Superturtle began life as a solo recording project by singer/guitarist Darren McShane, spurred on by the success of his first solo effort "Free Ride" reaching no 3 in BFM's top 10 (under the pseudonym "Moonpopper") . With a preference for live tracking and a band sound , a stable core of musicians became involved and the name "Superturtle" was adopted.
The resultant album garnished much favourable press, and the release in August 2008 was heralded by an inaugural live performance featuring special guests "Chris Knox and The Nothing". Four more songs made Kiwi FM's top 10 over the following year, with video play on C4, Juice TV, Triangle and CueTV.
These videos and reviews may be seen here.
Darren McShane's musical journey began with high school band "Stick No Bills", achieving high rotate on BFM with a song recorded live on a ghetto blaster ! And then earning a place on a compilation assembled by Russell Crowe (then known as "Rus Le Roq").
With a growing affinity for the "alternative" scene, McShane formed Flying Nun band "Chainsaw Masochist" along with brother Ricky McShane (now in White Swan Black Swan) and Debbie Silvey (later of Garageland fame) and Murray Couling (ex "Hip Singles" and "Karate Nuns").
It was during this time that Darren began a long internship as a DJ on BFM which ran through the reign of four programme directors. He campaigned for, and formed "The Electric Chair", an alternative guitar music show focusing on imports from labels such as Creation Records, Sub Pop, 4AD and Matador. By choosing, recording, and labeling songs to "cart", he directly influenced BFM's playlist during that era.
With the demise of "Chainsaw Masochist" a long time interest in engineering and production was pursued and Earwig Studios was formed. In a time when the new digital technologies were embraced by all and sundry, McShane's ears told him otherwise and Earwig Studios became one of the only true analogue studios still in operation, with tape machines previously owned by Bryan Ferry and Cat Stevens, a real concrete reverb chamber, a steel plate reverb and so on.
Though not the most prudent path financially, it has proven to be the surest path to sonic bliss. During the years leading up to "Superturtle" McShane played in "Figure 60", releasing singles through Crawl Space Records, and then "Sea Monkey", with both bands earning top ten BFM status.
Working as a sound engineer afforded the luxury of meeting and hearing numerous musicians and this is how McShane met the other members of "Superturtle". Ben Furniss (bass) and Paul Taylor (drums) were from like minded "alt" band "Shady Brain Farm", with Ben also playing in "The Brokenheartbreakers" and White Swan Black Swan", while Jude Morris stunned McShane with her singing when she booked in to do a basic demo.
Murray Jacques arrived at the studio playing guitar and keyboards for his covers band Nimbus. Darren McShane had met Murray Jacques years earlier when he and Ricky McShane were introduced to Murray as an elder brother who was adopted out at birth, and so despite the differing surnames Darren and Murray are in fact brothers reacquainted, and Murray now has a crucial role in the songwriting process of "Superturtle".
About The Sun
The new album "About The Sun" has been preceded by the "Valley Town" EP and "Sad Sack" single and is out May 2010 on Sarang Bang Records and Ode Records. The guitar, keys (piano, rhodes, synth, and hammond), drums and bass have been tracked live simultaneously to 2inch 24 track analogue tape, with 12 string, mandolin, piano, xylophone, theremin, vocoder, trumpet, various percussion and mellotron added as overdubs.
December 17th saw the release of the latest single "Cause Ya Said So", which precedes the release of Superturtle's third album "Beat Manifesto" on April 20th, 2013. The first single lifted from Beat Manifesto - "Lost In The Herd Again " reached no 6 on the KiwiFM top 10 in May 2011 , and a third single "Fear Factor" reached no 8 in the Kiwi FM top 10 on June 18th 2012 , getting good rotate on Radio One in Dunedin and top 10 status on Radio Control in Palmerston North.
"Fear Factor" was also single of the week on amplifier.co.nz June 8th , 2012 and number 31 in Kiwi FMs Top 100 of 2012. See the video at www.youtube.com/superturtlemusic
Superturtle played to capacity crowds through their inclusion in the nationwide tour of Japanese psychedelic punk band "Marble Sheep" throughout January 2013, and eagerly await their next live appearance at the April 20th release gig at Auckland Hard Rock Cafe .