By Jerram Watts
Craig Terris is used to being in the background. He drummed for Barry Saunders and Lawrence Arabia, and sang backing vocals for the Phoenix Foundation and Luke Buda.
Now the 36-year-old is stepping to the front with the release of his debut album Bleat Your Heart Out.
“I sit down to pay the bill and it was like 'oh my God',” says Terris. “It was like getting the mid-winter power bill.”
Terris' debut solo album cost him a bit more than he expected. It also took him a lot longer to release.
Bleat your Heart Out took three years to write and was mastered in 2010. Then his daughter was born.
“I decided that I would focus on parenting as opposed to rock and rolling.”
Terris took a two-year hiatus while his finished album gathered dust.
“I was like, ‘oh well, at least I’ve written my own record. I’ll just leave it there on my hard drive.’ But after a while it was driving me insane. I was like, ‘I have to release this.’ Maybe someone will like it – someone other than my girlfriend and my mum.”
A labour of love, Terris wrote the album while on the road with The Phoenix Foundation, Lawrence Arabia and Cassette.
“There were gaps between tours and shows and recording sessions with other people when I needed to do something, so I just came up here.”
“Here” is an old hall nestled in the hills of Berhampore – a space he shares with the local car club and another noisy neighbour, a gun club.
The guns are heavy but his music isn't. You can catch Terris at Slowboat Records in Wellington tomorrow, or when he opens for Goodshirt in Auckland next month.