Meet Your New Fav NZ Artist: Voodoo Bloo
New Zealand punk rock act Voodoo Bloo, led by Rory McDonald, released the frenetic single ‘Ha Ha Ok Ok’ earlier this month giving fans a third taste of their debut album Jacobus which drops today. Chatting to us from Wellington, ahead of his show at MEOW with Curlys Jewels and Miss June, Rory gave us the run down on NZ’s punk scene, an insight into his world of recording, and the heads up on his future Australian touring plans.
The Creative Issue: Could you tell us a little bit about your music for any Australians who may not already know Voodoo Bloo?
Rory McDonald: We’re a band from that place that people online swear doesn’t exist (New Zealand), and we create sounds of all shapes and sizes, but they mostly reside within the realm of indie and punk. Oh, and I’m the lead singer and also the bassist, so I’m cool, but then not.
TCI: You’re a Wellington based band. It’s always seemed like New Zealand has a small but incredibly strong and supportive music community. Can you describe for us your local music scene? What is the indie/punk rock scene like over there?
RM: The scene’s strange man. People love you here if you make it, but don’t seem to really care as much if you’re just starting out. I don’t know. It does make sense if you’re not quite as established as you should be or if your act just isn’t cutting it, but even in a post-covid lockdown Aotearoa it seems this idea of “Supporting your local music scene” is just a piece of nostalgia that people believe is right but don’t act upon. I try my best to get out there, maybe I’m just going to the wrong shows or something, it’d just be cool to see more peeps getting out to local shows, hell, it’s not like we can get anyone from overseas is it?
TCI: ‘Ha Ha Ok Ok’ is the third release to be taken from your forthcoming debut album Jacobus. You’ve mentioned this latest track is one of the longest standing Voodoo Bloo tracks. Can you tell us about the song and what it means to you?
RM: It’s a comedic take on social climbers. I’ve just always hated seeing people become something that they’re not in the pursuit of going through the social ranks and becoming top sh*t. Hype plagues the youth and it’s spreading.
TCI: You recorded ‘Ha Ha Ok Ok’ at PlasticGroove Studios in NZ. What’s a typical recording session for Voodoo Bloo look and sound like?
RM: It looks like a blank canvas, of which I have to take this mental image of a track I have and organise it into a beautiful picture. It sounds like a lot of swearing and shouting, with some actual recording takes thrown in for good measure.
TCI: Do you have any favourite pieces of music or studio gear that you wouldn’t be Voodoo Bloo without?
RM: Voodoo Bloo would not be Voodoo Bloo without ‘Nude’ by Radiohead and’ bmbmbm’ by Black Midi. The weird must balance the wonderful, otherwise creativity runs dry.
TCI: The music video for ‘Ha Ha Ok Ok’ is great and it really matches the energy of the track! Who did you work with for the clip and what was shooting it like?
RM: We worked with quite a few people on this shoot, but Alex Hargreaves was the mastermind director and idea creator, Piotr and Julia from kwasnik pictures being the mad man and woman who shot the whole thing, and I was the stupid dude who agreed to be in the back of a moving truck for 10 hours! Nah but seriously, shooting this thing was awesome, I got so battered and bruised, but it was totally worth the agony for the end result, and through some of the roughest moments I loved every piece of it.
TCI: Do you have any plans to tour across the ditch here in OZ when it’s possible to do so?
RM: Oh you betcha. Just you wait Australia, I’ll be coming to see ya real soon (well, as soon as I can)!