Reggae-soul-roots band Hikoikoi went back to the future for their newly released debut album.
The six-strong Wellington outfit scoured New Zealand for technology from the 1970s to record the self-titled effort – in order to recreate a sound from their favourite musical era.
“We wanted to have a reference to a 70s soundscape and used as much recording gear as we could lay our hands on from around that time,” lead singer and guitarist Paul Wickham says.
“We wrote and rehearsed songs in an old boathouse first, then to get a real feeling of space we recorded the tracks on an old-fashioned tape machine in our own studio in a large building that was constructed during the Second World War.”
Almost three years perfecting the album is paying off as Hikoikoi’s new single Blood In The Sand picks up radio airplay across NZ.
They’ve also started a nationwide tour, stopping off at Dux de Lux on Saturday night.
The band knows it has a lot to live up to after recently being dubbed “the next big thing out of Wellington” in the press.
“People can say that kind of thing about us if they want – hopefully it’s true,” shrugs Wickham.
Hikoikoi have built a solid live following after starring at a series of top NZ summer festivals such as Auckland’s Music in the Parks and the Rotorua Mardi Gras.
“We were fortunate to get so many of those kinds of gigs. We went down well at them and they help pay the bills.”
Frontman Wickham already has strong showbiz connections.
A wooden boat builder by trade, his day job is making props for blockbuster movies at Wellington’s world-renowned Weta Workshop.
“I’ve done stuff for the likes of Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong,” he explains. “It’s bloody hard work.”
He also made a craft for the 2007 fantasy flick The Water Horse, filmed in Queenstown.
“Anyone who’s watched the movie will have seen the boat zooming about on Lake Wakatipu. It has a machine gun mounted on the front.”
Wickham insisted Queenstown be included in their winter tour schedule after holidaying here six months ago.
“We’ve never played in Queenstown before but have wanted to do it for a long time,” he explains.
“When I visited the town in the summer, I immediately set about organising a gig. We can’t wait.”