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PlasticGroove - Interview with Tony McDonald from PlasticGroove HQ

16 Aug 2019 // An interview by Lexa.Dixon

If you're familiar with the Wellington scene and alternative rock, then you may be familiar with Lucifer Gunne and Bingo Fighter. But do you know who has the hard job of managing these bands? Axl Scott talks with Tony McDonald from PlasticGroove HQ to find out what is involved and really, how hard is it?

What do you have in your pockets right now?

Right now, I have my car keys, my phone, my sense of humour and a wallet full of smiles.

Where did the name PlasticGroove come from?

Originally PlasticGroove was the name I came up with for my band. It’s actually still there, I just checked.

However, as I progressed towards my grave I decided it sounded more like a record company and that is when PlasticGroove HQ started.

Why did you decide to start your own promotion company?

The reason for my mgmt company / record label is extremely simple. It is to assist local artists in the hard to air genres e.g. Alt rock / punk rock and take them to the next stage via promotion, gigs, producing great songs / videos and getting them onto Spotify / YouTube / etc…

There is absolutely nothing in it for me and I want a great collection of artists that will help promote each other.

Who do you manage?

As management takes a hell of a long time I only manage two bands; Bingo Fighter and Lucifer Gunne. I have other bands coming onto the label soon, but I won't be assisting them as much on the management side. However, I will still get them gigs and publish songs. The time consuming part is organising tours / studios / etc…

Can you tell us what PlasticGroove does in a nutshell?

Publishing / management / promotion / guidance, and exclusive rights to record in our new studio.

Can you tell us about your relationship with your assistant manager, Nigel Martinez?

Nigel is a great assistant in that I look to him for guidance when shit hits the fan. Is this song sounding good? Can you help in the studio? Etc… He is a good sound engineer and will be instrumental in the success of the PlasticGroove studio. He also drums in Bingo Fighter which is very cool.

Where do you see PlasticGroove in a years' time?

In one years' time I expect to have 4 / 5 bands on the label and be having radio airplay in NZ and across the ditch. In two years' time I expect to have 10 bands and we will have our own PlasticGroove alt / punk rock festival here in  NZ.

Is there any bands that you’d like to manage?

Not at this point in time, however there are a few I would like to get on the label to push the brand including Curly Jewels and Pale Lady. They are going great by themselves, however as a collective I think we can take the world on!

When it comes to NZ music, who would be your top 3?

That’s actually a hard question as we have so much great talent. Apart from the bands I already manage it would be; Sex Beard, Coridian and Supergroove (I know, they are not around anymore, but they were super cool).

How does the process begin when getting a new band on board?

When a new band comes on board we talk about goals and aspirations to make sure it fits in with the PlasticGroove ethos. When do you want to record? What gigs do you want? How will you rate success? Do you want this full time and when? Etc…

I heard you built your own studio; how long did it take?

Well I did this on my own so longer than it should. All up it took around 6 months on and off. A lot of time researching too. I built a separate drum booth, amp booths and vocal booths so we can have a full band recording at the same time. Great for quick demos for sure. Fingers crossed the songs will sound amazing when released later this year.

What has been the most memorable moment so far?

There are two things. Firstly, meeting Hayden from Bingo Fighter 2/3 years ago at an Open Mic night. He is incredibly talented and was wasted on his own. To form a band around him and see him now moving forwards to release his own stuff is amazing. What a transformation!!!

Secondly it is seeing Lucifer Gunne perform their first NZ tour. They absolutely lapped it up and for a band that wasn’t even all 18 at the time it was a great achievement.

Can you talk to us about band management? How did it start? What prompted you to manage them? What’s coming up for them?

Lucifer Gunne: Well as Rory (singer) is my son it is an easy question to answer. I got to know the industry inside out so that I could really assist him as I could see he had a talent and a passion to succeed. Once he started writing his own music I was blown away and now the passion is infectious to everyone he meets, especially his family. Me and my wife have only missed one gig I believe.

Bingo Fighter: Well I have already covered this in the last question. Amazing guys in the band. Shaun on guitar is very creative and adds flare and Rory from Lucifer Gunne also plays bass for them. Very talented team.

You moved from England to New Zealand, was that due to the music scene or for another reason?

It certainly wasn’t for the music scene. I actually struggle with a lot of NZ’s music. There is a huge bias towards Hip Hop / R & B / etc… that doesn’t float my boat. Hence my drive and passion to get alt / punk rock into people's faces. Come on guys you are missing a powerful genre!!   The English music scene has always been amazing, and I do miss that, but England has a lot of issues and NZ will always be home for me.

What’s next for PlasticGroove?

Wait and see!!!

You can check out PlasticGroove at any of the following links:

Official Site



About PlasticGroove

PlasticGroove are a retro futurist Kiwi band from Wellington, New Zealand. A multi instrumentalist attack combines 80's new wave and modern rock influences into a toe tapping, head banging, butt shaking frenzy.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for PlasticGroove


Year: 2016
Type: EP

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