NZ Musician
2005 (Vol: 12, No: 2)

By Zoe Hooper, Chris Leggett and David Welch

Dave Dobbyn  October 1988 and June/July 1998

Probably our nation’s most beloved pop musician, Dave Dobbyn was the very first Kiwi artist to feature on the cover of NZM - the third issue. Returning to grace the 10th birthday celebration issue cover in ‘98 also makes him the only solo artist to have made the cover twice. Seven years further on and Dave has clearly changed. His overcoming of a long-standing alcohol addiction and discovery of God have been well documented. The more recent challenge to overcome has been finding the necessary discipline to complete his seventh studio album. "I’m a new guy. I’m writing better songs and enjoying things so much more. My music has a larger audience, both young and not so young. And I’ve a wiser take on my life. I know how to stick around." This is certain. His as-yet-untitled album is scheduled for June release through Sony/BMG. "It’s a beautiful thing. Recorded in Auckland at Roundhead and in Wellington at the Surgery." Asked to pick a career highlight, Dave answers that he is grateful for "... being alive and sober, and having a career in music every day." A favourite song? "About the last 14 songs or so. You’ll hear them soon. It’s a tease I know, but hey, they make me stand up and shout and they come with a lifetime guarantee - you will cry."
8 Foot Sativa  December/January 2005

When Auckland metallers 8 Foot Sativa graced NZM’s cover the band’s third album ‘Breed the Pain’ was about to hit the shelves. Manager Andrew Featherstone says the record has sold nearly 3000 copies here to date, "...pretty much on par with the other two records for this stage in its release". And that is something 8FS can be happy about. Their 2002 debut ‘Hate Made Me’ is officially gold. No mean feat a death-metal act - no matter how melodic. With around 6,000 sales, 2003’s follow-up ‘Season for Assault’ is hot on the heels of the debut’s impressive success. More importantly is the international reaction since ‘Breed the Pain’ was recorded in Sweden and given a Euro-metal sound by Swedish producer Pelle Saether. The album has received rave reviews, and has an April release schedule in Australia under Roadrunner. Between March and May distributors Black Mark Records will release it all over Europe, America, Canada, Japan and South Korea. There will probably be a European tour sometime this year and 8FS also intend returning to Studio Underground in Sweden later this year to record album number four.
Bic Runga  April/May 1997

Bic Runga is soon to be a film star. She has a cameo appearance in a movie called ‘Little Fish’ - starring Cate Blanchett - which is due out at the end of the year. No surprises, she’s playing a singer. The filming was just before Christmas, and since then she’s been supporting the Finn brothers’ world tour. They have completed the North American shows, and are now in the middle of European dates. Bic is now based in London, and with 466,000 copies of ‘Drive’ and ‘Beautiful Collision’ sold (204,000 of them internationally), she is easily on of our most successful musical exports. She has also had hit singles in Ireland, England, Japan and Italy. It looks like her success is set to continue. Paul McKessar from Bic’s management company says she’s all set to record her third album when the Finn’s tour finishes. "She spent the summer writing songs when she was back here, and she’s continued to write songs getting ready to go into the studio while she’s got the time off in London," says Paul. The album will be recorded in LA, and produced by Joey Waronker, who played drums on ‘Beautiful Collision’, and has also worked with Beck and REM.
Blindspott  October/November 2002

Since appearing on NZM’s cover, ahead of the launch of their debut self-titled album,Blindspott’s world has exploded. A powerhouse album, ferocious live peformances and excellent videos propelled them into mainstream popularity here and across much of Asia. "I think locally we sold about 40 or 45,000. Worldwide I think we sold 80 to 100,000," says vocalist Damian Alexander. "That far exceeded everything we thought we’d ever sell, and we never expected it to be released in so many territories." To date, the album has been released in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Phillipines, Malaysia and Japan, and the band has toured most of those regions. "We made a dent in Japan and I think the next one will send it through the roof. Our record company in Japan [the independent Hipland Music’s sub-label, Grindhouse Recordings] had an expectation of what they were going to sell and they’ve sold triple that." Although Blindspott is yet to launch an assault on the US, Damian insists the band is just biding time. "I think the highlight for us so far would definitely have to be the success at home. It’s our friends, our peers. But any success worldwide is good," he laughs. "A lot of bands spend their time focusing on the territories that are harder to break."
Blindspott’s second album is on its way sometime this year, but no one’s putting a date on it just yet.
Darcy Clay  August/September 1997

Darcy Clay’s raw, guttural twang will remain familiar to the ears of anyone who had the good fortune to see him perform live, or purchased his 1997 EP ‘Jesus I Was Evil’. The record, on which he played all the instruments himself, was a testimony to Darcy’s (aka Daniel Bolton) emotional intensity and unconstrained creative genius. It showed a raw (in its purest sense) talent which was to be lost to NZ audiences within just a few months. March 15 this year was the seventh anniversary of his death by suicide. Trevor Reekie of Antenna Records (Darcy’s label), says his absence is still felt. "Given he had such a short stay, he had a huge influence... he showed you could record on a four-track in your bedroom and impress the world." It wasn’t just Reekie’s record company that believed Darcy Clay was an important talent, the editorial team at NZM broke one of our own rules in featuring him on the cover when his only release to date was a six song EP. Despite, or more likely, because of his total irreverence for the way things ‘should be done’ Darcy’s 4-track cassette recording careered into the national Top 10. His live performance ofDolly Parton’s Jolene andElton John’s English Rose, recorded when he opened for Blur, remain spine tingling and unique. Jesus he was brilliant.
Nathan Haines  April/May 1995

Nathan Haines’ ‘Shift Left’ album proved to be the biggest selling jazz album in New Zealand’s history - an incredible feat by anyone’s standard, especially for an artist of comparative youth in a genre best served by long established musicians. "Every album is a blessing," says Nathan, who has by last count released four of them. Despite spending much of his time overseas, he says the home-grown scene continually inspires him. After several years based in London, Nathan spent the bulk of 2004 at home in Auckland. Already known for his ability to fleetingly touch and quickly master a wide variety of jazz-related genres, Nathan’s next album is a self-produced live recording of last year’s Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch gigs with the NZSO. The full orchestra plus-jazz-quintet performances also featured his father Kevin and brotherJoel, plus arrangements by Kiwi two-time Grammy award winner Alan Broadbent. It was a "great honour" to work with the NZSO says Nathan, "And a long time coming". It is expected to be released in July through FMR, and by the end of 2005/beginning of 2006 Nathan plans another solo album (being recorded in London), and a NZ tour to promote it.
Eye TV  October/November 1997

In the four years following their 1997 cover,Eye TV enjoyed its most successful period. But having two Top 10 singles, (including One Day Ahead, the most played song on NZ commercial radio 2000-2001), didn’t stop the members of Eye TV from parting ways. "We all decided that we wanted to do different things," says drummerLuke Casey. "We’re still friends. It was very much a mutual decision and a very smart one. We did a hell of a lot and achieved most of our goals."The members went off to pursue non-musical ventures, but it wasn’t long before they were drawn back to what they loved. In 2004 Luke released his own album ‘Tinpot Guru’, on which he sings and plays some guitar, but spends little time on the drum stool."Michael Scott (bass) went to live in the UK.. I had a family and Sean (Sturm, vox/guitar) went to complete his PhD at Auckland University, and is now in a band called The Exiles." Between the NZM cover and the band’s split in June 2002, the one time power trio gained a fourth member in Grant Winterburn on keyboards. "He’s playing jazz around NZ. His band is called The Grant Winterburn Experience, because it’s an experience watching them play," chuckles Luke. "Michael has returned from the UK and is playing bass in Tinpot Guru with me. We just had our second show at the Auckland Zoo supporting Goodshirt."

Evermore  August/September 2004

Shortly after walking off-stage at the Sydney leg of the Big Day Out 2005 tour, Evermore were greeted with some exciting news. Fielding’s favourite sons, who have now based themselves in Sydney, had achieved not one but two singles in the very efficacious Triple J Hottest 100. "It was an amazing day," says drummer Dann Hume. "We couldn’t believe we got #14! We’ve had such a good response from our album and live show over here, it’s been amazing." Australian TV, as well as radio, have taken to the three young brothers. They won the Supernova Breakthrough Act award in the first MTV Australia Awards in March. Proving they already have a substantial Aussie fan base, the award was voted by the public. "We didn’t think we were gonna win, so the speech was horrendous!" says Dann. Evermore appeared on the cover of NZM in August last year, and have been touring non-stop since then both here and over the ditch, where they are signed to Warner Music with management fromRebekah Campbell. Although it didn’t chart here, their debut album ‘Dreams,’ has gone gold in Australia, peaking at #31 on the Aria charts. The single For One Day peaked at #25.

Evermore plan to tour NZ again in May and hope to take ‘Dreams’ to the UK later this year.

Nesian Mystik  December/January 2003

Since coming off the promotion of their four-times platinum selling album ‘Polysaturated’ released in 2003, theNesian Mystik boys have been pursuing their own business ventures. One of those is the band’s own record label, Arch Dynasty. "We liked a lot of music that was coming out and they just weren’t getting out there. So we signed them up and we’re getting ready to bring them out," says vocalist Feleti Strickson-Pua. "We’ve got two artists coming out - Flow On Show and Tyna & J.B. Those two groups have actually got their songs on the latest Indie Hit Disc and their singles are dropping in the first week of April." The Nesians have also developed NM Audio, a small studio set up with the intention of developing musical scores for commercials, among other things. "We did the score for Bro’ Town," boasts Feleti. Work is well underway on the next Nesian Mystik album, with most of the recording already completed. "We’ve got our first two singles down and we’re just waiting on confirmation of release dates." Manager Dean Godward hopes to release the album before the year’s end. Feleti describes the singles as somewhat different to their previous material. "There’s a lot of good music coming out and it’ll be interesting to see where we fit in," he says. The group recently took their sound to the UK. "We put on a showcase for people in the London music scene. We got to mix with the head of MTV. It was a good experience and we had some good feedback. If anything, I’d have to give props to London for being open minded to foreign music."

