“It’s pretty peculiar to be seen as a popular band in New Zealand,” says Thom Powers of Auckland’s The Naked and Famous. “We don’t really have celebrity culture like you guys do here in the States.”
Of course, that success is only peculiar if you’re in a band full of New Zealanders. As the first native band to top that nation’s charts in three whole years, Powers doesn’t take their success lightly.
“We’d never even thought it was possible to leave the country and play around the world and we still made the album we made,” he says.
Led by Powers and vocalist Alisa Xayalith, the Naked and Famous specialize in fast paced, synth-heavy power ballads that mix dream pop, 80s teen angst, and the head-bouncing appeal of bands like MGMT or Passion Pit. Its debut album, “Passive Me, Aggressive You” -- produced by Powers with bandmate Aaron Short --- garnered them six nominations at the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards, thanks, in large part, to songs like their hit, “Young Blood”
And as the band's momentum gains, Powers is only letting some of it go to his head: “It’s nice to make enough money to go see the dentist once in a while.”
Paradise Rock Club, tonight. Tickets: $20. 18+ 617-562-8800, www.thedise.com
Maria Oliver can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sound Effects
ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.