Tokona’s musical mission


AARON Tokona’s on a mission to cheer up the country.

One of New Zealand’s best musicians, Tokona brings his band AHoriBuzz to Queenstown this weekend staring down the barrel of a 50-date tour.

That’s on the back of releasing double EP Into The Sunshine today.

“50-date tour; it sounds stupid doesn’t it,” Tokona says.

“I’ve become politically active and kind of more politically angry over the last few years, which I guess is what happens when you get a bit older.

“So I asked what is it that a musician can contribute to how people are feeling, and my whole buzz of that was maybe I should just go out and try and cheer people up.”

Into The Sunshine features songs AHoriBuzz have played live over the past few years – Sugar, Providence, Turnaround, and the title track, along with remixes of those tracks by other artists.

But Tokona says he also has a list of 187 covers to play on the tour.

“The buzz is to learn these songs the best we can.

“I played in covers bands for years in Wellington a long time ago, it was an easy way to earn money.

“But you’re kind of like the wallpaper; a stereo of people.

“The way we’ve approached these covers, is they’re f***ing great songs written by special people and should be played to honour that – that’s the vibe.”

Everything from Lennon to Outkast is on the table.

“We might play Lounge Act by Nirvana, then of course there’s Prince, then Queen, then Roy Orbison – it just goes on and on – Stevie Wonder!”

There’s been a demand for released material from former Weta, Bongmaster, Cairo Knife Fight and Fly My Pretties performer Tokona since he put together AHoriBuzz as, he says, basically a jam-band to get him back into musical shape.

“This whole EP was my idea to just whet people’s appetite because I needed longer for the record,” he says.

“Albums are a different beast – they’re a body of work that needs time, it needs to evolve.

“To tell you the truth I’ve probably written the AHoriBuzz album about three times – but I’m just a stubborn musical f**k when it comes to it.

“It’s just not going to get out of the gate until I can listen to it and not cringe, not feel anxious, you know.

“No one else in the world has to live with it. It needs to be right, not for the sake of the world but for my sake. So the world can wait.”

AHoriBuzz, Loco Cantina, this Saturday, 8pm. Admission $12