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Hero image for Bones Hillman - Give It A Whirl Interview

Bones Hillman - Give It A Whirl Interview

Interview – 2023

In this interview for 2003 TV series Give It A Whirl, bass player Bones Hillman (aka Wayne Stevens) recalls punk's Auckland heyday, kicking off his career in neighbourhood band The Masochists, and joining Suburban Reptiles. He describes a vibrant late 70s scene when teenage punks scared the daylights out of established bands like Hello Sailor, his time in The Swingers, and how smash hit 'Counting the Beat' hastened the band's demise.

Hillman also touches on:

  • Growing up in Avondale listening to The Chicks and The Fourmyula
  • Clashes between suburban punks, the art school crowd and "disco kids" at Auckland's Zwines nightclub (3 minutes in)
  • Joining Suburban Reptiles and taking punk to Wellington (7 minutes in)
  • Being impressed by the songwriting chops of Dunedin band The Enemy (10 minutes)
  • Forming The Swingers with Phil Judd and Buster Stiggs, and moving to Australia (12 minutes)
  • Living hand to mouth in Melbourne while The Swingers' record company held back on releasing 'Counting the Beat' (18 minutes)

Bones Hillman died in November 2020. Read more about him, and bands Suburban Reptiles and The Swingers, on AudioCulture (NZ On Screen's sister website)

This interview was recorded for the 2003 season of TV series Give it a Whirl. All audiovisual content is copyright to Visionary Film & TV, and may not be reproduced.
I'd rock up to a car yard on a Saturday morning with this beaten up old Vauxhall Velox, and pretend I wanted to buy a van. "Can I take it for a test drive?". The guy would say "yeah, leave your car here". I'd whip around, we'd pick up all our gear, drop it off to the gig, take the van back and go "I'll give you a call".
– Bones Hillman describes how band gear was transported to a gig in the early days of The Swingers