Die! Die! Die! ‘Harmony’ album release tour

Andrew Wilson of Die! Die! Die!
Andrew Wilson of Die! Die! Die!
With Opposite Sex and Ipswich at Dux Live. Saturday July 28th 2012.

It’s no secret that Die! Die! Die! are one of my favourite New Zealand bands. Since the group first morphed from the ashes of Smokefree Rockquest champions Carriage H (initially taking the name Rawer), the formative duo of Andrew Wilson (Guitar and Vocals) and Michael Prain (Drums) have been pushed the boundaries and expectations of what a New Zealand group can be. Now supplemented with former Mint Chick Michael Logie on bass guitar (replacing the departed Lachlan Anderson) the group are now very influential in their own right.

You can see an element of Die! Die! Die!’s fury and passion in opening act Ipswich. The trio have made great strides in the last year establishing themselves throughout New Zealand. Ipswich have releases coming out on excellent Auckland-based independent label Muzai Records and recently won the coveted RDU ‘Round-Up’ band competition – a testament to their power in a live setting. Their songs are built on jagged guitar riffs and overdriven bass, invoking the likes of the Skeptics, the Gordons and other Flying Nun era groups.

Lucy Hunter of Opposite Sex
Lucy Hunter of Opposite Sex
Dunedin group Opposite Sex made for an intriguing contrast. With their North Island based guitarist Fergus Taylor sitting out these South Island shows, the duo of Lucy Hunter (Bass and Vocals) and Tim Player (Drums and Vocals) varied between primal drumming and sing-shout songs and melodic, whispered numbers built on Hunter’s extraordinary virtuoso approach to bass guitar. I saw elements of old-school Welsh post-punk group Young Marble Giants in their songs, very cool.

You can tell Die! Die! Die! are a very special group – as soon as the boys hit the stage the audience surged forward, hanging on every word from frontman Andrew Wilson and thrusting back and forth to the military rhythm of exception drummer Michael Prain. Starting their set with a handful of older songs before gradually introducing their new material the trio never relented in intensity. Michael Logie showed he’s no slouch on bass, adding huge crunchy, fuzzy riffs to Prain’s powerful beats and allowing Wilson to freely roam around the stage and into the crowd, leading the audience in anthemic chants ‘A.T.T.I.T.U.D’ and ‘How Ye’. The new album Harmony shows the groups continued evolution and refinement – truly one of New Zealand’s finest bands.

See more photos here.

Opossom and T54 at Darkroom

Joe Sampson of T54
Joe Sampson of T54

There was a great buzz around this show, well before either group had taken to the stage. Rumours of an early sell-out end up filling Darkroom’s limited capacity several hours before the show had the begun. With a bustling trade the venue was humming, the room warm with eager music fans packed wall to wall, downing craft beers and sheltering for a chilly night in Christchurch.

It was left to T54 to get things started, and the slick local 3-piece we’re just the ticket, drowning the audience in volume with thick, rolling bass, rollicking, snappy drumming and the soaring guitar-work of frontman Joe Sampson. I caught bassist Sam Hood next store at Galaxy records before the show and he was picking up a copy of the new box-set of rarities from German group Can – the flowing, organic vibe of the 1970’s Krautrock mainstays gives a pretty good indication of where some of T54’s many influences lay.

Bic Runga of Opossom
Bic Runga of Opossom

Speaking of Influences, it’s pretty tangible the impact the likes of the Zombies and other 60s/70s Psych-rock groups have had on Opossom’s Kody Neilson. The former Mint Chicks frontman now envelops his songs in a sunny West Coast of the USA haze that sounds particularly wonderful when you have the likes of Bic Runga and Mike Logie as your support band. Runga surprised me with her immense talent as a drummer, pulling of slinky rolls and driving the groups opening 3 songs. F in Math / Die! Die! Die! and former Mint Chicks bassist Mike Logie has altered his own sound to fit the retro sound of Opossom, gorgeous plucked bass rhythms that had the room jumping. With Kody and and Bic sharing vocal and instrument duties the group flew through an infectious array of songs which I wish didn’t end – thankfully their debut album is a ripper!