Te Vaka  February/March 1999

Te Vaka have undergone something of an overhaul since featuring on the cover of NZM in 1999. Only six of those performers remain in the group which has upsized from 10 performers to 12. Not that it has slowed Te Vaka down one bit. They have since been nominated for several awards, both national and international, and released a further two albums, with a fifth scheduled for release before the year’s end. 2003’s ‘Nukuheke’ was a finalist in the Roots category of the NZ Music Awards in 2003. Fourth album ‘Tutuki’ won Best Pacific Music Album at the Tuis in 2004 and also placed third in the Best Polynesian Album category at the Hawaiian Music Awards. ‘Tutuki’ entered the European World Music Chart at number four , and was a creditable #50 in their Top 200 albums of 2004. Band leaderOpetaia Foi’a got two of his songs in the final round of this year’s International Songwriting Competition. According to manager Julie Foi’a Te Vaka is in constant demand all over the world. "They will perform in Auckland and Wanaka before heading off for a return tour to Hawaii, Fiji and Samoa with a return to Europe planned later in the year," she says. "The band is constantly working to better any previous achievements, and still has its eye firmly fixed on the international marketplace."

Lucid 3  June/July 2004

Life has been just peachy forLucid 3 since appearing on NZM’s cover. With over 3000 copies of their second album, ‘All Moments Leading To This’, nestled in CD racks around the country, front-woman Victoria Girling-Butcher says sales are going well. "It’s already outsold the first album." According to Mark Roach, the band’s manager, it is outselling the debut ‘Running Down the Keys’ at a rate of four to one, and the radio support and publicity they have garnered points to further local success. Well received performances at the recent WOMAD festival have led to a plan to seek more WOMAD opportunities worldwide. "We've been pursuing international networks, mainly in America," says Victoria, but that’s all we can get out of her. Between day jobs Lucid 3 have been promoting the new album and planning for the future. "We’ve toured extensively through NZ with Dave Dobbyn andBrooke Fraser," says Victoria. "We’re pleased with how the album went, and we’ve been working on projections for our next album. I’ve already written lots and lots of songs." Production duties have so far been handled by drummer Derek Metivier, but the trio are thinking of using a different producer for the next album.

The Windy City Strugglers  April/May 2004

The Windy City Strugglers earned a presence on NZM’s cover this time last year largely on the strength of their very impressive longevity - 36 years and counting. In September, the band provided the soundtrack to a short film by director Costa Botes, which was entered in the third Annual River City Film Festival in Wanganui. The film, ‘She Drives’, won the award for Best Original Music. "In other words, it was judged as a short film rather than a rock video, and the Strugglers’ song provided the soundtrack," says double bass player and music journalistNick Bollinger. "The prize was a day recording in Stebbings, which we haven’t used yet." Through retail the group’s 2004 album ‘Kingfisher’ has sold over 500 locally, a good result for The Windy’s, and was released in Europe in March through French label Last Call. According to Nick, they intend to record a new album in the next year, "... perhaps emphasising the more raucous and unhinged material we often perform at parties or towards the end of the night". That album is currently under the working title ‘As Is, Where Is’. Having just completed a stint of gigs around their hometown of Wellington, the ‘retro blues’ band is planning to tour the South Island later in the year, with trips to Australia and Europe also on the cards.

Concord Dawn  October/November 2003

In 2003, our very own drum’n’bass superstars, Concord Dawn, had just released their third album ‘Uprising’. It went on to sell an impressive 12,500 units in NZ and a similar amount abroad. For Matt Harvey, this is only the beginning of what he hopes will be a Concord Dawn global invasion. "We’d like to do more overseas," he says. "We want to take it to the next level. It’s definitely a start - it’s the first time we’d really done a proper release overseas." Concord Dawn, completed by Evan Short, has been promoting the album with extensive touring. "Evan did a tour of Europe and I did a tour of the States. We did the BDO tour in January. That was nuts. We did something like 11 gigs in 16 days." If that’s bad it’s about to get even worse for Matt. "I’m going to the States and playing 16 gigs in 18 days. I get Sundays off so I can go to church," he jokes. "After that we’ll probably try and chill out on the gig side of things and work on another album. We’ll try to step it up a gear, and go a bit more hardcore." The duo, serious about cracking foreign markets, plan to relocate to Vienna in the near future. "It’s in the middle of Europe, so we can go to Eastern Europe, Western Europe and neither are too far away," says Matt. "It’s also very nice, and has good sausages and great vegetarian food."

Tadpole  February/March 2002

Today’s Tadpole is a very different beast from the trampolining three seen on this cover, when the band was still recording its second album. Radio unfortunately didn’t take to ‘The Medusa’ and this was directly reflected in sales. The debut album ‘The Buddhafinger’ is triple platinum - nearly 50,000 sold - while ‘The Medusa’ still sits below gold with about 7000 sales. Front-woman Renee Brennan, now a DJ on the new Kiwi FM, sums up the band’s last three years. "We put the album out, we lost two band members - our guitarist and bass player left. We got a couple of new guys in, and in 2003 we did a European tour." She describes that tour as "wicked", and not just because they got to take their sound to another continent. "We met lots of contacts including the guy who’s recording our third album. We liked what he did in Germany and we decided to take a risk and try him out on the third album." That album is currently in pre-production. Renee says new members Henry Penny (guitar) and Oliver Gordon (bass) have reinvigorated Tadpole’s sound. "Less nu-metal, more straight rock." She describes the upcoming album, simply titled ‘Tadpole’ as a "statement of intent" - being the first time Tadpole will maintain the artists who recorded the album! Once released (independently, around September), a widespread tour is on the cards. "We’re definitely going to do a big national tour, and we’re looking at heading back to Europe at some stage this year."

Fan Club   October/November 1989
Fan Club had interest from a number of international record labels at the time of their 1989 cover story. Ultimately they decided on US label Epic. "Epic pitched the song [Don’t Let Me Fall Alone from album ‘Respect the Beat’] to so many radio stations per week, and they then had to get 80% of the radio stations playing it," recalls keyboardist Malcolm Smith. "They had so much product, that’s how it operated and we were just one of their products." Despite selling in excess of 50,000 units in America, the band’s success there was short-lived. "We lasted for about six weeks. But we got on a Top 10 playlist in Minneapolis, and we also got into the New York dance chart. After that, on week seven we only did about 50% of the stations, and then that was it - that was our big stint in America," laughs Malcolm. Shortly afterwards, lead singerAishah went back to her home country of Malaysia to focus on her solo career. Drummer Dave Larsen established an Auckland screenprinting business. Three of the five members continued to pursue music as a career. "I write and compose music for commercial purposes for radio and TV," says Malcolm. "I did the theme music for thePaul Holmes show.Paul Moss now lives in Malaysia and has carried on in music as well, producing and writing for the Asian market. Aishah did a few solo albums and she did very well. She sold in the region of 200,000 plus with her albums, but it wasn’t really pop music, it was more traditional sort of stuff."
Glen Moffatt   August/September 1995
Back in 1995Glen Moffat had just released his first CD ‘Somewhere in New Zealand Tonight’. Ten years on, the likeable country musician has made his home in Australia, where he plays around Queensland and northern NSW with his band Glen Moffatt & the Tallboys. Glen moved to Australia in 2002 having found the local music industry unsupportive of country artists. "Country music has a huge audience in NZ, but the likes of NZ On Air don’t give any support to country music artists who live there, so that audience never get to hear their local voices," he says. "The audience for country in Australia is exactly the same percentage of the population as that in NZ, but their local artists are on TV and the radio so get a fair chance against the hottest Nashville acts." For all that, Glen did make his mark here. One of his proudest achievements was being the only country songwriter to reach the finals of the APRA Songwriter of the Year awards. He was in the 1996 final, alongside the Strawpeople and Greg Johnson. He also released three albums here, two of which sold out their 3000 print runs. Glen tries to come back home a couple of times a year for gigs, but has no plans to return to live. At the moment he is working on finding funding for another album.
Bluespeak   April/May 1991
According to keyboardist and band leaderTom Ludvigson, although Bluespeak disbanded long ago, the memories linger. The Greg Johnson-fronted jazz group, which specialised in songs about "getting out of it... drunk and stoned", started out doing covers. Tom says they "sought out old songs on vinyl", and played R&B/jazz from the likes of legends Slim Gaillard and Amos Milburn - as showcased best with their third album ‘The Drinking Set’. However, Tom believes Bluespeak’s self-produced fourth and final album, ‘Dark Blue’ (1998), was the one that deserved the most attention because it was all original. Greg Johnson (trumpet and vocals) has since gone on to a high profile solo career and is living in LA. Bass playerPeter Scott has been playing with The Juice Brothers, as well as touring with Aaron Codell.Paul Hewitt drums with The Alibis, Chris Watts (tenor sax) has been playing with Rick Bryant, while Tom is half of new jazz electronic act Trip and has been involved in a number of other bands alongside his academic career. Most recently, he contributed music to a TV documentary about painter Stanley Palmer.
Goodshirt   December/January 2004
Goodshirt have proven low budgets aren’t an obstacle to success. Both 2001’s breakthrough album ‘Good’ and 2004’s ‘Fiji Baby’ were famously recorded in a shed attached to their Grey Lynn flat. Their videos too have consistently demonstrated a good concept goes a long way - and can be very effective even if done on the cheap.
Guitarist/vocalistRodney Fisher recognises the band’s inventive videos have paved the way to a high profile here and in Australia. "We’ve always had quite good TV play. Our videos have become quite a signature thing," he says. ‘Fiji Baby’ was released in March 2004, debuting at #5 in the local charts, and lasting nearly two months in the Top 40. One year and four singles later, Rodney remains typically enthusiastic. "It’s going really well, but it’s the old second album syndrome," he says. "It’s starting to pick up now and that’s what happened with the first one as well." Goodshirt have recently performed in Japan, the States and Canada - as well as touring Australia supportingSpiderbait. ‘Fiji Baby’ has sold over 10,000 copies in total to date, while ‘Good’ was good for more than 30,000. The year ahead will see the Goodshirt boys writing new material and looking further afield. "We’ve got potential stuff happening in the UK and the States. On our last trip to the UK we managed to get some interest from some booking agents. I guess it’s just stuff to follow up on really."
Supergroove   April/May 1994
There can’t be many New Zealanders in their twenties who haven’t shaken it toSupergroove’s own particular brand of ska-come-Chili Peppers’ p-funk. "We didn’t have much to go on really," says Joe Lonie - who has himself gone on to become one of our best known music video directors. "We came out before dance music came out really. I don’t think [Supergroove] could have happened today... the sort of people who went to see us live would go to DJs these days." The stage-full of school age trailblazers, including a young Che Ness, formed in 1990 - at a low point in our musical history when they "didn’t play any Kiwi music on the radio," recalls Joe. The band were surprised their hard earned live popularity transferred to record sales. 1994’s ‘Traction’ album went straight to number one and held the spot for over a month, remaining in the Top 20 for over three months. It has now sold over five times platinum - more than 75,000 copies. BMG International took notice of their NZ office’s success, and in 1995 sent the band on an unprecedented eight month tour through 22 countries. Despite being "business-like in the studio", Supergroove didn’t follow up their debut until 1996’s ‘Backspacer’. The album didn’t have anywhere near the same impact as ‘Traction’, but still debuted at number two and quickly racked up gold sales. Shortly afterwards, the group disbanded on the eve of another round of international touring. Most have remained musically active Che Fu achieving the most fame in a solo capacity. Paul Russell joinedEight, Tim Stewart and Ben Sciascia formed Svelt, Ian Jones went on to session work in Sydney. Supergroove’s best of album ‘Postage’, released in 2003, gained plenty of press and has since itself gone gold.
Head Like A Hole   December/January 1996
Head Like A Hole’s notorious frontmanNigel (Booga) Beazley is looking for someone to inspire him. HLAH split in February 2000, and he moved away from music after a misguided stint with country band Grand Lodge. "All I could think about was playing hard and fast," he says. "After doing something with HLAH I wouldn’t want to step backwards. The angry young man is left there somewhere." Booga says the reason HLAH split was a cliché. "Sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. That can break a band up, and I think people had had enough." HLAH co-founder and guitarist Nigel Regan says the split was due to cynicism and lack of money. "We’d been going 10 years and people were ready for changes in their lives." Nigel still writes music and currently works in the King Kong film art department. He jams sometimes with the band’s former drummer Mark Hammill, who plays in a Clash covers band and does some mixing. Mike Franklin-Browne (who took over drums later in HLAH’s career) is now part of Pluto. He and ex-bassist Andrew Durno (about to get his commercial helicopter pilot licence), have been discussing a side project. GuitaristTom Watson lives in Melbourne with his bandCassette, who have a much anticipated album due out mid year. About to complete a stint at art school, Booga wants to get back into making music. "If there’s anyone out there who wants to start a band with me, who likes bands like the Buzzcocks, give me a call."

