Wellington band Voodoo Bloo combine ‘nightmarish chemistry’ with punk rock punch

Wellington band Voodoo Bloo have grown from the singular vision of frontman Rory McDonald’s home recordings to a quartet full of energy and versatility.

“I thought I could be a Bowie-like figure and become hit after hit, but now that we have this collaboration together, I can’t really imagine it any other way,” McDonald said.

The group’s first album Jacobus was mostly recorded in McDonald’s home studio, during lockdown in 2020, with a little help from friends and drummer dad Tony.

Rory McDonald's home recordings made up Voodoo Bloo's 2020 debut album Jacobus.


Rory McDonald’s home recordings made up Voodoo Bloo’s 2020 debut album Jacobus.

Jacobus has a punk rock energy and intensity in the same vein as McDonald’s influences from bands like Slow motion and early Arctic Monkeys tracks; it’s loud, punchy and energetic, the kind of band that should be a great live band.

To meet the need to bring the songs to life on stage, McDonald recruited guitarist Daniel Maslin and drummer Jackson Kidd from the band Wellington. adult friends and enlisted childhood mate Oli Cass on bass.

“With the band having its own twist, it opened my eyes to what is actually possible. We really like to tear it up once we get together,” McDonald said.

The band recently released the single Small ahead of an ambitious touring schedule, two more singles and four video releases ahead of their second album blessed ghost becomes available in July.

“There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’re working through it all,” McDonald said.

Voodoo Bloo's current lineup consists of Rory McDonald (vocals, guitar), Oli Cass (bass guitar), Daniel Maslin (guitar) and Jackson Kidd (drums).


Voodoo Bloo’s current lineup consists of Rory McDonald (vocals, guitar), Oli Cass (bass guitar), Daniel Maslin (guitar) and Jackson Kidd (drums).

Small The sound expands the band’s reach, embracing a darker dynamic range and lushness as their punk power lurks, like a boxer’s left hook behind jabs.

“It’s pretty soft until it doesn’t need to be, then it roars,” McDonald said.

This time the songs were recorded as a band at Massey University’s Wellington Studios and featured the producing talents of Greg Haver who worked with The Manic Street Preachers, super furry animals and bullet for My Valentine.

“There’s a lot of layers that Greg put in place that I never thought the track would ever need. He ended up using about 150 drum tracks on one song. It’s pretty crazy,” said Mcdonalds.

Guitarist Daniel Maslin says new single Small has


Guitarist Daniel Maslin says the new single Small has “an intense somewhat dreamy but also nightmarish atmosphere”.

Guitarist Daniel Maslin, a spiraling vortex of movement and long hair on stage, is the source of as many “unnatural sounds” as he can muster from his guitar and range of effects pedals.

“[Small has] an intense atmosphere, a little dreamy but also nightmarish. Rory brings the nightmare,” Maslin said to peals of laughter among the group.

Bassist Oli Cass on the chemistry of the new lineup,


Bassist Oli Cass on the new line-up’s chemistry, “We understand each other’s musical influences and how we creatively sit together.”

Bassist Oli Cass is a bit more serious in his take on how the four musicians found their place as a creative unit.

“We have that connection there. We all understand each other’s musical influences and how we sit creatively. If we find something interesting that isn’t even music related, we share it with each other because we all might still find it interesting,” Cass said.

Like a true leader, Rory McDonald steps in for the last word.

“There’s no other way to put it, you just make them sound better than in my head.”

  • Follow the link to listen bloo voodoois the new single Small at: https://bfan.link/VBsmall

Diana J. Carleton