Nick Cave famously once screamed, “Release the bats,” and in Dunedin the flying marsupials are taking to the wing with a vengeance. Space Bats, Attack! are a Dunedin band with a love of cult science fiction and DIY electronics.
According to guitarist Lee Nicholson, the name comes from a 1990s computer game called Mutant Space Bats of Doom, which he says, suits the science fiction theme of the band. Nicholson and drummer Josh Nicholls played as a two-piece for a while, before being joined by Males guitarist Richard Ley-Hamilton.
Having a chat in Dunedin’s fantastic Ironic café, Nicholson and Ley-Hamilton acknowledge with two guitarists and a drummer they initially spent many hours “playing heavy riffs”. The band has been evolving and growing over the last few years, adding synths etc. in more recent times, and Sam Hood (ex-Christchurch, also in T54) now on bass. Ley-Hamilton says having more members in the band is a good thing.
“It gives you more freedom having someone else there.”
Space Bats, Attack! have recorded their first album, which as we talk is getting the finishing touches in the safe hands of a friend of the band with loving ears. It was recorded in their inner-city ‘bat cave’, known as The Attic and they plan to release it in August, with a few shows booked around the country.
“It’s in the final mastering stage now, and we’ve got a gig booked at Cassette 9 in Auckland, which we plan to be an album release gig.”
The band is keen to do a crowd funding campaign to release their as-yet un-named album on glorious black vinyl, with one fairly fantastic incentive for the gear heads among us.
When he’s not making music Nicholson creates his own effects units. His latest creation is a ‘self-oscillating overdrive’, which took many hours of toil, in part, as he admits, because “…the oscillating came from a random accident that I had to find and stabilise!”
In keeping with the band’s own theme, it’s called the Mutant Space Bat of Doom. And getting back to the Nick Cave thing, the band’s current single, which he says is getting a fair bit of airplay on Wellington’s Radio Active, is itself called Nick Cave’s Moustache. Space bats, attack…