Springloader

Biography

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.
– Failsafe Records

Members

  • Rob Mayes (Guitar, 1993 – 1995)
  • David Toland (Drums, 1993 – 1994)
  • Michael Oakley (Vocals, 1993 – 1995)
  • Che Rogers (Bass, 1993 – 1995)
  • Andrew Kerr (Drums, 1994 – 1995)
  • Kevin Stokes (Guitar, 1995)

Discography

Links

 

Atomic Blossom

Biography

The brainchild of Christchurch musician Dean Karena who first came to local prominence with his previous band Naked Lunch in 1990. [Atomic Blossom had] 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. The album remained pretty much impossible to obtain for ten years, until Failsafe Records remastered and re-released it in 2005.

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.

– Failsafe Records

Members

  • Dean Karena (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 – 1996)
  • Prudence Stone (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 –  1996)
  • Greg Hirtzel (Bass/Drums, 1993 – 1996)
  • Trevor Hall (Drums, 1993)
  • Layton Pace (Bass, 1993 – 1994)
  • Matt Monopoly (Bass, 1994 – 1996)

Discography

Links

 

Chameleon

Biography

Melodic pop four-piece Chameleon was formed by Jazz School students Leigh Franklin and Julian Marchant late in 1993. Drummer Bevan Davison and keyboardist turned bassist Mike completed the lineup. This was soon to change with Greig Bainbridge coming on board on bass (ex Bill Direen and the Builders) and Mark Kouvelis on drums, both of whom played in local jazz-funk band Eat My Shorts.

Their first gig was at the Dux de Lux alongside Atomic Blossom and Squirm following the release of their single Blue Soup, under Failsafe.

Early in 1995 the band won the NZ heats of the Next Big Thing competition along with Auckland Band Word, which led them to compete in Melbourne against International competition. This cemented their desire to return to Melbourne as soon as possible to take advantage of the thriving music scene there.

While there guitarist Julian contracted a mysterious illness which left the left side of his body numb and having to learn to play without feeling in his fingers. Chameleon then released a 5 track EP titled Gladwrap under Saint Records early 1996, which followed a Nationwide tour.

They moved to Melbourne March 1996 minus bass-player Greig, who had musical commitments in NZ. They then recorded 4 track EP Hot’n’tot, named after Greig’s dog Hotty.

Failsafe Records

Members

  • Julian Marchant (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 – 1997?)
  • Leigh Franklin (Guitar/Vocals, 1993 – 1997?)
  • Bevan Davison (Drums, 1993)
  • Mike (Keyboards/Bass, 1993)
  • Greig Bainbridge (Bass, 1993 – 1996)
  • Mark Kouvalis (Drums, 1993 -1997?)

Discography

  • Gladwrap EP (1996, Saint Records)

Links