Waikato Punk Rockers EQWANOX have done well for themselves in just a short space of time. One year after forming the band found themselves supporting BILLY CORGAN of SMASHING PUMPKINS fame at Auckland’s St James Theatre in 2005. More recently the band opened for SEETHER at Vector Arena in November last year. In 2008 the band also recorded their debut album ‘All Roads Lead From Here’ which has already been released online and will soon be coming out on CD. NZRock caught up with drummer Nick Douch to discover more about the EQWANOX story so far…
NZRock: EQWANOX was formed in 2004 and the very next year you were playing support for Billy Corgan at the St James Theatre in Auckland. How did the band manage to progress so far so fast?
Nick: We spent the 1st year of our career sorting out our lineup/sound and once we had that sorted we started approaching people about gigs and quickly built up a good team of people around us, this lead to the Billy Corgan support which was an awesome experience considering we were all 16/17 years old and was only our 4th show.
NZRock: Last year you opened for SEETHER at their Auckland show. How was that gig and what’d you get up to hanging out with those guys?
Nick: That show was easily the greatest day in Eqwanox’s life so far, they are one of our favourite bands and a band we always wanted to open for. We hung out with them before and after the show and just chilled out, they were real down to earth and we talked about New Zealand, South Africa, Lord Of The Rings, music and touring. Ya look up to these bands who played 300 shows a year so to talk about touring life was cool as.
NZRock: Opening for SEETHER has to be pretty good for the band’s CV! How’d you score the opportunity to play support for them?
Nick: We send in applications to open for international bands quite a lot. When we got told Seether were coming we didn’t hesitate in getting an application in to the promoter for the gig. 2 weeks later we heard back saying that Seethers agents had confirmed us for the gig and being the 1st support band announced (there were 2 others announced after) it gave us an opportunity to plug it up as SEETHER with guest Eqwanox with put the spotlight on us for a little while.
NZRock: What have been some of your highlights from being in EQWANOX so far?
Nick: Support slots with Billy Corgan and Seether that we just went over, also playing show with The Bleeders on 2 occasions, being guest band at Smokefree Rockquest regional finals for the last 3 years, recording our debut album ‘All Roads Lead From Here’ at Chazz Rabbles home studio and making the NZ final of the World Battle Of The Bands, those shows were all awesome and the final was aired on ALT T.V.
NZRock: EQWANOX became a four piece band in 2007. How did adding Zakk on guitar enhance the band’s sound?
Nick: Zakk has added so much to the band, the extra guitar brings a bigger sound that we were lacking live. We had recorded 2 guitar parts in most of our earlier demos and we couldn’t pull it off the same live so when he came along everything sounded better. The writing process is a lot better as well as James can concentrate on writing melodies more instead of worrying about having to play and sing things at the same time, he also dosent play guitar on a couple of songs live which bring an extra dynamic to our live show.
NZRock: Your debut album ‘All Roads Lead From Here’ sounds great both in terms of songwriting and production. Where did you record the album / who with?
Nick: Thanks heaps!, we recorded the bulk of the album at Chazz Rabbles Number 8 Wire Recording Studio on the Hibiscus Coast, hes recorded the Rabbles albums and also done stuff with Goodnight Nurse and Quarter2, and we had done demos there on previous occasions so he new what we were all about which helped a lot, we had a great time up there. We recorded 6 drum tracks at Dudley Studios in Hamilton with Hook (48MAY/GOODNIGHT NURSE) and it was mastered by Andrew Davenport at Edgeworth Studios. It was done on a pretty slim budget but we are really happy considering what we had to spend.
NZRock: How long did it take to complete the recording and what were the most challenging parts of that process for you guys?
Nick: It took us 10 days at Chazz’s and I had done some drum tracks a couple of weeks before hand. For me the drum takes screwed me, it was the most physical thing I had ever done 10 hours of drumming on a hot summer’s day haha. Everyone did their parts well. The vocals took a few days, bass took about 2 hours (Aaron is the 1 take wonder), and guitars took a few days. From the 1st drum take until the final master came back to us it was about 3
NZRock: When are you planning to release a hard copy of the album and what made you decide to release it digitally first?
Nick: We are going to release it in the next few months if everything comes together as planned. We went for the digital release because it was an easy way to get it out to the public without costing us a heap of money and it meant that people who really wanted the album could buy it, its also available through Telecom so people can download it to their phone.
NZRock: Apart from releasing the album on CD, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
Nick: We have just had a video put together for a song called ‘Invincible’ and we are going to play some shows to promote the release of that and also sell our double single which is of Not Coming Home/Invincible At the shows. Following this will be release of the album in New Zealand with a Nationwide Tour and we are starting to make contact with bands in Australia about possibly heading over there later in the year. Fingers crossed NZ On Air give us a grant and we can get one of these songs up to radio quality.
NZRock: You’ve done a lot of work supporting the Child Cancer Foundation. The band endorses it as well. How did that come about and how exactly are you involved?
Nick: We were put in touch with a guy who runs a project called the Fill The House Tickets Project which sources tickets to shows for Child Cancer Kids and their families. I lend a hand with this and help out with promotions and also go to the shows to help allocate the tickets etc. We have it in our bio that we support CCF so that people who listen to us can take note of the charity and possibly support it too.
NZRock: What do you hope to achieve with EQWANOX over the next several years and have you thought about taking the band overseas at all?
Nick: We aim to make every year better than the last and so far we have achieved that. We would like to make major inroads into the New Zealand industry and become a household name in the Rock community. Taking the band overseas would be an awesome thing and we would love to starting with Australia and then moving further abroad once we have made inroads there. Financially it is very tough with 2 of us being students with a year and a half left in our degree, our degree is in music production though which will benefit the band at the end of it.