23 Mar 2019

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A band who have featured many of Dunedin's musical alumni. Norma has also featured in Look Blue Go Purple, Alf has performed with Goblin Mix and David is from The 3Ds.

Norma and Alf formed Chug back in 1991. The original line-up, however, did not consist of Dave Mitchell and Gary Sullivan but, instead, of Stephen Kilroy on guitar and Alan Haig on Drums. With this line-up, they recorded their debut single by themselves and, also, sold it by themselves.

Chug signed to Flying Nun Records and released a 7" single in 1992 featuring the songs 'Flowers' and 'Gunnera'. Both these tracks made it onto the 'Kisser' EP which was released on CD in 1993, after which guitarist Stephen Killroy departed the band in order to take up a role in the band King Loser, making way for Sean O'Reilly. Alan Haig also left Chug at this point in time and handed the drumming duties on to Shaun Broadley.

With this new line-up, they then went on to record and release their first full length album 'Sassafras' in 1994 which featured the single 'Golden Mile'. Chug spent 1995 and 1996 recording with yet another new guitarist, David Mitchell, and finally released some new material in the form of an EP titled 'Little Things'. This was to be their last release under Flying Nun.

After a lot of negotiation, Chug finally signed a seven album deal with Alias Records, the first of which being 'Sassafras' (which was originally released on Flying Nun) and the second being 'Metalon' which was released on 12th May, 1997. It was delayed for over a year! 'Metalon' features the songs 'Strangleknot' from Flying Nun's compilation called 'Popeyed' and 'Queen Bee' from 1996's 'Little Things' EP.

At this stage Chug were still distributed through Flying Nun Records in New Zealand. They were asked to produce one album per year for Alias Records and follow each one up with a North American tour, the first of which saw the entrance of yet another new drummer - Gary Sullivan (who also played on two tracks for the Stereo Bus' debut album and, more significantly, used to play for Goblin Mix. They supported the likes of Pavement and Superchunk during this tour!

After the tour, David Mitchell moved to London to live while Gary Sullivan returned to play for the Stereo Bus and the other two went back to Dunedin for a short break. In April they reunited and started writing songs for a new album, however, due to commitments, Alf and Norma ended up writing most of the songs during the latter half of the year. They ended up recording these songs during the end of the year while David Mitchell remained in London and completed The Ghost Club project with his wife, Denise. These songs, however, never saw the light of day seeing as Chug's existance came to an end during late 1998.

Chug's sound is a mix of forceful rhythms and sweet Dunedin pop that blend into smart and chunky songs.

Band Members:
Norma O'Malley (vocals, guitar)
Alf Danielson (bass)
Gary Sullivan (drums)
David Mitchell (guitar)


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