3 Dec 2021
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WHITE NØISE MAFIA - Interview with White Noise Mafia - Ding Dong Lounge Band Comp 2020 Winners

01 Dec 2020 // An interview by Steve Shyu


Sometime in the middle of 2020, four Auckland metalheads and rockers Chris (guitarist and vocalist), Neo (drummer) and two Matt's (bassist and lead guitarist) got together to jam, rehearse and write songs. Fast-forward to the tail-end of this dramatic year, and quartet White Noise Mafia have taken out the grand prize at the prestigious annual Ding Dong Lounge Band Competition of 2020. Steve S from Muzic.net.nz caught up with the band post-win for an exclusive chat about their path thus far, what lies ahead, their biggest Kiwi inspirations, and... Pizza!

First of all, congratulations on winning the Ding Dong Lounge Bands Competition 2020! First round is on me, what are you all having?

Chris: Matt H will always go for an Export Gold, Neo's probably somewhere chugging a Blue V, Matt S will be on the Guinness. And just a couple of G&T's for me!

If you were to describe yourself as a flavour of pizza, what would it be?

Neo: The Lust Deluxe from Hell Pizza, boi!

It’s said that White Noise Mafia began no more than four months ago; how did you guys all meet?

Matt H: I've known Neo since intermediate school. He was the drummer that everyone wanted to have in their band because he was an absolute beast behind the kit at such a young age. I then met Matt S at Rock Camp 2015 and we got along as we both loved punk rock, and we ended up starting a band called Silvera the following year. I met Chris because he flicked me a message at the start of 2018, asking if I wanted to join his band for Rockquest. I declined out of the fact I already had a band entering that year, but we ended up becoming closer mates at the start of 2020 and I returned the favour by offering him a spot in my band. I brought the group together after posting on Facebook about forming a band, and decided the line-up in less than 15 minutes knowing I had chosen a great group of dudes to work with.

In six words or less, describe the feeling you felt when your band’s name was announced as the year’s competition winner.

Neo: Absolutely over the moon.

Matt H: Absolutely f_cking stoked!

Matt S: Pure elation, satisfaction and pride in my band.

Chris: Just disbelief, relief and pride.

What do you guys believe was your secret weapon in securing the top spot?

Chris: The other bands were so tight and their songs were so well-written, so it's really hard to say. I guess if I had to say one thing, it would have to be crowd engagement. We definitely pride ourselves on showing the audience a good time, and getting them as involved in the show as we possibly can, and people seemed to genuinely connect with that. It was really beautiful to see.

You guys have listed Slipknot, Bring Me the Horizon, Linkin Park and Blindspott as your influences; what are some of your non-metal musical influences?

Matt H: Some will include, NOFX, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage against the Machine, to name a few. I know Chris takes a lot of his lyrical inspiration from bands like Muse and Linkin Park.

Run us through the process of how White Noise Mafia write a song - Who writes what parts?

Matt H: Right now, I've been writing music and sending it to Chris, who then sends the demo back to me with vocals. After this, we go back and forth until we're happy with the outcome and take it to the band. Sometimes we make further changes with everyone all in the band-room.

What do you believe White Noise Mafia can bring to the table of rock and metal in Aotearoa?

Matt S: I’d say we bring not only a creative passion for music, but a-balls-to-the-wall “f_ck it” way of playing and performing, with a willingness to adapt on stage to how an audience vibes with the show.

As part of your prize package, you get to record a music video with SIS Studios. Do you have any key ideas or important messages you wish to portray in your debut-release video?

Chris: Absolutely. The song we're aiming to record is about breaking free from toxicity in relationships, whether that be romantic, friendships or blood relations. I hope we can portray it visually in a way that will inspire people to stick up for themselves and know their worth, instead of allowing themselves to be pushed around or feel like they're not valued. We've all been through these experiences, which is why I think it's important to know that we do have value and don't have to put up with being taken for granted.

What other Kiwi bands or musicians have influenced you guys?

Chris: Well, Matt H is a die-hard Th' Dudes fan, and we're both really big on Shihad and Devilskin. I'm also a huge fan of Villainy and City of Souls... Too many amazing bands to choose from!

What's the one band would you hope to one day share a stage with?

Matt S: Definitely Shihad. They've been a huge influence on White Noise Mafia and they're a group that writes awesome music and who we really look up to. In fact, we actually covered their song Think You're So Free at the Ding Dong Lounge grand final!

Last but not least! Fill in the gaps: "White Noise Mafia wouldn’t have gotten to where we are if it weren’t for ___ and ___".

Neo: It wouldn't have been possible without the awesome team at Ding Dong and, of course, my old man.

Follow White Noise Mafia on Facebook, and see them at their final show of 2020, Friday 11 December at, you guessed it, Ding Dong Lounge.

 

About WHITE NØISE MAFIA

WHITE NØISE MAFIA is a 4 piece heavy alternative rock band established in July 2020 and based in Auckland, New Zealand. The band strives to put on an all-out show with heavy riffs, crushing beats, booming low end and catchy vocals to hook the listener into their performance. They take inspiration from bands such as Linkin Park, Blindspott, BMTH, Slipknot etc. In the long run they seek to leave a lasting impact on the local scene and make a name for themselves.




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