Cut Off Your Hands’ Nick Johnston: ‘I don’t like Black Kids’

CMJ buzz-band leader disses fellow hotly-tipped act

CMJ 2007 continued today with an afternoon performance at the Fader party by New Zealand rockers Cut Off Your Hands.

The show was the band’s sixth gig during CMJ, including a total of FOUR shows yesterday.

Speaking to NME.COM after the show, frontman Nick Johnston revealed the afternoon party was his favourite show so far this week, despite being practically exhausted:

“It was my favourite show of the week, we had a good energy onstage between the four of us and we had a few friends there. We played six shows, four yesterday – at Pianos, The Delancey, White Rabbit and some other place. There was kegs there, it was a novelty…with those same-coloured cups that you see in movies.”

Johnston also discussed the impact shows at CMJ has on a band that comes from the other side of the planet.

“For bands that come from New Zealand, we don’t know anyone here so it’s a good chance to meet people and let them know what you’re like and if they like us that’s cool, if not we don’t care.

And he names fellow New Zealanders punk-rockers Die! Die! Die! as an inspiration.

“We played our first show ever with them, we’re acquaintances, they were a really big inspiration for us just to get out of New Zealand originally. There’s not that many bands that would just take that initiative to get out of the country not matter how much money you had, and put all your life into music. I really respect them for that.”

Despite the band’s hectic CMJ schedule, Johnston managed to catch Georgian band Deerhunter at Bowery Ballroom last night (October 17), and later caught Black Kids, who are among a handful of bands creating a buzz at the marathon.

“I saw Deerhunter, they were amazing. Everybody is talking about Black Kids and I think that was the problem… one of my friends was saying ‘this is going to be the best and biggest band in the world, they’re going to be Arcade Fire but better’. But to be honest, I didn’t feel that at all. Maybe they’re not ready for all the attention, they just didn’t impress me. If I’m going to be honest, I didn’t like it.”

For more from Johnston, check out our podcast interview on

Cut Off Your Hands complete their CMJ run with a show tonight at Pianos at 8.30pm.

Meanwhile, Black Kids play the Club NME CMJ party at Annex tonight at 10pm.