Goodnight Nurse formed in 2001 after bass player Paul Taite responded to a flyer placed in Auckland University bar Shadows by frontman Joel Little and drummer Jaden Parkes.
A pop-rock band with punk influences, they were often labelled as New Zealand's answer to US pop-punk bands such as Green Day and Blink-182. Their prolific live shows and playful, radio friendly singles resulted in a large and dedicated online following. From 2004 to 2008 the band had five singles in the NZ Top 40.
The trio evolved into a four-piece following the departure of Taite and prior to the release of their second album, with the addition of Rowan Crowe, who had previously been a stage tech on the Vans Warped Tour, and Sam McCarthy, formerly of Auckland group CapGunHero.
In 2004, the Boost Mobile NZ Schools Tour saw the band play at 120 venues nationwide to an estimated 50,000 people over five months.
Live gigging was a major part of the band’s success and even saw them play onboard a plane en route to the MTV Australia Video Music Awards, where they ultimately picked up an award for NZ Viewers Choice. Prior to the release of their debut album the band were selected to take part in what has been labelled as the single largest tour accomplished by one band in New Zealand history. In 2004, the Boost Mobile NZ Schools Tour saw the band play at 120 venues nationwide to an estimated 50,000 people over five months. Subsequently, they went on to tour the east coast of Australia for three months on the Rock the Schools tour and racked up tour miles with international bands such as The Living End, Fall Out Boy, Story of the Year, One Republic and HIM.
Goodnight Nurse's debut album Always and Never was released in January 2006 through Festival Mushroom Records, making its debut at No.5 on the RIANZ New Zealand Album Chart. It stayed in the Top 40 for six weeks and gained gold certification (7,500 copies sold) after one week. The album was engineered, produced and mixed by 48May guitarist Jody Stowers (AKA Captain Hook) at Hamilton’s Dudley Studios and spurred seven singles, with the band’s trademark application of lush harmonies, underpinned with punk attitude.
The most successful singles were: ‘Our Song’ which peaked on the RIANZ NZ Singles Chart at No.15, and ‘Loner’ and ‘Taking Over’, which both peaked at No.19. ‘My Only’ came in at No.24 and featured in the NHL ‘07 soundtrack. The album also helped the band to win the People’s Choice Award at the 2004 NZ Music Awards, plus a handful of Juice TV Awards.
When Paul Taite left to pursue a career in Europe early 2007, the newly formed four-piece, featuring Crowe on bass and McCarthy on lead guitar, spent five weeks at Melbourne's Birdland Studios working on their second album with producer Lindsay Gravina (The Living End, Shihad, Thirsty Merc).
Little told NZ Musician magazine (April/May 2008) that an album's worth of demos was scrapped entirely upon the reshuffling of members and that a further 40 demos were in the bank leading up to the studio time.
"We just realised we were on totally the wrong track. We'd worked on these songs for a couple of months, and we demoed them and you go, 'If this was our album it would be exactly like that clichéd 'difficult second album'. You're not happy with it but it's the best you can do at the time.
"We kind of had the luxury of writing a whole bunch of songs and then recording them, then listening back and going, 'You know what, this isn't going to cut it, I wouldn't be proud of this if we released it.' So we just kept on writing."
Keep Me on Your Side was released on April 7, 2008 and like its predecessor, debuted at No.5 on the RIANZ New Zealand Album Chart. The album revealed darker lyrical content and newfound-maturity, though it kept true to the band’s polished pop-punk roots. First single ‘The Night’ was the band’s biggest selling single and held in the NZ Singles Chart for 13 weeks, peaking at No.24.
Goodnight Nurse completed their first headlining tour in New Zealand in June 2008, the “I Need This” tour in support of the single of the same name.
In February 2010 the band went into an indefinite hiatus. A message was posted on the band's MySpace page, thanking the fans for all their love and support, "We don’t know if or when we’ll be back, and we’ll all keep making music till the day we die, but for now this is it for Goodnight Nurse. So one last time thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you’ve given us, it’s been an amazing 9 years and we love you for it."
Vocalist and guitarist Joel Little has forged an incredibly successful career as a composer, producer and songwriter.
All members are still heavily involved in the music industry. Rowan Clarke formed punk duo Jury & The Saints alongside Jesse Smith of Streetwise Scarlet, Jaden Parkes is now the Head of A&R at Sony Music New Zealand and has toyed with side several projects including Like You Crazy and Palms. Sam McCarthy went on to front the accidental hit makers Kids of 88 alongside school friend Jordan Arts and released two albums via Joel Little’s label, Dryden St. The band found international success through the release of their debut single ‘My House’ and accompanying album Sugarpills.
Vocalist and guitarist Joel Little has forged an incredibly successful career as a composer, producer and songwriter. At present his co-writing and production work for Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) has seen him stay atop the Billboard Top 100 chart for nine consecutive weeks with the breakout single ‘Royals’, claim a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, the 2013 APRA Silver Scroll Award, US platinum certification (1 million+ units sold) with the album ‘Pure Heroine’, and a consistent week on week onslaught in the RIANZ Official NZ Singles and Album charts. He runs a production studio out of Morningside, Auckland, called Golden Age.
Joel Little's mother, Trish Scott, was a founding guitarist in the famed New Zealand punk band The Suburban Reptiles in 1977
Joel Little - vocals, guitar
Jaden Parkes - drums, vocals
Paul Taite - bass, vocals
Sam McCarthy - guitar, vocals
Rowan Crowe - bass