Violet Highway

About Violet Highway:

Violet Highway is a female fronted three piece that plies a fiery blend of Rock, Pop and Blues that will leave you torn between dancing up a storm and drunk texting your ex.

They match passionate lyrics with catchy melodies and powerful instrumentation. Lead vocalist Jacqui Munro belts out a tone described by listeners as “PJ Harvey meets Joan Jett” alongside her own gritty guitar work. The band’s rhythm section is defined by attention-grabbing bass riffs from Ant Deane and heavy, energetic drumming from James Rimmer.



Violet HighwayViolet Highway EP © September 2015



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Triple Whammy for Metal Trio

Triple Whammy for Metal Trio

Young thrash metal band Alien Weaponry has scored a hat-trick. Earlier this month they reached the National Final of the NZ Battle of the Bands. They have also been named National Finalists in the Smokefree Rockquest and Smokefree Pacifica Beats competitions, to be held in Auckland on September 11 and 12. As far as they are aware, they are the only band ever to have played in the finals of all three competitions in the same year.

At 13 years old, singer/guitarist Lewis de Jong and bass player Ethan Trembath are the youngest performers in the Smokefree Rockquest final for 2015. The group was chosen as one of only 6 bands to perform on September 11 out of more than 700 entrants throughout New Zealand. They played at the Northland heats, Northland finals and submitted a 15 minute video to get into first the top 20 and finally the top 6. “It’s actually really difficult to get to play at the National finals,” says 15 year old drummer, Henry de Jong. “This is the fourth year we have been in the competition.”

While thrash metal is not a genre typically associated with the Smokefree Rockquest, Alien Weaponry are even more of a rarity in the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition. “This is the first time we have ever had a metal band in the Pacifica Beats finals,” says organiser Elena Lome. “I can’t wait to see how they go down with the Pacifica Beats crowd. It’s going to be very exciting.”

The band has had extensive interest in their song Ruana Te Whenua, which is sung entirely in te reo Maori. Although they played it for the first time when they opened for SHIHAD at the Powerstation in May, it was written with Pacifica Beats in mind. Using traditional Maori instruments and the form of the haka, the song tells the story of the de Jong brothers’ great great great grandfather, Te Aho Aho, who was killed at the battle of Gate Pa defending his home territory against the British in 1864.

In preparation for the SFRQ final, a TV crew will spend 2 days in the little town of Waipu, filming Alien Weaponry in its natural habitat, and the band will record a single at Roundhead Studios in Auckland. This will become part of the SFRQ TV special to be broadcast later in the year. “It’s kind of handy actually,” says Henry de Jong. “We already have time set aside in the same studio to work on our upcoming album, so this is an awesome opportunity to collaborate with the Smokefree Rockquest team and get help and advice from some amazing people with heaps of experience.”

The winner of each competition will be up for prizes worth over $20,000 including more recording time and a music video funded by NZ on Air. “We already have some ideas for videos,” says bass player Ethan Trembath, “so it would definitely be good to win one, if not both competitions.” The tiny town of Waipu in Northland is holding its breath to see if they can do it.

The trio’s goal is to be playing big metal festivals in Europe and the USA before they hit their 20s, and, having recently been invited to play a metal festival in Brisbane in January 2016, it looks like they’re well on their way. On the local front, the band will be performing at a series of ‘School’s Out’ all ages shows to celebrate the end of exams in November/December, along with fellow SFRQ finalists Joe Says No and X-Factor heroes Brendon Thomas & the Vibes. Also on the bill is Hamilton core band Seas of Conflict. “There will be something for everyone,” says Lewis. “It’s going to be a brutally awesome way to end the school year.”

International Blues Music Day 2015

International Blues Music Day 2015

So we went along to the Thirsty Dog on Auckland’s K Rd on Saturday to join the Auckland Blues Club and be amongst the first in the world to celebrate International Blues Music Day 2015.

A great line-up of local blues artists put on a stellar show to an appreciative crowd. The all day event ran from 11am to 6pm.

The line up included: Dave Cheetham and Peter Archer, Doubleshot, Jason Herbert, Fatt Max & Dean ‘Honey Boy’ Morris, Luke Murphy, Darcy Perry & Nate Taiapa, and Stingray.

Check out some pics of the event here:


About International Blues Music Day

On August 17, 2011 an online petition was launched advocating for the establishment of an International Blues Music Day. Within a few months the petition-group was joined by thousands of members from around the world, comprising of blues enthusiasts, musicians, celebrities, and promoters.

An annual date to celebrate International Blues Music Day was established as the first Saturday in August of each year with the inaugural celebration on August 3, 2013. The initiative was the brainchild of world renowned blues musician Johnny Childs, who also stars in the film The Junkman’s Son and serves as the President of the NYC Blues Society.

