The D4 - Biography

The D4
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The D4 Biography

New Zealand's very own rock n roll demons, THE D4 ( Jimmy Christmas - vocals + guitar ; Dion - vocals + guitar ; Vaughn - bass ; Beaver - drums ) follow up the release of their acclaimed single, Rock N Roll Motherfucker, with their debut LP 6TWENTY on 17 June.

THE D4 began life in Auckland City, New Zealand. Guitarists Dion and Jimmy had been hanging out together since the premature demise of Dion's first band Nothing At All in 1997. The two began putting together a fierce collection of songs and assembled a live four piece during late 1998 and started playing at parties. Inner city pubs and venues followed soon after, as the local punters kept an eye on the fast growing band.

The band released a four song debut EP on Flying Nun Records called The D4EP in 1999, which served the band well in introducing them to the New Zealand music scene. Songs such as Girl and Come On! were supercharged statements of intent and became firm favourites with the nationwide student radio network and TV sports programmes, and naturally lent themselves to a strikingly immoral scene of the recent NZ film Stickmen.

The D4 @
The D4 @
During 1999 and 2000, THE D4's live shows were gaining a great reputation for fun and vitality, as the band stretched out their repertoire to include a few choice covers as a nod of recognition to their musical mentors.

This eventually led to appearances on the same bills alongside like minded gritty guitar acts who came blowing into town … Guitar Wolf, Dead Moon, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Fu Manchu and The Hellacopters. These high octane gigs were always notable for their explosive potential and their consequences … guitars and amplifiers forever in danger of being reduced to matchsticks in the search for the lost chords of rock n roll.

Without even pausing for breath, the band launched into an eight date tour of Japan with Guitar Wolf and were just as impressive in Australia, playing a number of shows in Melbourne and Sydney, including a steamy club date with Shihad. It seems those shows are still being talked about and THE D4 T Shirts are now in great demand from Bondi Beach girls.

Film footage of the Japanese trip was edited together for the Ladies Man video and the second EP was released in New Zealand in early 2001, containing a live track recorded in Tokyo at Shinjuku Jam. Also released on 7", Ladies Man featured Dion and Jimmy in slinky drag costumes for the sleeve artwork.

THE D4 recorded the album demos for 6TWENTY at the Lab Studio during December 2000 and embarked on a small local tour over that summer, in a lead up to their excellent performance at the Big Day Out in Auckland, where they ruled the main stage. Newer songs like Heartbreaker, Rock N Roll Motherfucker and Rebekah astounded the whole crowd, while the familiar live material soaked up the teenage attention spans and stomped on their little tails.

Full blown album recordings began shortly after in York Street Studios with the help of Andrew Buckton, who also utilised his own Studio 203 to complete the work. The debut album features nine original recordings alongside rocket fuelled covers of Johnny Thunders Pirate Love, Scavengers Mysterex and Guitar Wolf's Invader Ace. The bombshell that is 6TWENTY will be landing near you soon.


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