The former Split Enz keyboardist hopes his latest classical take on the band's songs, ENZSO 2, will rekindle the fondness people have for it's music. "When an album like this comes out it does remind people that there's a fairly influential band out there that was quite defining in terms of New Zealand pop music with some great songs. Split Enz had a great sense of style which hasn't been taken further since then."
Even though Rayner was one step ahead with some leftover arrangements from
ENZSO and a hit list of potential singers, he still found putting the second
album together a logistical nightmare.
"I had a long list of people whose vocal abilities I admired" he says. "Shark Attack was going to be Fiona McDonald, then Tim Finn, then Peter Garrett (of midnight oil). "Fiona decided she didn't want to do it, Tim went off to Nashville to do another record. Peter Garrett said he would do it, and then pulled outat the last minute through some political pressure from within Midnight Oil and so Sam (Hunt) did it.
"In a way it worked out well, because I couldn't have wanted a bettervocal than Sam Hunt's on that song." Other vocalists on the album are Jon Stevens, Boh Runga, Margaret Urlich, Dave Dobbyn and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.
"I've been working with Margaret, producing her new album in Australia.
She's an amazing singer. I work with a lot of young bands, and usually when
it comes time to record the vocals you kind of get a knot in your stomach
because you know that they can't really sing.
"You're always struggling to get a vocal that you find to be in the realms
of being in tune. But with all these singers it was straight in, whack it down."
Dame Kiri had her vocals to Bon Voyage finished in an hour. "She was totally into it, willing to be directed too, which is pretty neat. 'Hey Kiri, can you make the high bit a bit higher? You're a bit flat old girl'." he jokes.
"I'd love to be able to tell stories about her throwing tantrums but it didn't happen".
Dave Dobbyn's take on Devil You Know sent shivers through Rayner. The song was recorded on the day that Frank Sinatra died, and Dobbyn now calls it his "Frank song".Rayner is discussing another ENZSO tour with the NZSO - and there's alwaysENZSO 3 to be getting on with. ENZSO 2 is on sale from Friday.
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