Dubious Bros    June/July 2002
The Dubious Bros had one last successful song, For the Ladies, after being NZ Musician cover-stars. Chris Macro, one of the two Bros, says it did well on Mai FM but "... the video was kinda rude so it didn’t get much airplay". Although the Dubious Bros (Macro and Tyna Keelan) parted ways in late 2003, Chris says they try to stay in touch wherever possible. "It was a friendly split but it had its moments. We just sorta wanted to do different shit - we were heading in different directions." "I’ve gone the whole production route," explains Chris, who became Mai Music’s resident producer and has worked withKatchafire, Whirimako Black and Lazrus. "At the moment I’m working on some old school jungle with another producer named High Speed Dubbing." Tyna recently featured in theWBC single, Uncle Benny, and has been busy with various other projects, most notably Tyna and JB who have recorded for the new Nesian Mystik label. He has featured on threeP-Money albums (including his remix), two Breakin’ Wreckwordz bootlegs and their debut album. The Dubious Bros have moved on, but there could well be a treat in store for fans of their older work. "We did another song with 4 Corners which is still unreleased," tells Chris. "I might release that later this year."
Nigel Gavin   April/May 1992
"I don’t wear the hat anymore," insists cover star Nigel Gavin, 13 years on. We were lucky to catch him as he was packing his suitcase to head to Australia later that day. "I’m playing the Australian International Guitar Festival in Melbourne, and some dates in Sydney. I get back on Easter Sunday, straight to the Tauranga Jazz Festival." Back in 1992, Nigel played a variety of instruments (including mandolin, guitar and bass) in a number of bands - Nairobi Trio, Nexus, Gitbox Rebellion and The League of Crafty Guitarists among others. "I still play with Nairobi Trio from time to time. Mostly these days I’m playing solo. I released a solo album last year called ‘Strum’." He is still involved with other bands however. "I play with the Jews Brothers Band and toured Europe and the UK, and I just finished playing at WOMAD with a band called Bravura." Nigel is also part of an interesting project called Vitamin S. "Vitamin S is a group of about 50 musicians who get together once a week and we improvise." The group, which has been performing together for over two years, combines artists from various genres including classical, jazz, rock and even poetry. "It’s a special thing in NZ, it’s one of a kind and has to be seen to be believed. We don’t get many people who are dedicated to improvised performances and are trying to make music out of it."
Whirimako Black   October/November 2004
Quite apart from the striking NZM cover photo, Whirimako may well be familiar to regular viewers of Maori TV - as one of the hosts of popular entertainment show Maorioke. "It’s just like karaoke - you choose your song and sing to compete. It’s great to be in the presence of such talent." Surely this is precisely what her guests are thinking. Whirimako Black has taken Maori music to the world by featuring on the acclaimed documentary ‘1 Giant Leap’ alongside such artists as Robbie Williams, REM’s Michael Stipe and Baaba Maal. Whirimako hopes to soon release her new album ‘Te Kura Huna’ (Hidden Treasures) to international and national appeal. "The intention of making this album was again to offer a project that would be timeless in the making of the music - that you could pick it up in 10 years time and it would still be relevant." Aside from ‘Te Kura Huna,’ Whirimako has a lot on her agenda. "I am concentrating on my stage act this year, as well as recording albums, and I have been approached to record a song or two with Nesian Mystik. I have another invitation to go back to Athens in June to attend and sing at the European Song Festival." "It’s gonna be a busy year and I love every moment of it. It keeps me satisfied with life, it is the next best thing to seeing your whanau well and thriving."
P-Money   February/March 2001
Pete Wadams’ third world ranking in the DJ mixing champs, combined with his obvious potential, earned him a place on NZM’s cover at just 23. The few years since have revealed him to also be a hip hop composer, beat maker and producer of international standard. P-Money is an artist of rare talent whose own work has led to recognition and success for a number of others. Having released his gold selling debut album ‘Big Things’ through independent Kog Transmissions’ sub-label Dirty in 2002, he went on to found Dirty Records, with friend Callum August, the next year. "We started the company so we could do Scribe’s record. We released that and it was real massive (platinum sales in under three days). I was intrinsically involved in that from beginning to end - song writing, album artwork, co-ordinating and everything." The album earned him the title ‘Producer of the Year’ at the 2004 NZ Music Awards, and he subsequently released a second album, ‘Magic City’, at the end of last year. "I think we’re on our way to double platinum with that," he says confidently. ‘Magic City’ was released in Australia in January to excellent reviews and he has just secured a UK and European deal for it. "This UK release is my first proper step into that market. If I can work at the same rate, hopefully in three years time I’ll be in a similar position - but over there. I’m gonna go over this year and suss things out around the release and do some shows. If it feels like the place to be I’ll just stick around - that’s kind of how I approach most things."
Kog Transmissions   December/January 1999
Kog Transmissions was still a very young and very independent label back in December 1998, but impressively had already released seven albums in its year-long existence. The great intrigue of Kog was in its collective nature, pooling a broad range of young music and video-making talent into one organisation. Although always under-funded, the quality and current-ness of the musical output quickly established Kog as a world-stage player and a regular source of NZM copy. Just on five years later Kog again featured in NZM under the title ‘Kog Transmutations’, an article documenting the rise and demise of the collective, which first split internally into several sub-labels, then split more fundamentally. Relationships had become severely strained and bitterness had long before replaced the bonhomie. The break up resulted in a number of significant new indie labels including Midium, Tardus and Dirty Records (which most famously produced the Scribe phenomenon), as well as other valuable industry initiatives. Co-founder Chris Chetland continues to trade under the Kog banner and reckons the brand has a discography in excess of 50 releases, including 12 inches and other specialised output. Most recently have been new albums from Pitch Black andBaitercell & Schumacher. "The focus of Kog [now] is far more in production and post-production. Things like advertising and film soundtracking," he says.
Jordan Reyne   April/May 2000
Jordan Reyne has been pushing her own experimental music boundaries for years, both under her own name and the ‘Dr.Kevorkian and the Suicide Machine’ title. Most recently she turned out the sterling ‘Passenger’ album, the result of an unhappy experiment in relocating to Germany which was covered in NZM’s Aug/Sept 2004 issue. Jordan is currently working on a new album, which she wrote while living in Karamea. She is producing and mixing it herself with finance from the recently established Wild Creations fund - a joint venture between DOC and Creative NZ, which provides artists with $6000 in return for writing about the country. As with her previous work, she has been recording a number of ‘found sounds’ - everything from "old sleuths" to "chains going through pullies" - and incorporating them into the album. She describes the new songs as "kind of historical", dealing with history as a character unto itself and its indifference to life’s little people. In collaboration with Johnny Chrome Jordan has also added "house DJ diva" vocals to a track on the ‘Café Del Mar’ project, and has performed regularly with drummer Nick Clarke. She is currently enjoying some success on the German goth scene, in counterpoint to her continued relative anonymity on our own music stage.

Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit   October/November 2001
The significance of the first national Aotearoa Hip Hop Summit was recognised with the three organisers Phil Bell,Elliott O’Donnell and Ali Toto on the cover. It was the second year the annual summit was held - Ali had conceived and run the first in his hometown Christchurch. He is also involved in production, including work with Scribe and Dei Hamo, and is currently working on his own album - expected this year. Bell has become something of a household name as DJ Sir-Vere, of hip hop compilation album and C4 presenting fame. Under his pseudonymAskew, O’Donnell has become a recognised leader of our talented graffiti artist community. Phil Bell says the best thing about the summit is it is constantly developing. "It’s a conscious effort to change it every year. For lack of a better example, the Big Day Out is the same thing every year - and that’s fine - but hip hop’s changing every year," he says. "The Fast Crew and Dei Hamo is a new wave of talent, and they have a different aesthetic to it. That needs to be represented in the festival - if it wasn’t it wouldn’t be a true representation." Last year’s summit incorporated highly successful turntable workshops, and the usual graffiti art - but this time cars were used, as well as walls, providing an interesting new medium. The 2005 summit is in the early planning stages, and will be held at the beginning of October. All Phil will tell us is Dei Hamo will be on the bill.
John Kempt of Scissormen   June/July 1990
"Art clashing with commerce and drugs" is what caused theScissormen to split in 1992, says former frontmanJohn Kempt. He recalls one turning point for the band: "Minutes before going on stage Dave Parry and I were strangling each other in a Northland motel room bathtub, banging each others’ heads on the porcelain." Still, he hopes to bring out a retrospective album and looks forward to playing with the Scissormen again sometime. Following the split, he did a two-year stint playing Buddy Holly in the Australian musical ‘Buddy’, then became interested in DIY production and worked on albums for artists like Rick Bryant, Ma V Elle and Roger Greenaway. Since moving to LA in 2000 he has continued to be involved with music. "The first band I played in when I got here was Girlband - grown men playing songs from the perspective of 13-year-old girls. Training Bra was one of our songs - sick I know! What do you expect from a band with a 300lb Mexican called Flufferpuff for a singer?" John remains in LA, making his living from session work, gigging, teaching and producing. He is also in the process of writing two books. "One is a guitar tutorial manual... the other is a book about the crazy stuff I have seen since I have been here."
The Chills   August/September 1992
Over last Christmas Martin Phillips bumped into his former bass player Terry Moore (at left) on the streets of Dunedin. Now based in New York where he works in finance, Moore was visiting his mother. "His building was alongside the World Trade Centre [during the Sept. 11 attack] and it was fairly damaged," relates Martin, frontman and the only remaining founding member of The Chills. "But he was luckily late for work." Interestingly enough, Moore described the 1992 Chills incarnation to NZM as "a really strong one, very amiable and with a buoyant quality." Martin disagrees. "Both the recording of the album and the tour were a real trial and certainly the most unhappy music making experience I’ve been through overall. [It was an] incorrect combination of personalities and talents. It was the start of my down period, with depression and drugs, but I’ve very much pushed through that now." 2005 marks The Chills 25th anniversary and things are indeed different. After 19 line-ups and some 30 members, the current four-piece is the most stable at five years and counting. Martin has big plans to celebrate. The first two unrecorded Chills’ albums will finally see the light of day, and we can expect a brand new album in November. On this album (working title ‘Silver Bullet’), Martin plans to "move away from more traditional song structures and explore NZ environmental sounds and the inherent musical qualities, in conjunction with my own melodies."
The Topp Twins   February/March 1995
Jools andLynda Topp have set a challenge for NZ music aficionados - to disprove their claim that The Topp Twins is the longest standing band in the land that hasn’t broken up or changed their name. Jools lists the criteria. "It’s got to be the original lineup. You’ve got to remain living in NZ. You’re not allowed to have changed your name. You’ve got to still be performing publicly and professionally." So what has changed since the twins appeared on the cover? "We’re more famous now," laughs Jools. Since Australia’s ABC purchased the Topp Twins’ television shows in 2003 (the final series DVD is on its way), the pair have become extremely popular across the ditch. "Country music is very big over there," says Jools, referring in particular to the Gympie Music Muster in Queensland. "About 35,000 are camping there and about 80,000 come through the gates. We’ve done that festival three times now." The girls are part way into a nationwide tour in support of their new album ‘Flower Girls and Cowgirls’. The 27-date tour wraps up at the end of May, and according to the twins, it’s a real tour of NZ. "It’s all sorts of places, like Greymouth, Oamaru, Timaru, Palmerston North. We’ve always maintained that you haven’t played NZ till you’ve played those sorts of places. We put a caravan on the back and off we go."
Shihad   October/November 2000
Shihad featured on the cover of NZM roughly a year before the most difficult period the band has encountered yet. "Everything went really fucking fucked up basically," articulatesJon Toogood. He is, of course, referring to the September 11 attack which coincided with the band’s first real attempt to crack the US. "I found [the name change] an awful decision to make. All these doors we’ve been trying to kick open for 13 years are finally open... if we change our name." The band did change their name but also became disillusioned with their dealings with their American business partners - one of which, The Firm, Jon describes as "... the devil - totally Satan". "[Arista/BMG] totally threw shitloads of money at it, but nobody knew what to do with a rock band." As Pacifier they returned to NZ and Australia, "and our name was mud," admits Jon. "That gave us plenty of fuel to vent our frustration at what had gone on. We had a mission to prove to everyone that this band, whether it’s called Shihad or Pacifier, is a fucking great band." After the ‘Pacifier Live’ album at the end of 2003, the boys are now gearing up to release a new Shihad studio album, ‘Love is the New Hate’, in May. "It’s heavy sonically but it’s also heavy lyrically. It deals with not being able to sleep at night with what’s going on in the world. It deals with suicide. It’s weird, some of it reminds me of something from each [previous] recording."
Flying Nun (Kilgour, Brough, Downes)   April/May 1996
David Kilgour, Andrew Brough and Graeme Downes were called upon to represent Flying Nun on the occasion of the label’s 15th birthday. Their links to The Clean, Straitjacket Fits and The Verlaines, plus the fact all the three songwriters were then Auckland-based, lent to the title of Alice Shopland’s article ‘Flying North’. At the time, Kilgour had just finished recording a Clean album and was due to start a solo one. Brough had high hopes for his new bandBike, and Downes was lecturing in music at what has since become known as MAINZ. In the same year label founder Roger Shepherd moved to London leaving the label and music industry behind him. Around that time the influence of FN was being acknowledged by a number of rising US acts, the likes ofPavement and Superchunk frequently referencing The Clean and The Verlaines. Nine years later finds all three back in Dunedin. David Kilgour’s typically excellent latest (2004) album ‘Frozen Orange’ was recorded in Nashville and included assistance from members of Lambchop andSebadoh. FN also released ‘Anthology’, a two-CD history of The Clean’s live and studio work in 2002. Bike didn’t ride long and Andrew Brough subsequently returned to the quieter life down south. Graeme Downes, who has a PhD in music, heads the contemporary rock music programme at Otago University. FN released his enduring solo album ‘Hammers and Anvils’ in 2001. A Verlaines’ retrospective CD titled ‘You’re Just Too Obscure For Me’ was released by FN in 2003.