Check out more photos here

[Published in the Christchurch Press 06/07/2012]

Die! Die! Die! announce new album and New Zealand tour

DIE! DIE! DIE! [updated artist biography]
Brand new album Harmony and NZ tour.

Die! Die! Die!
Die! Die! Die! – with new bassist Michael Logie

July 6th 2012 sees Die! Die! Die! release Harmony, their fourth studio album recorded at Blackbox Studios, France. Harmony brings together the raw energy and emotion from their live shows, encapsulating the savant pop elements within their DIY punk philosophy. Produced by Chris Townend (Portishead, D12, Violent Femmes), and bringing back Shayne P. Carter on vocals, Harmony is set to be THE album of 2012.

Bringing on board bassist Michael Logie (The Mint Chicks, F In Math, Opossom), Die! Die! Die! will tour their face melting shows this July, continuing to evoke fierce loyalty in fans and burn as many bridges as they cross.

Hamilton
Thursday 12th July – Static

Auckland
Friday 13th July – Winchester (95bFM Private Function)

Tauranga
Saturday 14th July “Die Die Die Booze Cruise on the Luvboat” – SOLD OUT!!!

Dunedin
Wednesday 25th July – Crown Hotel

Port Chalmers
Friday 27th July – Chicks Hotel

Christchurch
Saturday 28th July – Dux Live

Wellington
Friday 3rd August – Bodega

TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM UNDERTHERADAR.CO.NZ from Monday 25th June

Shocking Pinks

Formed by Nick ‘Harte’ Hodgson in mid-2003, The Shocking Pinks are one of the most exciting and memorable bands to spring out of Christchurch in the last 5 years. New Zealand’s exponent of the dance-punk revitalisation – The Shocking Pinks encompass a vast variety of styles into their (utterly original) sound, blending disco, shoegazer guitar, new wave keys and vocals and punky rhythms into a mish-mash of undeniably danceable funk.

Valentines day 2004 sees The Pinks release their debut full-length ‘Dance The Dance Electric’ on Tim Baird’s Christchurch-based and usually house-orientated Pinacolada label. Reduced down to a four-piece (though their stylist Antonia De Bere gets a credit) of Harte, Tim McDonald (keys / percussion), Johnno Smith (bass / vocals) and Danny Bare (guitar – Ex-Substandard), the debut is startling different from their early 4-track attempts (though most of the recordings were done in such a lo-fi manner), with their heavy A Certain Ratio influence shining through on a number of tracks, which are now very varied and dynamic.

Though now somewhat missing a front-person (the album features vocal cameos by the Brunettes Heather Mansfield and original vocalist Mel Smith (Emerald Green, The Greenmatics) their sound has indeed fleshed out, and the band intends to sort out a relationship with the American DFA label.

More news came about with their January 2004 pre-release tour – after internal squabbles, the returning news was that the band had called it quits – though the album was still to be released on valentines day. After a couple of weeks, Harte re-appeared, announcing the band would march on – now with a completely new line-up featuring Harte taking both drum and bass roles, with newcomers Kit on guitar, and Marie on synthesizers (while advertising for a new drummer).

Things turned a little bizarre from this point on, with members of the original line-up reinstated for one-off gigs, then yet another new line-up and an eventual New Zealand tour (which ended unceremoniously with yet more departures). Finally, with The Pinks profile rising substantially both nationally and internationally, Harte took over sole responsibility of the group, signing a contract with Festival Mushroom (through Flying Nun), with plans for an EP and sophmoric EP in the works.

Circa 2004-5 The Shocking Pinks are a one-man recording project, though he has a new and established live band of Herbert Palmer (guitar – also of the Leper Ballet), Gareth (synth, vocals, percussion), and Tom (bass). In September 2004 Harte formed a new duo as a sideline to The Pinks, Black Albino – making their debut supporting touring US troop Hawnay Troof and high-flying Aucklanders Die! Die! Die!. Black Albino are somewhat closer to Harte’s previous outfit the Incisions, and featured former Pink and Incision Tim McDonald.

