Salmonella Dub began in 1992 crafting their name from the “bad-taste” dub cover versions of songs they used to break the ice amongst their original tracks in their early sets. In ’90s New Zealand, dub/roots/reggae freak-outs weren’t entirely in vogue — grunge and dance music held sway — so Salmonella Dub would use lighthearted covers of Nancy Sinatra, The Orb’s Little fluffy Clouds, plus Public Enemy and Fred Dagg’s “Larry Loves Barry” to win over skeptical audiences.
In the early ’90s, New Zealand’s liquor licensing laws changed, allowing pubs and clubs to stay open late and revitalizing the country’s live music scene. Members of the band then called Golf Course Alligators seized this opportunity and, in late 1992, Andrew Penman (guitar), Mark Tyler (bass), and Dave Deakins (drums) became Salmonella Dub. In the early days they lacked money for a sampler and used DIY solutions by hooking up an on/off foot pedal to the motor of a cassette player in order to drop samples by foot in real time from tape on stage. These samples would come from whatever was on the TV at the time, whether it was the news or a Cheech & Chong movie. Lacking the funds for cassettes, they raided the bins of a record store and found discarded copies of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles albums that served as their early tape stock.
To prepare for their first, self-titled album in 1994, Peter Wood (trumpet, keyboard) and Conan Wilcox (saxophone, percussion) were invited to join the band. Salmonella Dub was released through the independent label Curious Records. Following quickly from this album the band released Dub Tomfoolery a 7 track EP with mixing contributions from Mike Hodgson of Pitchblack.
Soon afterwards, Wood left the band, moving to Auckland and getting a job to pay his student overdraft. Around this time Penman made contact with David Harrow (ONU sound) through Grant Fell of the Headless Chickens. Harrow was employed to work on their next EP THC Winter the band’s first foray into Jungle and DnB in 1995.
In 1996 the band commenced working on their second album Calming of the Drunken Monkey. It was around this time that their engineer David Wernham left to work with Head Like a Hole and Shihad and Tiki Taane was invited to join the band as live engineer. 1997 they released Calming the Drunken Monkey, signing with Virgin for distribution and beginning overseas tours to Australia, then France, the UK and wider Europe.
In 1999 the band released “For the Love of It.” the first single featuring Tiki Taane and produced by David Harrow and Paddy Free that found a surprising degree of mainstream success and won them their first place in the Top Ten of the local charts. The album Killervision followed it and was also popular, achieving double platinum sales and being released in five countries. Back home they received 9 BNet music awards. Suddenly they were local heroes, but based on a studio album with which they personally disliked having to play on the intensive touring that followed it.
For their 2001 album Inside the Dub Plates, they brought back David Wernham to engineer rhythm section recordings, and worked extensively with Paddy Free on the arranging and production in a home studio at Mark Tyler’s warehouse. The album was incredibly successful going triple platinum in sales earning 4 RIANZ music awards. A remix album called Outside the Dubplates followed, including remixes from Adrian Sherwood, Dreadzone, Zion Train and Dj Digital.
Facing an unexpectedly hefty tax bill in 2003, the band returned to the studio to quickly record their fifth album, One Drop East, to pay it off. Wood was brought back as a session musician and the album went multi platinum. In 2004 Mercy was released as a remix and out-takes album that consisted of songs from the One Drop East recording sessions, mixed at a more leisurely pace.
After extensive overseas touring, including a mammoth round of Dub Conspiracy shows with young up and comings Fat Freddy’s Drop, Shapeshifter, Kora, Concord Dawn, Sunshine Soundsystem etc Taane left to record a solo album and Wood was brought back as a full-time band member for recording sessions at a studio on Penman’s isolated rural property. The result was their seventh album, 2007’s Heal Me once again produced by David Harrow who had by this time relocated to LA.
In 2008 Penman hooked up with Tom Rainey to work on arrangements for the tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. This resulted in the band first live album Feel the Seasons Change which featured a 62 piece NZSO with guests Richard Nunns, Whirimako Black and Paddy Free including tracks from Free’s solo album . It was around this time that Michelle Harrison joined the band on Alto Sax. Harrison and Penman had played together in the 80’s in Stu Buchanan’s youth Big band.
In 2009 the band released the successful single Freak Local featuring The Mighty Asterix and Whirimako Black. This was followed up with the 20 track double album Freak Controller released at the end of 2009.
Since then the band have been playing both band and Soundsystem shows around Australia and NZ and working in a creative and leisurely fashion on their next album. The first taster from this Same Home Town was released to celebrate their 20th birthday and to commemorate those shaken in the Christchurch earthquakes.
Membership & Contributors (in chronological order of creative involvement)
Salmonella Dub started rehearsing as a 3 piece in 1992.
First show was the Westport Race track Tea Rooms Jan 13th 1993
Andrew Penman Guitar samples vocals
David Deakins Drums vocals
Mark Tyler Bass samples
Marcus Putener percussion.
Craig Allen percussionist vocals.
Pete Wood and Conan Wilcox joined in 1994.
Pete Wood Trumpet trombone keys and vocals
Conan Wilcox Tenor Sax percussion and vocals.
Conrad Frankland keyboards on debut album.
Ian McAllister: Original Mix meister.
Mike Hodgson: Producer for Dub Tomfoolery.
David Wernham: Live engineer in the mid 90’s. Drum engineering on One Drop East.
David Harrow Producer: THC winter co producer for Calming of the Drunken Monkey Producer of Killervision and Heal Me.
Tiki Taane: Live engineer in the 90’s co engineer and mixer of tracks on Calming of the Drunken Monkey Vocals on the track Drunken Monkey. Stage performer and extra vocals acoustic gat and samples Killervision, Inside the Dubplates and One Drop East, engineer on tracks for Inside the Dubplates. Co-producer for One drop East.
Paddy Free: Engineer for Killervision producer for Inside the Dubplates, Co producer for One Drop East and Freak Controller contributing writer and performer on Feel The Seasons Change, performer for Freak Controller.
Ants Smith: Co-producer and performer on Freak Controller. Producer and vocals on Same Home Town
Paul Buchanan: Stage guest since 2005 vocals on Freak Controller.
Guy Benfeild: Live engineer.
Whirimako Black: Stage guest for Feel the seasons Change and vocals on Freak Controller.
Mana Retimana: Extra vocals on Freak Controller
Michelle Harrison: Alto Sax on Feel the Season Change and Untangling Freak Controller.
Jason Young: Live engineer.
Scotty Taitoko: Trombone on Same Home Town.
Simon Kay: Live trumpet and flugelhorn.
Oscar Salinas: Live engineer.
Brent Thompson: Bass.