Interviews

Rangi & Totos chat the ailments of the world and their politically charged new single

Rangi & The Totos are not here to fuck around. The world is full of injustices, and while most bands would rather sit idly by, Rangi & The Totos are here to tackle these issues front-on. And let me tell ya, it’s damn refreshing.

So, with an amazing and politically-conscious debut video fresh under their belts, we caught up with the band to chat about all the world’s ailments, and how they plan to attach these issues (while making serious bank).

Fresh off the release of their debut single Viagogo Go Fuck Yourself, we caught up with Rangi & The Totos to chat all about it.

HAPPY: Hey, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Kia ora! We’re actually going through a rather tumultuous time as a band, as we have recently undergone our third breakup since June. The first two breakups were simply PR stunts. As it is commonly known in the music industry, bands are more popular when they’re not together, however, this time the split is more personal. Essentially we’re in a Yoko Ono type situation, which is just fucking typical. One of the band members has fallen deeply in love with one of our Norwegian groupies and they’ve eloped to India. We’re left with a bit of a predicament now, as, without Sam, we’re simply Rang and the To, which doesn’t quite have the same ring as Rangi and the Toto’s. Currently, Rangi and To number 1 are undergoing counselling sessions in Sam’s absence, and I hope we can resolve this dispute in due course.

HAPPY: We’ve been loving the new track! How does it feel having it out there in the world?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Our manager, Johnny Mozart, always said that it would be an immediate hit, so we have braced ourselves for what has been a rather rapid ascension to stardom. Admittedly, it is a relief to have finally come out of our ongoing legal battle with Viagogo these past few months, and to now have the song available on most popular music platforms is a great achievement in itself. To now hear young Kiwis growing up with this song, and engaging with such a strong political message, it is certainly a step in the right direction. We’re always keen to break the trend and step on a few toes along the way. Some of our youngest fans are just 5 and 6, and they’ve been told to sing ‘viagogo go tuck yourself.’ Or suck yourself. Luckily, fuck rhymes with lots of words.

HAPPY: It may seem obvious, but could you tell us a bit about the song?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: The song is an anti-corporate political statement against the evil ticketing resale company, Viagogo. It takes aim specifically at Viagogo, however essentially looks into the generic vulnerability of a modern-day consumer to the malicious intent of capitalist bigots whose sole purpose is to fill their own pocket. How dare they.

HAPPY: Have you ever personally been fucked over by Viagogo?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Each verse within the song details three separate instances whereby each band member was fucked over by Viagogo. Tim went along to see his long time idols, Flight of the Conchords in London, however mistakingly bought tickets off Viagogo. When he arrived at the venue, the tickets had already been scanned in by another ticket holder, forcing him to buy another ticket (essentially paying twice without a refund).

In an equally scammy scenario, Sam was denied entry to a Galatasaray football match in Istanbul, having bought tickets off Viagogo – especially embarrassing for him as he was accompanied by his ‘Turkish delight.’ She has since been replaced by his new Norwegian ‘muse.’ It was there in stanbul where he proceeded to busk on the streets of Istanbul, chanting, “Viagogo go fuck yourself”. (Authentic footage does exist).

HAPPY: It’s a bold statement to make on a debut single! Are there any other big issues you plan on tackling in future releases?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Climate change, nuclear power, nangs, plant-based diets, Brexit, Trump’s impeachment, racism… anything topical or political. The subprime mortgage crisis, although topical 12 years ago, is still topical. So the band will be releasing a hit single about how the subprime mortgage crisis is worse then ISiS. Our manager once told us that we’re more than a band, we’re a brand. So we’ve got to stick to that ethos, and continue making music that is topical, but also music that will build our brand, and make us heaps of money.

HAPPY: The music video is incredible too. Could you walk us through how this came together? Who was involved?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: We had to do the song justice. We produced the entire video on a shoestring budget, I think we spent about $80 all up on it. Luckily, the band consists of one musician, one cameraman, and one editor. So we can basically do it all in house. The video had to be memorable, because, I dunno if you’ve heard the song – but got dam it’s catchy.

The girls at the end, well, we know that sex sells. So we knew we had to incorporate our groupies in it somehow. They were extremely excited at the prospect of staring in it. We were able to use the grey Lynn Turkish kebab shop to really give that authentic Turkish feel. The other footage is legitimate footage from Istanbul. Hence the budget iPhone quality.

HAPPY: Were there any particular artists you were listening to while writing/recording the track?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Rage Against the Machine certainly fuelled our passion. I guess you could say Flight of the Conchords are one of our biggest inspirations. The way they incorporate music and story telling is certainly unique and something we’ll continue to try and emulate.

HAPPY: What’s next for Rangi & the Toto’s? Any other exciting plans in the works?

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Naturally, we’ll be working hard in our counselling sessions, and all things going well, we’ll be able to rekindle the old flame upon Sam’s imminent return from India – where he is starting a clothing label with his Norwegian princess girlfriend. We are currently looking for investors to put some money towards our tour of NZ, before potentially headlining the country’s biggest festivals, like R&V, Nest Fest, Laneway and Splore. Our manager has been inundated with calls following the release of Viagogo Go Fuck Yourself, so it’s just a case of choosing the best gigs – financially speaking. Profit is our priority. Fame would be second. Then probably music. Our next single is featuring Leonard Cohen, it’s called ‘Halle-Nuclear’ and it’s about the world’s relationship with nuclear power. I think it’ll be even better then Viagogo. A big statement. Obviously having Leonard on board is huge for the band. Sorry, did I say band? I meant brand.

HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!

RANGI & THE TOTOS: Anytime, now go fuck yourself!

Viagogo Go Fuck Yourself is available now. Watch the video above.