So Mermaid Bait is playing a tour of elevators around Whangārei’s CBD – um, what the heck?! It’ll be an improvement on standard elevator music.

Where did you get the idea?
It was when we first came up with a song called ‘Elevator Riders’. Other people in the band would say otherwise, they would say the tour idea came first. Anyway, we have a song called ‘Elevator Riders’, which we will be performing a few times in the different elevators.

Elevators are quite small and there are a few of you – how are you going to play with all your gear?
We’re only going to be using an acoustic guitar, an acoustic bass, and a snare drum.

How did you find the elevators? 
Glenn [guitarist and songwriter] works at the library, so we’re able to use the library’s elevator. This gave us a starting point for the tour. I also have a mate who is an elevator mechanic, so I told him about the idea and he gave us a list of elevators that might work. After that, we went for a stroll through the CBD and sussed out a few. We started asking some people; a few of them turned us down. After that point, we stopped asking people and are just going to do it.

​What’s the story behind Mermaid Bait’s name?
We formed about seven years ago. There is a bit of a double meaning to the name – are we the bait or are we setting the bait? The name came from a conversation I was having with a mate as we were coming back from Matapouri’s Mermaid Pools.

Mermaid Bait in action during the 2022 Hātea Me Hearties (Mike is playing the drum). Photo credit: Suz Epskamp