Leaving Islam is a hard thing to do. The subject of this interview once had a conversation with Sarah – who recently wrote about her experience of leaving Christianity – about why she’d chosen to stop practicing the faith she’d grown up with in Morocco. The two were surprised to find many parallels in their experiences, however the consequences of rejecting faith are greater for our interviewee, so they’ve chosen to remain anonymous as they discuss why they’re no longer Muslim.
About to complete a 20-date European tour, Great North – at its core wife-husband duo Rachel and Hayden Donnell – play folk with a self-confessed smack of Americana and dad rock. Having recently traded the streets of uptown Auckland for those of Stoke Newington, the two-time winners of NZ’s Folk Album of the Year award decided it was time to do something “ill-advised”, and traded the dream of high-end furniture for more memories in the bank.
The band’s latest album The Golden Age is in many ways an homage to their musical padre Sam Prebble, a loved figure in New Zealand’s music community, and a talented artist in his own right. Sam committed suicide in 2014 and his absence is deeply felt. Here Hayden reflects to Sarah on losing his friend and collaborator, and the wry power of falling forward.