13 Jun 2024

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Grant Haua


Grant Haua

Grant is a “salt of the earth” kind of guy. When we put together a bio for him he said “Nah man. I am a just a guy with a guitar. You need to tell the story straight”. So who better than to tell his story than the man himself - the following is Grants bio, straight from the horse’s mouth. - DF Records

Biography by Grant Haua.

I picked up guitar when I was 13, my younger brother had got one for Christmas the year before and I noticed he was already starting to pull chicks at our school, I said to myself "dam I need to get me some of that", but unfortunately for me my brother was a better looker and player than me, so it didn't work out as well as I had planned, but I've been playing ever since.

I like to think I've paid my dues, but its hard to tell growing up and gigging in a small country like New Zealand. Being based in a town with a population of barely 100,000, one feels the need to flex ones muscles against overseas acts, and for the past 10 years that's what I've been trying to do and will continue to do so, I guess for me its not about being better than this act or this band, its about putting on a show that can stand up with the best of them, seeing and feeling the enjoyment of the crowd, that's the real payoff (and sometimes the only payoff!)

I've been the primary singer/songwriter/guitarist on 7 studio albums over the years, 5 of them over the last 9 years, my first solo album "Knucklehead"released in 2010 got good reviews in what I guess you could say is NZ's premier music magazine NZ Musician (not that I give too much weight to critics opinions, but I didn't say that); resulting in an article on my music, it opened a few doors for me on the local festival circuit. One thing leads to another and I ended up meeting percussionist Michael Barker [Neil Finn, John Butler Trio], we hit it off and formed "Swamp Thing" and for the following 8 years we wrote and toured regularly.

Mike was already a veteran in the industry, the benefits of him being in bands that have done Letterman and Leno soon became beneficial, straight off the bat we were doing festivals that were tough to get on, after a few short years we were headlining festivals both here and in Australia. Slowly we progressed to bigger stages like Womad (NZ), Womadelaide (Aus), Woodford Folk Festival (Aus), Bridgetown Blues (Aus) and Electric Avenue (NZ). It was on these stages we really excelled, often selling more cds than the more well known headline acts. After our Womad 2017 performance in New Plymouth for example we occupied both the 1 and 2 spots for album sales in the NZ charts.

In 2016 we were invited to Louisiana by Baton Rouge Arts Society. It was there I learned how to flex my musical muscle. It seemed like every musician there was a stone cold killer. We went to war and we cut some heads, and by the end of that tour we were the talk of the town. Appearing on the local news stations lifted our profile there and we made many valuable friends and contacts, some we've brought over for shows in NZ.

In Jan 2019 after literally countless tours through Australia and New Zealand I made the decision to depart Swamp Thing, I've refocused on the music I really enjoy, soul music, and things are all good.


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