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

drummer . musician . pun master . session player . pop hit maker . engine room for Shapeshifter, Hollie Smith, Rob Ruha and heaps of other cool cats...


music news
D burger  

It's a blast playing big gigs alongside my Shifter bros P.Digsss, Nicky Research, Sambora, Syrup D, with da ninja Tiki Taane on sound \m/ \m/... and if you were keen for more of this 'view from the drums' type vids (like above), head over to my YouTube channel...

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...

In addition, Darren uses REMO Drum Heads, VATER Drum Sticks (5A & 5B Nudes), ACS CUSTOM (Pacific Ears) In-Ear Monitors and SENNHEISER microphones and headphones.

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 Prolite, Artist Series Snares : Sabian Legacy and Signature Cymbals : Roland TD-9KX, and SPD-SX.

As a working drummer, Darren is grateful for the incredible support of ROCKSHOP New Zealand and their championing of local musicians.

“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. (also Dirty or Dazza) is well regarded for his outgoing yet easygoing nature, as well as for being one of Aotearoa New Zealand's finest drummers. With his engaging humour, up-for-it attitude and fairly outrageous skill set, D performs and records invincibly across jazz to hiphop to roots reggae to big band to musical to indie singer-songwriter to afrobeat to futuristic soul to pop to hard rock to funk to jungle, alongside outstanding musicians from throughout NZ, as well as around the world.

A Kiwi-Scouser raised in the southern township of Bluff, D’s organic grooves and versatility are integral to the homegrown flavours of Aotearoa, through groups and artists such as Deva Mahal, Iva Lamkum, Rhombus, Age Pryor, Bella Kalolo, Charlotte Yates and Trinity Roots (with the iconic Little Things), but his long-standing bond with soul singer-songwriter, Hollie Smith, has produced both top selling albums and memorable performances. Then, as of NYE 2012/13, D picked up heavier sticks (5Bs) to become the pounding heart of festival favourites, drum'n'bass soul behemoth, Shapeshifter

Darren has opened shows for global superstars and legends such as Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Coldplay, Dr John, Simply Red, Snoop Dogg, and Taj Mahal among others.

A few of the music festivals and stand-out events D has appeared at include: Glastonbury (UK), Exit Festival (Serbia), Blue Note Festival (France), Winter Olympics (Vancouver, Canada), Cricket World Cup (NZ), 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), Homegrown (NZ) and Grand Points North Festival (VT,USA).

  •  Brooklyn, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

Roll-call of Darren's musical collaborators, in no particular order:

Tyna Keelan & The NokHollie Smith, Rob Ruha & The Witch Dr, Mundi, Three Rays, Deva Mahal, General Kala, Bella Kalolo, StretchfootIva 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, HernSacha Vee, Tyra Hammond, LA Mitchell, Jay Power, Neil Finn, Sweet Cream, 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, Frankie Stevens, Brannigan Kaa, Nic Hurman & the Stirling Point Working Men's Club, Don McGlashan, Vinyl Bison, Fredericks Brown, Hamish McKeich, David Long, Nick Gaffaney, The Upbeats, Ill Riot, RNZAF Jazz OrchestraShapeshifter...

btw - if you're hosting an event, wedding, birthday party or corporate function and want the undeniable thrill of quality live music, either background to headline, from stylish jazz combo to slinky groove collective to undeniable party dance band (like The Cut-Outs), then let Darren assist in hooking you up with some of New Zealand's leading entertainers.


Kia Ora! Thanks for your enquiry on Darren's availability for gigs, recording sessions, tours, laughs, etc

boom clack studio

Shapeshifter Upbeats Raro sesh

New Zealand's chart-topping album Water or Gold by Hollie Smith was recorded and engineered by D in his bro-fessional studio in Wellington, New Zealand - rhythm tracks were laid down as a band (with D on drums, Marika Hodgson on bass and Daniel Hayles on keys), then horns and even a small gospel choir were added.

So if you too are feeling the need for the feel of a 'real' drummer, and/or were looking for a fun and friendly place to record your next musical/audio project (using Logic), then consider a session with Darren and the Boom Clack studio space. Just minutes from Cuba Street, free parking, bordering the Zealandia town belt, plenty of tasty gear and sweet microphones for tracking vocals, etc, plus it's cosy, comfy and with heaps of choice vibes - enquiries ^^^ are welcome.

Bboy Bgirl [Good Luck sessions] from THE NOK on Vimeo.

"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