The 00’s decade saw the rise of many Kiwi bands with different musical genres including pop, rock and punk. Here are some top New Zealand bands from the naughties to know about.


The band was formed in 1997 when Grenville, the lead guitarist and father to the lead singer Logan Bell as well as drummer and songwriter Jordan Bell moved into an apartment with his sons where they could make music throughout the night. Both boys had grown up with reggae, jazz, R’n’B and Soul music which meant they had become enamored in the classical music of the late 70s and early 80s exemplified by Bob Marley. To this date, the influence of the music they grew up with is evident in Logan’s songwriting and voice.

The band has released 5 albums. Their 2003 album, Revival featured their highest-selling single in 2002 titled Giddy Up. In 2005, they released Slow Burning, in 2007, they did Say What You’re Thinking and On the Road Again in 2010. They also compiled Best so Far in 2013.Katchafire has toured the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom and Brazil.

The band’s lineup has remained steady since 2002 featuring Leon on percussion, Aran Adams as manager of the band and Haani on guitar. The group has kept the Maori heritage and still operates from their hometown in Hamilton. The family-affair band is on the road for 49 weeks out of 52 with family handling most of its operations.

Die! Die! Die!

So good they named it three times! Die Die Die is one of the leading New Zealand bands from the 00’s. The pop and punk group was formed in 2003. Since then, it has released 5 albums and embarked on many national and international tours.

Die Die Die originated from Carriage H, a high school band established in 1999. When Carriage H broke up, Andrew Wilson and Michale Prain came together to form Die Die Die. In 2005, the band released Die Die Die. Later in 2007, the band released their 2nd full-length album titled Promises, Promises. This album saw the group shift from hardcore tendencies associated with their first album towards heavy sound which is said to have been inspired by Lachlan Anderson, the new bassist.

Soon after the release of the 2nd album, the group went on a worldwide tour for 3 years before settling down to record their 3rd album. After many rehearsals mostly at Chicks Hotel, they finally recorded Form over a span of 9 days assisted by NickRoughan, a producer. The Form album was released in July 2010 on Flying Nun Records and peaked at position 19 on National Album charts while debuting at first position on independent charts.

In 2010, Die Die Die recorded their 4th album but its release was delayed until August 2012. It later emerged that part of the delay was due to rumbles within the group. In spite of their differences, the band released Someone Who Isnt Me fondly known as SWIM in August 2014. This was followed by 3 trips across Europe in a year. In 2015, the band broke up again but Prain and Wilson decided to press on. They recruited Rory Attwell and recorded Charm, Offensive in 2016 which is yet to be released.

The Rabble

The Rabble is another of New Zealand naughties band that was totally sold out to punk but lost steam too fast. The 3-piece band based in Auckland was dedicated to bringing unique and soulful Punk Rock to the table. The band lived for Rock n Roll and knew how to stir up their audience.

The Rabble originated in Auckland City, New Zealand during a monotonous summer in 2001 when Chazz Rabble, Jamie Rabble and Rupert Rabble decided they needed something to take their mind off the daily drudgery. With the sounds of the late 70s reverberating in their souls, The Rabble was born.

Like a banner shining in the midst of advancing soldiers, The Rabble hit the ground running and joined in the march of a new generation. They adopted soulful Punk Rock and painted a picture of hope in the midst of adversity. Over time, the unbowed trio brought enthusiasm to Rock n Roll.

The band’s official page on Myspace went live on 29 February 2004. Working together with the Unseen band, they created a track titled This World Is Dead from the album The Battle’s Almost Over. In August 2009, The Rabble went on to tour Europe and UK until January 2010. In August 2011, the group released an album titled Life’s A Journey which was eagerly awaited by their fans.

The group seemed unstoppable but within 2 years of the prestigious Cream gig, the group lost momentum. Though they continued on as a band for another year, they later called it quits.

Elemeno P

The 4-piece band is said to have appeared unexpectedly oozing with energy and equipped with a fun-loving attitude. Soon enough, it became a household favorite and released several top of the range albums in a span of 6 years.

Though there are many rumors about its origins, Elemeno P is said to have been founded by Dave Gibson and Justyn Pilbrow. The duo met while hitchhiking from an event in their teens and after crossing paths severally in punk and jazz events, decided to pair up as flatmates.

Soon after, the duo decided to transform their sitting room into a recording studio. They borrowed some equipment from friends and set about recording demos. With the assistance of Sam Gibson, the living room demos yielded Every Day’s a Saturday, Fat Times In Tahoe and Fast Pop Song which was later renamed I Don’t Know.

Fast Times in Tahoe put them on the radar and opened doors for several gigs. Soon after the band set about composing their debut album titled Love& Respect. In spite of bagging 3 New Zealand Music Award nominations and strong sales, the response was not what they expected.

In 2005, they released Trouble in Paradise which debuted at position 2 on local charts. The album also enabled the band to win Best Group at the 2006 New Zealand Music Awards. In 2009, Justyn announced he was leaving the band. This slowed down the group as members started to pursue different career paths.


Lastly the cracker New Zealand bands 00’s list cannot be complete without including Goldenhorse. The band consist of Kristen Morrel, Geoff Maddock, Vincent Hine and Ben King as well as Nick Gaffaney.

Goldenhorse’s first album Riverhead was released in 2002. The album was named after the area the group was residing in West Auckland. Surprisingly, it gained public acceptance and several singles held steady on charts. Eventually, the album made it to position 1 on New Zealand’s charts in August 2004 and sold more than 50,000 copies. In 2005, it released Out Of The Moon but the album lacked the kick of Riverhead.

Their final album, Reporter was released in 2007. By this time, the group had started to lose momentum which was reflected in their new album. Unlike their previous albums, Reporter could only manage No.38 on the charts. Soon after the group broke up.

Since the group split up, Ben King has been producing bands and performing with Greg Johnson and Tim Finn. They released their first album in 2011. Morrel is active in opera productions and released an album titled Ultraviolet which briefly peaked at No. 40.