The fascinating mix of funk, jazz, deep-dub, reggae, R&B, techno and soul come together as New Zealand seven-piece Fat Freddy’s Drop prepare to hit the Australian stages once again. We spoke to keyboardist Dobie Blaze ahead of their show at the Melbourne Zoo Twilights Series on March the 8th.

Fat Freddy’s Drop have been playing in Australia since the early 2000’s when they first began supporting Salmonella Dub. Slowly but surely, their collection of Aussie passport stamps has built up over the years. No matter how many times they’ve touched down on our soil, they “always look forward to coming over the ditch,” and as Dobie favourably mentions, “we’re getting a great response from Australia at the moment.” And why wouldn’t they? Straight after the Twilight Session they’ll make their way to Golden Plains Festival in rural Victoria.

“Australia is so much fun, because we get to come over for about a week without being away from home too long. It’s easy and really enjoyable which is why I love coming here so much.”

Dobie says the “strong connection between Melbourne and Wellington” is particularly noteworthy.  He points out that both cities are “musically minded, making it is easy for the band to slot in.” However, music isn’t the only thing on Dobie’s mind when he comes here. He loves the variety of food, especially the Asian cuisine, saying he finds himself “making a bee line for it!” The coffee, of course, as Dobie notes “is always really good too.”

Fat Freddy’s Drop have had huge success over the years. Their 2005 debut album Based on a True Story still remains the highest selling independently released album in New Zealand’s history. For Dobie, one of his favourite moments as a band member was performing at Glastonbury in 2011, recalling it as a “breathtaking moment,” as it was such a reputable festival and landing on that stage was incredible.

Dobie explains that their musical style is always changing and evolving, and they never settle on any particular favourite:

“It just depends on the type of music you’re studying each month. We’re learning different things at different times. Each album has a different style… and each album we do, we put through experimental composition.”

His favourite part of performance is the improvisation; adding boldness to the band’s appeal. Elaborating on this, he adds “you get on stage and you just don’t know where it’s going to go. You trust everybody else is going to be there and you just go for it, and whatever comes up comes up. I find it liberating, it’s just the great feeling of creating something new.”

Fat Freddy’s Drop also DJ, and have created two innovative ways to broadcast their work – giving people a greater window of “opportunity” to listen to what they do.

“Making art, and making things that support art are very important these days.”

Dobie is thoroughly enjoying working on their new album and expects that Fat Freddy’s Drop will be making music for many years to come. Check out and for more information.

Up and coming tour dates below:

THURSDAY MARCH 06 – Sydney Zoo Twilights

Taronga Zoo

SATURDAY MARCH 08 – Melbourne Zoo Twilights

Melbourne Zoo


SUNDAY MARCH 09 – Golden Plains Festival

Meredith, Victoria