Amanaki is quite new to the scene, but with their heavy-hitting hardcore sound, they have already gained a fanbase. Individually they are not strangers to it all either: Amanaki is made up with a few scene veterans April Haines (Patriot, East of Eden & Lead Us Forth) and Jared Kerr (Vanguard & Lead Us Forth) with young bloods Jethro (Former Patriot) and Ethan bringing a youthful flare.




1. Happy NZ Music Month! How did you initially get into creating music?
Jared: I got into creating music because from a young age I was intrigued by how everything worked, especially with regard to music production and musical instruments. It all started from mucking around with family instruments and then garage band really opened my eyes to music creation and I’ve never looked back since.

April: I also started creating music at a young age. I looked up to a lot of amazing artists and wanted to push myself to write and play as they did. As I evolve into a better musician, I find myself creating music that relates to life and the positive/negative challenges you may face. 

Ethan: I got my first guitar at the age of 10 since my parents saw I was into music when I was younger. I started writing songs with just my acoustic guitar and my voice. Playing basic chord progressions and rhythms but it got me hooked on writing music.


2. Tell us about your inspirations & motivations?
Jethro: Hope – getting a message of hope out to people is motivating, and I think it’s important to us that we can have a place to share it. And I think fun is a motivator as well – music is a lot of fun!

Jared: Big motivation for me is seeing people enjoy our music and sing our lyrics. I love writing songs we can jump around on stage to and see the crowd be a ruckus as well. Having the ability to spread a positive message and talk about life and the challenges we all face is an awesome opportunity that always motivates me to do more with Amanaki as well. 

April: I totally agree with Jared and Jethro. I love having the ability to share music to others, and to be a light amongst the darkness. 

Ethan: Seeing the New Zealand scene grow and making it a place where people can come and feel like they are part of a big family no matter what show they go to. For some of us the scene has been like that for some years and to get more people involved and feeling welcomed if they are finding it tough elsewhere.



3. What have you been up to in this lockdown and how has it affected you?
Jared: this lock down has sure been a big change for all of us. There have definitely been some bonuses with extra time we have had on our instruments. With the aid of zoom we have been able to keep up our writing process as well which has been very useful as we head towards recording our 3rd release in the coming months

April: This lockdown has been challenging but also rewarding for myself. I have had some work to keep me busy but I have also focused on a bunch of other different things . I’ve created music, practiced all the instruments I play (guitar, piano and drums) and I’ve also tried to keep fit/healthy. I’ve challenged myself to get better at wheelies and bunny hops on my mountain bike during this lockdown.


4. What do you think of the NZ music scene?
Jethro: It’s fantastic. It’s so great to have the ability to play shows and share music with genuine and music-loving people!

Jared: It’s certainly a very dynamic music scene that is constantly developing and reshaping but is very welcoming and friendly at the heart of it. It’s not unusual to attend a show with a diverse selection of genres all sharing the same stage and all being supported equally. 

April: The NZ music scene is amazing – it is such a friendly and loving community to be a part of. I play in a few different bands and no matter what style of music it is, the culture of the NZ music scene is always welcoming and supportive.

Ethan: It’s really grown again over the years which is awesome! So many new bands coming out and releasing new music! I am truly grateful for the people I’ve met through the scene. 


5. Goal board time – where would you like to see yourself in a year’s time? 
Jared: In a years time we should have released our third and potentially our fourth release which is very exciting. We also plan to have many many more shows under our belt and be continuing to support our friends and families in bands as we do so.

April: I’d also love to release more music and travel/tour overseas. 

Ethan: Playing more shows in New Zealand and hopefully across in Australia with some friends!


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