atomic blossom

the brainchild of christchurch musician dean karena. karena first came to local prominence with his previous band naked lunch in 1990. naked lunch were a three piece outfit which featured dean karena on vocals / guitar, randolf (tuck) tucker – drums, peter blackman – bass. karena formed atomic blossom in late 1993. the original line up included: dean karena – guitar / vocals, prudence stone – guitar / vocals, greg hirtzel – bass (debris), trevor hall – drums.
the band did their first performance at an outdoor concert at the dux de lux in christchurch, first up on a rainy outdoor show featuring cinematic, the headless chickens and dave dobbyn. trevor hall had previously worked as an orientation and activities co-ordinator for university events, but he was a relative newcomer to drumming, and the band felt they had to replace him almost immediately, shifting hirtzel from bass to drums and bringing in layton pace (trawler, swirl). this line-up quickly cemented itself and recorded 5 songs almost immediately, one track appearing on the good things compilation, the other 4 eventually being re-recorded toward the band’s album. pace left the band after 6 months choosing to commit himself to trawler, where he got to sing and write his own music.
pace was replaced by matt monopoly and this line-up stayed solid till the band eventually disbanded in disastrous circumstances in new york in 1995. the story goes that the band continued to grow in popularity, working toward their self-released album, and building a strong following for their heavily british sonic guitar sound. the band secured support slots for smashing pumpkins on the 1995 new zealand tour, impressing the pumpkins and management. meanwhile atomic blossom’s manager was in the us working at securing the band industry support and arranging concert dates for them stateside. ab put the finishing touches on the cd and pressed 500 copies. this was used as a demo of the bands material and hardly any of them saw public release.
at the end of 1995 stone left for the us, the rest of the band were to follow early in 1996. unknown to the rest of the band stone had tired of playing in the band and felt her leaving for the us was indication enough to the others that she wanted to leave. the other members followed in 1996 and the band united to play american concerts which secured them heavy interest from us labels, notably maverick records. a record deal was as good as signed apparently before stone chose this opportune moment to abandon the band, effectively scuttling the project. stone stayed in new york, and karena, hirtzel, and monopoly returned to nz and disbanded. karena left nz for australia, probably disheartened by the turn of events. hirtzel concentrated his efforts on his other band debris. monopoly has since moved to the uk and is presently rehearsing with jeremy taylor toward possible work as cinematic.

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