The Renderers are New Zealand’s prime example of southern-fried country, and are indeed one of our finest ever bands. Brian Crook formed the Renderers with his partner Maryrose in early 90’s Christchurch when The Max Block failed to go anywhere, and the duo returned from Sydney.
Their early recordings stuck to a strictly country approach and seemed a bit too forced and distant, it wasn’t until the band relocated to Port Chalmers, a small bay just outside of Dunedin that The Renderers really found their sound.
Maryrose’s vocal on the 7″ single ‘A Million Lights” is like a defining moment in New Zealand rock. An achingly beautiful, all be it brief song that has since featured on many Flying Nun Records and Xpressway compilations, the song typified the Renderers new found dark and country-tinged rock sound – latter referred to as ‘Southern Gothic‘.
Over the course of the 90s, The Renderers albums grew stronger and stronger – culminating in the masterpiece that is 1998’s A Dream of the Sea. Featuring a wonderful cover of Ritchie Venus forgotten gem “Forbidden Planet” and a swagger of fine, dark songs themed around the sea, it was welcomed with open arms by the U.S. underground music scene, whilst going mostly ignored in New Zealand.
The Renderers are still going strong, touring sporadically, whilst both Maryrose and Brian have released their own solo material (most notable Brian’s 2002 album as Bible Black, and Maryrose’s contributions to the Arc Life series of Dunedin music compilations).
In early / mid 2004 during the process of organising a Christchurch show with the band, I managed to conduct an interview with the duo, and have kept up to date on their schedule for future releases. Since the recent demise of Arc Life, plans were then intact for The Renderers to start their own label. With Maryrose’s first solo release, a further solo release from Brian in a form similar to that of his fractured solo debut Bathysphere under his current Anti-Clockwise performing alias, and perhaps the 5th Renderers release on the way, to boot.
Circa mid-2005 the group made further line-up changes, this time coinciding with a possible move back to Christchurch. Original bassist John Bellows was reinstated, and drummer Mike Daly become the groups rhythm section for a one-off Christchurch show, still proceeding the highly-anticipated 5th album.
- Brian Crook (Anti-Clockwise, Flies Inside The Sun, Renderizors, Scorched Earth Policy, The Max Block, The Terminals, guitar / keyboards / vocals)
- Maryrose Crook (Above Ground, Feast Of Frogs, Renderizors, The Max Block, guitar / vocals)
- John Billows (Dark Matter, MEDaL, Thee Strapons, bass)
- Joanne Billesdon (Dark Matter, Snort, The Stepford 5, Thee Strapons, Outsiders, drums)
- Haydn Jones (The After Dinner Mints, Cease to Exist, The Axemen, drums)
- Patrick Simmonds (violin)
- John Markie (aka John Segovia, The Axel Grinders, Boxcar Guitars, Don McGlashan and The Seven Sisters, Indians, Shaft, The Chance, The Connoisseurs, guitar)
- Peter Mitchell (Hiding From Stan, Squirm, Creeley, Hiss Explosion, drums)
- Denise Roughan (The 3Ds, Ghost Club, Look Blue Go Purple, Marineville, Pink Plastic Gods, Lishka, bass)
- Robbie Yeats (Brown Velvet Couch, The Dead C, The Verlaines, Trash, Dating Godot, drums)
- Greg Cairns (Marineville, The Real Life Tragedies, The Idle Suite, Sferic Experiment, The Verlaines, Constant Pain, drums)
- Richard Baker (Palo/Ona, Polyp, bass)
- Nathan Thompson (Eye, PSN Electronic, Renderizors, Sandoz Lab Technicians, Sleep, Unspecified, guitar / noises)
- James Kirk (Black Boned Angel, King Loser, Ohm, Renderizors, Sandoz Lab Technicians, Superbugger, The Stumps, With Throats As Fine As Needles, drums / percussion)
- Thom Bell (The Dark Beaks, David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, The Shifting Sands, bass)
- Allan Thomasson (keyboards / bass)
- Thomas Geigenschrey (Der Fremde, Hitmen 3, violin)
- Johannes Contag (Bad Statistics, Cloudboy, Ferocious, Mink, Sleepytime, The Golden Awesome, drums)
- Michael Daly (Dark Matter, Leadleg, This Cage, Y.F.C., Kimo, drums)
- Shannon O’Brien (bass, electronics, guitar)
- Sean O’Rielly (Chug, King Loser, Olla, Sferic Experiment, synthesizer / bass / percussion)
- Stefan Neville (5608, Blowfly Saint, Casagrante Apparatus, Lost Roman Legions, Ohm, Olympus, Pumice, Sunken, Teen-X-Ray, The Aesthetics, The Coolies, The Ideal Gus, They Spunks, Vulcan Steel, Dribbly Cat Attraction, drums)
- Geoff Soul (drums)
- Ryan Erskine (bass)
- Trail of Tears (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN184)
- ‘Bigger than Texas’/’Revival Radio’ 7″ single (1991, Flying Nun Records, FN185)
- ‘Million Lights’/’Primitive Country’ 7″ single (1993, Merge Records, MRG036)
- ‘A Touch of Evil’/’Howling at the Moon’ 7″ single (1993, Flying Nun Records, FN1254)
- That dogs head in the gutter gives off vibrations (1995, Ajax Records, AJAX042)
- Surface of Jupiter (1996, Ajax Records, AJAX058)
- A Dream of the sea (1998, Siltbreeze, SB72)
- Ghost of our Vegas lives (2005 as ‘Maryrose Crook with the Renderers‘, Tinsel Ears, TECD002)
- Monsters and Miasmas (2009, Last Visible Dog, LVD136)
- A Rocket into Nothing (2011, Ba Da Bing!, BING76)
- Measured Strychnine Invitations (2013 compilation, Exiled Records, EX03)
- In the Sodium Light (2016, Ba Da Bing!, BING110)
- This world just eats me up alive (2019 as ‘Brian Crook with The Renderers‘, Ba Da Bing!, BADA151)