Having been together as a band for more than twenty years, The Phoenix Foundation have been a central part of the Kiwi music scene for donkeys years. This six-piece band from Wellington, New Zealand, have now produced 6 albums of inventive, intelligent, highly detailed pop music from a broad range of different influences.

Combining distinctive vocals and a mordant and sly lyricism with a movie-like style to the musical soundscapes – chiming, cascading synths, pulsating bass and plangent guitars – together with sophisticated and dynamic rhythmic interplay, the group has reached a point that these distinct influences have been incorporated to such an extent that they sound exclusively like themselves (if that makes sense 🙂 ).

Quick Start Guide  The Phoenix Foundation:

Led by the amazingly talened songwriter/singer Samuel Scott, Wellington’s one and only The Phoenix Foundation is certainly the most powerful band to emerge in New Zealand since the far-off days of the Chills.

It’s a group that has gained rock god status in their native country and are expecting to break it open globally with their latest indie/prog rock release.

The group has won rave critical reviews online, and from the high-ranking music publications NME, Q, and Mojo produced soundtrack music for the Oscar-nominated film producer Taika Waititi and had their single “Buffalo” covered in the concert by a chart-topping fellow New Zealander Lorde.


The Phoenix Foundation is an open-minded indie rock band founded in Wellington, New Zealand. Since its inception, the group has gone from being a typical band with only a local cult following to achieving national awards and performing on worldwide music festivals and shows, while their recordings often gain favorable reviews.

The band was formed by Luke Buda, Samuel Flynn Scott, and Conrad Wedde in 1994 while students at Wellington High School. In 2001, the group extended their lineup, and Will Ricketts (percussion), Richie Singleton (drums), and Tim Hansen (bass) joined them. The band obtained their name from the fictional organization on the famous yet terrible American television show from the 80’s and 90’s aka: MacGyver.

The strength of the group lies in their proficient use of ideas adopted from the 60s and 70s pop music; vocal harmonies redolent of bands like The Beach Boys, and a dreamy, hazy, faintly psychedelic atmosphere that, when blended with the melodic smartness, has echoes of both The Crosby, Stills, Nash &Young and Byrds.

Samuel Flynn Scott, Conrad Wedde, and Luke Buda are three fellows from New Zealand who grew up listening to Sepultura, Slayer, and Pantera and opted to form a band. But, the band they formed suggested they abandoned all their teenage influences at the door once they picked up guitars.

They adopted a sound which integrates the pastoral calm of the freak folk and alt-country as well as the sonic wanderlust and cool passion of indie rock, the band play mature, smart, and captivating pop music that’s brought out them one of the most victorious independent acts to materialize from New Zealand in the recent years.

Keyboard man and guitarist Wedde, guitarist and singer Scott, and Buda on keyboards, guitars, and vocals spent their first 2 years mapping out and woodshedding their innovative direction after forming the band.

The band issued their first EP; China Cove, in 2000, and one year later the group developed to a six-piece with the addition of percussionist Will Ricketts, drummer Richie Singleton, and bassist Tim Hansen.

In 2005, Hansen departed the band, and Warner Emery replaced him on bass; the band also recorded and issued their 2nd album, Pegasus.

They went out to support it with extensive tours in Australia and New Zealand, including a sold-out hometown gig at the Wellington Botanical Gardens and a well-received spot at the Aussie Big Day Out Festival.

Career Highlights:

Their debut full-length album; Horsepower was released in mid-2003 and was fairly successful. Horsepower included tracks such as “Let Me Die A Woman” and “This Charming Van” that got vast airplay on the alternative Kiwi radio stations like RDU-FM and 95bFM.

In 2005, the band toured with Finn Brothers and staged their theater tour that included concerts at the Auckland’s Grand St. James Theatre and Wellington Opera House.

Their 2nd album Pegasus that featured new bass guitarist Warner Emery was issued in early 2005 and again amassed further acclaims. The album was met with some commercial success, finally gaining Gold status in New Zealand.

In late 2006, the band was signed by the Young American label, and Horsepower was issued in the United States on March 13th, 2007.

After a brief hiatus where most of the band members released their solo material, the band returned in 2010 with Buffalo. The album debuted at number four on the NZ album charts and remained in the top 10 for six weeks.

It’s set to be the first internationally released album of the band in January 2011 through Memphis Industries. Two tracks from Buffalo were nominated for New Zealand’s top songwriting award the APRA Silver Scrolls; it continued to win five NZ Music Awards.

Buffalo was finally released internationally, receiving excellent reviews in the United Kingdom press (five stars in The Guardian). In 2011, the band played at Glastonbury and on the BBC’s ‘Later…with Jools Holland’.

Present Status:

The Phoenix Foundation still do concerts every now and then to their loyal fans.