Pitch Black   August/September 2000
While Pitch Black’s debut album ‘Futureproof’ (1998) has been somewhat of a slow burner, it does continue to smoulder. When the duo appeared on the cover of NZM sales were around 4000, now the CD has sold in excess of 6000 copies. "We just keep pressing it and it just keeps selling! We’re hoping in maybe three years it’ll go gold," laughs one half of Pitch Black, Mike Hodgson. ‘Electronomicon’ was released in 2000 and is not far behind in the numbers game, though their third outing, ‘Electric Earth’, was somewhat of a sales disappointment. Undeterred, Hodgson and his flame-haired partner, Paddy Free, released their brilliant current album, ‘Ape to Angel’, in October last year and it is tracking well. Pitch Black have been touring in support of the album since, only recently finishing a string of 30 dates. "We’ve been all around the world. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, and then we played in Ireland, England, Europe and Australia and obviously the NZ tour. Some were small clubs, some were our own shows." Continuing to record for indie label Kog Transmissions, Pitch Black have recently moved their growing back-catalogue from Universal, opting instead for the independent Rhythm Method. "They’re better for us in a way. They’re more into the music and they’ve got more time to put it out there." The duo are in the process of commissioning songs for a remix album they hope to release in November.
Pluto   April/May 2001
Pluto’s journey towards the top of the NZ music scene continues to be a long and arduous one. The band’s new album ‘Pipeline Under The Ocean’ (released in January) is another mélange of musical influences - fromU2 to theStone Roses and the obligatory New Wave references. Pluto bassist Mike Hall says the most satisfying things about Pluto’s career since the 2001 cover, are the improved songwriting skills and musicianship. The band has a more mature and "confident" sound. It’s hard to tell yet if their second album is the hoped for success. "It hasn’t sold dramatically well... we had to cover a two and a half year period recording (employing multiple producers and engineers), and were unsure if it would ever be released. If we had recorded it over a shorter time period we would have had a chance to make it more... thematic." Heavy promotion on new radio channel Kiwi, backing up the popular video for Dance Stamina has introduced them to a wider local audience - at last it looks likely they will escape their ‘critic’s darlings’ tag. In March they returned to the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas for the second year. "We sort of just follow a natural course," says Mike. "One thing we’ve been doing more often is jamming - just trying to simplify our sound."
Weta   June/July 2000
At the time, Weta was looking to be one of the country’s most promising rock acts - ever. Support tours withShihad, both here and in Australia had seen the band develop a considerable live following. High-rotation singles Got the Ju and Calling On had ensured anticipation for the upcoming album ‘Geographica’ had reached fever pitch. So what happened once ‘Geographica’ finally hit the shelves? "The band broke up," laughs former Weta frontman Aaron Tokona. He senses my frustration at the lack of a story, but insists it really is that simple. "A few different dynamics were happening. [We] just weren’t into it... weren’t happy... trying to move on." Aaron says his brother and former bandmateClinton Tokona has formed another band in Australia named The Hot Rods, with Weta guitaristGabriel Atkinson back. Drummer Clinton den Heyer now "part-owns a bar," and Aaron has been "being a family man". "I’ve just kind of spent the last three or four years out of music, and a few things have [now] come up." Asked further about the new musical projects hinted at, Aaron responds that it’s still early days. "Just trying to get back into the groove really."
Deep Obsession   October/November 1999
You could be forgiven for thinking pop duoDeep Obsession is no more. Since exploding onto the Top 50 and securing the number one spot with each of their first three singles (the first pop artists in NZ to do so), we have heard little from the group in the years since. Zara Clark (on the right of our cover) begs to differ, insisting that Deep Obsession is still alive and kicking, has plenty more to offer and is in the process of recording album number two. When Deep Obsession appeared on NZM’s cover in October 1999, only Zara and Vanessa Kelly featured. Their songwriting and production partner,Chris Banks, had already resigned from the group he had created. Vanessa left in 2002, relocating to Australia, and was replaced withCharlie Lawson. They released the single Miracle in 2000, but it is corporate gigs and other work that keeps the dream alive. "Last year Charlie and I did separate things - she went to Dubai and I went to Thailand," says Zara. "We were performing with international cover acts. I performed at the Sheraton and the Shangri-La in Thailand." The girls say they are happy not to rush the upcoming (and as yet untitled) album because they are changing their sound from "pop to more adult contemporary."
Anika Moa   August/September 2001
The fruit of two years labour, the follow-up toAnika Moa’s double-platinum selling 2002 album 'Thinking Room' will shortly be released. "It is titled ‘Stolen Hill’ and I’m very fucking proud of it," beams Anika. She has been co-producing the record withEd McWilliams, aka Ed Cake. "I’m in New York right now and we’re on our last day mixing the album. It has all gone smoothly but it is freezing here!" Anika spent considerable time touring and promoting ‘Thinking Room’ overseas. "It was choice. That’s all I have been doing apart from spending all my money on drugs, booze and pokies [to] which I have developed a serious gambling habit," she laughs. Funding for the new album has come from Warner NZ and a $50,000 NZ On Air Phase Four grant. According to Anika, her second album will be quite different from ‘Thinking Room’, for which she was famously signed to Atlantic Records in the States where the the album sank almost without trace. "It’s probably more laid back, less pop, more soul sister shit without the trills... no frills. When I release it, I will endeavour to do as many interviews as I can and tour like a motherfucker, all around the world."
House Of Downtown  June/July 2001
After ‘Release’ in 2001, House of Downtown released a second album, ‘Mutha Funkin Earth’, in 2003 before unofficially splitting. With album sales not justifying Universal Music’s retention of the duo on their books, family business took over. Christiaan Ercolano has a toddler and Emerson Todd moved to Sydney with his wife. "I needed to grow, and I felt like I needed to have more challenges - I came over here to challenge myself," says Emerson. The move was also because he received an audio engineering scholarship from SAE, which has now put him in good stead working at BJB Studios. He has worked with theD12 and is currently working on Sleepy Jackson’s new record. Emerson is also preparing his own album which will be released on Underwater in the UK before the end of the year. "It’s everything from electro-clash to techno to electronica," he says. Christiaan has been teaching the MPC skills at Redville studio, and is back doing 2D graphics for film and television. He says he is "just sort of getting back into it now", and writing material for other people. "I’ve definitely moved back into slower stuff - back into my R&B roots."

Legionnaires  August/September 1993
When this issue came out in 1993, The Legionnaires were in the middle of a national tour. As NZM reported, there was an ‘underlying motive’ for that tour. MembersHarry Lyon,Graham Brazier and Dave McArtney intended to "roadtest material for a future album from an act called Hello Sailor," the legendary band founded by the trio in 1975. "The Legionnaires tour was part of a longer-term plan to get Hello Sailor back together again," admits Harry Lyon. As such, The Legionnaires did not last long - the (re-)addition of drummer Ricky Ball saw the band once again adopting the name Hello Sailor. "That led to us recording another Hello Sailor album (simply titled ‘The Album’) in ‘94. The band still exists and we’ve got gigs coming up." The trio have also kept themselves busy with activities outside of Hello Sailor. "Dave and Graham had solo albums out last year (Dave with ‘Hook’ and Graham with ‘East of Eden’), and Graham’s still touring his. In 2000 I started teaching at MAINZ as Head of Music," says Harry. "Graham is solely a musician, and Dave also teaches at MAINZ, but part time."
David Parker and Mikey Havoc   December/January 1992
"It weirds me out now," says Mikey Havoc (left) ofPush Push’s 1991 smash hit single Trippin’. "Every gig I DJ now, someone asks for it." When NZM speaks to Mikey, shortly after his morning show on 95bFM, someone just called him at the studio and played the song through the telephone. "We’d probably come back from a tour of Australia," he says of the time around the cover photo. "The band then headed there without me. I chose not to... I like living here, I like my friends. I’ve got a weird kinda patriotism." Success as a live and radio DJ has, of course, led on to a television career and Mikey says he has "three or four things in front of people at the moment." It was songwriterDavid Parker and The David Parker Project that finally pushed Push Push from the number one spot with the hugely popular single Tears on My Pillow. These were the only two Kiwi songs to reach No. 1 that year, hence the cover art and story which highlighted the continuing antipathy of NZ radio programmers to NZ music. David went on to record an album, ‘Release’, in 1992, but it was too late to capitalise on the success of the single and "it did nothing". "I became disillusioned and became a school teacher, but I still perform and I have a group calledPauanation. We recorded an EP and we’ll be playing in the Titirangi Festival of Music that I’ve helped organise."
Moana   June/July 1993
It’s not uncommon to hear of bands forced to change their adopted name because it unknowingly belonged to another act. But an artist forced to do so simply for using their real name? "When we released our first album overseas in Germany I was threatened with a law suit by a German company who had trademarked the name ‘Moana’ for about 40 different products, including CDs," says Moana Maniapoto. Moana (the singer, not the product) has kept very busy since June 1993. Back then, she had just released ‘Tahi,’ with her group The Moahunters. "It sold pretty well for those days - it went gold. The singleBlack Pearl went to number two on the chart and it also went gold. It was kicked out of number two by Bart Simpson," she laughs. Frustrated with the difficulties of travelling such a large troupe (after touring in Canada, Malaysia, Australia and the States), Moana trialled a more minimal band. "I got invited to sing in Florence with just a guitarist and a backing vocalist, and the response was so good that I thought a more acoustic set-up was a revelation." Moana and the Tribe has since performed regularly in Europe, growing over time to a 10-piece!Moko, a song from the 1998 album ‘Rua’, beat 11,000 other entries to win Moana the International Songwriting Competition in 2003. More European tours are in sight and she is currently working on a television documentary looking at the appropriation of Maori images and words by international companies.
Nairobi Trio   October/November 1993
Auckland’s jazz entertainers par excellence have been patrolling up and down the country for the past 16 years, performing at literally thousands of corporate/private functions and on regular epic national tours. "Touring around NZ is a real highlight," enthuses guitarist/vocalist for the trio John Quigley. "Wanaka, Blenheim, Westport... the South Island is very receptive. RDU [student radio] in Christchurch has been playing our music regularly and we have been finding a whole new generation attending our gigs." The Nairobi Trio - Richard Adams (violin/vocals) Quigley, Peter Koopman (guitar/vocals) - has these days expanded, withAndrew Dixon on sax, flute and vox. Highly prolific songwriters and arrangers, the band have released seven albums to date. The latest, ‘Safari’ (released in May last year), showed the group branching out by incorporating Jason Orme on drums to add a new rhythmic dimension. They are currently working on original "jazz poppy" material for another album, and are set to tour Europe in August and NZ again in September. Having been regularly invited to be part of the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival, they find themselves popular on the Scandinavian jazz festival circuit and also appear regularly at the major jazz fests in Australia.
The Mutton Birds   December/January 1997
‘Envy of Angels’, recorded in Wales, was The Mutton Birds’ first international album, and its ‘97 release led to a tour of Canada and northern US with a roadshow which included the likes of Sheryl Crow, Los Lobos,Wilco and Tragically Hip. While still based in the UK the group released their fourth album ‘Rain, Steam & Speed’ in ‘98, although by then their enthusiasm for the European struggle had been drained. Don McGlashan returned to NZ the next year and was musical director of the millennium celebration in Auckland’s Domain. The band went back to tour UK and Oz, and in 2002 EMI NZ released their best of under the title ‘Flock’, which went gold within months and currently enjoys near platinum level sales - as does ‘Envy Of Angels’. Don’s solo show (with SJD on bass) opened the AK03 festival and has developed into a band and album he expects to be released later this year once a label deal is inked. Ross Burge, who himself returned to NZ in 2001, is again drumming in Don’s band. He has also been working withDave Dobbyn,Tim Finn and played on the latestWindy City Strugglers’ album. GuitaristDavid Long released his own album, ‘Come On In’, in 2002 under the moniker Slim Volume in 2002, and has become a Wellington producer of note with credits including Fur Patrol, Barry Saunders and Dave Dobbyn’s soon-to-be released album. Bass player Alan Gregg released the very delightful ‘Marshmallow’ from his London base (to fantastic reviews) late the same year. "Then my label went bust! Now we have a new label who have re-issued the album with two new tracks and new artwork. We’re doing shows and getting radio play."
Al Hunter   February/March 1993
When NZM spoke with Al Hunter for his 1993 cover story, the country artist had four residencies and played as many as seven gigs a week. Now that he’s based in the small town of Kumara on the South Island’s West Coast, he has a little more spare time on his hands. "You don’t play that many gigs on the West Coast. I probably play most weekends. Basically pubs and the old Workingmen’s Clubs. Anything I can do that makes a buck.’ ‘The Singer’, released at the time he was on the cover, has not smashed any local sales records, but it has stood the test of time. "In the country vein, albums don’t sell that much, but it’s still ticking over." Album number three, ‘Cold Hard Winter’, was released in 1997 through Pagan Records. Then along with his wife Debbie, Al decided to leave Auckland in 1998. "We moved to Christchurch so I’d have more gigs and Debbie decided she wanted to be a nurse, so we went to Nelson." Currently Al performs in theCoal Rangers, comprising musicians from two different South Island bands. "The Coal Rangers features guys from Christchurch and the Coast, and the Christchurch guys are the Ranch Sliders. Over here they are The Hetheringtons." He plans to record a new Al Hunter album later this year. "We’ve done demos and we just hope someone’s going to pick it up and run with it."

