AllGood Artists ~
THE KAIPARA JAMMERS - JAMMING OFFSHORE
Aquus Minor - Vocals
Whoever you talk to in The Kaipara Jammers, the origins of the band always starts at school.
To be specific Kaipara College in Helensville, north of Auckland, where all seven current or previous members had their musical inclinations encouraged and fine-tuned by Nick Roberts the school’s long-serving head of the music department.... [see full biography below] ...
Check out their latest video 'A MINOR'!
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[Bio continued] ...
‘‘Yeah, Nick was amazing, although he was Mr Roberts to me back then,’’ says The Kaipara Jammers guitarist and songwriter Shaun Darlison. ‘‘It was the best part of school. One day, I was jamming with Aquus Minor [real name] and Shanan Healy and Aquus started adding these cool raps. Behind the scenes, I had been jamming with Isaac Wilkinson so when we decided to put a band together, he was the obvious choice as a bass player. We met the ‘old fulla’ a couple of month later when Nick introduced me to him at a Rodney Live talent show.”
And, of course, the old fulla, Steve Oswaid just happened to be a Kaipara College Old boy.
“It’s great to see The Kaipara Jammers doing so well,” says Roberts, who has been in his current role at Kaipara College since 2002. “When I arrived at it was a classical school, so we ditched all of the classical instruments, sold them off and bought modern instruments which were more suited to pop and rock. It was huge decision to make because music is a part of the brandof any school. We made that decision to move Mohammed to the mountain and the mountain to Mohammed.
“The classes are heavily into performance. It’s one thing to practice, it’s another to do it. So what happened was. The thing about music is it’s all about passion. It’s a positive addiction. Kids need something that is positive and music is one of those things that is at the top of the list. We are starting to reap the rewards of that decision with artists such as The Kaipara Jammers. “
The year The Kaipara Jammers caught Roberts’ attention was 2008 and Darlison, Minor and, back then Healy, all thought playing in a band was their best career option. The year after they graduated they were still hanging out together at the Auckland campus of the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand.
“To be honest, I was a bit of a slacker,” Darlison says. “I think I was too young, fresh out of school and sick of studying. We all just hung out and jammed whenever we could. It’s a brilliant course but I didn’t make the most of it. I think I’d get a lot more out of it now because now that we have recorded an album I appreciate more all the things that go into . I’ve always played around recording stuff at home”
The year wasn’t wasted though. During one of the term breaks Minor and Darlison rented a bach in Raglan and headed there for some serious sun, surfing and songwriting.
“Back then, everyone in the band loved the ocean,” Darlison says. “I love swimming but I just can’t surf. I’m a bit gimpy. That laidback lifestyle of sun and surf is a big part of the kind of music we love and want to be known for.”
While there the pair recorded six songs, including Offshore, which eventually ended up as the title of their debut album.
“Aquus and I were just hanging out watching all of these cool dudes surfing the breaks and Aquus started humming ‘I’m the first one in I’m the last one out, only water knows what I’m about’,” Darlison says. “I knew then we had a song. So we raced back to the bach and within a couple of hours had recorded our first demo. That week we wrote about half a dozen songs.”
After that creative burst not a lot really happened with The Kaiapara Jammers for about a year.
“We got invited back to Kaipara College to perform at a fundraiser, Into The Fire 4, gigged around the Kaipara area, including lots of parties for friends and tried to work on our original material whenever we could get everyone together.”
In mid-2010, Darlison played the “Raglan” songs to Roberts whom he had kept in touch with and his old mentor suggested there was someone he needed to meet.
That person was Triple A Records, TeMatera Smith, who had set up a recording base in Hellensville at Red Room Studios and was looking for artists to sign.
“Nick took me down to Matt’s studio with the demo,” Darlison says. “It was about six songs and they were pretty rough. Matt really liked it. He told us to come back with 20 songs, which kind of bummed me out at the time but he made it clear he was really interested.
“It took us almost another year before we had what we thought were 20 good enough songs for Matt to listen to. A big problem for us as a band was getting everyone together to work on original material. Aquus and I were really committed to the band but the other guys always seemed to have to fit The Kaipara Jammers around their busy schedules.”
The Kaipara Jammers or KJs as they are often referred to trimmed down to a four-piece a month after the release of Offshore in August 2012.
The “old fulla” Oswaid, Healy and Wilkison left by mutual agreement and were replaced by two other former Kaipara College students, drummer Mitchell Ihle and bass player Daryl Moore.
“A lot of the issues we had as a band were are around being committed to the band,” Darlison says. “Aquus and I just felt we weren’t moving forward or getting better as a band.”
The new line-up officially made its live debut at the release party for label mate Kara Gordon And The Wreckage’s self-titled debut album at Galatos, in Auckland, on October 5. The original band members were officially farewelled at a 21st gig in Waimauku last month.
“We played with the new band and then the old band as a send-off to the guys,” Darlison says. “We had some great times and have some great memories. But we literally want to take the band offshore and that means a lot of hard work.”
Things you never knew about The Kaipara Jammers
● Darlison plays league for the Kaipara Lancers. “It’s mean,” he says. “I love staying fit.”
● The cover artwork for Offshore was designed by Darlison’s sister Brooke. “She has studied graphic design but she’ such a
● Ihle and Moore were in a band called Sunsmoke when they were invited to join The Kaipara Jammers.
● The KJ’s double as a band playing everything from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Sublime and were approached about a
● The Kaipara Jammers made the finals of the 2012 New Zealand Battle of the Bands. “It was lots of fun,” Darlison says. “We
● When Darlison and Moore were studying music at Kaipara College, Darlison was nicknamed “too tall” and Healy “parrot”.