They made New Zealand rock a happier, funkier place in the mid 90s with their debut album Traction.

Now, 20 years on, they will be honoured at this year's music awards, winning the New Zealand Herald Legacy Award, which sees them inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Russell Baillie looks at 10 reasons why they deserve to be celebrated.

1. Their story

If the life of a band followed a script it would probably go something like this: Form as a bunch of teenage friends. Become locally popular. Become nationally popular. Become the biggest band in the country. Take on the world. Then either crack it or crack up in the process.

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Yes, Supergroove followed the narrative arc all the way to crack-up. That was in the wake of their second album - Backspacer, a record which locally redefined the phrase "sophomore slump".

But they also wrote their own script then decided to tear it up and start again. A movie about Supergroove would veer from teenage comedy to international road movie to angsty early 20-something drama to 30-something reconciliation between mates who still love playing music together.

2. Their inspiration

In a time before Lorde, before the Smokefree Rockquest was to have an impact, before the age of TV talent shows or web-buzz career kickstarts, Supergroove were teenage musical over-achievers who figured out how to turn their practice room creativity into a career.

By doing that they inspired plenty of others who came in their wake - everybody from the members of Blindspott/Blacklistt to Nesian Mystik to a young Liam Finn has cited the band as inspirational on their younger selves.

3. That debut album

While their early singles were a little on the thin side, 1994's Traction managed to capture the band at as high a voltage as they generated on stage. It sold some 70,000 copies locally.

It still sounds good today. Yes, Supergroove had a sound with a lot of schtick and novelty factor. But their best songs still hold up.

4. The live show

To see Supergroove live in their heyday was to witness a 14-legged, funk-rock monster. The band might have started out powered by teenage exuberance and a young fogey appreciation of blues and soul. But they mutated into something much bigger and bolder while still being a pop band. A pop band that quite often left venues needing a new stage and ceiling panels.

The eccentric Karl Steven of Supergroove, Saturday night's headline act. Honey Jam Festival, Te Kowhai Point Farm, Kerikeri, January 26-27, 2013
The eccentric Karl Steven of Supergroove, Saturday night's headline act. Honey Jam Festival, Te Kowhai Point Farm, Kerikeri, January 26-27, 2013

5. Those videos

They might look a little rough in today's world of computer effects. But there was plenty that caught the attention - whether it was the gravity-defying living room of Can't Get Enough; the bombsite chic of Sitting Inside My Head; the North Head tunnel rap attack in of Scorpio Girls ... The defining characteristics of the bands' visual offerings were boundless energy and youthful fearlessness.

Bassist Joe Lonie directed most of them, and now has an award-winning career in making music videos and short films.

6. The intro to Can't Get Enough

This remains the grooviest first 30 seconds of any New Zealand hit song. The second grooviest? The first 30 seconds of Sitting Inside My Head.

7. The guitar riffs to You Freak Me

The Hendrix-ian intro one is certainly an attention getter. But the one which powers the chorus remains a work of primitive geetar genius -- so was the decision to let the riff stomp Godzilla-like all over the song and the singers.

8. The bassline to The Next Time

It may contain fewer notes than some of Supergroove's funkier excursions but it's the foundation of possibly the best song the Red Hot Chili Peppers never wrote. It could have been a Sly and the Family Stone bassline in a previous life.

wta170211supsupergroove.jpg Supergroove, including frontman Karl Steven second from left, are riding back into Wairarapa for the first time in 17 years on Saturday for A Day on the Green tour concert at Alana Estate Vineyard in Martinborough alongside Crowded House and Wanganui singer Seth Haapu. Pic supplied to WTA by Eccles Entertainment on 17-2-11. WTA 19Feb11 - WAIRARAPA FREE-WHEELIN': Supergroove, including frontman Karl Steven (second from left), are riding back into Wairarapa for the first time in 17 years on Saturday for A Day on the Green tour concert at Alana Estate Vineyard in Martinborough alongside Crowded House and Wanganui singer Seth Haapu. PHOTO/SUPPLIED HBX 24Feb11 - SUPER SOUND: An all original Supergroove line-up will blow audiences away with an energetic performance at A Day on the Green, on Saturday. NRT 17Jan13 - A _ wta170211supsupergroove HEADLINING act for the Honey Jam Music Festival _ Supergroove.
wta170211supsupergroove.jpg Supergroove, including frontman Karl Steven second from left, are riding back into Wairarapa for the first time in 17 years on Saturday for A Day on the Green tour concert at Alana Estate Vineyard in Martinborough alongside Crowded House and Wanganui singer Seth Haapu. Pic supplied to WTA by Eccles Entertainment on 17-2-11. WTA 19Feb11 - WAIRARAPA FREE-WHEELIN': Supergroove, including frontman Karl Steven (second from left), are riding back into Wairarapa for the first time in 17 years on Saturday for A Day on the Green tour concert at Alana Estate Vineyard in Martinborough alongside Crowded House and Wanganui singer Seth Haapu. PHOTO/SUPPLIED HBX 24Feb11 - SUPER SOUND: An all original Supergroove line-up will blow audiences away with an energetic performance at A Day on the Green, on Saturday. NRT 17Jan13 - A _ wta170211supsupergroove HEADLINING act for the Honey Jam Music Festival _ Supergroove.

9. What they've done since

The aforementioned Lonie remains an in-demand music-maker and a director short films. Karl Steven has divided his musical talents between bands like the Drab Doo Riffs and Heart Attack Alley, as well as writing soundtracks for film and television. Guitarist Ben Sciascia and trumpeter Tim Stewart formed their own band Svelte, while Stewart and saxophonist Nick Atkinson's maintain their long musical friendship in jazz blues duo Hopetoun Brown. Atkinson has been a long-time reporter on local music for Radio New Zealand. And then there's Che Fu, who was fired from the band in 1995, started his solo career with a number one single in Chains and went on to become a respected senior statesman of NZ hip-hop. He received a lifetime achievement award at the Pacific Music Awards this year.

10. The fans

Because they made New Zealand rock a happier, funkier place in the mid-90s at a time when we were in the grip of grunge. They were a pop band that rocked - and funked and rapped and occasionally metalled and got away with it all. They were the first love of many New Zealand music fans in the 90s. Plenty of those will be going to see them this summer as the reunited band join Dave Dobbyn, Don McGlashan and Anika Moa on the annual Winery Tour. You can bet Supergroove will be the ones causing the most spilt drinks.

PAST TIMES May 1994 Auckland band Supergroovers BTG 27May14 - ALL STOP: A traffic-stopping show that spilled out on to Devonport Rd. PHOTOS/FILEPOPULAR: Supergroove outside Tracs Record store .
PAST TIMES May 1994 Auckland band Supergroovers BTG 27May14 - ALL STOP: A traffic-stopping show that spilled out on to Devonport Rd. PHOTOS/FILEPOPULAR: Supergroove outside Tracs Record store .

Supergroove rocked. Supergroove rolled. And this year, we get to thank them for that.

**Do you have a favourite Supergroove memory? Share them with us below.

- TimeOut