1 Mar 2024

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The Earlybirds


Fear isn’t something people usually embrace. But for the five young Aucklanders that make up the soaring pop-rock outfit The Earlybirds, this troubling emotion was not something to run away from. Instead it was something they felt needed to be confronted head on, dealt with and then ultimately overcome.

“The album title Favourite Fears came from a song that we have called Metaphobia which means fear of being watched,” explains bassist Jared Aisher. “And that’s the story of our youth. We started when we were quite young and at first it was very intimidating going on stage and always having older people watching and criticising us. But the thing that you’re most scared of can sometimes be the most important because then you can work towards getting over it and that’s what we had to do to become the band we wanted to become. This is our way of saying now we’re over it and we can move forward.”

Moving forward is one of the main driving forces of this exceptional young band, whose members range in age from 19 to 21.

The release of Favourite Fears was launched on the back of 5 Star reviews, and a solid album debut of # 7 on the RIANZ national album chart.

But before we talk about where the group are going we must first discuss where they came from. Springing out of the well-established Devonport music scene in 2005 The Earlybirds have spent years honing their sound, style and stagecraft in venues small and large around the country.

Lead guitarist Mike Cannon says that to build their initial fanbase they were constantly gigging.

“It was chaos,” interjects Aisher laughing. “We were playing in bars where people were so close they were actually touching our strings!”

But no matter where the band played - from sweaty basement dives to sharing a main stage with, amongst others, OpShop, The Feelers, Midnight Youth, The Checks and Stereophonics – each gig brought with it new rewards and new fans.

“The audience have always been cool with us and it’s such a great feeling,” confirms vocalist Filip Kostovich. “Going onstage, playing our songs and transferring our energy to the people is just the best buzz because people are enjoying what we’ve made.”

Well, it’s no wonder that people across the country have been digging the band. The Earlybirds electrifying live show (honed through their years of relentless performing) coupled with their magnetic stage presence makes them a formidable live experience. And that’s before we even begin to speak about the quality of their song writing, which, as guitarist and backing vocalist Kane ter Veer explains is a total group effort.

“The good thing about us is that we do write completely as a democracy,” he says. “We don’t have a central songwriter. That wouldn’t work with our band because we’ve known each other since we were so young. We don’t value anyone higher than anyone else in that way.”

The band’s songs are often borne out of the punishing rehearsal schedule that they keep - you’ll find them in the rehearsal room most days – but for the group song writing is not an exact science.

Judging by their first two singles it’s probably best left as a mystery. The Earlybirds first single Runaway was released last year and announced their arrival in fine style while the follow up I Killed The DJ confirmed that the group would be staying with us for a long while.

“The first single worked out really well,” says ter Veer. “With that single the big plan was to get radio exposure. And it did work because that got to number four in the National Airplay Charts which was massive for our first song.”

Enjoying the success of their first two singles and keen to capitalise on the resulting media attention The Earlybirds now found themselves amped and ready to record their debut album Favourite Fears. Enlisting the partnership of producer Greg Haver and engineer Clint Murphy, the two chaps who had given their first two singles such an accomplished international sound, the group headed into Auckland’s legendary York Street ‘A’ Studio for twelve days to lay down the rest of the songs that would make up the record.

Listening to Favourite Fears what is immediately apparent is the vibrancy, power and energy of the band. The band’s dynamism was something The Earlybirds wanted to capture and put down on record and they have more than succeeded.

“We wanted to capture our youth and energy on Favourite Fears,” Kostovich explains. “We hope that liveliness comes across to people listening to the songs.”

The band are keen to stress that Favourite Fears is not just a collection of songs or filler around a few key singles. Instead The Earlybirds have crafted an album that people can enjoy start to finish.

“We’re always working towards something,” adds Patterson. “Favourite Fears is a photograph of where we are right now. The album is a lot like our first single in wanting to establish ourselves and get ourselves out there and say, ‘we’re The Earlybirds’.”

“We can’t help it,” says Aisher. “We’re writing quite a lot and we’re liking what we’re writing. We can’t control it. It’s controlling us.”

This is their youthful exuberance, enthusiasm and energy coming through. They know where they want to be and what they have to do to get there, but they also know the importance of pacing themselves.

“Right from the beginning we’ve just wanted to go but we know that we can’t,” admits Kostovich. “You’ve got to wait till it’s right. If you’re not ready it’s just gonna fail. You’re gonna flop.”

“We’ve learnt the true meaning of patience over these years,” laughs Aisher as Kostovich continues speaking.

“We’re always moving forward, trying to get to that next step,” he says. “Because there’s no top for us. We’re going to keep going and trying to be the best we can be.”

Band Members:
Filip Kostovich (lead vocals, keyboards)
Mike Cannon (lead guitar)
Jared Aisher (bass)
Kane ter Veer (guitar, backing vocals)
Sean Patterson (drums)


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