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May/June 2021

by Sam Smith

Fresh Talent: Park Rd

by Sam Smith

Fresh Talent: Park Rd

West Auckland has been a proven breeding ground for musical talent over the years. Park Rd, the latest act to emerge out of the Titirangi hills, hadn’t released their first EP when they played a sold out gig at the central city’s The Tuning Fork. Their motor’s running hot, and showing no signs of cooling.

Formed at Titirangi Rudolph Steiner School in 2018, Park Rd consists of Tom Chamberlain on vocals, Angus Hampton-Carr on lead guitar, Leo Crawshaw-Bond on guitar, Carlos Martin on bass and Te Kapua Pene behind the drums.

“Park Rd pretty much started out as some friends jamming after school. We did a few gigs and it was heaps of fun, so we decided to enter Smokefree Rockquest in 2019 and we’ve just kept going since then,” says lead guitarist Hampton-Carr.

They won the Auckland final, and as he explains, that set Park Rd on their way.

“Rockquest is an excellent platform that gives young musicians the opportunity to play to an audience and connect with like-minded people. It pushed us to become better as a band, and it really helped us grow our audience.”

Call it surf rock, indie pop, westie rock, Park Rd’s sound clearly falls within the bounds of traditional indie guitar music, the sort which has a rich history in NZ. However, with so many genres going on Hampton-Carr is reluctant to hang a defining name on the band’s music.

“We’ve always had a hard time putting a label on our sound because we all come from different musical backgrounds. Usually, we say indie rock/pop. I’m a huge fan of The Police, so I definitely try to put some of their sounds into what I play.”

Their debut EP ‘Sandcastles’ came out last year and Park Rd have just released a new follow up single, Control, with more on the way.

“We recorded ‘Sandcastles’ at The Lab with Jol Mulholland. I feel like the sound we went for was a combo of indie-rock and indie-pop, with a bit of funk thrown in.

“We wanted to get our music out there so people would know the songs at our gigs. So we chose our favourite songs from that time and tried to make them flow together.”

That was 2020, a year into their existence as a band. Approaching mid-2021 things are not slowing down for Park Rd, a second Tuning Fork gig in late April again selling out.

“We have been working on writing an EP with Josh Edmonds. He’s a great producer and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can create together. We are also hoping to do a tour at some stage as well, and play some festivals this summer.”