Driven by growling guitars and vocals to match, the new single from Wellington-based artist Voodoo Bloo - 'MMA' - proves a hectic introduction to this young talent. The moniker of songwriter and musician Rory McDonald, Voodoo Bloo and their new music comes to punk rock fans with urgency and excitement powering it throughout.
'MMA' bounds along with catchy melody, Voodoo Bloo channeling influences as wide ranging from System Of A Down to Neutral Milk Hotel and Car Seat Headrest in bringing this debut effort to life.
Recorded at PlasticGrooveHQ in Wellington before being mixed and mastered at Hammerhead Studios with Niel De Jong (Alien Weaponry), 'MMA' stems from personal experience, according to the artist. "This song is about that one drunk friend or even just an intoxicated asshole you meet when out in town on substance-driven adventures. The characters you sometimes meet teach you great lessons about what an ego is and how, when inhibitions slip, you can see a person's true personality come out. And it's not always pretty." Voodoo Bloo
Though Voodoo Bloo is a new project, for McDonald, music has been a large part of his life for some years now. Forming hard rock group Lucifer Gunne in 2017 brought the 15 year old McDonald to wider attention in New Zealand, while the band's single release 'Energenetic' made its way to Australian ears not long after, generating praise of its own.
Moving into a new phase in 2020, Voodoo Bloo was created to explore new artistic avenues and with ideas already firmly in place for the Jacobus album (set for release this year), the pieces fell together quickly and easily. "I wanted to start a new chapter in my musical career, but to still use the knowledge I gained from my previous band to try and make something really special to me." Voodoo Bloo
Making the most of his surroundings in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, Voodoo Bloo worked with video director Hans Weston in Wellington to bring the 'MMA' music video to fruition. Keeping things close to home - quite literally - the video encapsulates the overall vibe of the song, while maintaining its sense of fun. "The video shoot was a lot of fun. Of course with this being quite a hard time for everyone and leaving the house not really being an option, I tried to create something quite minimalist yet still true to what the song is about. Being pelted with bottle caps, corks, and other miscellaneous items you might find on a night out seemed like a fitting way to show how I can sometimes feel when having to put up with the nuisances you meet, being a person growing up and experiencing more of the outside world for the first time." Voodoo Bloo
With this current lockdown situation preventing shows from taking place for many, if not all, artists in Australia and in New Zealand, plans are in the works for moving into Voodoo Bloo's next phase once we all are able to pour back into venues to enjoy live music once more. Until then, more music is on the way.