|Years active||2010 - 2014|
|Labels||Zero Style, Always Never Fun|
|Associated acts||Raw Panic, Downer Buzz, Rogernomix, Hung Jury, Entrails|
|Members||AK (bass), OAX (drums), CHRIS RET (guitar), JD (vocals)|
Numbskull are a four piece thrash/ grind band that emerged out of the infamous Lorne Street flat in 2010. Described as like “a rabid crack fiend slipping in and out of consciousness while trying to escape from police custody” Numbskull's brutal sound originated out of vocalist JDs attempts to jam some grind tracks over the top of Oakesy's blast-beat drumming in what was originally a string-less duo. This short-lived experiment was soon joined by Chris Retro on a flying-V guitar with Numbskull making their first public appearance at the nearly aborted Punkfest 2010. The band began playing regular gigs in Wellington with label mates Meth Drinker and hardcore bands Shock Futuro and Rogernomix. With the addition of Adam Kinsman on bass Numbskull released their first recording on Always Never Fun records, a split 12” with Hamilton's Electric Mayhem, in January 2012. Heavily involved in skate culture Numbskull bring a revised and updated version of 80s thrash core that first emerged in Wellington twenty or so years ago with bands like Microwave Babies.
- Powderslave, (2012), tape/ digital, Zero Style, 13 tracks link
- Electric Mayhem/ Numbskull, (Jan 2012), 12" vinyl, Always Never Fun link
- 1086 Demo, Nov 2010, tape/ digital, 4 tracks link
- Numbskull, October 2010, tape, 9 tracks link
UTP: Who's in Numbskull? What other people have been involved?
NS: There are four components that combine to form the Numbskull, sort of like Captain Planet without the speedos or wicked green mullet. Our respective roles are.. Oakesy on drums, Retro rips guitar, AK on bass, and me - Johnny Boy, howling me guts out. Kalem Bastard has just recently filled in while Adam was AWOL.
UTP: When and where did Numbskull form? Is there any story behind this?
NS: Well, if we hadn't moved into the hessian fortress that is Lorne Street there would be no Numbskull. Our house has hosted many jams, practices, shows and parties over these last four years. Lorne Street is more than just a shitty green house. It lives vicariously through us when we play our music. Anyway, Oakesy and I were downstairs one day in 2010 trying to write grind without any stringed instruments, just drums and vocals. If you've seen him play the drums you can understand why we (I) thought this was feasible. in the end it was to no avail and we enlisted the ripping services of Chris Retro and his beaten up Flying V. Within no time (read, two jams) we had a demo of five songs ready. After a couple of months playing shows without bass we caved in to the fact we were in sore need of some thunder. Adam Kinsman stepped up to the plate, fresh from the world of beer-drinking-board-riding mayhem. Our lineup was complete early in 2011.
UTP: First gigs? When/ where/ etc. Describe what they were like.
NS: Our first show was Punkfest 2010, the year the Car Club informed the organizers less than a week before the date that it was unavailable due to renovations (..anyone seen proof of these renovations?..) so we had to play downstairs Bodega on the Friday night with a couple other bands.. it was a taster for the epic 19(?) band show at the Irish hall the day after. It turned out great! We played second and those who caught us seemed to enjoy the five minute set of thrashy punk grind that they bore witness to. The next gig was at the same place, I believe they call it the Burgundy Room? It was halloween and Dan Fraser came as Danzig, and Bonnie was Skeletor! It was fucking sweet. More people were able to catch us at this show and again it seemed to go down pretty well with the crowd, so we said "fuck it, let's write five times as many songs and do this shit!"
UTP: Influences on the band music and otherwise
NS: Numbskull is a manifestation of our individual tastes.. we've mated the sludge of bands like Iron Monkey and Meth Drinker with the frantic noise of Napalm Death and Hamilton's Aborted Christians.. Nick's drumming abilities play a huge part in the songwriting process, especially his ability to play at furious speed! He lays the foundations of a thrashy grind number & the rest is piss easy.. and he's also an extremely capable fisherman. Skateboarding culture and fast thrashy music come together like magnets, and although being a cliched concept within the underground, the two worlds collide brilliantly, creating a bottomless concoction of sketchy tales of mental parties and concrete memories.
UTP: Has the band's sound progressed over the years?
NS: Somewhat.. The fast parts are played faster, the slow, slower. But we'll always stick to the Numbskull formula!
UTP: Describe Numbskulls sound
NS: A rabid crack fiend slipping in and out of consciousness while trying to escape from police custody. Thrash 'n' grind the night away.
UTP: How does the band write music?
NS: Quickly, in the dungeons of Lorne Street. We try not to over think things, we keep it raw and unpolished. Pretty much answered this one in question four, oops!
UTP: Best gig
NS: It's too hard to choose. Home is where the heart is, and playing at our house on Lorne Street is always great. One time in particular, with Electric Mayhem, Meth Drinker, Neon Bastard, and Shock Futuro. What a night! One time we played the pre-party for Bowl-a-Rama, had a couple of our favourite American skaters dancing along to our tunes which was rad! Camp A Low Hum this year was awesome, playing to a whole room full of people who'd neither seen or heard of us.. we numbed their skulls. Nevermind Punkfest was also great! Great mates a plenty.
UTP: Worst gig
NS:.. is yet to come!! One time we got stopped short when playing at the Grove in Auckland.. we got 6 of 17 songs in before the noise pigs butted their snouts in. Electric Mayhem got to play about four or five songs after us, and the jam packed crowd went mental for both bands so it was indeed bittersweet!
UTP: Any other memorable stories
NS: Numbskull is a way of life, every show we play we get so messed up we have numb skulls for the next few days.. so we can't remember any in particular! One timewe had a snow fight on the desert road on the way to the Tron, that was sweet as. A few of us hadn't touched snow before. Also the day after a gig in Palmy we got to skate the park with our brothers in Electric Mayhem which was indeed a memorable occasion. That shit excites us more than most things, skating with a big crew of GC's.