23 Sep 2021

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Ebola Babies


The Sex Pistols had one, Cockney Rejects had one, Sham 69 had one, so when a band was being put together that was going to channel the sounds and ethics of these bastions of the punk scene, the only thing that made sense was having three guitarists. But no widdly widdly solos or fancy duets, this is all about plugging in, riffing hard and creating a whole new form of punk which they call 'Scrap Metal'.

Jason originally started the band four years ago as the drummer, and after a few changes he moved to guitar and was joined by Graham on bass. Jon joined as a second guitarist, but when the drummer left he swapped six strings for a drum seat. Talk about musical chairs! They stayed as a trio for a while, but it wasn't delivering the power they wanted so in stepped Kev, who has been a mate of Graham's for twenty-five years. He added another dimension to the sound, but it still wasn't what they were striving for, and it was with the arrival of Ants in late 2015, who brought a heavier vibe, that things felt right. With three guitars, they punish the ears in an assault on the senses.

They had trouble finding a name that suited them, and worked under the moniker Red Light District for a while after the song of the same name, but then they discovered that there was a Dutch jazz band using it. It wasn't until Graham heard a report on the radio about a woman who gave birth to a baby born with Ebola that they knew what name they were to use.

This is punk with metal thrown in, but is light hearted – and the album is packed with fun songs. There is nothing refined about this music, it's all about producing something that people want to hear, and being a band that people want to go and see. The guys say that this album is to be played when the listener is in the mood for a lot of noise, but not a lot of thinking, very much in the manner of early Sham 69 – 'Oi!' without the hardcore or aggression.

Most of the embryonic songs came together four years ago, but were raw. Over time they have been turned over and changed, with the addition of each new member and their contributions to the sound so that they are now quite different to how they started life, but they have never lost the naiveté that makes the band such a potent act. The band themselves didn't see their own potential, but well-known producer TeMatera Smith said, “You're good enough now, just get on with it”, and with his help, they did!

The album was recorded in just three days, with drums and bass one day, guitars the next, then the vocals one day later in the week. Mind you, it nearly didn't happen as it was expected, as Jason discovered that one of his front teeth was coming out and he was worried that it may have an impact on his vocals. He came up with an answer though, he just superglued it in place (it turned out not to be a long-term solution though, and he now has a fetching gap-toothed grin)

The next step is to get out and support the album by playing everywhere they can, and show that there is room for classic old school rough and ready punk even in an environment as tough as New Zealand. The guys have the songs and the desire, and a band who starts their debut album with a trashed version of the national anthem aren't afraid of anyone.

Ebola Babies – the original three-guitar attack punk animals.

Band Members:
Jason White (vocals, guitar)
Graham Rowan (bass)
Kevin Wilton (guitar)
Ants Nevile (guitar)
Jon Hall (drums)






  • Auckland

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