MIQ and broken bones: How Elemeno P prepared for their new tour

Kiwi rock icons Elemeno P are hoping absence has made their fans' hearts grow fonder as they head out on their biggest tour in nearly 20 years.

The band is responsible for some of New Zealand's best loved rock hits, and in 2021 Elemeno P are ready to rock like it's 2003.

"Hopefully it'll bring back some memories for people who might be in their forties now, and they were in their twenties or teens then - that'll be cool," says drummer Scotty Pearson of the band's hopes for the tour.

Kicking off this Waitangi weekend at Waiheke and Waihi, their 14-date tour will be the band's most extensive since they first started out.

"Now it's all very, very luxurious. We've got a huge tour bus parked out the front there, two tour busses actually, because Justyn [Pilbrow - guitarist] travels in his own tour bus. Two semi-trailers worth of gear. Oh and our own floor at each hotel room," jokes frontman Dave Gibson.

The band has already dealt with one curveball before the tour's even begun: bassist Lani Purkis will have to play the shows sitting down after breaking her heel bone. 

But she's far from gutted about the prospect.

"I'm gonna be treated like a queen!"

She's had to adapt to how she'll play though.

"I have been jazzing it up a bit. A bit more neck movement," she says.

The High Fidelity tour's been launched to support the release of Elemeno P's three albums on vinyl for the very first time. The band are all vinyl enthusiasts, and are enthusiastic about seeing their music on wax.

"I've decided I want to collect every album I've ever loved on vinyl, so when people go through it they're like 'hmm this is a really unusual collection of Pink, Prince, and Taylor Swift'," says Perkis (Pearson's essentials include Smash Mouth, while Gibson vouches for punk pioneers Fugazi).

"There's something really special and considered about finding a record that you love, taking it out, putting it on a record player, having friends round and listening to it. It's like a ritual," says Gibson.

And to celebrate that ritual, they're playing triple-platinum debut album Love & Disrespect in full at each show.

"There's several songs off it that we've actually never played live, we just played the singles or new songs that we were developing on our touring early so we've sort of had to go 'oh how does that go?'" says Pearson.

And while playing an album front-to-back may not leave much in the way of setlist surprises, Pearson says he'll be stepping behind the mic for some handpicked covers.

"There's 50, 60, 70 to choose from that I sing perfectly, like a karaoke canon," he explains before launching into 10cc's 'I'm Not in Love'.

To rehearse, they needed to get the band back together; Gibson flew back from New York at the end of last year.

"It was a pretty tough decision, I was like 'should I stay in New York City, in super-cold COVID-land, or should I come back to New Zealand for four months and live a normal life in the sun?' And I was like 'OK, I'll come back.'" he explains.

Having spent all that time in New York, the return has provided some shocks. Gibson admits he still keeps reaching for his mask.

"Still at the supermarket, when someone reaches over to grab some cheese, or maybe some mince, or yoghurt, or eggs I'm like 'whoa what are you doing?' and it's like 'oh it's OK you're just grabbing the mince!'" he says.

The chance to play all over New Zealand is definitely worth two weeks in quarantine and the supermarket adventures.

Tickets to the shows can be bought here.