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Originally forming in 2012 under a different name, it wasn’t until vocalist Possum Plows joined the group that Auckland four-piece Openside really came to be. Drawing inspiration from emo bands of the early 2000s like My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Panic! At The Disco, Openside bring a much stronger pop production to the genre’s sound.
They’ve been compared to everyone from Paramore to CHVRCHES, and they’ve supported international heavyweights including Ellie Goulding, Anne-Marie, All Time Low, Ladyhawke, Fall Out Boy, Twenty One Pilots and Panic! at the Disco – proving just how far their sound stretches.
With a series of singles and EPs released over the last three years – including their two most recent and strongest efforts, Episode One: Character Flaws and Episode Two: Waiting For Love –the Auckland-based band have gathered a dedicated and quickly growing fanbase. From advocating for the LGBTIQ+ community to openly discussing mental health, Openside are fostering a community of left-field, unapologetic young people. And their voice is a much-needed one in the music industry today.
Credit: Taylor Mansfield/Source: Supplied by band
From the beginning
Possum Plow, vocals – “I was thrown into writing and performing at 12 after being overheard singing on a school bus by a parent who was looking for a front person for her son’s band.”
What you’ll hear
PP: “We classify ourselves as emo-pop. The pop part comes from a love of glittery, joyful music and the emo part comes from a combination of growing up on pop-punk and a penchant for relishing in and oversharing the darkest parts of oneself.”
Influences & inspiration
PP: “The Muppets, drag queens like Jinx Monsoon and Nina West, musicals like Wicked and Hamilton, comedians like Rose Matafeo and Mindy Kaling, The Fab 5, activists like Alok Vaid-Menon, other rainbow artists like King Princess and Hayley Kiyoko, politicians like Jacinda Ardern and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and anyone who inspires joy, stands up for what’s right and works to tear down bigotry, ignorance, and hatred.”
For the love of music
PP: “Music is a place to put your fears and insecurities, the parts of yourself you might otherwise want to hide. I have a tendency to isolate myself in most situations, but having the opportunity to be vulnerable with our audiences and connect with them about the scariest parts of the experiences of being queer or suffering from depression or just generally being human is extremely powerful and grounding. The community is incredible and they are a constant reminder that what we are doing is worthwhile.”
PP: “Our recent headline show in Auckland was a super meaningful experience for us as a band. It was a joyful event and an amazing opportunity to carve out a safe space for our community to come together and celebrate themselves for who they are. We even immortalised the experience in our most recent music video, which features fans speaking to camera about what the community means to them.
The year ahead
PP: “Lots of travelling, writing, and performing to come. As well as continuing the constant fight for equality and acceptance for all, of course.”
Openside – Waiting For Love
PP: “This was our favourite video to make. The colour, the costume changes, the dog, the WEDDING.”
Openside – I Feel Nothing
PP: “This song was a turning point for us musically, less punk and more pop. The video was shot in 50°C weather in the California desert.”
Openside – Letting It Out
PP: “This song was an early release, but it has become our pride anthem at shows. It was our first track to really address the struggles of coming out and coming to terms with one’s identity, so it holds a special place in our hearts.”
Bonus: Openside – Kiss Me
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