Spawning from the inner city, the burbs and the southern bays of Christchurch, New Zealand, Sweet Leaf is an eclectic group of misfits making mad music. Way down here in the South Pacific, miles away from mainstream influences, Sweet Leaf give rise to their own blend of Dub, Rock & Industrial Reggae. With musical roots in rock, dub, reggae, drum & bass, dance and electronica, Sweet leaf’s members draw a diverse range of musical influence from local & international artists such as Kora, Baby Mammoth, Minuit, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Mystic Roots and many more.
When the earth finally stopped rumbling after 45 seconds of madness in September 2010, the home and studio of Christchurch band Sweet Leaf was looking a bit worse for wear. After the 2010 earthquake what had taken 6 years to create was soon to be abandoned to the demolition squad with the upcoming album release poster still hanging on the wall. Nearly 3 years later, after 10,000 more shakes and all the resulting turmoil Sweet Leaf are well happy to finally release their debut album ‘Images’. The album itself, which was recorded and produced at Clevetown Studios by the bands guitarist Steve Fowler, almost never made it out of the rubble of the inner city. The result is a mixed up bag of musical marbles that reflect the dark rumblings of a band, and a city shaken to the core.
Formed, as a jam band in 2008, Sweet Leaf was the pot winnings of rowdy weekly poker nights at Clevetown Studios. After splitting with his former band Paper Creatures, studio owner & music teacher Steve Fowler found new creative energy with good friends Justy Munro (bass), and Andrew Stewart (keys). After a few months the band was solidified with the soulful vocals of Melissa Hibbert and the rocking drums of Kalem Mallon. With such a divergent and differing team of misfits the musical output was always going to be eclectic. With a foundation of rock the sound is walled up with a patchwork of dub & reggae, and topped off with a dusting of trip hop and electro.Sweet Leaf – New Zealand Music