Liam’s cooking day and night

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Rising Queenstown indie-rockers The Skitzofrantiks reckon it’s time to make their mark on home turf. 

Formed last year, the trio has so far been concentrating on building an out-of-town following. 

They play a rare show in the resort at Dux de Lux tonight as a warm-up to their first full South Island tour, slotted for next month. 

“We’ve mostly been focussing on playing outside of Queenstown for a while and we’ve been going down well in places like Dunedin and Te Anau, where there’s a great vibe about our music,” frontman Liam O’Connell says. 

“The strange thing is, the type of people who are usually into indie stuff don’t seem to be so into it when they are in Queenstown. 

“It tends to be the covers bands that do well here as people want to go out and hear songs they already know.” 

O’Connell, originally from Scotland, came to the resort two-and-a-half years ago to be a snowboarding instructor after spells doing the same in the United States and Canada. 

However, he quickly realised he wanted to start a band and to free up time for music he became a chef. 

“I started working nights at the Millennium Hotel so I could write songs during the day, then when I had enough material I took a nine-to-five job at the New Orleans in Arrowtown so I can play gigs in the evening,” O’Connell says. 

“When I arrived in Queenstown I had no idea if there was a music scene here or not so I’ve just been making things up as I go along. 

“But thankfully everything seems to be going fine and now we can’t wait to get out there on our first real tour.” 

Next month The Skitzofrantiks – inspired by rock, jazz, metal, gypsy and folk sounds – release their debut single Look Between the Flames that was recorded in Invercargill and mixed in Wellington. 

“As well as the title track, we are looking at putting another four songs on the single so it’ll be good value,” O’Connell says.