Fur Patrol   August/September 2003

Since releasing second album ‘Collider’, Fur Patrol has lost the services of founding guitarist Steve Wells. Rather than chucking it all in front womanJulia Deans, bassist Andrew Bain and drummer Simon Braxton have opted to carry on as a three-piece. The Melbourne-based band appear to be more focused and determined than ever. Having recently completed their first tour without Steve, they intend to take some time out to write for their third album. Manager Dave Benge says the music will be quite different without Steve. "It’s going to be a little more stripped back and more raw overall. I think there will be more of a focus on the songs as opposed to the production. So far there’s shoe gazer material, almost disco stuff and some good old fashioned rock!" Fur Patrol left NZ in 2001 at the top of the rock pack. Their double platinum debut album ‘Pet’, spent 30 weeks in the local charts, and superb videos made them one of the most recognisable acts around. Since ‘Collider’ they have had some great support tours, showcased in LA and played a number of shows in the UK, but life across the ditch has been an ongoing financial battle as a recent message posted on the band’s website by Simon expresses. ‘(It’s time) to capitalise on the momentum of ‘Collider’ and send ourselves soaring into the outer stratosphere of rock super stardom, with all of the attendant trappings and luxuries it brings. But mostly, time to get back to the day jobs so we can eat and pay the gas bill!’
Greg Page, Joe Lonie and Chris Graham   April/May 2003

Just two years ago we discussed the future of the music video art form in NZ with producersGreg Page, Joe Lonie and Chris Graham. One of the main angles of the story was the difficulty producers encounter working within the confines of NZ On Air $5000 video grant budgets, and another the impending demise of late night music show M2 as an outlet. Chris Graham explains what happened. "Looking back at when M2 closed, and before C4 was even a street rumour, many of us video makers wondered if there was any point at all - with no audience, due to nowhere to see videos besides the commercial window of Coke and TV2 Saturday mornings." Within six months C4 emerged as a viable music channel, and Juice TV went free-to-air in Auckland. "Suddenly we went from no music channels, to the fact that two of the six free-to-air channels were dedicated to music videos. That changed everything, it was as if suddenly there were endless screening opportunities and multiplied rotation possibilities. It was the same time that pride and enthusiasm for NZ music as a whole was peaking, so music videos as a culture and art form began a significant renaissance." "Budgets will always be difficult because you’re always aiming high," adds Greg Page. "C4 is a fantastic supporter of local clips. I have had clips I made that cost $30,000 screen next to clips that I made for $2000."
Paul McLaney   December/January 2001
 
Released shortly before speaking to NZM towards the end of 2000, ‘Permanence’ was Paul McLaney’s third album and the first in which he performed under the guise of Gramsci. Back then Gramsci was a way for Paul to collaborate with a variety of musicians without taking all of the credit. Gramsci has since settled into something a little more permanent. "The Gramsci live band is down to its final incarnation," says Paul. Where ‘Permanence’ was straight-up pop-rock, Gramsci’s second release ‘Object’ was "more of an electronic outing." Paul then went to the UK for a year, recording a nine-song acoustic guitar album ‘Like Stray Voltage’ at Abbey Road. "I’d say the Abbey Road thing really put the wind in my sails. It was recorded in Studio 2, where The Beatles recorded most of their output - we actually used the same microphones," he boasts. That record was produced by Nick Abbott andPhil Brown, and mastered in New York by Howie Weinberg. "After I did that I kinda fell in love with the guitar again. It’s given me the confidence to re-approach music generally, including my own." Since then, Paul has collaborated with the likes of Concord Dawn, Rhian Sheehan, SJD, Breaks Co-Op and Module - "to keep my finger in the electronic pie," he says. A new Gramsci album will be released in May, which Paul thinks will surprise. "There’s quite a lot of what you could term ‘heavy moments’ and I think that’s a direction we might pursue." The new album has been recorded at Kog and produced by Gramsci’s own guitarist David Holmes.
The Peter Stuyvesant Hitlist   August/September 1998

"Our strength was always in our live performance," says Dominic Blaazer of his former band. The self-titled album, which earnt them a place on NZM’s cover, saw Auckland’s supreme party-time band recording 11 original tunes. "I think the reason we put something out was mainly because people kept asking ‘When are you going to put out an album?’ We managed to tour the country on the back of it, [but] it didn’t set the world alight." Charmingly erratic frontman Chris Anderton left the band in 2000 and was replaced by Simon-Joe Davis. It was only a year later Simon broke the news of his own departure, shortly before a show on Great Barrier Island. "It’s the sort of place where you throw the rule book out anyway - one more unusual thing didn’t really alter much. I think half of the audience got up on stage with us that night." Although the band’s life effectively ended there, interest in the band’s stellar live performances didn’t. The Hitlist was asked to make a one-off appearance for the wedding of one-time NZM assistant editorMelinda Olyken. "After that we were asked to play at the 40th birthday of one of the flatmates of our original guitarist Davey Beige. Our most recent gig was in late February this year. We played a wedding for the daughter ofAlan Gibbs." It seems you just can’t keep a good band down.
King Biscuit   June/July 1995
 
Stephen Judd had recently left King Biscuit when NZM spoke to the band in the June of 1995. With a baby on the way, Stephen felt he had to put fatherly duties first. But he assures me that there’s not much to tell of the band’s future from that point on. "I’m afraid it kind of spontaneously dissolved about six months after that. I would characterise it as ‘run out of steam’," He insists the demise of King Biscuit was not so much minor personal differences (which he admits were there), but more disillusionment with the outcome of debut album ‘Sun Hits the Moon’. "I think we ended up with a result that was much flatter than the kind of sound I thought we had. When you’ve been working hard for comparatively little in return, your enthusiasm eventually goes." Most of the former members have continued to play music however. "Mark Kington is alive and kicking, and playing lounge music as we speak. Stan Jagger has been very active musically." "Right now I’m wedded to my day job as a programmer, but I’ve been involved with Vitamin S for the last couple of months and I’m working on some electronica at home."
Flying Nun (Roger Shepherd)   October/November 1991

The first NZM cover appearance for Flying Nun was on the occasion of the label’s 10th anniversary, which included an Auckland gallery showing of original FN artworks, and the recording of ‘Roger Sings The Hits’. Russell Baillie’s coverage of the recording process, right through to cassette tape dubbing and liner note gluing, paints a typically DIY picture. Label founderRoger Shepherd was still in command at that stage, though a joint venture deal with Australia’s Mushroom Records had been signed and changes were acomin’. He has been living in London for a decade now, initially as a wine importer, more lately as a music fan and father. With its 25th anniversary looming next year, Flying Nun continues as the veteran of Kiwi indie record labels, albeit as a sub-label of Festival Mushroom Records. MD Mark Ashbridge describes FMR as the caretaker of Flying Nun. "Five years ago Festival Mushroom and Flying Nun came together as FMR (NZ), and the goal there was to create a definitive music label that focused really actively on NZ music," he says. "The Festival Mushroom side of things allows us to have slightly different artists, like Phoenix Foundation and Dimmer, then indie rock stuff on Nun - but it doesn’t have to be rock, we’re interested in a bit of bent pop stuff there as well." Nun’s top project at the moment is The Mint Chicks who have just returned from SXSW. The D4 and The Shocking Pinks have recently released albums, and the label is also gearing up for new albums from Ghost Club and stalwart Chris Knox.

Andrew Fagan   December/January 1994
 
Andrew Fagan’s Swirly World Ltd. toured the album ‘Blisters’ extensively around the country after speaking to NZM in December 1992. But not long after that frustration with his record label gave Andrew further incentive to take his band abroad. "[Sony] put the singles out on cassette and not CD, which generally wasn’t the format of the moment. It was quite annoying at the time." Andrew, his young family and most of the band made the leap to the UK in July 1995. Recruiting the services of ex-pat Barbara Morgan on bass, the band became known as Lig. Their first 12" singleEmpty was picked up by John Peel, and the video playlisted on MTV Europe. In 1997 Lig released the Europe-only album ‘Bacterial Activity’. "It was on a UK independent called Abstract Records, and we toured all around the UK to support that release." Although the UK tour excluded the rest of Europe, this didn’t prevent Lig from making an impact there. "We sold 55 in Greece off the back of the video,’ laughs Andrew. Returning to NZ in 2003, Lig has only performed sporadically since. Now a Kiwi breakfast DJ, Andrew likens the return home to starting afresh. "I think the main thing is for us to get a song out there people can identify with. We’ve got to play to someone. Everyone needs an audience."
Brendan Power April/May 1993
 
Now Ireland-based, Brendan Power has been doing session work on a number of movie scores lately. He has worked on films featuring Jackie Chan,Madonna and Britney Spears among others. "My harp is the moose sound on the current film The Magic Roundabout. I think that must be the peak of my achievements so far," he jokes. The release of his 1994 album entitled ‘New Irish Harmonica’ had somewhat of a snowball effect for Brendan. Good reviews and considerable airplay of the album in Ireland led to collaborations with the likes of revered Irish musiciansDonal Lunny, Mary Black,Artie McGlynn and Altan. Such exposure in turn led to a job as a player/soloist in The Riverdance band, with which he toured the globe between 1996 and ‘99. "Though it was a comfortable gig, I got sick of the touring after a while and decided to find a way of earning a living from home." Brendan started a business making custom harmonicas and selling them online. "That has worked out well. It provides a steady income, so I can now just do the gigs I want and not be on the road too long." Recently he released ‘Tradish’, once again to critical acclaim in Ireland. "It marks the end of my ‘Celtic phase’, as I’m now mad into playing swing jazz, especially the music of Django Reinhardt. I plan to do an album of that stuff, plus originals in the same vein, before the year is out." Brendan will return to NZ in August to perform at the Taranaki Festival as well as a few of his own shows.
Dawn Raid & Mareko   June/July 2003
 