The Pinks gradually spaced out their live performances during 2005 and early 2006, after Herbert Palmer left the group for foreign shores. However in mid 2006 Harte finally got word of his impending US record deal, signing to DFA records in New York City. The group played a supposed final Christchurch show in August 2006, with Harte heading stateside for the re-release of Infinityland under DFA, with a four-record deal in the wings.

However it took almost a year for the DFA to actually release their first stateside material – a white-label 12″ record; whilst Nick was actually still in Christchurch, and even continued to play shows and house party’s before eventually leaving mid 2007. By the end of the Pinks New Zealand lifetime the group was essentially Nick fronting (on guitar) the Tiger Tones (less bassist Ashlin Raymond) – a local group the Pinks have had a strong influence on.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Dance The Dance Electric [2004 Pinacolada Pinacd02]
  • Sway [2005 Self-Released]
  • Mathematical Warfare [2005 Flying Nun Fncd494]
  • Infinityland [2005 Flying Nun Fncd497]
  • Smokescreen 12″ [2007 DFA]
  • Shocking Pinks [2007 DFA]

See-Also

Sheep Technique [01/07/2008]

My very last Sheep Technique (kiwi music show on student radio station RDU); with Paul, and with an aborted interview with Cindy (previously known as Sandra) from former Flying Nun single band 25c.

Bible Black – Hell of a Woman
The Renderers – Low to the Ground
The Clean – Point that Thing Somewhere Else
25c – The Witch
Front Lawn – A Man and a Woman
25c – Don’t deceive me
The Good Housewives – Concerto in D Minor
The Stones – See Red
Spacedust – Too Much Action
3Ds – Outer Space
Steffan Van Soest Hit-Machine – Woman By My Side (Mexican Man)
Ticket – Mr. Music
Shaft – The Downhill Racer
Scorched Earth Policy – Sunset on the Loading Zone
Scavengers – Mysterex
Toy Love – Bride of Frankenstein
Reduction Agents – Urban Yard
Blam Blam Blam – There is No Depression in New Zealand
Pop Art Toasters – What Am I Going to Do
Tomorrows Love – 7 and 7 Is
King Loser – 76 Comeback
Straitjacket Fits – Life in One Chord
Palace of Wisdom – Found and Lost
Wreck Small Speakers on Expensive Stereos – All of This
the Bats – Block of Wood
Snapper – Snapper and the Ocean
Bitch – Wildcat
Die! Die! Die! – Sideways Here We Come
The Androidss – Auckland Tonight
Lawrence Arabia – Half the Right Size

Southern Amp 2008

Got some pretty good photos from Christchurch’s flapship festival; Southern Amp. Of course Die! Die! Die! were spectacular, the crowd was good and things seemed to run pretty smoothly. Oh and the Tiger Tones were totally on this time around; their seldom heard ‘Be Your Star’ being a real highlight.


Click Here for the photoset.

Yokel Ono

Biography

Striking and popular 2-piece wunderkind featuring Thom Burton on guitar and vocals with Glen Johnson pummelling the drums. The duo formed in Hamilton back in 2000 before relocating to Auckland and immediate finding themselves on bills with the likes of Die! Die! Die! and the A Low Hum tours.

The group seemed to slip under the radar in the late 00’s, with Burton resurfacing with new group the Wilberforces and then later Glen Johnson got in to all sorts of trouble in Yemen while working as an undercover journalist – ‘Captured Journalist in Horror Cell’ [New Zealand Herald]

Members

  • Glen Johnson (drums, 2000-200?)
  • Thom Burton (guitar/vocals, 2000-200?)

Discography

  • Our dream home wrecked our lives [2005]

Links

Xanadu

Biography

Auckland 3-piece indie group who featured on Fast Food Records ‘Christmas On The Rocks’ compilation, as well as putting out an EP in 2003 which was subsequently remixed and released on the Pink Air label. Known for their quirky live touches (when supporting the likes of Mercury Rev and Trans-Am), the band split up later in 2003, with Kane going on to join the first incarnation of spazz-punk outfit Die! Die! Die!.

