Karsten Schwardt - lead vocals and guitar
Leal Butler - backing vocals and bass guitar
Anna Monteith - drums
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The Electric Era is a three-piece indie rock band from Auckland, New Zealand. Their self-proclaimed Antipodean Anti-gloss Pop has been compared to seminal New Zealand bands such as The Clean, The Chills and The Verlaines, as well as
English acts The Smiths and The Cure. They also claim David Bowie, Joy Division, Wire and Magazine as their sonic godfathers.
It started as a one-man recording project one day in the early 2000s, when singer and guitarist Karsten Schwardt started putting out albums under the Era moniker, eventually putting together a six-piece live band to celebrate the third album release 'Too Many Damaged Heroes' in late 2009. Amongst the illustrious live line-up were Marcel Bellve of Battle Circus and former Fang drummer Brignall Wood. Two shows ensued in front of capacity crowds, before this formation disbanded due to the various other committments of the members.
In early 2011 The Electric Era was reformed as a streamlined three-piece, gigging in the Auckland region and sharing stages with acts such as The Zoup, Violet Hertz, Puppeteer, Filth Dog, Frend and Used To Be Apes, amongst others. "Going three-piece makes it so much easier to get stuff done. We do more gigs and the music has more punch, every note and every word counts," says Karsten, “We even fit in one car.”
In fact, as if to prove this point, the band has just returned from a Germany tour, where they played nine dates around the north-west of the country. “The band has grown musically and is a lot tighter as a result,” says Karsten, “and we’ve made so many new friends over there. We now even have an official German fan club.”
Apart from Karsten, only one other member - bassist Leal Butler - remained from the earlier incarnation of the band. Long-standing drummer Brignall Wood who contributed to two of the three albums left in late 2011 to pursue philosophy.
He was replaced by drummer Anna Monteith to complete the new band line-up in time for the tour.
The band released the crowd favourite 'Parallel Lines' as a single in late 2011, added a video in mid 2012, and with the tour behind them, is now ready to record some new material. “We short-listed about 14 songs, but we haven’t yet
decided what to do with them; either a bunch of singles, a couple of EPs or an album. The main thing is to get some stuff out there, so we have a reason to tour again,” laughs Karsten.
For a list of musical influences click here