Dawn Raid Entertainment progressed so quickly since Andy Murnane and Danny ‘Brotha D’ Leaosavaii founded it in 1999, it was hard to know when to recognise the label’s achievements with a cover feature. We chose the launch of Mareko’s ‘White Sunday’ album because it represented the beginnings of a serious push into the US market and a stage two (or was that three?) of artist development. Mareko had grown out of Deceptikonz and his was the first solo artist album from the label. Andy says they only released a 12-inch through New York’s HRH Records. "We sold about 2000 copies and got some good reviews. It got to a point where the amount of money we had to put forward would have been put to better use putting it back into making NZ records." While talk of a New York office hasn’t eventuated ‘White Sunday’, went gold here, and other Dawn Raid artists have since risen dramatically up the ranks. "Adeaze had a platinum single, two gold singles and double platinum album, which was a real breakthrough for us," says Andy. "Savage really came out of his shell withScribe’s Not Many... I guess everything’s sped up, as well as our music business, our clothing business." With a second Hook Up Tour just finished, Dawn Raid is again setting its sights overseas. Europe and America will soon be in for a taste of Savage, and the Australian Dawn Raid offices are opening in Sydney.
Margaret Urlich   October/November 1992
 
Margaret Urlich has moved on from pop sensation to full-time mum. One of our most successful artists in the early ‘90s, she now lives in Sydney with her husband and two children, aged six and four. Her solo success peaked with her debut album ‘Safety In Numbers’. The record went four times platinum in Australia and three times platinum here, qualifying her for star status and a half million dollar recording budget for the follow up. When we spoke to Margaret in 1992 Sony was about to release the second album. Although it went platinum in Australia, it wasn’t anywhere near as successful as her debut which had sold more than 200,000 copies there. "‘Chameleon Dreams’ had second album syndrome, where I guess you put your lifetime of songs into your first album and that’s considered your definitive work," she says. Margaret went on to release a third ‘The Deepest Blue’, followed by independent album ‘Second Nature’ near the end of the decade. "By that stage I was pregnant with my first child and I pretty much knew I wanted to be a full time mother," she says. Now she says she is ready to record again. "I’m just at the demo stage now, and then we’ll see if there’s any interest. I’m excited because I’m singing better than I’ve ever sung... I feel like this could be my second wind, so to speak."
Southside Records / Murray Cammick  December/January 1991
 
Although the name still exists, Southside is no longer treated as a record label. "It sorta evolved into Wildside Records really," explains founder and MD Murray Cammick. "Basically Southside is the owner of Wildside. Southside still exists but it largely just puts out recordings on the Wildside label." Co-founder Simon Lynch (right) left the label early in its lifetime. "He’s mastering engineer at Stebbing Studios, and he still produces records there as well."Before being sidelined as a label, Southside did enjoy a considerable degree of success. Artists signed included Upper Hutt Posse, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave, D-Faction andJames Gaylyn. "The biggest success story for Southside was Moana and the Moahunters’ debut album ‘Tahi’, which went platinum. It was one of the first recordings to combine Maori language and instruments with modern R’n’B music." Wildside is known more as an alternative rock label, famous for such acts as Shihad,Head Like a Hole, The Dead Flowers and more recently Rubicon andStylus. "Wildside’s biggest success is probably with Shihad," says Murray, with albums ‘Churn’ and ‘Shihad’ both going gold. However, Shihad left the label after releasing ‘The General Electric’, intent on cracking the American marketplace. The year ahead promises to be a busy one for Wildside. "We’ve got a new Accelerants album, a new Rubicon album, a second Stylus album and we’re working towards a Head Like a Hole DVD this year. And there’s also a Bryan Bell [ex-Dead Flowers] album."
Rubicon   August/September 2002
 
In mid 2004, Paul Reid received an email that flipped his world upside down. He had not long relocated to Los Angeles with the intention of making the city Rubicon’s new home. The band had toured the UK and the US in 2003, to what Paul describes as "healthy praise", and this convinced him that Rubicon’s future lay abroad. "The reception at the Viper Room was great and towards the end of that year we made it to #8 on the alternative college specialty chart - which is quite a feat. If you look at the other artists on the chart now, most of them are big players over here." But shortly after arriving came that email from bandmates Jon Corker and Gene Bennett, both still in NZ at the time. "They didn’t want to continue with the project, citing musical differences," explains Paul. "I think prior to us splitting we had already drifted apart as friends, so we weren’t connecting musically together anymore, which in turn led to different points of view as to the direction of Rubicon." Determined to keep going, Paul has recruited three LA-based musicians and under the guidance of Bruce Witkin (Foo Fighters, Steriogram), has recorded a new "sk8er punk" album, on which he plays drums and most of the guitars. ‘The Way It Was Meant To Be’ is scheduled for June release through Wildside Records.

Denys Mason   August/September 1990

After the 358’s split up, frontman Denys Mason moved to Australia because he wanted a new environment to start in. We photographed him at the airport to highlight the exodus of our musical talent. He only intended to stay a few years, but 15 years on Denys is still a North Sydney resident. He originally made a living touring and supporting artists including Margaret Urlich andAnnie Crummer, but decided he wanted to build and maintain a career of his own in Sydney. The vocalist and sax player has added percussion to his bag, which means he lands three or four gigs a week. Denys’ repertoire is still jazz, soul and R&B. He says his most rewarding work these days is with his duo Bestboys, partnering either Christchurch guitarist Gordon Tan or Glenn Cunningham. Fifteen years later he still counts his days with the 358’s as the best. "That time for me was the ‘ultimate’ in terms of being surrounded by musicians who all brought to the gig their own understanding, heart and feel. That was always inspirational to me," he says. Inspiration seems to have struck again, with Denys intending to put his home studio to use soon. "I feel some writing coming on. There’s the possibility of a CD coming out in the not too distant future

Betchadupa   April/May 2002

Back in 2002 the four 17-year-olds were looking to break into the Aussie market and were soon to release their first album, ‘Alphabetchadupa’, on Flying Nun. The album debuted at #2, and stayed in our Top 10 for three weeks. Things didn’t go quite so well across the Tasman, and the lack of support from FMR Australia led them to severe ties with Flying Nun and sign to Sydney-based Liberation. As so many have before them, betchadupa realised they needed to be based in Oz to conquer it, and have been living in Melbourne for almost a year now. In that time they have released their second album, ‘Aiming For My Head’, which received good reviews but didn’t chart back here, and has only managed around 5000 copies across the ditch. Liam Finn (guitar/vox) remains happy with the new record. "It’s a lot more about what we are and where we’re at now... more of an accomplished record. We were trying to capture the live spirit of the band." They will need plenty of spirit as a chronic lack of funds apparently led them to turn down a return gig at SXSW this April. The next big decision for the band is whether to attempt the American or UK market - where they have already released an EP. Although they aren’t sure where they’ll start, Liam says they’re in for the long haul. "Hopefully if we’re going to go there, we’ll be going for good."

Carly Binding   February/March 2003

The day NZM interviewed Carly Binding in 2003, she had been told her anticipated debut record ‘Passenger’ was to be delayed by another five months. "The delay was because we actually wanted to re-record one of the tracks. If you really want to change something on a record and you don’t, you end up regretting it. I think with a first record it really doesn’t matter when you put it out." Indeed the delay didn’t seem to hinder the record, which went gold within a month. Following the release Carly was given the opportunity to perform at Summer Hummer, The Edge Summer Jam and also to open for pop superstarsBryan Adams, Ronan Keating andJosh Kelly. She spent most of last year in Australia, has had three Top 10 AC radio hits and sold another 5000 copies of her album across the ditch. Just over two years after ‘Passenger’ Carly is working on the follow up - tentatively titled ‘Do Not Erase’. "I’m basically in the recording studio June to August, making my next baby. I just want to write another six songs." The album will be produced by NZ artist-adopted Welshman Greg Haver, and FMR are planning for a 2005 release.

Breaks Co-Op   December/January 1998

It’s been seven years since Breaks Co-Op unveiled ‘Roofers’, an album that helped pioneer electronica in NZ. "I think ‘Roofers’ quickly became an underground classic," says Hamish Clarke. "I’ve heard from [a number of] NZ electronic musicians that it had influenced them. In a way it was the first record of its kind in this country - the whole fact that it’s a sample-based record." Meanwhile, Hamish and his counterpart from ‘Roofers’, Zane Lowe, have been pursuing other ventures. Zane is known to millions across Europe as a popular BBC Radio 1 DJ, having made his name with MTV. "Zane’s gone off and got famous," says Hamish. "He’s gone on and replicated his position in Max TV in the UK. Also. on the flipside, he’s a talented musician. He’s the most naturally talented musician I’ve ever met. Annoyingly talented. He’s just fuckin’ good at everything." "I think I’ve been sorting my shit out and I’ve been doing music constantly in a half-hearted fashion. I’m training to be an educator, ‘cos I want to make a difference. I’ve realised the only way to make a difference is to work with children." The follow-up to ‘Roofers,’ entitled ‘The Sound Inside’ has just been released, and enlists the vocal talents of England’s Andy Lovegrove. Hamish says the sophomore effort differs from its predecessor in that it’s "more honest, it’s less show-off, it has more, dare I say it, adult themes. The majority is played as opposed to samples, [and] it has 10 vocals or so."

Garageland  April/May 1999

"I will always navigate pop," proclaims Jeremy Eade, songwriter and former lead singer of the since defunct garage-pop foursome Garageland, a group that enjoyed a fair share of musical successes. Recently Jeremy has been fronting Auckland group Red Drum, but as of early April he has disbanded once again, having found the tendency toward rock getting in the way of his pop sensibilities. "I have entered a ‘do what I want’ space," he says, adding he finds the intricacies of pop to be more of a challenge than the restrictingly straight lines of rock. Jeremy is still in touch with the other Garageland members. "We enjoyed what we did and will no doubt work together again in the future." Indeed Jeremy and ex-Garageland drummer Andrew Gladstone are toying with the idea of a new band. Andrew hasn’t been playing for several years, but they had a first rehearsal in March. He says the band is currently nameless and genre-less. "It’s almost impossible to say right now, it’ll be a surprise to everybody including ourselves I’m sure." Bassist Mark Silvey is living in Christchurch and short-term guitaristAndrew Claridge is back playing in his native UK. Dave Goodison, Garageland’s guitarist from 2001 onwards, has just completed a debut album with his band of two years, theCity Newton Bombers, which is due out at the end of May.