Members

  • Bruce Wurr (1999-2002, 2015)
  • Luke Stemson (1999-2002, 2015)
  • Tim Lewton (1999-2002, 2015)

Discography

  • 1999-2002 (2015)

Links

Die! Die! Die!

Die! Die! Die! are a three-piece Auckland-based band formed by Andrew Wilson (guitar, vocals) and Michael Prain (drums), with Michael Logie (The Mint Chicks, F in Math, Opossum) their current bassist. Prain and Wilson have been playing in groups together since early attending Logan High School together in Dunedin – notably the Smoke-Free Rockquest winning Carriage H (with Tiddy Smith – who would go on to form Idiot Prayer), and then Wellington group Rawer (with Ricky French on Bass). Die! Die! Die! play a dynamic brand of Punk, with military-precise drumming, huge fuzzy bass and guitar that can vary from melodic to cathartic noise.

In 2003 the core duo relocated to Auckland and brought in Kane Goulter (Xanadu) as their next bassist, finally settling on their current name. This line-up was known for playing incredibly rapid sets, touring up and down the country with the likes of the Mint Chicks and Batrider. During 2003 and 2004 the group’s reputation had grown to the point where they were now (rightfully) being dubbed the best live act in New Zealand. Nick Roughan (of the Skeptics) produced several songs with this line-up, which then appeared on various early A Low Hum samplers and other releases in early 2004.

Later in 2004 Goulter gave way bass duties to Henry Oliver, and the group then recorded their debut self-titled EP with Dale Cotton. In 2005 and 2006 they undertook their first of many US and European tours, recording their debut LP with Chicago-based producer Steve Albini (Big Black, The Pixies, Nirvana etc) and mastering the results at Abbey Road in England.

In 2006 Henry Oliver moved on to be replaced by the Australian-born Lachlan Anderson, signed to Tardus Music in New Zealand (their 3rd record label in as many releases), and released their follow-up ep ‘Locust Weeks’. Anderson had been playing in the Brisbane group the French Horns, who had toured with Die! Die! Die! and made a considerable impression on the group. Oliver eventually opened D.O.C. Bar in Auckland.

With Anderson on board the group put together the landmark album ‘Promises, Promises’, their finest collection of songs yet committed to vinyl – with Dunedin music legend Shayne Carter (Bored Games, Double Happys, Straitjacket Fits, Dimmer) producing and mixing the album. A complex, emotionally driven album it shows the group expanding their sound, and solidified their position as one of the best rock acts in New Zealand.

However, it would be over 2 years before the group released the follow-up album ‘Form’ – Nick Roughan returned to produce, and the album is the group’s sole release on the legendary Flying Nun label, which had just been re-established by original founder Roger Shepphard. With their previous album the group had developed a strong template, and although the new album didn’t expand on this you can still consider the album on the great New Zealand rock releases. A fine mix of explosive rhythm and guitar, and again highly emotive vocals.

Anderson eventually left the group in 2011, though he does appear on several tracks from their 4th album ‘Harmony’, to be released on the groups own ‘Record etcetc’ label and distributed via Rhythmethod. Michael Logie was eventually brought in for bass duties in 2012, appearing on several of the album’s songs and augmenting their live line-up.

Discography (picks in bold)

  • Die! Die! Die! Ep [2005 Unstable ApeUAR041]
  • Die! Die! Die! [2005 Capitol Recordings CREC1034, Pet Piranha Records PP020, SAF RecordsSAF15]
  • Locust Weeks Ep [2006 Targus MusicTAR010]
  • Promises, Promises [2007 Tardus Music / Etch and Sketch / SAF RecordsSAF20]
  • At the Echo Live EP [2007 Kufala RecordingsKUF0187]
  • Form [2010 Flying NunFN504]
  • Harmony [2012 Records Etcetera]

Music Videos

See-Also

The Mint Chicks

Excellent post-punk band taking in equal measures of Voidoids style angular guitar and Blood Brothers style furious hardcore screaming and breakbeat crunch. A talented 4-piece with an excellent grounding in music production, they were snapped up by Flying Nun after building a strong live reputation in auckland during 2002-3. ‘licking letters’ is the first single, coming from the break-through Octagon, Octagon, Octagon Ep, and is a jerky, stop-start ripper, few bands have shown such intensity committed to plastic.

