February/March 2015

by Huia Hamon

Fresh Talent: Hotboxed Treehut

by Huia Hamon

Fresh Talent: Hotboxed Treehut

Hotboxed Treehut have a great solid sound and as a group display realistic perspectives and laudable work ethic. They understand the dynamics of creating music and the next steps needed to have a long-lasting musical career. 

With an EP recorded at Capgun Studios in Otahuhu and a single release called Positive Music – featuring Ihi, another upcoming band  – Hotboxed Treehut are building authenticity with audiences Aotearoa-wide. This seems to mirror the journey of others such as Katchafire and Sons of Zion, two bands that Hotbox Treehut are inspired by.

Formed at MAINZ in Auckland, they have a core of reggae with fusions of rock and RnB with the seven members all contributing to the sound. While Travis Dearden is the main lyricist, he says he encourages all band members to start writing and recording as well.

“That’’s what I like about Katchafire’’s ‘On The Road Again’’ album, it has a mixture of songs sung by different band members. That’’s I what I want for Hotboxed Treehut.””

Ironically, they have never hotboxed an actual treehut, the name came along because they thought it was entertaining and a catchy string of words. It was a name that just stuck with them and, as you can imagine, they get asked the question of how they came up with that name all the time.

If their music was kai, Dearden describes it as “…like a Carls Jnr burger, with a bit of everything – beef, chicken, bacon, cheese, mayo, lettuce, a little crunchy and crispy on the outside, spicy and juicy when you take a bite.””

At the same time, natural, not full of steroids or preservatives, free-range grass fed beef! From listening to their music and seeing their high impact engaging live sets, this description seems bang on.

The solidarity of this band seems to come from the platform they have created as friends first and band members second. Dearden describes their touring as a huge experience and a solidifying confirmation that they all want to spearhead the idea of music being their main source of income.

“That’’s why we all studied music! To aspire to be full time musicians, what’’s the point otherwise?””

On a self-funded, self-managed tour when we talk (managed by bassist Tyler Dent), for the future the band has clear goals.

1. Play at major festivals. 2. Tour internationally. (“Even to Australia,”” says Dearden, but it will most probably be Hawaii.) 3. Release a full-length album.

With conscious lyrics and an authentic foundation, this irie reggae fusion band can look forward to achieving much, much more.