Roofdog’s beer money now funds studio time

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Longstanding Kiwi ska/punk band Roofdog insist things have looked up since they stopped boozing their gig money away. 

The Auckland four-piece has been entertaining fans the length and breadth of New Zealand for the past 12 years.
But it’s only now that the reggae-tinged group has got around to releasing its self-titled debut album. 

“For a long time we’d been playing at every kind of pub and party we could find for beer money,” bassist Ross Hutchison says. 

“But recently we decided to get a bit more organised, and that included easing up on the spending after our shows. 

“It’s amazing how much money we started saving and now the cash goes straight back into the band. 

“In turn, this has helped fund our album and now we are looking at going over to Aussie to tour for the first time.” 

Unlike many other Kiwi roots bands that look towards Jamaica for inspiration, Roofdog derives its sound from classic British punk and ska bands such as The Specials and The Clash.
 
“We’re not roots-reggae guys,” Hutchison explains. “We don’t have big dreads and we play our own
rock-steady kind of take on the music. 

“It’s kind of like the way the white UK bands embraced reggae music and turned it into their own thing. 

“We can play gigs for crusty punk rockers and we fit in okay, and we can also play at the reggae shows and go down just as well.” 

The first Roofdog album was compiled in instalments, as cash and cheap studio time became available. 

Queenstown fans will hear the results when the band makes its live debut in the resort at the Dux on Saturday night. 

“The album took a while to record because we did it mainly at mates’ studios,” Hutchison adds. 

“We would do a few days here and there when we could afford it and pulled in quite a few favours to get it done.
“But we’re pretty happy with the way everything has turned out. We’re not the kind of band that would want to over-think what we are doing and torture ourselves about getting everything perfect.”

Catch Roofdog at Dux de Lux on Saturday from 9pm