Formed as Loungehead in early 1995, this Auckland jazz outfit upgraded themselves to The New Loungehead in 1996, after some line-up changes. Guitarist Dan Sperber had been working on the debut album for Sulata on Deepgrooves, which led to New Loungehead being signed to the label.
Live, their sound stretched beyond the confines of jazz, to encompass acid jazz, trip-hop, drum n bass and other club styles, and they often collaborated live with DJs like Manuel Bundy, who would add scratching.
The album won Best Jazz Album at the NZ Music Awards in 1998 and was a finalist for Best Cover.
Sperber and fellow Loungeheaders Chip Matthews (bass), Godfrey de Grut (keyboards, saxophone), Isaac Levi Tucker (percussion, drums), and Matthias Sudholter (percussion, drums) recorded their sole album Came A Weird Way, using the Deepgrooves studio manned by Chris Sinclair, but decided to relocate it to their practice room in Sudholter’s house, north of Auckland. They finished the tracks back in Deepgrooves’ Auckland Central studio.
The album won Best Jazz Album at the NZ Music Awards in 1998 and was a finalist for Best Cover. At the inaugural bFM Music Awards that same year, New Loungehead won the award for Best Cover Design and Godfrey de Grut won Best Keyboardist.
Vocal contributions on the album from Sulata and Mark Williams (AKA Rhythm Slave) helped them to access some NZ On Air music video grants.
Like any band, there were tensions as they grew in popularity. The September 1998 issue of RipItUp noted “members of New Loungehead, Godfrey de Grut and Dan Sperber came to blows on their nationwide tour, but have apparently patched things up through the therapeutic art of songwriting.”
They recorded some tunes for a proposed second album at York St Studios, bringing in Nick Gaffney on drums to replace Isaac, but split up around 1999.
Sperber went on to play in Slacker, the Relaxomatic Project and the Dan Sperber Complex. Matthews and de Grut played in Che Fu's band The Krates and Matthews has also played with Opensouls, Homebrew and Anika Moa. Tucker went on to play with UK dance act Spektrum. De Grut has done extensive session work, ranging from Brooke Fraser to Nesian Mystik to Kanye West.
Godfrey de Grut - keyboards, saxophone
Chip Matthews - bass
Dan Sperber - guitar
Isaac Levi Tucker - percussion, drums
Matthias Sudholter - percussion, drums