Goon… The three piece rock sound is distinctive and punchy and its limitations tend to encourage a simplicity of sound. We only have three players. Rochelle on bass, Andrew on drums, and Christian on guitars and vocals. There is no hammond, no second or third guitar, flute player or celloist. We are raw, punchy, fun and riff-laden with a catchy driving guitar sound that is meant to get you going. That is us live. The recordings, however, are a different story. The songs are the same but the many layers of instruments suddenly triple into a fuller, richer, more complicated sound. I guess that is because we can.

What do you do when you are too alternative for mainstream radio but not alternative enough for the b net stations? Radio becomes a difficult medium to crack. We do what ever we must.

We have a history of quirky fun videos and have to date produced 10 self-funded music videos. They have all had airplay on tv but this will be more difficult now that our free to air music channel has gone. But we will still make them of course. We love doing it. We love making videos, we love making music, and we love to play live.

This is why we are still here after nearly 10 years. This is what we love doing. We have had some amazing experiences, some great reviews, done some crazy things, and played some awesome gigs. We are still looking forward, not back. It’s where we want to go.

Goon History

Goon all began in the bedroom of lead singer & guitarist Christian Nicolson. The songs then were quite serious and all about world issues. To get away from this image he called it Goon. This was a name that would juxtapose the melodrama of the music. Plus it was a catchy one syllable name. After recording some songs while living in London, Christian tried to get a record deal off the demos. There was some interest, but he soon got snagged when they wanted to come and see him play live. There was no band.

So he returned home, and an add at a local music shop recruited gary lawson, a dynamic and heartfelt drummer who instantly connected with the music. Soon the two began to perform live and entered local Battle of the Bands competitions. They were impressive as a two piece, but all the time they knew something was missing. After some near misses they stumbled upon Rochelle Laby from a recommendation by the Battle of the Bands manager. Rochelle was invited to the next Goon gig. She and her friend made up exactly half the audience. But despite this, they must have made an impression on her and she joined the band.

Instantly the sound changed and Goon quickly moved through the ranks. In 2003 they won the nationwide song contest, Acid Test. This gave them a chance to record at the renown York Street Studios and produce their first EP. They did so with the help of producer Melcome Thingy, a former bass player for The Pretenders and the Simple Minds. He liked their sound and was eager to help. The result was a great little EP which enjoyed extremely positive reviews in the press. NZ on Air also rewarded them with a grant for their single, Perfect Thing, but unfortunately, the grant was taken away since the band had already recorded that song at York Street Studios. Despite this, things were looking up.

The singles received good airplay on the B nets and channel Z, and they landed at No. 1 twice on BFM (with singles Perfect Thing and Manananuts). This may have also been helped by Christian’s unorthodox promotional methods. The name Goon began to appear all around the landscape, on the back of road signs (even in the most remote places). Being an avid surfer, Christian would take his stencil and spray paint whenever he traveled up or down the coast. He also ran into trouble with the police twice. He changed out a John Banks mayoral election sign and replaced it with a carefully constructed Vote for Goon sign with a picture of himself. Unfortunately he came back later to fix it up and was caught red handed.  He also held up motorway traffic for thirty minutes in the morning while dressed as a giant bunny rabbit holding a sign advertising a Goon gig that night. It was a video release for Perfect Thing and the bunny was the main character. He was dancing on the motorway bridge with a massive sign until a local police officer finally intervened. Luckily they saw the humor in it all and let him go with just a warning. Phew . . .

This was a good time for Goon. They were getting good airplay and it was time to capitalize on this. But things don’t always work out according to plan. In a time when Goon should have been touring the country, Gary’s work commitments began to get in the way. Unable to launch a big tour, they did what they could, but it gradually grew to be too much. Gary would eventually leave the band. Things were still happening with Goon, but they needed to keep up the momentum. They had several television appearances, including on Maori TV, with interviews and live performances and they played the Play it Strange music festival. But the loss of Gary stunted the flow and it was hard to find a replacement. Each new drummer required time to learn the songs and be ready to perform live. They had a brief stint with a friend called Paul until they found Andrew, a young ginga cameraman who was keen and ready. He took over the role well and it seemed Goon had never played better. They finally finished recording the follow up to the EP. They had agreed before Gary left that they would use him during recording, so it is him that appears on the album. This was probably hard for young Andrew, but he still played like an animal on stage. Andrew’s background in filming also helped them create two new videos for the band, as well as videos for their 2007 release, boy girl boy.

The album proved to be a great achievement and the critics received it well. But the momentum had been lost and the radio scene had changed. Channel Z was no more and a different programme directors had taken over at the bnets. Their tour dates were staggered and the lack of radio play meant the band was not well-known. The album didn’t jump to gold platinum success like they all had hoped. But who doesn’t hope for a miracle? Soon, Andrew decided to leave the band and Christian decided to take a year off. Another year brought another drummer named Andrew. Rochelle’s good friend Andrew became available when his band Disco Disoto broke up. They played on the same bill as Goon many times and had become good friends. It was an obvious choice and the three immediately gelled. They started writing new songs and playing live again. Things were happening, but in no great hurry. A lack of money and other commitments for the band members meant progress was slow. Eventually though, they saved enough money to record again. This time Christian bought his own recording gear and started to make it happen. The album is nearing completion with singles expected to be released in early 2012. Hoorah for persistence. If you hang in there long enough, it can still happen.