A new five-part series on New Zealand music is screening on Prime TV throughout May to mark NZ Music Month. Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits tells the story of NZ music through some of this country's biggest songs.
Lorde, Dave Dobbyn and Bic Runga are among the many musicians that feature in Prime TV's new Kiwi music series Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits, which screens on Sundays at 8.30 pm, and is on demand at Prime Catch Up.
The show's creators have given RNZ Music some unique stories you won't see anywhere else, which we present here!
Split Enz members remember the band's early days
Neil and Tim Finn, Eddie Rayner and Noel Crombie reminisce about the beginnings of one New Zealand's most beloved bands.
Lorde, Che Fu, Jon Toogood and more on how to make a hit
How do you make a hit record? It's an impossible question, even for some of New Zealand's biggest hit-makers.
Th’ Dudes – ‘Bliss’
Dave Dobbyn and Peter Urlich of Th' Dudes describe their 1980 hit 'Bliss' as an "audience song" that encourages people to get together and sing along.
Dave remembers playing it live during the late '70s and early '80s: "It just absolutely went off. Just mosh pit kinda stuff. It was incredible," he says, still looking mildly surprised.
Peter says he still gets excited when he hears it: "I just get this feeling I want to smash shit... just kick stuff over."
Headless Chickens – ‘George’
Fiona McDonald and Chris Matthews of The Headless Chickens discuss their 2001 hit 'George', which was named after "the resident ghost" at their practice rooms in K Road's George Court building.
"We would come back [into the studio] and things would have changed," Fiona says, "The volume on things would be different, and bits we had put in were gone... they were just not there!"
- Headless Chickens: "We were being described as two-chord punks who strangled kittens"
- The Mixtape: Fiona McDonald
- The Mixtape: Chris Matthews
Shihad – 'Pacifier'
Jon Toogood and Tom Larkin of Shihad discuss their band's 2002 hit 'Pacifier' and how a great chorus should get the audience involved.
"Everyone wants to cut loose," Jon says, "They're there because they want to be somewhere better than their day jobs ... Really they're waiting for someone to say, 'Cut loose!'"
The Dance Exponents – 'Victoria'
Jordan Luck, Dave Gent and Brian Jones of the Dance Exponents discuss their 1983 hit 'Victoria'. The song's iconic guitar riff came to Brian in a dream.
Jordan had been sitting on the song's chords for ages, but the rest of the band wasn't sure how it would fit with their repertoire, then Brian had a dream.
"We were all looking at each other, like, 'That's fitting really, really well,'" Jordan says.
"It's like it was meant to happen," Brian says.
Goodshirt – ‘Sophie’
Rodney Fisher of Goodshirt and director Joe Lonie discuss the "torture involved" in shooting Goodshirt's 2001 video for 'Sophie'. The band had to clear a whole apartment of furniture... and they had to do it 20 or 30 times.
"We were essentially moving [all the furniture] from that big [apartment], into a tiny little space," Rodney says, "So we were like throwing stuff and piling it up, and trying to fit it all into a smaller space."
"I think you can see the effort going on with the guys," Joe says, "And how frantically they're clearing that room out."
Listen to the Anthems Spotify playlist
We'll be adding new songs weekly.
Anthems: New Zealand’s Iconic Hits is a five-part series that will also feature Che Fu, Jenny Morris, Tiki Taane and heaps more.
Made with the support of NZ On Air.