4 Mar 2024

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The Clones


The real story of The Clones starts at Wakatipu High School with a band called The Rays. The Rays were a school band consisting of Daniel Wysockyj (guitar), Carey McGregor (guitar), James Flint (drums) and Danny Maguire (bass). The Rays plodded along for a few years, practising in the school music room and playing the occasional gig where they played exclusively covers, infact the only original song I know about them doing is one they were forced to write for rockquest.

The Rays weren't very good, they weren't very bad, we understand they were kind of bland and they broke up when Daniel and Carey went down to University in Dunedin and James and Danny didn't.

The next 12 months life was fairly uneventful for Daniel, until he decided to join a band called Riot Squad. Six months later he decided to leave the band and join The Clones.

Riot Squad was a sort of Punk band in the tradition of the Pistols, The Clash, The Ramones etc. And while it played covers of those bands it mainly concentrated on playing originals steeped in the influence of them. At the beginning of 1996 Daniel had returned from university (where there had been a few half hearted efforts to do something musically) and together with James (drums) and Danny (bass) and Andrew Rutherford (vocals) formed Riot Squad. Riot Squad practised in a disused winery and slowly over a period of months built up their performance standard and an array of original songs. It's one and only gig (at the Wakatipu High School formal after party) was after Andrew had already left to attend the second semester at Otago University.

Effectively the band was in recess from this time and has been ever since. Riot Squad was supposed to reform in Dunedin when all members reunited in Dunedin in 97 but The Clones had already formed by the time Danny came up for the second semester and so nothing came of it. Riot squad may open for The Clones in 98 though.

Back to 1996 now. While Daniel was up in Queenstown with Riot Squad Carey McGregor had linked up Aucklander Chris Howard in an unnamed practice group - Carey on bass and Chris on guitar and David Kennedy on drums. Chris had some songs that he had written most notably a proto version of 'Venus Mouse Trap' and 'What Could Have Been'. The songs at that time sounded substantially different to what would be heard a year later at Clones gigs, basically alot softer and less complicated - more like The Chills or The Clean, rather than The 3Ds.

Also in 96 Scott Wysockyj (brother of Daniel) was playing drums an a Dunedin school band that appeared on a compilation CD.

In 1997 James Flint organised a flat in Dunedin which was home to him plus Andrew Rutherford and Daniel Wysockyj - who took one of the front rooms. This room was to become The Clones practice room. Some weeks into 1997 Carey contacted Daniel to join his emergent group. Scott Wysockyj was brought in as Drummer. The Clones were born.

Band Members:
Carey McGregor (guitar)
Scott Wysockyj (drums)
Chris Howard (bass)
Daniel Wysockyj (guitar)

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