Boss Hog – Looking To Get Weird in New Zealand (PRESS, NEW ZEALAND)

14 October 2000
Interview / show preview for Boss Hog live at Powerstation, Auckland, NZ on 23 October 2000.
Boss Hog – Looking to get weird in New Zealand.
14 Oct, 2000 12:16 AM
3 minutes to read


For Boss Hog’s Cristina Martinez, it was like a scene out of a David Lynch movie – playing to dignitaries and athletes at Sydney’s Olympic village during the band’s just-completed Australian tour.

The noisy New York alt-rockers are hardly in the mainstream league of Midnight Oil, INXS or Kylie Minogue, who did their bit for the closing ceremony.

Adding to the oddity of their Olympics concert is the fact that for Martinez, “sport doesn’t really do it for me – it was like playing a church social, it was like a David Lynch thing.” As for the identities of the dignitaries – “Who knows?”

If she had had her way with the invitations, people such as Nick Cave and Jane Campion would have been on the guest list.

And Martinez would also have played her brand of fuzz-drenched primal rock’n’roll beside the Olympic pool while synchronised swimmers provided a sideshow.

“I really like the synchronised swimming,” she says. “It’s bizarre.”

Synchronised swimming appeals to her New York artistic sensibility – take something as natural and humdrum as swimming and then muck it up.

The Big Apple is home for Martinez, her 3-year-old son Henry and husband Jon Spencer, who is also the frontman-guitarist of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion who, with past albums and tours, is better-known in New Zealand than Boss Hog.

But after a legion of interviews with Antipodean journalists, Martinez is sick of speaking about her famous hubby. Talk moves instead to her band’s live form.

“Our shows have been consistently good, right from the beginning,”says the woman who marked the first Boss Hog gig by singing naked. “We’re finely tuned for [the Powerstation], we’re raising the bar every night and doing incredible shows.”

She describes the band – featuring, along with Spencer, the rhythm section of Jens Jergensen and Hollis Queens and Mark Boyce on keyboards – as “charismatic and fun” with an “in-your-face attitude.”

“It’s an amazing opportunity to let everything out of your system. I think we’re all uninhibited.”

She cheerfully admits to knowing next to nothing about Godzone, despite visiting here when the Blues Explosion toured in the 90s.

She flatters by saying she would love to spend time here on holiday. “I’d love to but we’re taking our son out of school to do this.” The reality is that rock’n’roll gigs leave little time for sightseeing.

But then it is hard touring with a 3-year-old, despite the nanny, and parenting is part of the reason Boss Hog have been so quiet of late.

Their fifth album Whiteout is their first since 1995’s self-titled album on the Geffen label. Now it’s comeback time and Martinez is gagging for the chance to show Kiwis the band’s brand of rock’n’swagger.

“I’m always looking forward to the opportunity of doing something really weird.”