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Bygone Era


Bygone Era were a prominent but short-lived late 1980’s rock group with hardcore punk aspirations, during an era when New Zealand had few hardcore punk groups.

They put out an EP, and a split 7″ with The Warners on Onslaught Records label (run by vocalist Rowan Coffey’s brother Simon) before breaking up in 1989, their full length album ‘Get Airborne‘ coming out posthumously.

Luke Casey was a member of the group at a very young age and would go on to drum for a number of higher profile groups through the 1990’s including the Nixons (who became Eye TV) and the Relaxomatic Project.

Well, I was still in high school (Western Springs, but called Seddon when I went there) when I joined Bygone Era. James Stevenson (The Chills) was their original drummer, and he was a couple of years older than me at school. I sort of knew him because he was dating a friend of mine.

His girlfriend told me he was thinking of leaving Bygone Era so I asked around to get an audition. I can remember being quite nervous as they were a ‘proper’ band at the time: They were doing gigs and had vinyl out in the shops.

I didn’t know them beforehand because they all lived on the north shore. That’s where I met Robbie Kay (Salad Daze). He was the original bass player in Bygone Era before Mike Scott (Nixons/Eye TV) joined.

I think my main memories from playing in Bygone Era are recording ‘Get Airborne‘ at The ‘old’ Lab Studios in Symonds Street. That was quite nerve wracking as it was my first experience in a recording studio, (I’m on one half of the record, James is on the other half) and also playing the final Bygone Era show at The Powerstation (in 1990 I think) before Rowan Coffey (Vocals) moved to London. There were a 1000 kids at that show, it was awesome!

Luke Casey (Interview on New Zealand Hardcore Past and Present)




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