The strange and confusing career of Throw has spawned
some of the more successful and impressive releases for
the Failsafe Label. The band sprung from Failsafe Boss
Rob Mayes' desire to create a studio-based song writing
ensemble that would have a transitional line-up as the
In late 1991 Mayes enlisted drummer Steve Birss again,
the pair having patched things up (once again) after Birss'
split from Dolphin in early 1990. Throw's first jam was
with Rob, long time drum collaborator Steve Birss, and
newcomer Jeremy Taylor.
Birss had been playing in British-influenced four piece
Elevation with David Hunt - Guitar, Dylan Pellette - Bass
and Jeremy Taylor - Guitar and Vocals.
Taylor was new to Christchurch, originally from the small
seaside town of Timaru. His love of British pop and sweetly
beautiful voice suited the more beautifully melodic side
to Mayes and Birss' pop experimentations with the trio
quickly clicking on a number of band compositions, shifting
from working on Mayes' compositions directly into writing
as a group.
Many of the band's numbers were based around fragile
balancing acts of songs almost groove based, exploding
at various points only to be reined into a hush again.
Taylor was enlisted for Throw to add vocals and guitar
and in mid 1991 Throw had their first 'rehearsal', nutting
out a few ideas that were to spawn the tracks HoneyBlonde,
Time Untied and Blinder. The next week
the band recorded their practice and sent away three songs
to the QEII arts council for grant consideration.
At the end of that week Throw performed their first gig
in support of Naked Lunch at a private party, followed
the next week by supports for the Bats and Breathing Cage.
Throw quickly built up a strong set of material and in
the space of a few weeks had penned the 17 songs that
became their staple set. A month later Throw were headlining
their own show at the Dux de Lux followed by a trip to
Wellington with co-Christchurch bands Naked Lunch and
Loves Ugly Children, playing a gig at The New Carpark
to average attendance. A Upper Hutt show the following
night drew 6 enthusiasts and a bunch of locals who hung
out in the other bar, disliking anything they couldn't
ride their motorbikes to.
Throw also picked up one extra show at hip and happening
venue Bar Bodega with ex Christchurch man Nigel Mitchell's
new outfit, now Wellington based. This proved to be a
lucky move for Throw, impressing the local crowd and particularly
bar owner Fraser McInnes who took a strong liking to the
band and immediately booked them to perform again. McInnes
championing of Throw would spill over to Taylor's post-Throw
project Cinematic, resulting in Bodega releasing the band's
The Throw project in effect snowballed away from the
original intention of keeping the line-up fluid and studio
based and the Mayes / Birss / Taylor line-up found themselves
heavily occupied with recording and performing over the
next 12 months.
Due to Birss' other commitments
he was only able to perform
in Chrsitchurch and for recordings, so
Mayes enlisted Caroline Easther
for the band's
North Island shows, Mayes
being a fan of Easther's
since her days in Beat Rhythm
Fashion, through to the
Chills, Verlaines, and Easther's
own band Let's Planet.
Taylor, Mayes and Birss shot
a video for the lead track
Wishes From Her Heart on the forthcoming All
Different Things EP at the picturesque Castle Hill, the
band perched precariously on rock top during intermittent
snow and sunshine.
Throw continued to perform around the country working
toward their Arts Council funded debut EP release.
Throw's work with Taylor culminated in a series of concerts
building up to the release of the All Different Things
EP. Taylor and Mayes played shows in Hamilton and Auckland
(Powerstation with Semi Lemon Kola and The Nixons) with
These shows were followed by a Wellington date with Easther
and a Palmerston North show as two piece with drums on
backing tape, at the Feast of Stevens own EP release party.
Throw were joined by Feasties drummer Glen Fletcher for
the last song of their set, Away, a tense controlled
number. Fletcher had that day committed himself to a psychiatric
hospital for mental stress, leaving the Feast Of Stevens
to spring him for their gig. Throw started OK with Away
but by the end of it the song was racing out of control,
leaving everyone present much amused.
Taylor and Mayes drove back to Wellington straight after
their Palmerston North set and find themselves at Bar
Bodega with a small crowd of people and so played their
two piece line-up set to excellent response.
Mayes and Taylor returned to Christchurch to prepare
for their EP release concerts which entailed a release
party at Mainstreet Cafe where the band were to perform
in a stripped-back fashion as opposed to their normally
full-on power gigs, and a concert at the Dux de Lux.
Tension between Mayes and Taylor had been brewing progressively
over the previous few gigs and the situation came to a
head on the day of their Mainstreet Cafe release party,
resulting in Taylor refusing to attend.
Throw played their last performance in the original line
up at the Dux at the end of September with the band not
saying a word to each other throughout the gig.
Throw released a 5 track EP All Different Things on the
eve of their last live performance in September 1992.
The trio performed live shows for approximately 10 months
before personnel problems scaled down the project to its
Mayes took the next few months to work on the album,
finishing off some the songs the band had laid the basic
tracks down for at the time of recording the EP.
The Rememory Album was finished in mid 1994 with initial
singles being released to New Zealand On Air for inclusion
on the Kiwi Hit Disc series. This album showcased Throw's
love of a good melodic core but also Rob's and Steve's
continued experiments in dynamics.
Taylor's desire to pursue
his solo song writing led
him to form Cinematic and
he recruited bassist James
Guthrie and drummer
Steve Birss. Cinematic went
to record and release a
debut album with that line-up,
followed by a second album
in 1995 - Musicland. A third
album was scheduled for
release in 2000.
Falling Inside Me was released as a single backed
with Freefall and receives a video grant from
New Zealand on Air. Jonathan King directed the video featuring
Auckland Actress Rebecca Davies wandering round Auckland
rooftops looking pouty and plaintive. The finished video
was some way away from the brief given to King. A still
from the video is used for the Rememory album cover.
In March 1995 the Rememory
album was released. Nowhere
Near was released as
a single backed with Time
Untied, a track with
its origins in Taylor and
Birss's previous band
Elevation. The track also
received an NZ
On Air video grant, the video
being directed by filmmaker
David Reid. Mayes was
again unimpressed with
interpretation of the band's
music, the finished video
result being some sort
of yuppie pool room love
In June 1995 Throw got another video grant this time
for the track HoneyBlonde. Mayes decided to work
with cameraman Brett Nicols and director and animator
Gregg Page who had worked on the Springloader video. Mayes
also attended the film shoot and assisted Page on the
video, which is an animated claymation performance-based
video, showing the band performing as clay figures. The
video was nominated for a New Zealand Music Award as Best
Music Video, along with videos from Supergroove and Shihad.
In August 1995 All Different Things received
a video grant and Page and Nicols again made a video for
this track, based on the story of a scientist who creates
a three piece band to perform a love song to impress a
Mayes shifted to London
in November 1995 and continued
to work on material for
the follow-up album, DreamBaby
Good-bye, featuring 7 tracks
including songs that were
mesmerising live favourites
for Throw during their brief
career of live performances.
After many years of tinkering
and layering sounds, Dreambaby
Goodbye was released in August