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New Zealands garage music scene is bursting with talent

Looking for motivation for your band? The garage has been the home of creativity for decades, and even sparked a new genre of music called ‘garage rock’.


The team at Merlin loves to hear a good New Zealand garage inspiration story. Here are some of our favourite Kiwi music legends and their garage connections.


Crowded House

While technically Crowded House actually formed in Melbourne in 1985, the band’s frontman, Neil Finn is actually a Kiwi! Crediting garages for jams in their early days, the band had huge success in their home countries and around the world.


The Datsuns

The Datsuns are a Kiwi rock band who consider themselves part of the ‘garage rock revival that occurred in the early 2000s. The band began when the members were secondary schoolboys and won the 89FM Battle of the Bands Competition in Hamilton, New Zealand.


The La De Das

Started by three young musicians from rural Aukland, the La De Das started rehearsing in their parents garages before exploding onto the New Zealand garage rock scene in 1966. Their first debut album immediately sold out of its first pressing and their cover of the Changin’ Times’ How is the Air Up There?’ went to number four on the nation’s charts.


Die! Die! Die!

Another high school band exploding into the music scene, Die! Die! Die! is a three piece garage rock group that started in rural Dunedin in 2004.  Gaining fame in New Zealand, they instantly started touring, and within two years had also toured the UK, Europe and the USA. The band also toured with international hard rock sensation Wolfmother in 2006.


The D4

Another member of the garage rock revival scene was D4, a rock band often considered to be the ‘saviour’ of rock and roll music before they split in 2006. They played everywhere they could, including tours throughout Japan, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.


It wasn’t long before they developed a reputation for their chaotic live shows. At one gig, the speakers caught fire midway through a guitar solo. At that point, it was nothing out of the ordinary. The band played on!