Published on June 27th, 2012 | by PRESENCE0
A Family Affair
Roaring onto the music scene with an earful of sound and a mouthful of a name, the Neo Kalashnikovs are poised for world domination. Their fresh single ‘Tell You What I Wanna’ showcases a gutsy band with smooth aesthetics, a wonderfully fun-loving attitude, and a strict family first rule where members are concerned.
“We were born knowing each other,” Says Moss. “It was a gradual process of waiting for the next band member to be born. Sure there was a bit of a wait with Gabriel, he’s turning 18 in July, but finally we can unveil the full line-up. Our other sibling Charlie is 10 and can rock the ukulele hard, he’s welcome to join.”
Influenced by bands such as Cage the Elephant, The Silversun Pickups, Paramore, Autolux and Ed Sheeran, the Neos are the face of a new, desperately hip breed of family band, and their cool factor is only rising if their recent trip to LA is anything to go by.
“[We ended up] getting a lift to our show at the Viper Room in a white Cadillac on Sunset Boulevard by two really nice criminals, who ended up playing percussion and tambourine at the show,” laughs Volita, proving without a doubt that the Neos are definitely no Hanson.
The band’s philosophy towards music is one of reformation. They see themselves as “rock revolutionaries”; saviors of rock music, their mission being to fill the hole that decent young rock music should inhabit. “We are basically trying to transmit some new young rock to the masses. We were listening to The Rock yesterday and the news was about Korn getting a DUI, Santana putting out a 38th album and Soul Asylum putting out their fifth studio album…all of these bands are like 100 years old now… I think it’s time that the baby boomers moved over a tad and let some young bands in cause it’s starting to look a little bit wrinkly.”
With a band full of creative types who also happen to be siblings, you’d expect the atmosphere to be ripe for squabbles and arguments. However, once again the band proves they are not your average siblings – they’ve somehow honed their creative process to a tee to avoid disagreements. “Volita writes the lyrics and has collaborated with friends, like past co-writer Amelia Martin from her first band The Romanovas, and more recently the legendary NZ beat poet Shane Hollands. She describes the songwriting process as ‘like having a baby, sometimes immaculately or sometimes with someone else’,” says Moss.
However they do it, the fruits of their songwriting labour are indeed immaculate. ‘Tell You What I Wanna’ is a well-crafted piece of music. With its humming guitars, punchy bass line and unique, attention-grabbing vocals, it’s a single you really want to listen to. “It was banged up on the west coast of California,” says Moss. “We actually recorded that live in Venice Beach while feeding everyone hotdogs. It was really hard work!”
So what’s next on the agenda for these quirky, cool, talented siblings? “At the moment we are coming up are some super slick video clips and [are pushing] radio airplay on multiple continents. Also in our hometown Auckland we’ve started a new club night called Pink Candyfloss Cocaine at the Wine Cellar with our label, and Volita has started a gender inclusive rock society called FEMROCKNZ, which will be doing an outdoor concert once a year.”
On top of all this, the band hopes to undertake an extensive tour of the US and UK, as well as a few appearances in good old NZ. “We’ve been meaning to tour NZ, me and Volita have been talking that road trip about for ages,” says Gabriel.
So with all of that in the pipeline, the future looks rosy for this idiosyncratic music-making machine. Their single ‘Tell You What I Wanna’ is available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure – if I were you, I’d check it out.
Article by Anna Schlotjes
Photography by Christopher Angell