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Friday 19th August, 2011 10:28AM

It's been a long wait for a debut release from Dunedin electro trio Thundercub, but after the past few years of internet-demo teasing, the group have finally relinquished a self-tlted, 5 track EP. We caught up with the cubs at their band practice to get their views on themselves, Japan, and 'Thundercub'.

So, first of all, who's in the band and what do they do?

Hey there and thanks for the opportunity. Thundercub is also called Lee, Samdrub and DJ. Lee plays guitar, Samdrub plays drums and tries not to be too angry with the planet and DJ plays synths, navigates the solar system and generally saves the world.

How long have you been around?

Not too long, maybe 2 or 3 years.

Where abouts are you based?

Dunedin, in gloriously naive New Zealand.

What are Thundercub's origins?

Thundercub evolved out of a 5 piece boy band. It's all been said before but once you find people you want to work with, remember their names and get their numbers. And we kept in contact and here we are.

Where does the name come from?

I don't know either. (Fight ensues amongst band members).

What other bands/projects have you been involved in?

Including but not limited to The Maybe Pile, The Something Quartet, Mr Biscuits, Sunset Cinema, Thundercunt, Alizarin Lizard, Tono & The Finance Company, Sunley Band, and Louis Smith. All very interesting projects, all worth checking out.


How do you go about writing songs?

Not often enough, and even then we're still changing our habits, trying to keep up with everyone and ourselves, trying not to get too stale or set in our ways. But there are still some basic methods we come back to such as calling or texting ourselves to save an idea, setting up our instruments in a new way and noting what happens or messing around with an idea on the computer. I'd say that we mainly write songs by finding ideas in what each other is playing when we set up in the practice room.

Among your comparisons to So So Modern, how would you describe your sound?

I have great respect for what SSM do. I think a lot of bands start simply and become more complex whereas we initially attempted to take everything from everywhere ever and push it out in a 3 minute rock song. Our early recordings show that. Thankfully we've culled and simplified since then. We want to sound how we envision and describe our sound as missing visuals.

What good things are you listening to at the moment?

We've just been at a gallery where local legends Alizarin Lizard played a show to launch their new music video. The gallery was a huge, multi-storied place that used to be an old sewing factory in the 1800's, huge ambience. We listen to that band more than we would admit to them. And also hearing Radio1's return to regular broadcast was easily the best thing we listened to that week.

You have your debut EP 'Thundercub' coming out, What's the best thing about that for the band?

Finally releasing something after 2 or 3 years.

I hear you have been round a bit now, how come it has taken a little while to hit us with a debut release?

We had some cleaning to do.

Your demos tape 'Crackers' was recorded by you guys, have you gone into a 'real' studio this time for 'Thundercub'? If so, who/where?

A friend of ours was kind enough to help us out with the 'Thundercub' EP. The room was great. Prior to this, we had a few unfinished projects from an old Four Square in Opoho and the Otago University's Albany St studio.

Can we expect vocals on this Thundercub release?

You can expect them but they may not be there. But you're welcome to sing along.

Any cool recording stories?

We generally have issues with recording equipment. After collecting borrowed gear we forgot a firewire cable and recorded Cecil Turbine with a bunch of sm57s simultaneously into two 4-track usb interfaces, then synchronized the files from both laptops into one session. Cool huh?

Do you have any shows coming up for the EP release we can look forward to?

We're up in Auckland this week to play at Whammy on the 18th with God Bows to Math and Black Science. We were really lucky to be put in touch with Martin(GBTM guitarist/singer & cool guy), who organised the whole show. There will also be no cover charge for that one. On the Friday 19th we're playing the MUM club night at Cassette, then the Saturday 20th at Happy in Wellington with The Blue Onseys and The Boxcar Rattle.

How do you plan to release 'Thundercub'?

It'll be at shows on CD + bandcamp & iTunes.

Best or most memorable gig you have played?

It would be with The Mint Chicks at Otago Orientation in 2010. That was when they had two bass players and two drumkits and broke up a few days later. That was fairly memorable. The best show would have to have been at Campus A Low Hum 11.

You have a big sound on record, how do you recreate it live?

We were some of the first test subjects for an underground Japanese cloning program.

What does the future hold for Thundercub?

We'd like to do a tour in Japan. We know some people over there.

The state of music in NZ is in your opinion... to keep alive more musicians and artists and industry than John Key would have you believe. Go to a show. Go and buy a CD. Or better yet, go buy NZ music online. It doesn't have to be Thundercub, as long as it's good music.

Sam Harper