Aotearoa : (a-o-tay-uh-row-uh)
1 – A Māori term directly translating to “Land of the Long White Cloud”. In the common tongue, however, it signifies the indigenous moniker for the land mass of New Zealand.
2 – A live looping, funk-rock duo formed in 2010 in Lawrence, Kansas. Known for perpetual touring of the United States. (Translation: Living out of Daphnie the van, while playing shows year-round.)
The band’s nomadic lifestyle was prompted by a hitchhiking stint in New Zealand, which also birthed the duos namesake.
Although the band emerged in the early 10′s, a climate of telecommunicative ease and rampant social media use, the duo’s wanderlust became a headstrong affirmation that a live show remained the best way to connect with fans on both a communal and national level.
The band’s eponymous debut album was recorded with Joshua Browning at Hey! Bulldog Soundlabs in Perry, Kansas. The sound is best described as a two-man take on the Talking Heads, Parliament and Funkadelic; with a healthy influence of James Brown and Felá Kuti. The lyrical content ranges but is all tinged with a post-consumerist attitude unique to the band. The two members are each multi-instrumentalists who alternate duties between drums and the guitar.
Aotearoa has been known for consorting with emerging and establish acts. In Denver they’ve topped the bill at Quixote’s True Blue and performed alongside 35-year-mainstays Shakedown Street at The Historic Oriental Theater. They played a rare and intimate house show with Paper Bird, a band voted Boulder Co.’s best folk outfit in 2010. Aside from gigging at the Jackpot Music Hall and The Eighth St. Taproom in their native Lawrence, Kansas, they’ve headlined at Chicago’s notorious Elbo Room and played at LA’s fabled Whisky A Go-Go.
The band’s been known to incorporate the audience throughout the set, often by means of auxiliary percussion. By encouraging an engagement to sever the divide between the performers and the crowd, the shows often culminate in a “full floor shake-down” with everyone on their feet but the drummer.