While Pat Beers tours his Schizophonics through New Zealand he'll be making a first visit to the birthplace of one of his favourite records.

The Schizophonics are in the middle of a North Island tour which brings their energetic set from San Diego to Whanganui on May 30.

Beers and wife Lety play rock 'n' roll in the mould of influences MC5, James Brown and The Stooges.

"We have our influences and what we're aiming for now is just trying to combine all these influences and try figure out what it is we do that is unique and try go off in that direction," Beers told the Chronicle.


"I think the new songs are doing that."

Having toured the USA, Europe and South America, this is their first time to New Zealand - home of Chants R&B which rocked New Zealand for a brief time in the 1960s.

"It's actually my favourite record of all time - and I'm not just pandering to New Zealand - but my favourite record is Chants R&B," Beers says.

"I've almost worn it out. Recently I was thinking what's the record I've been listening to more than any other record - and it might be that one.

"They actually sound very much like the MC5 - and there's probably no way they'd heard of the MC5. They're super gritty, this really hard vocal r&b rock n' roll and it's amazing."

That could easily describe The Schizophonics' sound.

The band started about 10 years ago but have been releasing and recording for about five years including one album - Land Of The Living - in 2017.

"Our music isn't very avant-garde, it's pretty straight rock 'n' roll but I consider our show pretty freaky," Beers says.


"Being a lunatic - that's what energetic music makes me do and that's how I react to heating and MC5 song or something - it makes me dance.

"To me it's as extreme as I can possible go and I try to be as weird as I can on stage - it's part of a general rule."

Pat Beers puts the roll in rock 'n' roll.
Pat Beers puts the roll in rock 'n' roll.

Beer likes to put the soul in rock n' roll.

"It's infectious," he says.

"I think soul music and rock n' roll - it's so stupid that they have two different names - because really good soul music and really good rock n' roll; they use the same chords, they use the same beats, they sing about the same stuff.

"There was a point to where [rock n' roll] kind of branched off and it lost the roll. We try to have a little bit of swing to it. I think the emotion sometimes is a little more important than getting all the notes perfect.

"I think audiences respond to that as well."

It's a style Beers teaches in a place called The School of Rock and, yes, it's sort like the movie.

"We teach different instruments – guitar, keyboard, bass, that sort of stuff – everyone learns the same songs and we'll do a show," he says.

"They learn how to play in a band setting, learn how to be a good bandmate, learn how to be a musician and write music as a group.

"A lot of the former students have started a band here now and it's really helping the community, the calibre of musicians that are coming out of here."

San Diego's The Schizophonics are touring New Zealand.
San Diego's The Schizophonics are touring New Zealand.

Beers is now entrenched in the San Diego music scene as both one of its characters and a mentor.

"I'm kind of helping them, not just focusing on playing, but also how to engage with an audience and how to play something memorable and all that stuff," he says.

The New Zealand tour takes them to main centres but also towns such as Whanganui and Gisborne.

Smaller towns can be "some of the best gigs", Beers says.

"It's like everyone shows up and they're very appreciative you came and those are usually the best shows of tours.

"Even here - get out of town a little bit and people are a bit rowdier."

The Schizophonics have just finished recording a new album which they hope to get out later in the year.

"It feels really good t be done and I'm super excited about it."

The Schizophonics play at Lucky Bar + Kitchen on May 30. Tickets are $22 from Under the Radar.