Ten of New Zealand’s best bands and artists, as told by Kiwi punks Die! Die! Die!
26.10.2020

Ten of New Zealand’s best bands and artists, as told by Kiwi punks Die! Die! Die!

Featuring many unheralded gems.

Seminal New Zealand noise-punk band Die! Die! Die! have returned with a new 7″, featuring the tracks ‘I Seek Misery’ and ‘450’. Replete with all the freneticism fans have come to know and love from the band, the record sees Die! Die! Die! dive into shoegaze territory, delivering guitars that are fuzzy and echoic.

To celebrate the release, we asked the band’s lead vocalist Andrew Wilson to give us ten of his favourite New Zealand artists, both past and present.

Look Blue Go Purple

Such a wonderful timeless band and sound. Inspired by The Slits and The Raincoats, they sounded like nothing else coming out of Dunedin and in the context of the male-dominated Flying Nun scene, to have an all-women five-piece punk rock band was pretty incredible for the time. 

Coolies

The band we have played the most with and one of our strongest influences as people and musically. I think Thurston Moore said it best: “The Coolies are the best band in the world … Tina Pihema and Sjionel Timu are great great song lights resonating the beauty of Maori awesomeness and you will thank the gods of rock’n’roll when you enter their sonic universe. Love is the key.”

Pumice

Grossly underappreciated in Aotearoa/New Zealand, Pumice is a total creative genius. I generally hate the term ‘lo-fi’ which people usually associate with Pumice. To me, the music is so vast, beautiful and strangely nostalgic. 

The Phoenix Foundation

The Phoenix Foundation just released their new album Friend Ship. We have always admired this band from a distance, plus our friend Ollie is their guitar tech and we love Ollie (we named a song after him and put his face on a t-shirt once).

Deceptikonz

Another timeless piece of Aotearoa/New Zealand music that has dated so well. Deceptikonz’ album Evolution – Past, Present, Beyond takes me back to when Die! Die! Die! were first starting and first living in Tāmaki. Former Deceptikonz member Savage went on to become a huge star with his song ‘Swing’, however this whole album is amazing. 

Virtual Shadow Ensemble

We love this. Noa Records are a really important musical force in Aotearoa/New Zealand and so refreshing and recently put out a record from Virtual Shadow Ensemble fittingly titled Keep Your Distance!. Virtual Shadow Ensemble is “a virtual collective of sonic voyagers, a vessel for channeling Papatuanuku’s messages during a time of global human separation”.

Made within the span of ten days during a national lockdown in Aotearoa amidst a global pandemic, [Keep Your Distance!] reflects a widespread upheaval taking place in our collective consciousness, being forced away from each other physically into social isolation.” 

Opposite Sex

‘La Rat’ is the first song that made me fall in love with Opposite Sex. However, they also do this extremely-melodic incredible no wave music which no one else in NZ has been close to doing. A lot of this was down to Lucy Hunter’s amazing bass playing. I still have no idea how she does it. 

The Terminals

You can’t really describe The Terminals… I mean Bruce Russell from The Dead C tried with “clearly rooted in a tradition of psychotic white blues stemming from such varied sources as the 13th Floor Elevators, 1960s surf punk, Pere Ubu, and the early works of John Cale”. I don’t think this does them justice. Their drummer Peter Stapleton passed away this year tragically. 

Fetus Productions

Early ’80s Aotearoa/New Zealand goth post-punk, Fetus Productions also did experimental film, multimedia art and fashion. Our love for The Skeptics and Bailter Space, who have a similar vibe, is well known but I’ve been listening to their song ‘State To Be In’ on repeat recently. 

The Stones

Is there anything more punk than calling your band The Stones. I think they sound so fresh and relevant in the context of most punk/garage music nowadays.

Die! Die! Die!’s new 7″ is out now. For more on Die! Die! Die!, head to their Facebook and Instagram. You can also give the playlist a spin on Spotify here.

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