With the Nielson brothers Ruban (Guitar) and Kody (Vocals), Michael Logie (Bass) and Paul Roper (Drums), they were a very free-roaming band. Kody is a lively frontman, dancing like a man possessed, jumping round the stage, and fiddling with an on-stage effects unit, while the band falls perfectly in place for all their quick-cutting squeels and explosions of sound. They followed up the debut with an equally spastic sophmore EP Anti-Tiger – repeating an earlier new-wave inflected single. The band have toured Australia and even made the big jump to a British tour, accumulating a stack of the usual NME/Spin etc hype.

Their much-anticipated full-length debut seemed like a bit of a flattening out for the group. After receiving an absolute avalanche of attention (thanks to a bit of biffo during the groups South By South-West performance in Austin Texas, and thrilling big day out crowds with acrobatics and a little bit of chainsaw welding; Fuck The Golden Youth mostly revisited their earlier material, though with new noisier, but less jagged versions of the earlier songs, plus a couple well received singles (‘Opium Of The People’ was a highlight).
the group have since retreated a litte, with side-projects floating about while the group prepare their sophmoric album.

August 2006 saw the release of Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, which contained poppy singles ‘Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!’, ‘Walking Off a Cliff Again’ and ‘She’s Back On Crack’, indicating a new direction and ambition from the group. As Kody and Ruben are dual-citizens of NZ and the United States, the brothers spent a the next couple years living in both Auckland and Portland, Oregon. Mike Logie left the group during 2008 (though he did appear during later performances), and the groups success continue, with album Screens being the catalyst. However in 2010 the group finally decided to dissolve, with Mike Logie surfacing in a solo capacity as F in Math (and later joining Die! Die! Die!, Ruben Neilson in US-based group Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Kody Neilson forming Opossom alongside Bic Runga (Mike Logie later joined as bassist).

Discography (picks in bold)

  • ‘Post Bo Bills’ single [2003]
  • Octagon, Octagon, Octagon EP [2003 Flying Nun Fn480]
  • The Blue Split 7″ [2004 W/ Whilrwind Heat Flying Nun Fn481]
  • ‘Opium Of The People’ single [2004 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Anti-Tiger’/Octagon, Octagon, Octagon (Live)’ 7″ Tour Single [2004 Flying Nun Tour Only]
  • Anti-Tiger Cd / 10″ EP [2004 Flying Nun Fn486]
  • Fuck The Golden Youth 3″ Cd / 7″ Single [2005 Flying Nun Fn492]
  • Fuck The Golden Youth [2005 Flying Nun Fn493]
  • ‘I Don’t Want to Grow Old’ single [2005 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Take It, I Don’t Want It’ single [2005 Flying Nun]
  • Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! [2006 Flying Nun Fn499]
  • ‘Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!’ single [2007 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Welcome to Nowhere’ single [2007 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Sleeping During the Day’ single [2007 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Walking Off a Cliff Again’ single [2007 Flying Nun]
  • ‘If My Arm Was a Mic Stand, Would You Hold My Hand?’ single [2008 Flying Nun]
  • ‘She’s Back on Crack’ single [2008 Flying Nun]
  • Mintunes EP [2008 Self-Released]
  • Screens [2009 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Life Will Get Better Some Day’ single [2009 Flying Nun]
  • ‘I Can’t Stop Being Foolish’ single [2009 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Hot on Your Heels single [2009 Flying Nun]
  • ‘Don’t Sell Your Brain Out, Baby’ single [2009 Flying Nun]
  • ‘She’s a Mod’ single [2009 Flying Nun]
  • Bad Buzz USB EP [2010 MusicHy.pe]

See-Also