Baby coming along

Elemeno P.
Elemeno P.
Experienced rockers Elemeno P and Deja Voodoo play Dunedin tonight on the last date of their nationwide tour - which is not to say there won't be baby steps.

The bands have close ties, as Elemeno P's bass player, Lani Purkis, and Deja Voodoo's Matt Heath are the proud parents of Charlie J. Heath.

There were times when musicians producing children wouldn't have tweaked my attention, but being the proud dad of 1-year-old Harry, I am dead keen to know how Purkis and Heath cope with modern life, the rock-star lifestyle, and being parents.

Purkis says for her, it's all about whanau: "I have very supportive parents, and family here in Auckland, and Matt's parents and sister in Dunedin help with him when we're down south."

"It means a lot of organisation and wearing of earmuffs for Charlie, but yeah, I'm pretty lucky to have my sister and mum in the picture."

At 20 months, Charlie J. Heath is just passing the "mum-mum", "dad-dad" phase of language and enjoys a bit of a chat on the phone. When interviewed for this story, he said: "Phone, mum, mum . . . phone."

Elemeno P's latest single Baby Come On is being used for a phone company's ad campaign, and Purkis says she's noticed a huge difference since the campaign began, with the song climbing in the charts and receiving more praise from the public at gigs.

The band's first album was released in 2003, and Lani Purkis says the band is settling into a rhythm and has "no plans for world domination", but the members are enjoying playing together and playing spot gigs around the country.

The last time Elemeno P played in Dunedin was in October last year when the band opened for a rugby match at Carisbrook, and the band is again looking forward to catching some of the excitement surrounding tonight's test match.

The other half of Lani Purkis' equation is Deja Voodoo guitarist Matt Heath, who shares his partner's enthusiasm for their progeny.

"We had Charlie at sound check banging the drums at the Powerstation on this tour. On a big stage it was Wonderland for him . . .

"I guess it's good being your own boss. You get to decide when you do stuff; you can alter things. We don't have set hours, so we can plan between the two of us; we just go out less. It's more about work life than maintaining a partying lifestyle. We don't get many opportunities to go out together since Charlie came along."

Charlie J. Heath is chipping in to another of his Dad's creative outlets, the Back Of The Y TV show, as Poo Pants in the Pooman and Wees sketch.

Deja Voodoo has completed its three-album deal and is looking forward to recording again.

"We're going to record a new album. It may sound silly but we're going to record the album we really want to. We don't want to mess around with Pro Tools, and just bash out a Mudhoney-esque album. We've changed a lot as a band, and it'll possibly be funnier as we'll be freer to just be idiots."

He says he and writing mate Chris Stapp are in the process of finishing another movie script, which will be quite different from The Devil Dared Me To - which is being released soon in the US.

"The Devil Dared Me To will be called Dick [in the US] and we've got other stuff happening over there."

Out of the Deja Voodoo set, Heath says people can expect an alcohol-fuelled, grunty, potentially violent performance.

He says after a few years of doing this sort of thing, the band has its act together.

"We're just better at it these days."

Elemeno P, Deja Voodoo, and Streetwise Scarlet play at the University of Otago Union Hall tonight.

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