There's a long pause down the phone, followed by a deep breath. "Yeah," eventually replies Jimmy Christmas. "Yes, they did."

The Auckland-based rocker has just been asked if shows by his old band The D4 used to get a little too crazy, a little too rowdy, or a little too out of control.

Even Christmas, the band's co-founder alongside Dion Palmer, is surprised by the rock 'n' roll memories flooding back to him.

"That band did a lot of crazy activities. I could keep you here all day talking about all that carry on," he says.


You might be wondering why TimeOut's talking to The D4. After all, their last show was at the Kings Arms in 2006, and there's been little indication their "indefinite hiatus" would ever end.

Christmas has been busy with his similarly-themed hard rocking band Luger Boa, while Palmer found success with New York noise-rock act A Place to Bury Strangers.

But last week's Auckland City Limits line-up announcement confirmed The D4 are indeed back - and they're ready to rock.

Christmas says they won't be holding back at their first show in more than 10 years.

"We have to be very clear: we're going to be very focused on sounding as good, if not better, than before," he says.

The Kiwi garage-rockers, who released two albums and an EP over a raucous nine-year career, were a surprise inclusion on City Limits' March 3 bill, appearing alongside Beck, Grace Jones, The Libertines and Phoenix.

City Limits promoter Campbell Smith, the band's former lawyer, says they're a band that are "close to my heart".

"They wrote phenomenal three-minute garage-punk anthems and performed every gig with a no-quarter-given-explosiveness," says Smith. "They'll melt your face."


Christmas says he and his bandmates - fellow guitarist and singer Palmer, drummer Beaver Pooley, and bassist English Jake - couldn't be happier about getting the band back together.

"We're very conscious that the band had a reputation of being fiery and energetic, and there's no way we're going to compromise that," he says. "We're giving everything to the cause."

Alongside bands like The Datsuns and The Mint Chicks, The D4 ignited the Kiwi music scene in the early 2000s with a series of fast and furious odes to the rock and roll lifestyle, including anthems like Party, Get Loose and What I Want.

They played several Big Day Outs, numerous shows at the Kings Arms, and even performed on The Late Show with David Letterman, scoring the dubious honour of being introduced by a sleepy Bill Cosby.

Christmas says doesn't know if the City Limits show will lead to any further D4 antics, but they're hard at work rehearsing to make sure it doesn't become an exercise in nostalgia.

"It's a celebration of a time and a place and a chance to get together again and play as that band (with) that intensity," he says. "We don't see it as a nostalgic scenario."

So, for the record, which D4 show was the most out of control?

Christmas remembers one particular night at a now defunct venue in the Naval And Family Hotel on Karangahape Road that got particularly intense.

"That was just packed to the rafters. We had people washing over the stage like a wave," he says.

"Keeping that together was an adventure ... it was fantastic."