West Auckland quintet Finger Tight are putting the New Zealand punk scene on the global map with their engaging and feisty pop-punk sound. They’re also the first punk band we’ve met from New Zealand!
The band started with vocalist Red and a completely different lineup, which was fizzling out until he brought in his childhood friend Jasher on bass. He then recruited James, who he spotted air drumming to The Story So Far in his barbershop, before bringing in Glenn on guitar. A couple of weeks later they released their first EP Burst earlier this year, before adding Jesse to the mix on guitar.
On the sound they’ve honed, Red told us: “This is a real hard one, because we draw heaps of inspiration from so many different genres and even eras of that genre. We umbrella ourselves under pop-punk, which can sometimes get a bit of a bad rap for being lyrically soppy and musically bland. Which can be great sometimes – but for us, we all wanted something with a bit more depth. I guess that’s how we get pop-punk with balls!”
Our latest taste of this is the release of two new Finger Tight singles last week. The first is ineedsomespace, which opens up with the sound of ducks (we think?), before bursting into lively punk guitars. Engaging vocals take over alongside driving guitars and drums, then intensify with the lines “Cross my heart and hope to die that I will see you on the other side, What I would do to feel alright, Forgot what it means to be alive,” which feed into a catchy chorus.
Fun punky guitars jump in and feed into a second verse that ends on big screamed vocals over crashing cymbals before flowing into another catchy chorus. The pace drops with light guitars, then a chunky bassline and rolling drums build up to a big scream and guitar chords that feed into big final blasts of the chorus. Check it out in the lyric video here:
That’s followed by Polar Bears & Party Chairs, which starts with a cool little guitar lick that feeds into engaging opening vocals. That quickly flows into a big singalong chorus “Forgetting all you said, Don’t need to make amends, I’m learning my worth, I know it’s more than this, Inertia’s killing me, I’m still breaking free, I’m learning my worth, I know it’s more than this.”
A second chorus ends with a big scream and gives way to a cool little guitar solo, before building up to a final blast of the catchy chorus. Check it out in the lyric video here:
On the new tracks, Red told us to expect: “Energy. And for fans who have already heard our initial EP, a lot better production quality! We put a lot of our soul and life into our songs, especially when we jam live, and I think it’s really starting to show through with our latest stuff.”
The Finger Tight sound is influenced by a wide range of bands and genres, from punk to rock and metal. But their biggest influences include the likes of Muse, Title Fight, Avenged Sevenfold, Neck Deep, MGK, The Used, Blink-182, Knocked Loose, Chris Stapleton and Linkin Park. And Red adds: “Funnily enough, we usually get compared mostly to A Day To Remember, yet none of us really listen to them.”
And on what inspires them to write music, Red explains: “Oh boy, a lot! I think the themes we deal with actually may be one thing that sets us apart – we’re not afraid to package some heavy topics inside a catchy melody. The most consistent themes would be being cheated on, losing a loved one, an emotionally abusive upbringing, religious trauma, or being in love – just to have a little hope.”
As mentioned, Finger Tight are the first punk band we’ve met from New Zealand. On their local scene, Red said: “The pop-punk scene is kinda small, overshadowed by the rock, metal/hardcore, and garage punk scene. Those are all pretty big, but I could count the amount of pop-punk bands that I know of in Auckland on one hand.”
As a result, Finger Tight are looking beyond New Zealand alone with their energetic brand of punk. As Red says: “We’re really hoping to have a presence in the international circuit, so that when the world opens back up and bands are touring everywhere, we’re their first pick for opening acts in New Zealand. We’d love to jump the ditch over to Australia and play a few shows there, jump in on the scene there. “
So maybe you can expect to see Finger Tight popping up at punk gigs near you one day soon. There’s more to come from the band with another single or two in the works, in addition to “a huge backlog of songs” they need to record and release.
And Red adds: “Give us a dig. We do our best to be real and play music that we’d wanna listen to, and hopefully others do too. It means things are staying pretty fresh, we have a few songs coming up that are emo anthems, metalcore jams, classic punk, and also our bread and butter of some good ol’ fashioned pop-punk.”