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Into the East

Genre: Folk

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Brother & sister without the blood, Graeme Woller & Liv McBride are a musical collaboration fortified by a decade of chaos & making do.

On this page, you'll find instalments of how Into The East came to pass. In this instalment, it's all a little bit Faivel The Mouse!

Both met when studying in Invercargill, a town famously described by Mick Jagger as "the asshole of the world." An unlikely backdrop for pioneers of a new Alt. Folk sound, Invercargill with her rugged coastlines & uber-friendly community was in reality the perfect spot to raise some gentle noise.

So there they were in 1995. A 10 year old Liv in Invercargill, a 18 year old Graeme in Opunake. Liv was on the verge of discovering the wonders of "Girl Power" & Graeme was knee deep in Queen albums. Suddenly, as if John Lennon's ghost wobbled down to earth & split himself in twain, both were handed "The Beatles: Anthology." Both sat down, pushed play & opened their souls to a musical progression that would destroy the way both listened to anything, ever again.

From there, both began their journey toward each other. Liv went on to be in a Beatles tribute band, playing the artistically licensed role of Manager "Briany Epstein" whilst Graeme grew his hair long, dyed it purple & began carving up electric guitar & bass. In 2003 Liv found her soul by way of Obadiah, an all girl Christian-Rock group who played Crowded House covers, teen-angst originals & Church hymns. In the same year, Graeme (sans violet locks) made plans to move to Invercargill, hearing tales of a Contemporary Music Degree & cheap living (who wants to pay a fortune to live in an apparent butt?) After a brief stint in Dunedin, Liv realised she didn't like Dunedin. With the comfort of knowing she could continue studying music in her hometown, Liv & her High School Sweetheart Glenn moved back to Invers.

Graeme threw himself in his studies & made friends with a well meaning chap named Rick who insisted he join his covers band as a bass player. Joining the band were Harry Mahia (look him up, beautiful guitarist & friend) & none other than Graeme's long lost Sister from another Mister, Liv. The band lasted two terribly unrehearsed shows. For Graeme & Liv however, there was a connection (thanks Ghost John Lennon). To explore this connection, they did what any student with a guitar would do & decided to give the streets a crack. Lunchtime busking led to a tip-off & for the next 2 years "Skitch" as the duo were known, entertained inebriated patrons pouring out of bars at closing time. Lucrative, it was. 2am-4am every weekend. $80 average. Move over, Bill Gates.

From the mean (& ruddy cold) streets of Invercargill came more than rent money. Slowly they let each other into their creative spaces, playing on each others songs, testing out originals on their unsuspecting early morning audiences. If a song got a coin in the case, it was worth pursuing. From the streets, they progressed to pubs, from pubs to clubs & then on to functions, renowned for their tight sound & good looks*. So it continued until 2009 when Graeme called upon Liv to co-write a couple of country songs for a project he was working on. Enter "On The Run" & "Quiet Into The Night".