The four original members of the band (minus Adam) formed the nucleus of the group in June 1983 and were all keen to promote their individual style of music - their enthusiasm contributed greatly toward the rapid mastering of their instruments. The initial months following their formation were taken up with frequent practice, concentrating on original songs composed by Paul Cairns, who also played lead guitar for the group until Adam Holt's recruitment.
Holt brought with him valuable experience gained from playing in bands such as the Milltown Stowaways, the Ainsworths and the Screaming Mee Mees, and had been part of the now famous "North Shore Set" of musicians formed four years earlier.
Adam's fresh new guitar sound contributed a raw energy to the original material for which the band was already renown. 'Sons in Jeopardy's' first live performances occured at such venues as De Bretts tavern, The Windsor Castle, The P.R Bar, Mainstreet, The Mon Desir and the Gluepot - hotels in the Auckland area - and the band was very much encouraged by the positive reactions of their audiences.
They soon acquired a local following and favourable reviews began appearing in such noteable publications as Rip It Up, Auckland's Alter-Native Magazine and the Auckland Star.
In August 1983 the band went into a recording studio for the first time. The end product of these 3 solid nights at Harlequin was the single "Ritual", with B-side "Worlds Apart".
The record was engineerd by Gerald Carr and produced by Don Tennet the band's manager.
Both sides of the demo track received considerable air play, particularly over the sound waves of Radio B, Auckland University's campus radio station.
Both of these songs were modified when played to live audiences so as to enhance their danceability and general audience accessibility.
During their time the band purchased a new synthesiser which then contributed to public comparisons of them to groups such as 'Comsat Angels' and 'U2'.
One of the most noteable features of the band apart from their obvious musical appeal is their strikingly immediate visual impact. For example, a photograph of the group published in an edition of RIU magazine prompted the controllers of the orientation program for Otago University for 1984 to contact the band with an invitation to participate in the orientation gigs planned for the University in February of that year. Several members of the band were also asked to appear in Auckland's fashion magazine "Cha Cha" as part of the "Street life" section featuring the styles / fashions adopted by some of Auckland's interesting musical population.
Several promotional photographs of 'Sons in Jeopardy' have appeared in RIU all of which have stimulated a very healthy interest in the band both musically and in terms of stage presence.
After attendance at one of the band's live gigs at the Windsor Castle pub in Auckland's Parnell promoter of the 'Sweetwaters' 1984 festival Jeff King, was impressed enough to offer the band the opening slot on the half round stage at the festival on Friday 3rd February 1984 at 6pm.
An interview taken from early eighties zine "Alter-Native".
By interupting precious rehersal time, we are able to interview Sons in Jeopardy.
Although this group has only been together 6 months, the sounds they produce are definitely promising. All four of them hail from the big city, and if their music wont get them attention, their looks certainly will "yeah", agrees Paul Majsa, the drummer.
"The reason why we look good is because many kiwi groups dont bother to dress at all. So if people want to come and see us because of the way we dress, great! If they want to come and see us because they like our music, great! If they want to come and see us because they like Andrew Bishop's haircut, great! We feel we are gonna offer a lot more than just our music."
And they do!
Moving on to the subject of venues, where have this group played and how did the gigs go?
"We have played De Bretts, Mainstreet, Quays, The Windsor, Devonport and Uxbridge Hall.
They were all really great".
Getting off venues and onto recording, we have heard that you are really excellent on tape....
"If we are good on tape it is only because we went to the right place to do it, I mean we had the money to spend on us, so we had the money to do something really good."
What they have done is 2 tracks and an EP that is due out around Xmas time.
"We do hope to sell some records and hopefully it will be like to break the ice with people who wont see us straight up, who havent even seen us live. Perhaps they will see the record or a video or something. Its another way of getting through to people".
Speaking of videos.........?
"If we do a video, it will be something unique, something different", contributes Andrew the keyboardist.
"Itll be about the song, and yet it will fit in with what we feel".
So you dont want one of those videos where you stand around playing your instruments and singing?
"NO!!!!!!!!", says Wayne, the fourth member of this group
"There is no point in just standing around miming to a track that has been laid down months before and pretending to be playing people know you play the music so why not do something differerent you should catch their attention and thats what we plan to do".
Why the name Sons in Jeopardy?
(Andrew again) "We spent about, how long? Months looking for a name. It was really hard we went through silly names like........." "It doesnt matter!" interupts Paul. "Because they all suggested something. Like there were German-Gothic names and people would come along expecting German-Gothic sounds and we didnt want that. We wanted something that didnt really say anything but was still a good name. We didnt want people to prejudge us on our name."
So what do you think of the NZ music scene?
"At the monent its just depressed but there's going to be a boom quite soon, there are a lot of groups starting. We are all sort of urging each other on, we want to see everyone up there, we want to see the whole scene just boom. It would be really nice to be able to look at a paper and see 4 groups you would like to see and have a choice. The potential is there for NZ. If there were really good venues perhaps it would pick up. There should be a lot more support."
So what is your aim?
"We just want to get out there and do something and have a good time"
Hmmmmm. Sounds good, and so the interview ends. Catch this group at one of their gigs 'cos its well worth it!
By Kathryn and Teresa