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"OCT Press Release 2007"

Payola are back in more ways than one. Oct 2007 see’s the release of their second CD Dirt and Stars via their own label Vanguard Records……….

This limited edition release is designed to give you a taster of the new Payola sound. ‘Dirt and Stars’ sees them back at the forefront of New Zealand acts breaking down the traditional musical barriers and moving them further into the realm of the unknown, ready to satisfy all consumers of great music who are after something just a little left of centre.

The band have spent the past few months recording the new material themselves on a Roland VS2000 18 track in various locations ranging from old Church’s in the country to the wild native bush.
Singer Solomon Cole and bass player Lee Catlin then shut themselves away in the spare room to produce and mix the CD giving little regard for what was happening around them commercially. This isolation enabled them to create something truly unique yet still edgy. Tracks such as ‘Oscillator’, a mercurial behemoth of danceable odylic force, will literally tear you limb from limb then drop you in an instant. The title-track feels like Nina Simone singing George Clinton metal as Sophia Tupuola's anguished and melancholic tone pleads atop the minor key stomp.

Payola have had their agenda set out from the start to deliver the unexpected. Whilst their first record was live, raw basement soul, ‘Dirt and Stars’ has more eclectic sound and production allowing the band to express themselves over a wider palette. This is proven in the beautiful country feel of ‘Got to Get Around’, to the sombre gospel of ‘Something to Believe’, and the percussive splendour of ‘Blessings are Here’.

Payola are bringing back the notion of a band you can truly believe in, grow with, and whose music will eventually be the soundtrack to your lives.

- NZ Only

"PAYOLA Hits Paydirt"


Auckland rock band Payola has won the Jim Beam Rock Search and will be opening the Jim Beam Rock Stage at Vodafone Homegrown on April 26.

The genre-hopping foursome will easily hold their own ahead of the stella lineup which includes Elemeno-P, The Feelers, Goodnight Nurse, Opshop, Kora, Pluto and Shihad.

Not short on rockstar confidence they describe their sound as "styled sci-fi funk fused with alt-country gospel tunes and furious guitar fuelled metal soul all wrapped up in a sound so live and vital it'll pin you to the back wall, steal your cigarettes and waltz off with whoever you had your eye on".

Forming in 2005 Payola has recently released a limited edition E.P entitled 'Dirt and Stars' which caught the judge’s ears. The Rock's judge Riccardo Ball explains "We had a huge response with over a couple hundred bands and we were blown away with the quality. Payola just had that bit extra, that little something different; their song 'Oscillator' just sounds like it should be on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack".

Lead singer Solomon Cole is suitably excited about the Jim Beam prize pack which includes flights, accommodation, and Jim Beam VIP backstage action; "Absolutely superb opportunity for Payola, and all credit to The Rock and Jim Beam for recognising the merits of "Oscillator", we look forward to bringing a very big and very loud opening to the festival".

Vodafone Homegrown takes over the Wellington Waterfront with 5 stages and 32 acts on April 26th from 1 to 11pm. Tickets are only $75 and selling fast from Ticketek, for more information visit

- Scoop 2008



"2005 - Gone to Ground - Album (Jayrem Records)

"2005 - So Unless its Over - Single/Video

"2005 - Every Little Step - Single/Video

"2007 - Dirt and Stars - E.P (Independent)

"2007 - Single - Oscillator (Radio Edit)

"2007 - Oscillator - (Video)

"2008 - Scorsese (Single/Video)

"2008 - Outrageous Fortune Compilation



PAYOLA combine the minor keys of classic soul music and the grit, swagger, and inventiveness of epic rock'n'roll, perfectly bridging the gap in volume & sweat between Aretha Franklin,Led Zeppelin and early Prince.

Their live performances epitomize the sexually charged revues of Ike and Tina Turner with the charisma and feel good nature of Sly and The Family Stone. Ms Sophia's wild 'fro and honey laden tones are the perfect foil for Solomon Cole's primal electric. All this anchored by the weight of a barreling rhythm section makes PAYOLA's mission clear, to have you hung from the rafters, your feet moving in rapid succession and taking you where you need to go.

In 2005 they released their debut album "Gone to Ground" via Jayrem records and established themselves locally as a veritable point of difference amid the local climate.It reached American college radio, Canadian and Australian radio and its first single "Every Little Step was included in American independent film "Dead in Love". Following on from that, NZ's premiere digital-download store 'Amplifier' placed their 2007 EP 'Dirt and Stars' in the Top 20 releases of that year . The title track from the E.P was featured in series 4, episodes 5 & 7 of the highly popular local drama 'Outrageous Fortune' (now syndicated worldwide) and episodes 9 & 12 contained further tracks. Series 5 is being currently filmed and includes "Something to Believe" from the E.P. The title track was featured on the "Outrageous Fortune 2" compilation alongside other notable local acts.

Riccardo Bell of The Rock FM recently stated, "Payola just had that bit extra, that little something different; their song 'Oscillator' just sounds like it should be on a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack"

Well who can argue with that?'

Dirt and Stars' is a genre-hopping mix of Parliament styled sci-fi funk fused with alt-country gospel tunes and furious guitar fueled metal soul all wrapped up in a sound so live and vital it'll pin you to the back wall, steal your cigarettes and waltz off with whoever you had your eye on.

In 2008 they have been busy playing various rock festivals including opening the very large 2008 Homegrown Festival in Wellington (NZ)as chosen by the ROCK FM who described Payola as the best new live act in the country. They slowly began work on their second full length album tentatively titled "Black Swan" that they hope will garner them recognition further abroad as they look to relocate and completed the "The People Will Prevail" winter tour. Early 2009 see's them on the "Summer of Sin Tour". The first single due early 2009 is "The Invitation" whom the band describe as as influenced by the likes of early Prince meets Led Zeppelins "Immigrant Song" at a MGMT gathering. "Very sexy, but liable to punch you over in a dark alley and make off with your wallet . . . "

Payola are revitalizing a stale rock scene with enough fire power, theatrics and punch that they truly can become the beacon for a whole new generation of music lovers bored of a world wide market saturated with mediocre guitar acts, teen garage bands and indie blur and deliver rock''n roll as it was always meant to inspire.