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Mako Road – Issue 1

Since 2018 the Mako Road boys have been playing packed gigs of discerning music fans across New Zealand. Their debut EP The Green Superintendent provided a lead track of the same name which has proved to be both one of the bands most successful yet but also firmly cemented has become their signature sound. 


Perhaps the most quixotic thing about Mako Road is that they sound both familiar and new. To anyone listening they come across as effortless and at peace with the well worn Summer time vibe that has become a mainstay for bands like Six60 and Katchafire or for the mature students reading this, Ben Harper and Jack Johnson.


To label them as “just that” would be doing them a disservice. They can just as easily embrace elements of Indie acoustic with complex melodies, vocal riffs, compelling lyrics and catchy hooks.


That is a level of depth we didn’t think a Christchurch Band via Wellington were capable of having. 


What we can tell you with absolute certainty is these three things:

  • That is the same photo we used last year when we interviewed them but the interview is different, we promise.
  • If Rhian, CJ, Conner, and Robbie weren’t both excellent at what they did, and amazing guys to talk to we would never forgive them for giving us such short interview answers that we had to write a massive explanatory introduction.
  • We worked hard to bring thing back this year because they were genuinely fucking amazing to see live last year. To say anyone was the best live gig of 2020 wasn’t much of a compliment but honestly. This is the one band you do not want to miss this year.


Here is our interview with the boys from Mako Road


You guys have been on the rise pretty steadily over the last few years, has it changed how you do things?

Yeah as things have gotten busier we’ve needed to expand our crew to help with the workload. It’s been good having a team around us, the bigger the posse the better the fun. Mako has steadily been taking over our lives the past few years, and its been taking us time to figure out how to approach the lifestyle and manage the work. 


With the success of your debut stuff, what is the pressure like on your creative process now? 

Definitely feel a bit of pressure when it comes to writing music, but at the same time we are steadily exploring what kind of music we want to write. All it really comes down is whether we like the music or not, and if we do we’re sure our fans will. 


We hate to use the phrase “Boy Band” but you are a group of lads touring together. What is that like? Are there some realities that you have to deal with now? What is the stuff we don’t see on stage life?

Lots of rumbles in the green room and then some kisses. I guess there’s a lot of admin that goes into preparing for a show, rehearsals, promotion, trying to operate social medias and creating video and camera content etc. Over time it’s become less of a few-boys-just-having-a-crack-at-it kind of thing, and more of a job. It’s definitely not as ad hoc as it used to be, but that means don’t miss any more flights (mostly). 


You’re back in Hamilton for another O’Week in Hamilton, and looking at your schedule, pretty much every other O’Week. What is your favourite University gig, and why is it Otago?

We haven’t played in Otago in about 2 years. Always seem to leave Dunedin a bit sore and sorry for ourselves. We’ve gotten too old to keep up with the festivities in that city.. Hamilton is the best uni to play at 😉 


If you weren’t ‘Mako Road’, where would you all be now. What day jobs were you lining up?

CJ would be a sexy fireman, Rhian would be a surf life saver, Robbie would be a musician, Connor would be homeless. 


Do you ever dream of a life outside the band?


Life outside the band….impossible! Nah we all have our own things going on outside the band, it’s important for us creatively to not be Mako Roading all the time. Like anything! Rhian is a professional mountain biker, CJ is a producer, Connor studies law and Robbie is an engineer.


Was lockdown a creative period for you or did you just take a break from it all?


Lockdown was fairly difficult creatively. You underestimate how much inspiration you draw from going about your day ‘normally’. We managed to finish the album after some hair pulling though 🙂


How has Covid and the border closure affected your plans?


Hugely. We had quite big plans overseas  (Europe and Australia mostly). It just meant we could only really play in NZ. Its pretty much put our plans on hold really, but every band around the world is experiencing the same situation, but we were definitely one of the lucky ones. 


If you could plan a dream concert with three headliners (living or dead) who would they be?


Tame Impala, Khurangbin and Fat Freddy’s Drop would be out the gate.