A day for the international community to unite in celebration of the blues, including its many icons, legends & pioneers & to help elevate & support the vast pool of modern day blues artists & practitioners around the world.” Johnny Childs – Director IBMD


About Auckland Blues Club

The Auckland Blues Club hosts functions, workshops, jam nights and clinics featuring known artists for aspiring musicians.

To keep up to date with club events, follow them on Facebook:

Digital Playground

About Digital Playground:

Digital Playground started up early 2015. The band consists of a horn section, a singer, an MC and two DJs / Producers.

They have fun, they get down and they dance.



Digital PlaygroundDigital Playground is currently in the process of releasing an E.P.

Watch this space!


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The latest from alt rapper JCK

The latest from alt rapper JCK

‘You’re Not Tupac’ is the latest single and video from alternative rap artist JCK. The fifth single to drop this year from the forthcoming album ‘Land Of The Wrong White Crowd’.

JCK has cleverly avoided drowning in an endless sea of rappers and beat makers by finding his own niche of hybrid music combining elements of Hip Hop, Electronica and Rock. With the aid of a loop pedal JCK plays his live performances on guitar, which has seen his music resonate with a wider audience.

Harnessing the powers of his imagination JCK goes on a journey into alternative realities bringing theatre and entertainment together in his unique music videos which he directs, edits and produces himself.

Check out the vid for ‘You’re Not Tupac’ here:


JCK has steadily been building up momentum with live shows and music video releases in anticipation for his album release in Feb 2016.  If you live in Auckland city you may have seen his posters around town.

The music video reveal gig for ‘You’re Not Tupac’ went down on Thursday night at Auckland’s Ironbar on Karangahape Rd and drew a passionate crowd of Hip-Hop heads, Rock fans and even a handful of Goths.


To follow JCK on Facebook:

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To follow Ironbar and its events on Facebook:

Eddy Grant and CeeLo Green to headline Raggamuffin IX

Eddy Grant and CeeLo Green to headline Raggamuffin IX:

Raggamuffin is Australasia’s premier reggae and roots festival and features an unrivalled line-up of top international and local artists. The festival will be held for the second time in Auckland in 2016.

Line up (so far….)

  • Eddy Grant
  • CeeLo Green
  • Sly & Robbie
  • Inner Circle
  • Maxi Priest
  • Junior Marvin’s Wailers
  • Spawnbreezie
  • Boo Yaa T.R.I.B.E
  • Three Houses Down
  • Tomorrow People

More acts are to be announced and a competition to find an opening act for the Festival will be launched in November.

Go to the Raggamuffin site for more artist and other info:

“This year we’re an all ages Festival so we’re encouraging people to bring their families along – children under 14 will be free when accompanied by an adult ticketholder, and we’ve introduced a special youth ticket for young people aged 14 to 17.” Brotha D (Danny Leaosavai’i)

1435047263raggamuffin-villageWhere: The Trust Arena, Auckland

When: Saturday 20 February 2016

Tickets: Pre-sale tickets for Raggamuffin IX are available from Monday 27 July

Early bird tickets are on sale to the general public from Monday 10 August until Monday 24 August.

Tickets through and Red Rat clothing stores.

Alien Weaponry set to shake up the Capital

Alien Weaponry set to shake up the Capital:

They’ve opened for Shihad. They’ve toured with Devilskin. They’ve reached the National final of the Battle of the Bands – twice, and got into the Northland finals of the Smokefree Rock Quest four years running, also winning awards for musicianship and lyric writing. None of them are old enough to drive yet, but thrash metal band Alien Weaponry aren’t letting that stop them from bringing their ‘new wave of destruction’ to the lower North Island.

The teen trio first caught the notice of New Zealand’s metal community when Paul Martin, bass guitarist for Devilskin began playing a demo of their song ‘Cages’ on his ‘Axe Attack’ radio show. “I was blown away by their music,” said Paul. “And when I played it to others, no-one could believe they were only 12 and 14.”

Members of Shihad were similarly impressed when they decided to check out Alien Weaponry on YouTube after hearing drummer Henry de Jong (now 15) interviewed on The Rock FM during the heavy metal and hard rock festival Westfest. “Their energy and vitality took us back to the early days of Shihad,” says drummer Tom Larkin.

An invitation to support the legendary NZ band at Auckland’s Powerstation ensued, and now Alien Weaponry are heading to Shihad’s old stomping ground for four shows in July – two in Palmerston North, one in Wellington and one in Wanganui. “We’ve actually wanted to head down that way for a while,” says 13 year old lead vocalist and guitarist Lewis de Jong. “We’ve got lots of Facebook fans in those places, and there’s also a lot of other great bands there we have wanted to play with.”