Unitone HiFi   February/March 1997

Although Unitone HiFi split shortly after making NZM’s cover, the former members have recently been discussing the possibility of reforming. "We’ve been discussing some remixes for people," says Unitone’s former bass player, Joost Langeveld. "One in particular is the 'Te Ku Te Whe' project." ‘Te Ku Te Whe’ is the gold-selling album released in 1994 by the late Hirini Melbourne. "He reintroduced Maori instruments in recorded form. It was not so much influential but in some ways groundbreaking for us. It had a bit of an impact on us, so when we were approached to do a remix for it we started talking about maybe revamping the Unitone HiFi project." In the time since, Joost went on to start Reliable Recordings, and has collaborated with DJ Jason Hall on a project they call Subware. "Angus McNaughton and myself went on to start Soundproof. We toured with HDU and then we became Phase 5," says DJ Stinky Jim, citing potential legal hassles with a band of the same name as the cause of the name change. "Then we released an album on our own label Round Trip Mars (featuring SJD and Phelps & Munro), which I’ve subsequently gone on to run [myself] because Angus is now teaching."

King Kapisi   December/January 2000

This year is a 10 year anniversary for King Kapisi - Bill Rangi Urale first used the pseudonym in 1995 when he became a solo artist. When we spoke to him in 2000 his first album ‘Savage Thoughts’ was about to be released. It went on to platinum sales and his second album, 2003’s ‘2nd Round Testament’, has enjoyed similar success. The first single,Conversate, topped the alternative charts, and the second single, U Can’t Resist Us (along with Che Fu), quickly sold gold. About the same time as the second album was launched, the West Aucklander - with no previous fashion experience - bravely established his Overstayer clothing line. It has enjoyed considerable success, including being at the 2004 NZ Fashion Week where Kapisi himself tried his hand at modelling. The label’s adoption by the Farmers chain reflects both his and hip hop’s mainstream appeal. He is also involved in a production company jointly set up with his sister Sima, shooting music videos and TV commercials. Just lately King Kapisi has been in the studio working on his third album. Featuring a who’s who of NZ hip hop, ‘Dominant Species’ is due out in July through FMR.

Derek Lind   August/September 1994

Singer/songwriterDerek Lind had just released his fourth album ‘Stations’, and was looking to strengthen his musical presence offshore at a time when the Kiwi Christian scene was very buoyant. "‘Stations’ did end up getting US distribution. I had a couple of albums released on a US label (REX subsidiary Storyville), but nothing much happened." This was partly because things changed for Derek. He had no real desire to make it big in the US Christian scene, and admits he did not put his energies into doing so. "In America, if you’re not prepared to go over and just tour relentlessly it’s pretty hard to break an album. There’s so much material being released daily over there, you just get lost in the wash if you don’t build up some sort of live profile." Instead he has continued to play live here in NZ, playing mostly to small town halls, churches and community centres. "I’ve always done a lot of work with the Tear Fund. It’s a development agency active in the third world. I just use the music to raise awareness of issues regarding the poor, and basic human rights issues. Quite a lot of my songs have dealt with that kind of thing." Derek released ‘Salvo’ in 2000, a collection of his best songs spanning 15 years as an artist. In 2002, he released the acclaimed ‘Twelve Good Hours of Daylight’ through Someone Up There Records.

Ted Clarke   February/March 1994

The 1993/94 summer tour in support of album ‘Dejavoodoo’ was not what quite whatTed Clarke had in mind. "After that I stopped touring, it was an appalling summer."

The Backdoor Blues Band, Ted contends, was simply too large (along with the road crew) to be viable given the dwindling attendances. "Musically, I’d already moved on, and because I had become a solo artist, it wasn’t the band situation anymore." "Before doing my next original album in 2000, I started working in ‘98 on more original stuff with Mike Farrell. Our own label Emerge was started by myself and an old school mate of mine. Unfortunately, we just had the album pressed and then Mike Farrell died of a heart attack. It got wonderful reviews [but] unfortunately, Mike had passed away and the wind was knocked out of my sails." Ted is now also a recognised actor, having had roles in local dramas Shortland Street and Street Legal, international hit shows Xena and Hercules, and even a role in James Kahn movie Blood Crime. "I also had the lead role in the official tribute to the Blues Brothers," he adds. Musically, Ted secured the coveted Counting Crows support slot in 2003, and has recently been writing with Ardijah’s Anthony and Adrian Grey. Although an album is planned, he’s in no rush to release the material. "We’re having such a great creative period."

Trip To The Moon   June/July 1999

Trip To The Moon’s second album, ‘Dusk’ was about to be released when NZM spoke to them. The creative core of Tom Ludvigson and Trevor Reekie were looking forward to the release of their follow-up to the highly acclaimed debut ‘Jazz Hop’. Unfortunately, recalls Trevor, the album performed "dismally". "We tried to deviate from jazz, but we didn’t lock into the new audience and the old audience didn’t want to hear. For the album after that we went back to jazz." For their third album the band title was simplified to ‘Trip’ and the ambitious use of male and female vocals was similarly pared back. ‘Pretty Cool’ was released in 2003 to excellent reviews, its songs since included in several television documentaries and commercials. The pair are now working on their fourth album - optimistically titled ‘The Best Million Dollar Selling Jazz Album Ever’. "It’s kind of an extension of ‘Pretty Cool’, though musically it’s going into new creative areas." Trip have released all their records through Trevor’s own Antenna Records label, however he says the act’s future could be on the Net. "Because it’s stuff that doesn’t get radio play etcetera, I think the most valid way for it to perpetuate itself is through the internet. This year we’re going to do a few gigs, and basically it’s just more of the same... we’ve never stopped and never will probably."

The Hasselhoff Experiment   October/November 1998

The Hasselhoff Experiment were a roaring rock’n’roll two-piece whose influences ranged from R&B, to Lenny Kayes’ Nuggets-style ‘60s garage rock, to NZ punk trailblazers theAxel Grinders. Guitarist Andrew Tolley now leads Auckland three-piece Bloody Souls, while drummer Brendan Moran has been lending his services to a number of bands (including theFly My Pretties project), as well as booking acts for Wellington venue Indigo. Andrew says one of the highlights for him during the Hasselhoff’s career was the tour with Head Like A Hole. "The tour took us to a lot of places we wouldn’t normally get to - a lot of crowds we wouldn’t normally have seen. It was like a travelling circus... a lot of crazy nights." He thinks the least successful part of the band’s career was their debut album, because the band was "winding down by that stage" and the video single wasn’t represented on the album. Andrew reckons its exclusion damaged sales. This, and a number of other frustrations, lead to Brendan departing for the US for about seven months in 2002. Does a reunion look likely? "I wouldn’t rule it out completely," muses Tolley.

TrinityRoots   December/January 2002

Late last year TrinityRoots announced the band was being packed down, giving their faithful several last chances to catch them performing live. It was on stage where the trio’s international reputation had been gained - their blend of roots, reggae, waiata and cool pop combining to spiritualise and mesmerise audiences. Despite never enjoying a hit single in their six years together, by the time the band quit they had earned the tag ‘legendary’. Although refusing interviews at the time, the three members of TrinityRoots - Warren Maxwell (guitar/vocals),Rio Hemopo (bass) and Rikki Gooch (drums) - intend to pursue their own projects. Warren has a new band called the Little Bushmen, Rikki has a solo project namedEru, and Rio has been collaborating with Fat Freddy’s Drop’s Chris Faimu. TrintyRoots were on the verge of releasing debut album ‘True’ when they featured on the NZM’s cover back in 2001. Their second album entitled ‘Home, Land and Sea’ is widely held to be a Kiwi classic, showcasing a definitive sound of Aotearoa and still features on the IMNZ charts. Both albums have sold close to the 15,000 copies needed for platinum status.

Rob Guest   August/September 1991

The Kiwi theatre legend appeared on our cover about the time his three year stint playing Jean Valjean in Les Misérables came to an end. Several months on a career-defining role as Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera commenced. For seven years, and over 2000 performances, Rob played the Phantom - leaving the show in 1998. Throughout his career, Rob has received numerous awards. An OBE for his services to the NZ entertainment industry, a Best Male Performer in a Leading Role Green Room award for Phantom, and Best NZ Theatrical Performer for his roles in Les Misérables and Phantom. His CV boasts an impressive 36 lead roles. As to what Rob Guest is doing right now - even the elusive actor’s Auckland agent isn’t sure. All she can tell us is he’s based in Sydney, and is currently touring Queensland with his own show - maybe called The Rob Guest Show. "He’s basically been overseas looking at various projects to produce and maybe play,"Karen Kay told NZM. "He’s interested in going into film and TV again, but he’s continuing in music - music is his first love."

The D4   February/March 2004

The sake bombs were going down like nobody’s business at the inspired Auckland release party for The D4’s exceptional new album ‘Out of My Head’. "Everyone just got very, very, very drunk," laughs frontman Jimmy Christmas. "It was fantastic. We just got off a plane ride from Melbourne. When we got to the party we were pretty much out of our heads to begin with." According the Jimmy, The D4 four enjoyed the chance to perform for their friends and not feel the need to impress. It was a true celebration of the hard work that had gone into the finished product. "It was a real buzz. It’s been a lot of work and a long time coming and to have that thing in our hands..." says Jimmy, lost for words. "I reckon it’s a lot better. I think the songs are better. Personally I think it’s an evolution on what we’ve been doing." The D4 is currently on a tour of Europe with popular Swedes The Hives, and will return for tours of NZ and Australia. Although no dates have been finalised "... at the moment it looks like mid-May".