NZ's biggest sports teams now take the field to DnB tracks - but how did we get here?

Right Here Right Now 03/06/2022

By Seth Gupwell

The Blackcaps posted a hype video for their test series against England - and against Kiwi cricket legend Brendon McCullum using Lee Mvtthews’ classic tune ‘Let Me Go’.

The Crusaders, in the wake of their Super Rugby Quarter Final against the Reds, posted a training video soundtracked by the latest hit from Lee Mvtthews, ‘Thinkin Bout’. 

The All Blacks are also known to run onto the field with Shapeshifter's 'Dutchies' blasting out of stadium speakers. While the Blues run out to Takeover by LeeMvtthews. 

Drum and Bass used to be somewhat of an underground genre, associated with ‘breathers’, ‘pissheads’, and festival-goers.

Over the last decade, however, DnB has gotten more and more popular and is now firmly in the mainstream in New Zealand.

Google Searches for 'Drum and Bass' in New Zealand 2014- now

In my last two years of high school, 2016 and 2017, it was only something you’d hear at pre-drinks, maybe by the end of year 13 someone would hop on the decks at a house party, but it was mostly still a niche genre. Then, throughout uni, you’d hear it more and more.

Now, along with being a central part of the soundtrack to our biggest sporting matches, there is a DnB gig to go to every weekend, the biggest DnB artists in the world headline our music festivals and the rise of the bedroom DnB DJ is on.

Netsky and co. were headlining festivals well before COVID hit, but lockdown seems to have given a major boost to the popularity of DnB in NZ.

Gareth Heta, writing for UKF in 2021 about the NZ DnB scene coming out of 2020’s lockdown, said this about the relationship between Kiwis and Drum and Bass:

A nation mad about drum and bass has become a beacon and safe haven for those who treasure the genre, and we couldn’t be more blessed

"2020 was a boon for a market that had arguably become oversaturated with touring internationals filling our gig calendars weekly."

In a 2021 article for Otago University’s (a breeding ground for DnB heads) student magazine, Critic, Runze Liu talked to a couple of amateur DJs and they shared similar sentiments.

With Covid-19 keeping everyone in NZ in [2020], we were able to have big parties over New Years. It was massive for DnB in New Zealand.

“Lockdown was a great way to start DJing,” said DJake, who has played some gigs himself, “I was messing around with decks, doing it as a hobby, and over time you get people asking you ‘oh can you mix at my party?’”

Learning how to mix during lockdown wasn't exclusive to Dunners breathers, either.

All Black Brad Weber also spent his quarantine period on the decks, and even came on to George to show off his skills. 

Check out Brad aka 'The Janitor'- because he cleans up the dance floor - dropping a ten minute set below. 

It's so sick to see two of the most significant parts of our culture (one old and one new) in sports and DnB, coming together to get us pumped.