If a band pooling their creative resources to create a ‘Beatles/Wiggles format indie quartet’ sounds like you, meet Te Whanganui-a-Tara four-piece Macho Macho who have done just that, tearing themselves away from other local bands such as Blunt Dog and Big Pharma. NZ On Air Music got on board the Macho Macho roundabout by featuring latest single Junior Munch (La La La) on their NewTracks compilation this October.
We met at university in Wellington, but we learnt how to operate our band by going out on our own and playing gigs. We’ve been on two nationwide headline tours, not including one mini tour of Te Ika-a-Maui, which we’re about to do again to support our new EP.
Logan plays guitar in Sleeping Village and Cold Ceiling, as well as drums in Blunt Dog. Lachlan plays guitar in Big Pharma as well as drums in Birdcage. He is one of the founding members and guitar player of Floral Shirt. Connor plays guitar in Birdcage and is one of the founding members and bass player of Floral Shirt. Aside from playing for Macho Macho, Dayne Robinson has previously sat behind the drum kit for Casual Healing and Riiki Reid.
In 2018, some of us had compositional ideas we wanted to develop with a band. Instead of any of us making a solo project, we all sensed the best approach would be to pool our resources and create a Beatles/Wiggles format indie quartet. A four quarter pie with equal creative input.
Our younger selves were most satisfied when the dynamics of our music were dialled to 100%. These days, our new material (beyond the ‘Blink & You’ll Miss It’ EP) shows more restraint; a push and pull of sorts.
There was a lengthy discussion about what our band would be called and we were nameless for a long time. Many of the suggested names sounded rather hostile or aggressive, and after a practice one night drummer Dayne Robinson said that he didn’t want to be in some “macho macho”-sounding band.
We’ve been very fortunate to perform some memorable shows. Notable moments include packed nights at our favourite venue San Fran in our hometown Te Whanganui-A-Tara, as well as playing big outdoor stages to crowds we’d never play to otherwise at Newtown Festival and CubaDupa.
When we got this song back from the producer of the EP, Toby Lloyd of Tiny Triumph Productions, it stuck out to us because we’d finally captured what it felt like to see us live. We’d been trying to emulate this in studio settings for years and we were stoked to finally achieve this feeling.
Junior Munch (La La La) is about the feelings of anxiety that can arise knowing that you might have done something that could get you into trouble… That, paired with cheap fried chicken meals you can find in the dairies, gas stations and corner stores of New Zealand.
In the bridge of Junior Munch (La La La) the song becomes unhinged and a hint of industrial noise seeps in through the mix. The band then abruptly drops into a final chorus with additional guitar layers by Lachlan. These final moments, we think, are some of the most effective in the whole EP.
We were lucky enough to be given a day in Massey University‘s grandiose Studio 1 with producer Toby Lloyd (Revulva, Hollie Smith). Toby is always smiling and keeping spirits high, walking around the control room dancing barefoot like Rick Rubin might do.
We only hope that it makes listeners want to see us live and join us in song. This music is best enjoyed when you’re singing along with us in a sweaty room, packed like sardines.
It’s a spur of the moment decision for us. In this case we felt strongly that Junior Munch (La La La) had legs to stand on its own.
Toby Lloyd was the producer for ‘Blink & You’ll Miss It’. These days, Logan handles PR through his own venture Goose Garden.
Just a month or so ago, we stepped into the Surgery studios with a new engineer, James Goldsmith (Beastwars, Mermaidens) to self-produce our next EP, the follow up to ‘Blink & You’ll Miss It’. We are excited to develop these songs and share them with you when they’re ready to come out of the oven.
We’re stoked to have been granted NZOA funding for ‘Blink’, we’ve applied unsuccessfully numerous other times. It took a while for us to become eligible, but we managed to secure a live to air performance on the Radioactive airwaves thanks to the magnificent work of Harri Robinson. This ticked enough boxes for us to be able to apply. Our only advice is to persist. Keep writing new music and apply every time a round opens.
We enjoy Isaac McFarlane‘s Hahko updates. He covers a lot of great NZ music and international releases too!
We’ve only made one music video, and it was for our song Blink, with the phenomenal Samuel Austin. Samuel runs a production company called Don’t Shoot Films, and is an incredible creator with the same visual vocabulary as directors like Spike Jonze.
We’re excited to get on the road again and play for our listeners who have exercised great patience. This EP is a love letter to you and all the good times we’ve had together, soundtracked by these songs.