Tadpole release completly unheard album after 16-years.
After a very long 16 year hiatus for thousands of Tadpole fans, the iconic Kiwi band is about to release a brand new, completely unheard album, out on November 25th. We thought Tadpole’s story had ended when they decided to go their separate ways in 2006 after a successful 12 years together, but we were (gladly) wrong! 27 years after the band first formed, several Tadpole members have come together to release The Tadpole Collection (1994-2006).
Not as you might expect, an album of greatest hits, but a genuine 4 CD collection of every album they made – The Buddhafinger (2000), The Medusa (2002), Tadpole (2006), and a brand new fourth album of never-released rarities and antiquities from the band’s catalogue entitled Remains of the Day.
So, what has prompted this final hurrah? The continuing popularity of Tadpole’s videos on YouTube played a big part. An un-branded channel with grainy uploads of the many original Tadpole music videos has seen a steady trickle of die-hard fans posting about what the songs had meant to them, and memories of seeing the band play live. The steady inflow of posts was always there to remind them that the music they’d made was not forgotten, but that in itself mightn’t have brought them back together.
If it wasn’t for Karl Lock, Product Manager for JB HiFi, this new release might not have happened. Karl saw an opportunity for a vinyl re-release of The Buddhafinger – the band’s most popular (triple-platinum) album – which started the ball rolling. Tadpole secured the rights to the first two albums from their old label and decided to release not just the vinyl (out Feb 2023), but their entire back-catalogue of work, with a little cherry on the top!
Band members took a trip down memory lane and trawled through their collections of old demos, cassette tapes, and dusty CDs to put together the new album, Remains of the Day, featuring songs that were played at live shows and recorded as demos, but never made it onto an official album.
If you’ve thrown out your CD player or aren’t into the nostalgia of vinyl, don’t worry! Remains of the Day will soon be hitting your Spotify new releases list; available to stream early next year (2023). But first, mark November 25th, 2022 in your calendar to make sure you don’t miss the first album release in more than 10 years from one of our favourite scene-altering Kiwi bands of the 90s and 2000s.
And just when you thought you couldn’t handle any more excitement in one day, we’ve got even MORE good news. November 25th doesn’t only bring us 12 never heard and brilliantly remastered tracks – you can also digitally stream The Medusa album for the first time ever! Finally, all Tadpole studio albums will be available to experience on Spotify and other digital music platforms. If it wasn’t obvious, we’re pretty jazzed, and we reckon you should be too!
Formed in 1994, Tadpole’s first two albums, The Buddhafinger and The Medusa, smashed into the top 10 charts. Most Gen X and Millennial Kiwis will remember the band for their unique fusion of rock and electronica, storming the NZ music scene at the turn of the new millennium and scoring gigs year after year at pioneer music festival Big Day Out.
But the group’s legacy extended far beyond their music. Along with other iconic NZ bands like The Feelers, Fur Patrol, and Stellar; Tadpole helped to break down the barriers many artists were facing by commercial NZ radio stations, inspiring a new generation of Kiwi musicians willing to push the boundaries of Kiwi music. The 4 CD box set, The Tadpole Collection (1994-2006) which includes the new Remains of the Day album, will retail at $34.95 from November 25th, along with the digital release of The Medusa available to stream on Spotify (along with The Buddhafinger and Tadpole self titled).
Tadpole Yearbook Memories
Biggest show: Auckland’s Big Day Out 2000 – 60,000 people
Smallest show: Indigo Bar on Cuba Street, Wellington – Three bands played to an audience of three people. If you were there, you will never know how grateful we were that none of you left!
Strangest item autographed: A wooden leg
Most innovative merchandise: “Backdoor” boxer shorts
Point of difference: Tadpole made a point of including all-ages gigs in their tours. They frequently played two shows a day when on the road, an afternoon show at a school or hall, followed by an evening gig at a bar.
Life threatening moment: Playing to armed soldiers in a mosh pit with bats swooping the stage in East Timor
Most played venue: Tied between Dux de Lux in Christchurch, and The Boiler Room in Whakatane
Countries performed in: NZ, Australia, UK, Germany, Switzerland. They missed playing their first show in Ireland because a couple of band members (who shall remain nameless) didn’t realise you needed a passport to travel there from the UK. Longest music video shoot: 26 hours straight to film the video to Blind in the tunnels at Hunua dam on a Sunday when the area suffered a power cut. The band only had enough cash to rent the recording equipment for one day, so had to shoot all night once the power came back on, then race to return the equipment in time.
Arch-nemeses: The boys from Betchadupa (Liam Finn and co.). The bands enjoyed pranking each other on tour, but Betchadupa took it a little too far – they egged the Tadpole touring van after a New Years show in Coromandel. The band slept late and woke up to find the eggs had baked into the paintwork. Spendy! The smell of rotting eggs accompanied them the rest of that summer.
Spinal Tap moment: Getting lost on the way to the stage in New Plymouth at The Mayfair. Could have been worse – it could have been the drummer internally combusting.
Favourite cover: Tadpole regularly performed a number of covers, including songs from Queen and Portishead, but the favourite was homegrown classic “George” by the Headless Chickens. Renee in fact sang for the Chickens for a few gigs after Fiona McDonald left the band.
Embarrassing moment: Getting through a gig at the Nelson Café – an up close and intimate venue – to discover Renee had done the entire show with her fly open.
School days: The band has fond memories of playing multiple school tours. Most memorable, Mount Albert Grammar school, where they were first pelted with tomatoes and then Renee was hit on by a 13-year-old asking for her phone number. (Actually, she would probably take that call now.)
Most NZ rock ‘n roll moment: Post NY gig at Haruru Falls in Paihia 2001 – drinking in a 20-person spa pool back at the Copthorne hotel with members of Zed, Fur Patrol, Stellar and the Feelers.
Karen Carpenter moment: After releasing the video for their first single, Blind, being turned down for a deal by Warner Records because Renee was too fat. Most fun video shoot: Toss up between getting to trash a hotel room in For Me, and getting to actually drag race classic cars in Too Hard.
Funny tour story: “Oh my god, I just spewed on Tadpole!” – A fan spotted the band hanging out at a bar after performing at the Alexandra Blossom Festival and bought a round of shots. After knocking back the pink creamy shot, she projected pink vomit all over Chris’s red outfit and exclaimed these words with complete surprise and dismay.
Interesting moments: Nevis canyon bungy jumping in Queenstown, skydiving at Parakai in Auckland, Monteiths Brewery tour with unrestricted access in the tasting room, Chris driving a fan’s rally spec Subaru WRX through the south island on a tour, firing guns and driving tanks while on tour in East Timor with NZ Army Hottest gig ever: Hillcrest Tavern in Hamilton for O Week. The venue was packed to the brim, the fans were broken, and people who couldn’t get in were outside pressing the windows trying to see. It was so hot that several people passed out. The band sweated buckets.
The moment we knew we’d made it: When the band were asked for autographs by Karl Burnett (a.k.a. Nick Harrison from Shortland Street) at their album launch for the Bhddhafinger at Auckland’s Manderlay
Band members’ best gig ever: Renee: Playing the Wunderbar in Littleton. That is hands down the coolest bar I have ever been in before or since. And I’ve travelled the world since. Best perk of being in a touring band?: Locals who love the band volunteering show you all the coolest things to do while you are there. Memorable moments include shark fishing in Greymouth, being taken to the resurgence at Takeka Hill Nelson, driving on the beaches near Palmerston North and riding for free on the shotover jet in Queenstown. New Zealand, you are a generous bunch and can sure show people a good time!