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Published on November 16th, 2012 | by Zac Arnold

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The Men Behind The Music

Is it delusion to want your band to be considered the next Beatles?

For Oscar Davies-Kay, Jeremy Potts and Vince Narin, aka Rackets, reality is centred in their delusion and they are intent on becoming their idols even if they have to make their way through sweat, shit and Riverton to get there.

Having released five records in two years, as well as completing two tours of our nation’s back-country watering holes, the group are starting to make quite a splash. Mainstream media are finally starting to take notice and have adopted misprinting their name with a “the”, as if they can’t comprehend a band having a one-word moniker.

The band find themselves in increasingly obtuse situations. Oscar seemed conflicted about their attendance at the 2012 Vodafone New Music Awards. But despite being unnerved by the fake tan and the $250 ticket price, he still has a desire to be included.

“We’d still kind of want to win awards. We’d like to get an award, but I don’t know if the VNZMAs are the be all and end all, I’d prefer to get a Grammy.”

It’s interesting to note who is a part of the musical community that orbits Rackets. Critics’ Choice nominees Beach Pigs will be forever linked with Rackets, opening for them on the Full Mango tour, and Davies-Kays’ Crown Records for releasing their debut EP. Rackets’ recent vinyl releases and relationship with Toy Love is down to matchmaker John Baker.

The group’s extensive back catalogue wouldn’t be half as long if it weren’t for the work of Bob Frisbee, whose commitment to the recording process endears the three musicians to and take on board his criticisms. The band says they feel they have becoming better songwriters with his guidance.

Frisbee invests his time and resources into the group for no reparations because he believes these three young men from Auckland have the ability to write a million-dollar smash hit.

Elvis and the Beatles creep in again to influence the way Rackets create their videos. You get a sense the group could happily reenact the phone booth shot at the beginning of A Hard Day’s Night or spend their days wearing Hawaiian shirts like Presley in Blue Hawaii just to pass the time. The members of Rackets love these movies because they reveal the men behind the music, showcasing their personalities and, more importantly, their sense of humour. Rackets have a string of hilarious music videos spanning from the humble VHS video of  ‘Hello Homophobe’ through to the shiny polished collaborations with Levi Beamish and Chrysalis Films. Word on the street is they are going to have a television show.

“Something is in the works,” says Oscar, “but we need to get our acting up to speed.”

Claiming that “all our best songs we write in 10 minutes”, Rackets are on the hunt for songs that have “a certain energy and fully sick groove that makes you want to rock the fuck out”. There are two distinct sounds emerging from the band, comprising either Potts or Davies-Kay singing over crunchy guitar chords and their rumbling rhythm section. Their lyrics are unabashed and brazen, with such romantic phrases as “I want to fuck you til’ you die of starvation”. Bloody brilliant.

Rackets have gotten where they are now through their willingness to put in the extra hours, play the shitty shows and practice three times a week. It seems they might not be happy until they are on par with their icons.

“‘I don’t think we are working as hard as we should be, it’s fucking pissing me off,” grumbles Oscar – not with the usual wide grin, but with the frustrated slump of a musician hungry to live up to his idols.

“The Beatles had already done so much by the time they were our age.”

One thing’s for sure: even if they don’t reach the heights of Lennon and McCartney, with a little help from their friends the Auckland trio will keep making rock music from the heart.

Article by Zac Arnold

Photography by Alex Mcvinnie

This article was sponsored by

This article was published in issue 11. of PRESENCE ZINE.

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