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No Aloha

No Aloha

Monday 9th August, 2010 12:13PM

Formerly The Insurgents, No Aloha are an all new band with some of the same members. They run us through what led to the change, their impending move to capital city and why being in a band can sometimes feel a bit selfish.

Hello No Aloha, how are you?

Helloooo we are fine thank you, a little bit wet, as its raining and we all have holes in our shoes.

You used to be The Insurgents, what was the catalyst for the change?

Well Insurgents was a band we started when we were fifteen and were all quite a bit older now, and the line up and sound has changed so much that it was inevitable, especially considering there was a at least a year and a half between the last Insurgents song being written and the first of the No Aloha tracks being written. We've all been away traveled, seen the world, and when we came back to it, so many things had changed.

Should we consider this a new band or the same band with a new name?

Basically a new band, but retaining three of the four members of Insurgents so there are some obvious similarities, and we play a few of the old Insurgents songs live still.

Who is in the band and what do they play?

Mike Ellis and Perry Mahoney who switch between bass and guitar.
Chris Young -Guitar
David Coffey-Drums

Where are you currently based?

We are currently a little bit in Wellington and a little bit in Christchurch, in the sense that Chris is now based in Wellington and we are moving to Wellington within the next month. Christchurch is great and has some really amazing bands, but a change of scenery can only be a good thing!

How would you describe your sound?

Scuzzy pop.

What have you been up to lately?

Oh not much, just chillin. Played a sweet show in Wellington a couple of weeks back with Rackets, who are really good cats. Bit of frustrating time rite now, being in the stage of shifting city's has been really disruptive on the momentum of writing songs and playing shows, it really puts things up in the air. But were looking forward to getting settled very soon.

Do you have any releases on the way or that you're working on?

Earlier in the year we recorded four demos, which were basically two microphones set up in a room catching songs we had just written, these are up for free download now from In the near future we plan to begin recording for an album, with a good friend called Tim Shann whose recorded all sorts of amazing bands such as Rifles and Body Lyre. Basically we should have some good quality fully formed tracks out for spring and hopefully a completed album by the end of summer. The most important thing for us is to keep getting music out there for people to hear, so we will probably record some more demos for free download as well. It's worked really well giving away our demos for free and people seem to be really digging the new songs.

What influences the bands lyrics?

The world is fucked up, beautiful, unfair, mundane, exciting, cruel and perfect, how could we not be inspired by that?

And the music?

Oh god, so many things, from The Ronettes to The Stooges, and everything in between.

What tours/shows have you played recently?

We played our first No Aloha show in Christchurch in April, which went really well, and as I said before we played in Wellington with Rackets and Mammal Airlines earlier in the month which was fantastic.

Do you have plans for more shows?

Of course! Haven't been able to commit to anything rite now sadly because moving makes committing to dates very hard. But we will be playing more shows asap.

How do you prepare for a show?

Well we have a practice, figure out our set list and then have a few drinks and play, pretty simple really. I heard the singer from The Checks does press ups before he plays, what the fucks that about?!

What do you like to do after your shows?

Well we really enjoy hanging out with the other bands and meeting people who come to the show. We think its really important to try and recognize and say hello to as many people who have made the effort to come and see your band as possible. To us they are all automatic friends, though that can land you in some awkward scenarios! Ever had a shirtless man with a large tattoo of the sun play ambient keyboards in your lounge at 5 in the morning? We have......

What's the best or most memorable gig that you have played?

So many to choose from, but one especially springs to mind... Back in the days of Insurgents we had a hot pants ep release party, which was truly stunning. You got in for a gold coin donation if you wore hot pants. Iv'e never seen so many skinny white legs in one room at once! Some of the hot pants, dare I say it, left very little to the imagination. Beautiful chaos ensued and we had to stop several times to push the crowd off the stage and pick up all the knocked over microphones and trampled gear.

If you could play at any festival in the world, which would you pick?

Without a doubt Primavera Sound in Barcelona... this year looks particularly good, I'd rattle off how awesome it'd be to play with those bands but fuck it, I'd end up listing most of the line-up. Fun in the sun, plus Spanish girls are babes. Chris went to the All Tomorrows Parties that the Flaming Lips curated in New York last year and had the time of his life, so I guess thats a near second.

What's the hardest thing about being in a band?

Probably playing the wanky music industry game, the sad reality is the music industry is a business, and one way or another, if you want to do anything you have to come in contact with it..But this doesn't mean that artistically you have to bend, we have so much respect for bands like Die Die Die and Phoenix Foundation who are doing really well for themselves, but they have never bent over and let so and so with "20 years experience in the industry" tell them how to write there songs. They wrote good songs, that they liked and in turn by doing this they created there own market for there own music. Simple.

And the easiest?

Spending hours practicing and jamming and writing and recording to get a song that you can go home and listen to and enjoy...

Being in a band is a very selfish way of life in a way.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Listening to Ocean Songs by The Dirty Three rite now, which is simply stunning, sparse music. Before that I was listening to a cool three piece called Harlem who are from Austin, Texas, they play really catchy jangly pop songs that make you want to dance.

Where do you see the band in 5 years time?

That's a hard one, that I'm scared to answer! Timaru!

The state of music in NZ is...

Musically exciting and really diverse as well. But being May and NZ music month has really brought the topic of NZOA funding to the forefront of many bands and also journalists thoughts. There are many opinions on this topic, but 90% people would agree that the current style of funding does not work properly. Without going into too much detail its an early 90s funding system trying to exist in the 21st century. We don't wear MC Hammer pants or play with Chatterings anymore, so why is funding stuck in that decade?! Basically New Zealand music month for most artists is a reminder of what they can't get.