Band home after US road trip

17:00, Sep 05 2013
BIG ADVENTURE: Clockwise from top left: Night Gaunts band members Hayden Pye, Simon Jonassen, Jacob O’Brien, Paul Jonassen and Daniel Costello at Venice Beach.

Albany band Night Gaunts has no manager and no label.

But that didn't stop the group from embarking on a three-month tour of the United States, covering 25,000km and playing more than 50 shows.

The band is singer, guitarist and songwriter Paul Jonassen, 24, saxophonist Jacob O'Brien, 21, drummer Simon Jonassen, 22, bass guitarist Hayden Pye, 24, and Daniel Costello, 25, who plays the keyboard, guitar and melodica.

Paul's partner Kotone Taniguchi, 22, accompanied the group as their photographer.

The band was often driving six or eight hours to play a gig before driving another two hours to their next stop.

Simon says small hotel rooms meant two people sleeping on the floor each night and six in the van caused "sanity problems", but laundry days were the worst of all.


"Spending a couple of hours in an extremely hot, humid, dodgy laundromat was the pits."

But the best parts of the trip were playing shows to packed rooms of people who knew the music and "were going crazy for it".

Simon says in some cases people drove up to six hours to see the band, which was incredibly humbling.

"Winning over foreign crowds was daunting at first, but as we went on the more we realised that we have a good thing going."

The band started in Chicago and travelled down the east coast before heading west, playing its mix of ska, rap, reggae and punk.

Night Gaunts is hoping to play some Kiwi festivals during summer before organising an Australian tour.

The band has been invited back to Las Vegas next year.

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