour is… 

PP: Harry *laughs*.

TB: If we could create a supergroup with any other band or artist it would be… 

PP: Paramore!

TB: Our favourite tour snack is… 

PP: Sugar-free Red Bull!


Openside’s new track ‘Character Flaws’ is out now! 


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