While the band have been praised for their mature songwriting and old school thrash metal style, they caused quite a stir with their latest song when they played it for the first time at the Powerstation. Written entirely in Te Reo Maori for the Smokefree Pacifica Beats competition, ‘Ruana Te Whenua’ (The Trembling Earth) is a tribute to the de Jong brothers’ great great great grandfather, who died in the Tauranga conflicts at Gate Pa in 1864 defending his home territory against the British. “Thrash metal is not generally associated with a Pacifica sound,” says Henry de Jong. “But if you think about it, haka is much more like metal than it is like reggae, so I’m sure we will make an impact.”


Alien Weaponry

Catch Alien Weaponry making the earth tremble at one of the shows below this July:

Wed 15 July, 12pm – Massey University, Palmerston North (free lunchtime concert)

Thurs 16 July, 8pm – The Royal, Palmerston North ($5, with Ceder and Deadset)

Fri 17 July, 9pm – Valhalla, Wellington ($5, with Meat, Grey Skies over Rapture and Winterborn)

Sat 18 July, 8pm – The Riverside Bar, Wanganui ($5, with Ceder and Decoma).


For video clips, music downloads, band bio and more, see:

4Sayken and Revus Da Menace Mixtape Project

4Sayken and Revus Da Menace Mixtape Project:

Check out the Chaos Agents Remix (Music Video) released this month – the first video from the new and untitled mixtape project by 4Sayken and Revus Da Menace.

Have a peep at some Westside sickness and let ‘em know what ya think!


Keep an eye and ear out for the next music vid from 4Sayken and Revus Da Menace which is currently underway for their new track ‘Empty’, and read the interview with 4Sayken that follows……


The collaboration between you guys is awesome. How did it come about?

Pretty much I met Revus a few years ago and in our eyes, beforehand, no one was seriously representing West Auckland in terms of rap music (besides a few names like Pakkz n Abbot), so we took it upon ourselves to put our side of Auckland on the music scene with pride. There is so much unnoticed talent in that area and we wanted to make it so they (other West Auckland artists) could be loud about who they are and where they come from.


So the Chaos Agents Remix is the first single from the mixtape project. What can we expect next?

Revus and I are working on the untitled mixtape together and thought that the Chaos Agents Remix would be a good first single as it showcases our more technical / chopping style of rap. Yeah, Chaos Agents is definitely a prime example of the type of music I like creating, whereas Revus would usually like to make more mellow radio influenced sounds.

The mixtape as a whole will have many different styles in it – even down to including some deeper RnB type songs. That’s why I want the next single to be ‘Empty’ which is completely different to Chaos Agents.


The Chaos Agents video is awesome. Looking forward to what’s to come…..

The Chaos Agents video was shot by Corey Fleming simply because he liked our music and it was out of respect that he made it. It took a day’s work in front of a green screen and was a good experience. The video for ‘Empty’ is going to be shot in a more dramatic setting using new visual techniques and a more professional camera so I’m excited to see how that turns out.




To follow 4Sayken on Facebook:

4Sayken on Sonic Den:

More on Underground Hip Hop in Auckland:

Ant Wars

About Ant Wars:

Hailing from Mount Maunganui, NZ, and formed in 2012, Ant Wars are a 5 piece band consisting of brothers Kaine & Jamie Harkins (Vocals & Bass), Simon Leigh Mackenzie (Drums), Simon Fritchley (Rhythm Guitar) and Aaron Cutforth (Lead Guitar).

With numerous live shows under their belt, playing with such acts as Shihad, I Am Giant and Cairo Knife Fight to name a few, Ant Wars have spent the best part of a year and a half perfecting their sound and constructing a cutting edge live show and set that is said to be explosive and mesmerizing.

Their songs vary from track to track and feel no need to stay within a certain genre – shifting between punk, blues, rock, soundscape & desert rock in one set while still maintaining integrity and a unique sound.

Ant Wars have taken a flying leap into the NZ music scene with gusto and intend to make themselves known and get their music out the best way they know how – through kick ass songs and memorable live shows.

2015 sees the band currently in the process of recording their first full length album along with making their own videos to each track.

Influences range from Fugazi, QOTSA, Melvins through to Motley Crue, Weezer and Shihad.



Antwars (Demo) 2014

New album coming 2015!



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Chris McMenamin

About Chris McMenamin:

Chris McMenamin is a folk-punk artist from Auckland, influenced by Andrew Jackson Jihad, Harley Poe, and Jared Mees & the Grown Children among others.

His music often uses traditional folk instrumentation, including upright bass and accordion.

“Don’t trust a perfect person and don’t trust a song that’s flawless.” – twenty | one | pilots



Chris McMenamin

The Masks We Wear [Single] released 19 February 2015

Prenant La Fuite [EP] released 01 May 2015

Phantoms, Fears, and All Things Feral [Album] released 15 May 2015


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