D A R R E N . M A T H I A S S E N

drummer . musician . pop hit maker . plays with Shapeshifter, Hollie Smith, and heaps of other cool cats...


music news
D burger

Rio 2016 : the official song to support the NZ Olympics team is Ana Hi (Give it Your All!) produced by the very excellent ILLRIOT aka Kirsten Te Rito and James Illingworth

HOLLIE SMITH's album Water or Gold went #1 in New Zealand !!! Woohoo, congrats Holliebollie xx

Rachel Fraser's vocals were recorded by D in Boom Clack studio for the upcoming SORCERESS album, ee-yessss!

synth stomp mayhem with THREE RAYS (that's Dayle Jellyman with D and Tyson Smith) - rhythm section recording under the drumbrella (Aug 2016) was a blast with Dr Lee at Surgery Studios

tunes from Brisbane producer JAMES NORTH featuring D on drums on their way...

Boom! IVA LAMKUM reunites with her posse (Caleb, Andy, Hemi the Muss & D) for a Cuba Street special, October 2016 - Iva's sophomore album is readying for launch...

the new new wave of 80s Brit synth pop but made in the Antipodes, GENERAL KALA's video for their first single Sleepwalker is out soon, and here's their debut EP HEXAD

new SHAPESHIFTER album *Stars* produced with our friends THE UPBEATS will be released later this year, here's the title track - plus first tour dates: CHCH, WGTN, AKLD...

D shot by Bradley Garner Apr 2016 img-9

Darren Mathiassen endorses...

SONOR Drums the vertical grain shells, extraordinary and absolutely unique veneers, unmistakable tone and resonance...

SABIAN Cymbals steeped in the ancient methods yet delivering cymbal tones which scale the sheer boundary of physical possibility in sound and construction...

ROLAND Electronics reliable, compatible, customisable, durable, versatile, and just the best sounding electronic percussion instruments...

As well as REMO Drum Heads, VATER Drum Sticks, ACS CUSTOM In-Ear Monitors and SENNHEISER; plus high fives and big thumbs ups to ROCKSHOP New Zealand

These prestigious companies offer above-industry-standard, well-established, great sounding series of product, through to one-of-a-kind custom-shop, signature, hand-crafted, or uniquely customisable pieces.

D’s current set-up: Sonor S-Classix, Artist Series Snares : Sabian Legacy and Signature Cymbals : Roland TD-9KX, and SPD-SX

“When I was but a nipper bangin’ pots and pans, you could only dream about making music on incredible instruments. Then out of the blue, the Rockshop appeared nation-wide… suddenly our own filthy mitts had access to world-class proper musical gear, to check it all out for real, not just in drum mags. Then us funky troublemakers had no excuse but to actually make something of ourselves…”

gig photos

behind the kit

Magus of a loathsome groove, Darren Mathiassen or D. (or Dirt or Dazza) is an obliging Kiwi chap who is also a mighty fine drummer. With his engaging nature, up-for-it attitude and fairly outrageous skill set, D regularly performs and records a spectrum of sounds, from jazz to hiphop to rock, with a myriad of musicians throughout his home country of New Zealand as well as around the world.

Bluff-born D’s organic grooves are a part of the homegrown flavours of Aotearoa, through groups and artists such as Iva Lamkum, Rhombus, Age Pryor, Bella Kalolo, Charlotte Yates and Trinity Roots (in particular, check out this tune Little Things), but his long-standing bond with sterling soul sister, Hollie Smith, has produced both top selling albums and unforgettable performances. And then, much to the delight of effervescent festival party goers, as of NYE 2012/13, D graduated to bigger sticks and became the pounding heart of soul'n'drum'n'bass behemoth, Shapeshifter

Darren is honoured to have opened shows for global superstars and legends such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Coldplay, Dr John, Simply Red, and Taj Mahal among others.

A few of the festivals and events D has appeared at include: Glastonbury (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), Blue Note Festival (France), Winter Olympics (Canada), Blues & Roots Fest (AUS & NZ), Singapore Sun Festival, Jarasum Jazz Festival (South Korea), Rhythm & Vines (NZ), Big Day Out (AUS & NZ), WOMAD (NZ), Auckland City Limits (NZ), Tora Tora Tora (NZ), and Grand Points North Festival (VT,USA).

  •  Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand

A roll call of D's musical community, in no particular order:

Hollie Smith, Jay Power, Sweet Cream, Deva Mahal, General Kala, Bella Kalolo, Iva Lamkum, Bliss n Eso, Kenny Kirkland, Drew Menzies, Trinity Roots, Aaradhna, Kirsten Te Rito, Nathan Haines, Rhombus, Rhian Sheehan, Module, Lotus, Charlotte Yates, Julia Deans, The Wellington Synthonia, Michael Barrymore, Aled Jones, Stirling Hern, Sacha Vee, Tyra Hammond, LA Mitchell, Neil Finn, Dr Jellyman & the Three Rays, Darren Watson, Tardis, Age Pryor, Lisa Tomlins, The Pleasures, Tyson Smith, Jazz Firefly, The Coasters, The Drifters, John Davidson, Lorna Luft, Naki Ataman, Matt Penman, Michael Taylor Quintet, The Yeabsley Brothers / Twinset, Residue, M-Jay Collective, Mara TK, Billy TK, Soul Paua, Jim Trimble (from Buddy Rich band), The Beatgirls, Tyna Keelan & The Nok, Frankie Stevens, Brannigan Kaa, Nic Hurman, Don McGlashan, Vinyl Bison, Fredericks Brown, Hamish McKeich, David Long, Nick Gaffaney, The Upbeats, Shapeshifter...



Kia ora koutou katoa! For all matters musical, you're very welcome to contact D here...

boom clack studio

Shapeshifter Upbeats Raro sesh  

Chart-topping 2016 New Zealand album Water or Gold by Hollie Smith was recorded and engineered in D's bro-fessional studio, well, the rhythm tracks were laid down as a band (with D on drums, Marika Hodgson on bass and Daniel Hayles on keys), then there was some horns, plus a last minute (late at night) 'gospel' choir.

D's Boom Clack studio is available by request for recording sessions (with D as your audio engineer). Cosy, comfy and with heaps of mean vibes , enquiry form ^^^ above...

  Hollie Smith  

"DJ Shadow's album 'Introducing' was a big influence on me, and something Josh said in that 2002 documentary 'Scratch' always stuck... there's a scene where he's in the basement of his local record store, digging through a bottomless cache of records, having both a karmic experience of possibility, and a humbling experience in that we'll all eventually end up in that same basement no matter how invincible we think we are... so for music makers, I reckon just gotta do good work while we're still here... otherwise maybe I should start investing my time into open sourcing some kind of clean free energy system, like hydrogen-on-demand or something, hmmmm, not sure if that's gonna happen! ... anyhow, thanks for supporting live music... there's so much incredible stuff going down at your local, buy a drink if you're digging it, it actually makes all the difference..."

D tiki tshirt

D xx