Behind the scenes with Six60's Chris Mac ahead of the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards

Presenting the New Zealand Music Awards’ biggest accolade of the evening might rattle some, but not Six60's Chris Mac. Nervous he is not. 

It’s 12pm on the day of the show and Mac couldn’t be calmer about the idea that in just a few hours, he will stand among the mighty music folk – artists, label heads and decision-makers to present Th’ Dudes with their legacy award. 

He’s just kind of stoked he and band mates Eli, Matiu, Ji and Marlon don’t have to take time out to perform this year. 

Mac loves the big glitzy events, show business and generally being apart of the music industry he once dreamed of ending up in. 

"I'm always excited. It feels like I'm doing a thing that I used to look up to when I was a kid,” he says. 

Under the shade of 605 Morningside Drinkery’s outside area, we chat about the band’s success. They won five VNZMAs last year, and in February became the first New Zealand band to play a sold-out concert to a crowd of 50,000 fans. 

But that doesn’t even scratch the surface of the ripples made from the stones thrown since releasing their first album in 2011. With all three albums peaking at number one as well as holding an array of platinum and gold singles, they have undoubtedly evolved in to one of Kiwi music’s biggest success stories. 

Their sound has become synonymous with a good time in hot weather while on a break from the 9 to 5. Summertime crowds cannot get enough, and their music is pumped annually through speakers booming from balconies, rooftops and gardens around NZ. 

Mac spends much of his downtime in his art studio drawing or painting.
Mac spends much of his downtime in his art studio drawing or painting. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mac reveals he’s immensely proud of the five members for what they’ve achieved, notably being able to stick through hard times and move past challenges as they’ve popped up. 

“Our live show is getting better and better, but truly what I am most proud of, is us as people. 

“We’ve figured out the nuances of respecting each other and working together.” 

After downing a beer at the bar, which because he owns is a pretty standard activity for Mac on any given day – he heads upstairs for some time in his art studio. 

Not as widely known as his talents on the bass, guitar, synth and drums, Mac is a skilled artist who uses drawing and paint on a canvas to express himself.  

His strong creative flair and vivid imagination are immediately obvious walking through the door with bright colours scattered across multiple pieces in the room. 

After using up the one hour he has to himself, he moves on to more interviews throughout the afternoon. 

Whether it's chatting on the radio, taking the stage or working on his art with others watching on, he rises to the occasion. 

"Just give me an audience and I'm normally pretty happy." 

Once ready, Mac relaxed with a beer and a mate before heading off to the 2019 VNZMAs.
Once ready, Mac relaxed with a beer and a mate before heading off to the 2019 VNZMAs. Photo credit: Newshub.

By 5pm, Chris is back at home with wife Mel and his daughter, Stellar. A mate has popped round for a quick drink as we slowly lose daylight. 

Lined in the hallway immediately on the other side of the front door sit just a small selection of plaques and awards that hint at only some of the huge milestones the band has cracked. 

He’s dressed, there’s another craft beer poured and I get a glimpse at some of Mac’s prized possessions – his guitars, before moving on to a conversation about what he’s most looking forward to this evening. 

“Dave Dobbyn. It’s all I ever want to see, in my daily life, at the awards… in my dreams.”

Becoming an integral part of the award night has seen the bassist transition from nominee to winner to performer to presenter. 

Before handing Th' Dudes over their Legacy Award, Six60 scoop up three wins of their own. 

At this stage, it would be rude not to. 

Watch the video for a closer look inside the day.