In 2009, childhood buddies Ciarann Babbington (vocals/guitar) and Jamie Gordon (drums/vocals) formed a punk rock band: Bakers Eddy.
“It was originally a three piece. Me, Jamie and this guy called Ed, who was a fantastic guitarist. He was amazing and could shred like Jimi, but me and Jamie weren’t at that level at all. We were still playing two-chorded songs. So we decided, ‘Nah, you’re too good’ and we kicked him out of the band,” explains Ciarann laughing. “But before all that Ian [Spagnolo, bass/vocals] was like, ‘Bro, can I be in your band? Come on man, I’ll even play bass!’ He was a guitar player back then… now he plays bass.”
“Yeah, we gave in,” jokes Jamie.
Fast forward two years and the trio were entering new territory developing a new sound. To assist with this they decided to add a second guitarist, Ian’s twin brother, Alex, on lead.
“Alex was always with the band. While we were rehearsing he was playing Playstation on the couch. Secretly he would go home and practise the songs, which we didn’t know about,” shares Ciarann.
“They’d go off to band practice after school and I’d just listen to them, muck around and play Playstation,” Alex elaborates. “They wanted a second guitarist because their sound was evolving. It wasn’t moving away from punk, they just needed more guitars, more diversity and complexity to it. My first gig was opening for Shihad at Wellington High. It was a bit nerve-wracking. I’ve been here for five years now.”
Laughter ensues as the boys are asked how the band name came about. It falls to Ciarann to explain.
“East End Rebellion, Box Set, Plain Fact, Bad Traffic… We were in the band three years and down eight names. We were like, ‘This is it, the next name we’re keeping and we’re never changing it.’ We shook on it, did the whole spit handshake thing. It was a deal, and the name was Bakers Eddy.”
Jamie decides to firm up some details…
“There’s a place in the book To Kill A Mockingbird called Barkers Eddy and Ciarann misread it. That’s what it is.”
Bakers Eddy members have experienced a lot in their young age, including a whistle-stop tour of Europe prize for winning the NZ Battle of the Bands competition last year. Early in 2016 they released their debut EP ‘Plastic Wasteland’. Remaining humble, the Wellingtonians credit the band’s longevity to their strong friendship and great management.
“It’s very hard to just keep going, but at the same time it’s so easy because we’re mates and it seems wrong just to not do it. It doesn’t even cross our minds to leave,” states Ian.
“I think our manager [Claire Gormly] coming on board has a big part to play as well. Seeing her work paying off sort of gives us the drive to keep going,” adds Jamie.
Ambitions for international success are high, but in the meantime these skater boys are enjoying touring the country and meeting new people.
“We love people who get into us… and smashing the face of music,” exclaims Ciarann.
• Dee Muir