What are your names?
We are Brooke, John, Ben, Hikurangi and Penelope.
What is the bands name?
French for Rabbits
How did you come up with the bands name?
It was something of an accident. When I started this project I had never sung in public although I had
been a songwriter and musician in other bands. I had a phobia of others hearing my singing voice, so
when I first put some music up on the internet I used ‘French for Rabbits’ as a pseudonym so people
didn’t know it was me. It worked so well, that even my mum didn’t know the music was mine at
Now we sometimes get confused French people attending our shows, which is wonderful.
What is your genre of music?
It is somewhere between ethereal dream-pop and indie-folk. It’s intimate, warm, and hopefully feels
like a sleepy, calming embrace.
Give us a little bio about you as individuals and a band
Three jazz musicians, one accidental piano accordion player, and a songwriter who wrote her first
song at five about her dead cat Monty.
You are set to release a new single ‘It Will Be Ok’ in September, what can you tell us about it?
I would say the song contains a familiar dichotomy for anyone who’s ever been through a break-up.
It Will Be Okay is a note-to- self. It is a personal reminder to keep your chin up because everything
will be okay.
Describe the track in two words
You are also heading out on tour in October, where will you be heading.
We have a very exciting tour coming up in the UK, Europe! Visiting Copenhagen for the first time –
what a dream! Our band has grown in number since previous tours, so it’ll be more cinematic than
before but still no doubt the banter will go off on wild tangents…!
OCT 09TH MASH HOUSE, EDINBURGH
OCT 10TH STEREO, GLASGOW
OCT 11TH THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER
OCT 12TH PATTERNS, BRIGHTON
OCT 13TH HY-BRAZIL MUSIC CLUB, BRISTOL
OCT 16TH OLD BLUE LAST, LONDON
OCT 17TH THEATER DER WOHNGEMEINSCHAFT – COLOGNE
OCT 18TH MUSIK & FRIEDEN, BERLIN
OCT 22ND IDEAL BAR, COPENHAGEN
OCT 24TH PARADISO, AMSTERDAM
Where can tickets be bought?
Tickets for the UK shows are all available at https://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/french-for- rabbits-
tickets. We’d definitely encourage everyone to take a chance on us for the following reasons.
– Flying is terrifying and New Zealand is so very far away. So you must come to make my white
knuckled, sweaty palmed flight experience worthwhile
– We’ve been practicing very hard, and I’m actually genuinely excited because things are
sounding really lush. After a show in Auckland over the weekend someone even said it was
‘goosebumps’ inducing which I think means she enjoyed the show, and not that she was
Do you have support lined up?
We’re working on this at the moment – we like to play with artists we’re excited about. Our last tour
we had Secret Knives open for us, and I’ve been listening to his music for a few years so it was a real
privilege to tour with him.
Will we see an EP or Album before the tour?
We have an album ‘The Weight of Melted Snow’ which we will be releasing, details to come!
Where is your dream festival to perform at?
I would love to play at End of the Road festival – I’ve heard good things. But I think a dream festival
would only host 1000 people, be in some green fields with rivers, trees, and perhaps a small old
chapel for night-time candlelit concerts. Also, it would definitely would need a campfire.
Our sound engineer would like to play at Glastonbury on the Pyramid Stage playing triangle, for a fee
of $3 million. That sounds pretty good too.
What made you go in to music?
It seemed like the natural thing. We always had a piano in the house growing up, and living in the
countryside I spent a lot of time writing songs and recording them to cassette.
Are you a signed?
We work with a nice small US label Lefse. It’d be a dream to pull together a bigger team in Europe,
as we really love touring there.
Do you play any instruments?
Between everyone in the band we play quite a number! Personally, piano is my main instrument and
the one I love the most. But I also play a nylon string guitar.
Who are your influences?
I am constantly listening to music of all kinds – recently it has varied from Anderson Paak, Angel
Olsen, Hundred Waters to Leoš Janáček. My songwriting process is mostly internal though. I feel it is
guided through processing thoughts and experiences and these things colour the way the music
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
It is sporadic and hard to put my finger on. Often inspiration comes when I am tired or busy. It
happens in the moments where my brain is feeling fried and I zone out. I pick up an instrument and
the songs come, for the most part!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I don’t often think that far ahead. I feel like you can contemplate that, but life is full of surprises and
although music is and always has been a constant in my life I don’t know what form that will take
five years from now.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
I like to spend time exploring forests and the seaside. I like to garden. But music is on my mind most
of the time.
You are from New Zealand, what is the music scene like over there?
It is really great in many ways! The music community is small and innovative. The quality of music is
high, and for the first time the NZ Silver Scrolls songwriting award has a top five of all female
songwriters and performers which is very exciting!
Where would your dream venue to play in your hometown?
There are some great venues here, The Opera House would be a bit of a dream, or an old chapel
For anyone visiting New Zealand, where would you recommend them to go?
Anywhere remote! There are so many breathtaking lakes, fjords, mountain tops to explore. On
Stuart Island, I remember going in a leaky rowboat to a little house off the grid. It was night, the
moon was out, and behind the boat phosphorescence shimmered in the wake. It was probably the
most breathtaking thing I’ve experienced.
If you could collaborate with one UK Artists or Band who would it be?
Oh that is a hard question! I’d love to tour with the XX.
If you could collaborate with one US Artists or Band who would it be?
Hundred Waters – I love everything they do.
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
I don’t think there really was one. New Zealand felt really separated from any scene when I started
playing music. Everyone does their own thing. I love that though, I like that you can explore your
own musical identity in New Zealand and not feel the need to follow a trend.
What the best advice you have ever been given?
I can’t recall.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
Be curious, determined, and learn everything you can!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
I don’t really live by quotes or sayings. My bandmates and I are on tour, and they are telling me lots
of quotes right now – they’re making my sleepy brain feel more fragile.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
confidence, the lyrics (I sometimes do!), the name of the town you are (I have also done this!), your
clothing (I haven’t done this), and that is only four things. I imagine there are a number of other
things it’d be great not to forget also.