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Up-And-Coming Aotearoa Artists: Flaxxies

We get to know Flaxxies, an Auckland-based band looking to impress in 2024 and beyond



For all of our comprehensive NZ Music Month coverage, head to the Rolling Stone New Zealand homepage.

As the summer sun gives way to these grey Autumnal days, Flaxxies rise to keep the blues at bay.

This high-energy five-piece band, made up of high school mates Eric Goodger (lead guitar), Nick Tait (rhythm guitar), Chris Manning (bass/trumpet), Benji Humphries (lead singer), and Neo Lee (drums), brew up an infectious concoction of surf-rock, reggae, blues, and dub that’s pure Kiwi sunshine. With song names like “Liquid Gold” conjuring images of road trips and Piha sunsets, what more could you ask for?

Based in Auckland, Flaxxies have been making waves since the release of their 2023 EP, Sunstruck, produced by Aotearoa music icon Tiki Taane, who helped achieve their super deep grooves. They’ve recently taken this feel-good vibe across the country, gracing the lineup of summer festivals, including New Year’s Eve hotspots and supporting The Rions on their New Zealand tour.

With promise of more new music on the horizon for 2024, Flaxxies keep the excitement brewing. In the meantime, they’re treating fans to covers of their favourite Kiwi tunes on social media for NZ Music Month, kicking things off with a stripped-back rendition of Daily J’s “Left Me Like Summer”.

You can read our full interview with Flaxxies below.

Flaxxies’ “Liquid Gold” is out now. 

Rolling Stone AU/NZ: How did music influence you in your early life?

Nick Tait: All five of us have been infected with a love of music from a very young age. Having all grown up with different musical backgrounds, we all share in its use as a tool of blissful escapism – be it for processing the hard times, enhancing the good times, or providing something interesting for the mundane times.

It wasn’t until we all linked up at high school and started jamming together that we felt that individual passion grow into something able to be shared amongst ourselves; something which has since sprouted into a special sense of collective purpose.

What artists influenced you growing up?

Benji Humphries: Bob Marley, Tash Sultana, Matt Corby, Sticky Fingers, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Nick: Katchafire, Sticky Fingers, Green Day, Mac Demarco, Hockey Dad, and Spacey Jane

Chris Manning: Green Day, and Kasabian

Neo Lee: John Bonham, Danny Carey, and Taylor Hawkins

Eric Goodger: Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mac DeMarco, and Black Sabbath

What are some career highlights so far?

Our journey thus far has been a dream come true! Each milestone reminds us of just how far we’ve come… From releasing our first DIY record Dream Days back in 2020, to working with NZ legend Tiki Taane on our most recent EP. From playing backyard gigs to selling out headline shows, it’s hard to pick favourite moments, but some would have to be:

  • Our recent North Island Tour
  • Our New Year’s Eve show at Luke’s Kitchen in Kūaotunu
  • Playing the main stage at Rhythm and Alps last year.
  • Seeing Sunstruck realise its full potential as a defining work! (Cheers Tiki!)

What kind of personality traits and values do you believe it takes to succeed in the music industry?

The music industry is a beautiful yet daunting place. There are so many exceptional artists across all genres creating great music all year round. It can be hard to find yourself and what works for you amongst all the noise. For us, we believe it takes a village to reach success in this industry. Building a really positive and strong team around you is crucially important. Positive thoughts + positive actions = positive results.

It’s also really important to be yourself and be transparent to everyone around you. It’s cliche because it’s true. It can be really easy to compare yourself to others and try to be something you are not. So, it’s crucial to, when overwhelmed, just take a breath and think back to why you’re doing this in the first place.

Lastly, good ol’ hard work. By working every day at your craft and truly enjoying the musical journey will allow you to reach places you never dreamed of. As someone wise once said, “You never have to work a day in your life if you’re doing what you love.”

How would you describe your music to a potential fan?

We like to call it a fusion of surf rock & reggae. However, pigeon-holing can be dangerous! We are always trying our best to create music which feels right to us at a specific moment in our lives. Some songs are pop ballads, some are blues infused jams. But to explain to someone hearing us for the first time: Australasian surf rock and reggae best fits the bill!

What are your goals for 2024 and beyond?

We’ve got more than a few in mind… In the short term, continuing to tour New Zealand and build our following. We’ve been playing all around the North Island for a few years now, but it’s always been a goal to get down south. We’d also love to get over to Aussie for some shows as soon as possible!

Overall, we really want to focus on continuing to write music that we believe in, are proud of, and hopefully resonates with both our audience here in NZ and those listening from afar.

Tell us about your recent EP SUNSTRUCK. What themes did you explore on the record?

Sometimes as an artist you have to put yourself in some pretty vulnerable places in order to really bring out the best quality of music, which of course can be tricky! When writing Sunstruck, we were going through our late teens and struggling with navigating relationships, making important life decisions, and dealing with societal expectations.

Sunstruck was a really fun EP to write and record. With the help of Tiki and our own Ryan Cruickshank, we were able to craft a body of work that we’re all super proud of. A lot of these songs were written throughout the lockdowns, where life was quite abnormal for everyone, so naturally, there are themes of questioning societal norms, and challenging authority mixed into the expected angst of adolescence.

You followed your EP up so quickly with “Liquid Gold”. What’s that song about?

“Liquid Gold” has been in and out of our live set for a couple years now. We love to play it live as it has such a good energy about it!

As a standalone song, “Liquid Gold” addresses the struggle of processing generational trauma. Benji communicates an emotional journey centred around his own experience and how it has impacted his life – hoping to establish common ground with those who have grown through similar circumstances.