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Cult New Zealand noise

Cult New Zealand noise

Cult New Zealand noise-rock outfit Yokel Ono are set to take the stage for a one-off show in Auckland, and it might not be very good, said guitarist Thom Burton.

“The drugs really caught up with us. I can barely remember yesterday, let alone songs which we wrote a year ago.”

Chaotic, noisy, and much maligned, Yokel Ono formed in Hamilton in 2000 and spent eight years touring throughout New Zealand and Australia.

However, years of sustained financial trouble forced the band to pursue other options late last year.

“We were always just so broke. I kept forgetting parts to songs. Eventually we decided to stop smoking pot, and sell it instead. After a year of good business, we could finally afford to put on this show and release the e.p.

“Well, nine day’s out from the show, we haven’t actually had the cds pressed or designed the cover-art.”

The show, in support of the two-pieces new e.p. So Many Enemies, will probably be poorly attended. Not surprising, given the amount of people that this band has offended over the years.

“A couple of years ago we were playing a show at this warehouse in Sydney. We ended up trashing some gear, which happened to belong to us. The people putting on the show went off at us, refused to pay us etc.

“So I’m sitting in Remuera sipping a latte a couple of weeks back, and these guys are staring at me. You know, beady-eyed as. Like possums or something. It turns out that it was an exec from EMI or something like that. He told me that he had heard about the stunt we pulled in Sydney, and told me that no record label would ever sign us again.”

Funny given that the band had split a year before the encounter, and never had a record deal in the first place, said Burton.

Yokel Ono’s career is diverse. Shows to two people and shows to 2000 people.

“It’s strange, we swing between playing these massive shows where cocktails are shoved down are throats, to broke as no name venues with five people there.

“Our gigs tell us more about our selves than our gigs tell us about our selves.

“Once in Newcastle the only people at our show were a hooker and her prospect. We kind of supplied the soundtrack to a guy negotiating a price for a lay - at a sports bar in a failed mining town. I had an epiphany: It’s ok to pay for sex.

“When you get to that level, you realise that you are probably never going to make it as a musician,” said Burton.

Burton said his career highlights include supporting HDU, Spank Rock, David Mitchell, The Moving Units, and snorting crack out of Billy Corgan’s belly-button.

Drummer Glen Johnson, on the other hand, seems the opposite of pensive. "My beats are dirtier than Hillary Clinton's campaign. I can hold that little cry baby [Burton] down for at least half an hour. Hopefully no one will notice the tracks of his tears any way."

And Johnson should know. Frequently travelling to conferences as far and wide as Kawerau and Ngongotaha, the drummer- cum- macrobiotics guru has always kept his head either counting the beat, or busy writing essays for his post graduate diploma in Trapeziosity, which he describes as a "physical deference of text and self, with a view to the psychic effects of the digital carbon footprint."

Luckily, for the few attending the Duo's show on Thursday at the Wine Cellar, the only footprint they will be getting is a noise footprint. A noise footprint on their soul.


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