Formed in late 1993 by Rob Mayes, Springloader was principally a vehicle for Mayes own compositions, predominantly melodic based indie rock, combining the pop of Mayes previous outing in Throw, coupled with the heavy leanings of Dolphin, and a new darker extended edge, Mayes shifting to guitar. Mayes collaborated with drummer David Toland as an instrumental 2 piece originally with the pair developing a power pop sound progressing and following on from the sound of Mayes previous musical outings Dolphin and Throw. Mayes had spent the last year working on the Avalanche project and associated ventures, and this leading to a heavier guitar sound.
After a couple of months Mayes invited singer/guitarist Micheal Oakley to join the group on vocals. Oakley had been a regular attender at Throw and Dolphin gigs and came to Mayes attention through his own song writing in Field, which featured Chè Rogers on bass. Field were almost a tribute band to Mayes own band throw, the band being big fans of Throws music and stylistically similar. Rogers and Oakley were a regular feature on the local pop gothic scene and had been in a number of musical outings together that made waves in those circles, notably CR Eye, and Elder Sign, both bands developing a following at various successful indie all age concerts the band self promoted and arranged.
Oakley bought Rogers into the band and within a month Springloader had arranged their debut performance on February 5th, out of town at Wellingtons Bar Bodega with fellow Christchurchers Atomic Blossom. This event hinted at problems which would later see the band split with Toland due to his unreliable nature, as Toland misses the plane to Wellington and must fly on a later one, narrowly making the gig. The band followed this with a support slot for Auckland’s the Nixons [aka EyeTV] in Christchurch and the band hitting further problems with Toland, who went missing the night before the concert leaving the band to arrive at the concert alone. Toland later arrived and played the show. Wounds healed, the band arranged a local show at the Dux De Lux, Toland once again going missing during the bands pre show rehearsal and arriving again just before the show.
Band relations were heavily strained by this stage but the band agreed to embark on a South Island tour to Dunedin and Invercargill. The band once again hitting trouble with Toland arriving minutes before the bands were due to start playing. Toland was also playing in the support act, the fledgling Future Stupid, the bands first live performance. The bands played their show in Invercargill successfully before a stressful return to Christchurch and a final blow out before Toland and Springloader parted company. The band did 2 recording sessions with the original line-up, the first in January and the later in April, recording a total of 14 songs. One track ‘Now I Know’ was included on the Good Things compilation. The others have not yet appeared on official release but will be available at some stage. In September 94 Mayes enlisted new drummer Andrew Kerr, and the band recorded a New Zealand On Air funded video for the track one more thing. Mayes continued to work on the bands music till the band performed one last time in April at the Dolphin album release party. Mayes left for London in October of 95 to concentrate on his work with Dolphin.
In 2005 the previously unreleased ‘Just Like Falling’ finally saw a commercial release as part of Mayes archival ‘Retrogenic’ series.
– Rob Mayes
Discography (picks in bold)
- Just Like Falling [2005 Failsafe 073cd]