It’s been 31 years since the song Victoria catapulted the Kiwi band The Exponents to fame, and frontman Jordan Luck can’t believe the crowds still love it as much as they did in 1982.
“I’m like, ‘Oh wow, people liked this song when it was 10 years old’. Why Does Love is 20 now, too. It’s sort of more popular now than it was then. I’m going, ‘How is this happening”’ says the singer and songwriter, who now performs the hits with The Jordan Luck Band after The Exponents split in 1999.
“I kind of concentrate on new songs, although I also play the old ones. Somewhere down the line, probably by the time I’d been in a band for 15 years, I thought, ‘I’ve got to be looking forward, not back’, and that’s the way things keep on going.
“I keep thinking, ‘If I put this song out, will I have to keep singing it for the next 15 years’ It’s a real honour and very humbling but when I say, ‘Here’s a new song, I hope you like it’ I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god, Whakatane in 2032, I’ll be singing this new song’. It’s kind of scary.”
The story of the band, which started life as the Dance Exponents in 1981, is the subject of the documentary The Exponents which was filmed to celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary in 2011.
“It’s a lot to cover in 48 minutes or so and I went, ‘Oh wow’. I was very impressed by it,” says the Canadian-born performer, who grew up in Geraldine in the South Island.
He’s a little nervous about watching the documentary with his fellow Exponents and friends.
“I’ve only seen it once so trepidation is the word for the premiere because I’ll be there with all my friends and associates. I don’t get too reflective in life until something’s really gone, like death. The songs just keep living so I hope people enjoy the undying fiasco of the Exponents.”
He believes there are two main reasons for the longevity of the band’s hits.
“I still perform them so there’s always a new audience, and the other one, possibly, is that they’re good songs. They go down well initially, then three months later they’re good, then three years later they’re good, then 13 years later they’re good.
“I think the songs have universal themes – it’s not a trendy kind of thing I generally write about. I noticed that young people love them because I wrote them when I was a young person. People in their 20s love the attitude. The songs generally appeal to younger people.”
The Exponents have reunited in recent years for charity events, including Band
Together in 2010 which raised money for victims of the first Christchurch earthquake.
“The doco kind of ends with Band Together. It was massive. If not the biggest live audience in New Zealand, it certainly must be close. That was really special. The weird thing is, that was after the first quake but before the second.
“We finish the show and you can see the emotion of hope at that stage and the togetherness of people. That was so brilliant. Looking back now, there’s a sense of tragedy because of the second quake,” says Luck .
The Exponents – Prime Rocks Special – Wednesday
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