They have decades of musical experience between them and they've played with other musicians and bands for much of it - but the success the lads from L.A.B. have found together can only be put down to their chemistry.
L.A.B is Mount Maunganui's Joel Shadbolt (vocals/guitar), Pāpāmoa's Ara Adams-Tamatea (bass), Whakatane's Kora brothers Brad (drums) and Stu (guitar/keys), and Wellington's Miharo Gregory (keys) - a group of seasoned musicians who have found a key to success in each other.
What they've found together has happened naturally - and that has worked for them, with the band now being a couple of years ahead of where they expected to be - and no plans to slow down.
"We just keep doing what we do ... it's kind of growth of the band which just happened naturally," Shadbolt said.
Since 2017 L.A.B. have released an album every year and in December they'll release L.A.B. IV - a mid-tempo album with a Soul, R&B, funk sound, which Shadbolt describes as having a "70s Soul Train vibe".
And the public got a taste of what's to come earlier this month after L.A.B. scored four awards at the Waiata Māori Music Awards - Best Pop Album; Best Single; Best Group and Best Songwriter.
They watched the awards from Brad's studio in Whakatāne and, to celebrate their wins, they performed Natural, one of the songs from their upcoming album, for the first time publicly, on Facebook Live.
"We just jammed the night away," Shadbolt said.
It was captured by Brad, whom Shadbolt says can see "a moment" before it's about to happen and captures it. It's what makes L.A.B who they are, he says, giving fans a raw insight into the band's dynamic.
"It was in the moment ... Brad always goes live in those sorts of times.
"It's never forced," he said.
With 5000 positive reactions and close to 1000 comments and shares, L.A.B could very well have another hit on their hands.
"From the looks, people are digging it."
In March, L.A.B became the first Kiwi musicians to hit No1 on the New Zealand Top 40 Singles Chart since Lorde's Green Light in 2017 and the first local independent artists to secure the coveted spot since Flight of the Conchords' charity single Feel Inside (and Stuff Like That) in 2012.
That milestone was reached with their single In the Air, which has connected with the masses. The success of that song has helped showcase their music to new audiences and has prompted airplay on more commercial radio stations that have since added some of the band's older music to their rotations, including Controller from the first album.
"It's been a pretty crazy couple of months."
There is no doubt 2020 has been a massive one for the band. They closed Tauranga's annual reggae festival One Love in front of a crowd of more than 20,000 in January; they joined forces with some of New Zealand's top musicians, virtually, to encourage Kiwis to remain strong through isolation in the fight against Covid-19 and raise money for the Music Helps charity by creating the single Stay; were able to play and sell out their first headline arena shows at Auckland's Spark Arena and Hamilton's Claudelands Arena; and have announced their first stadium show, scheduled for Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium in March.
"That'll be incredible if it [Mt Smart] sells out."
They've also been grabbing attention internationally, selling out their 2021 Australian tour, which had to be rescheduled from this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and have received positive feedback in America via social media and college radio stations. Shadbolt says he's even recorded dozens of promos for college radio stations in the US in recent weeks.
"It's cool to know that overseas we're getting recognised and seeing that kind of really gives us hope of potentially having a market over there."
The band's success, particularly in the past 6-12 months, is far beyond what Shadbolt says they had expected at this stage. He said they originally thought selling out an arena show and announcing a stadium show would be a couple of years away.
"We are ahead in what we thought we'd be."
But it's all happened organically for a bunch of lads whose chemistry on stage is undeniable. They do what they love and doing it together has been the key, Shadbolt says.
"There's some kind of chemistry there, that's what we feel and that's what the people are feeling.
But it has been no overnight success story.
Having been involved in music since they were children and after years of performing with other musicians and bands, L.A.B. came together about five years ago. Gregory joined in time for L.A.B. III's release last year.
"Miharo [Gregory] slotted right in," Shadbolt said.
Shadbolt says the seasoned musicians all connect with each other in a way that works. Their brotherly connection on and off stage is seamless and they can read each other effortlessly - and Shadbolt says that's why they've been able to create so well together.
And the creating doesn't look set to stop any time soon.
Shadbolt says touring has been quieter in 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions. That's likely to be the reason they all feel their energy levels are much higher this year than at the same time last year.
Next year, however, they expect to be busier, finally making their Australian tour a reality. From there, Shadbolt says they might look towards touring Europe in 2022 - as well as continuing their tradition of releasing an album each year.
"I think we'll go until we drop really. There's no reason we can't do it."
Shadbolt said making music as part of L.A.B - the band named from an idea that stems from being a group of creatives working on their crafts in a laboratory - was enjoyable and never felt like a forced experience. Because of that, they had so much more to give.
But, despite seeing international success and eyeing overseas tours, Shadbolt said New Zealand was always going to be home and he couldn't see them relocating anywhere else.