“Music is the only thing that brought us together,” muses bassist Joe Moon.
It was a chance encounter at an open mic night hosted by Moon that really got things started. Vocalist Brian Norton was performing, and one thing led to another.
“We got booked… and then we made the band,” Moon briefly explains.
The remainder of Fin Rah Zel is Callum Gibbins on guitar (also a formidable rugby player), Robbie Hayles on keys, and drummer Sam Notman. Their backgrounds are as varied as their influences – from childhood instrument thrashing to self-taught strumming to studying jazz at the NZSM, and from Snoop Dogg to TrinityRoots, John Mayer to Metallica.
They excitedly describe their genre as ‘stadium soul-electro fusion, and when asked to elaborate on how these four seemingly disparate elements tie in together, they explain it as, “a big sound, but with substance – contemporary, but with a bit of everything.
Listening to their EP, ‘The Search for Mary Jane’, it makes sense. Everything that they claim to be comes through in their sound, as well as the influences that they each describe. There’s reggae, there’s gritty rock, there’s slick beats and solid production.
The album was recorded at Tsunami Studio in Levin, which the band members praise highly. They are also generous in their praise of the support they have received from others in the short time they’ve played together – New Plymouth event organiser Laura Crombie is a “shadow member of the band,” while Stacey Lamb‘s Club 55 has been instrumental in gaining them exposure. They are a band that embraces their roots and support network while at the same time striving to create something new.
“We want to be representative of the future of NZ music, while paying tribute to the past.”