My first job was ...

at around 12 years old. I started cleaning the pub where my dad played – it was pretty laid-back.

It taught me … a bit of discipline. Also, that money buys me bikes and video games. Back then, we all played Spacies and Galaga and needed a lot of coin!

My big break came … I used to be in a band called Aunty Beatrice, which won the Smoke Free Rock Quest in 1991, which was amazing. Afterward we all got pretty wasted and I think I passed out on stage.


Kora was another break. Fran and I were in Wellington and my other two brothers were in Whakatane and Dan was in Queenstown – so each gig meant traveling. The only practice we got was on stage, which was sometimes hard but heaps of fun. Kora just slowly built into a solid band and suddenly we were number one on the charts with our first album.

The last job I quit was … I left work at Old Man Rock in Queenstown to start at Toi Whakaari NZ Dance and Drama School. The only other thing I left was Kora, five years ago, to get back into music production for theatre, tutoring and playing solo or collaborating with other artists.

The most famous person I've ever met is … Mars Volta at the Big Day Out - and Lily Allen.

They were … Mars Volta was inspirational and Lily Allen was hilarious. In person, she is exactly as she portrays herself on stage, which is really refreshing.

The best time I've had on stage was … playing with Kora in Raglan at Soundsplash. It was always so much fun playing there and Brian from Cornerstone Roots is amazing with the sound/production.

But the worst was … sometimes when you can't hear yourself you just have to look at each other and kind of guess – that can be a bit nerve-racking but the worst time was when I passed out on stage and hit my head!

My dream role would be … to be Batman.

• Laughton Kora performs at Taste Festival this Sunday at Queen's Wharf in Central Auckland.