23 Nov 2017

Verse Chorus Verse: L.A.B

10:34 am on 23 November 2017

Verse Chorus Verse sees local artists break down the stories behind their music. For the latest in the series, here's the inside word on the debut album from L.A.B, the latest project from Brad and Stu Kora,  Ara Adams-Tamatea (Katchafire) and Joel Shadbolt. 

L.A.B are Stu Kora, Joel Shadbolt, Ara Adams-Tamatea and Brad Kora.

Stu Kora, Joel Shadbolt, Ara Adams-Tamatea and Brad Kora. Photo: Supplied


Words by Joel Shadbolt.

'She’s Gone'

Musically, the groove of this tune gives a dark and heavy reggae/rock feel, which matches the lyrics. The song came together live in the studio, and we managed to really capture a cool energy we had at the time.

'Starry Eyes'

We wrote this track as a result of me turning up late to a writing session haha! Brad Kora had the keys hook locked in, and the vocal hook came very naturally – it’s about a girl who struggles with success and the vultures who go along on the ride.

It’s also quite a hybrid sounding track, which shows off the electronic side of us, as well as the live organic sounds in there too. A production masterpiece from The Sensei, Brad.

'Jimmy Boy'

It’s about someone who’s just a little shithead, Public Enemy #1, but his mum thinks he’s an angel from above. The recording process was fun to experiment with different guitar tones and textures, and it really channels a British-style reggae feel.


A bit of an epic on the album. Recording this was a load of fun and a tune that took real discipline from us all to pull off in the studio, with some awesome backing vocals from Lisa Tomlins. Some people love power and money so much, they grow old and alone; you gotta get that cash with a price!

'The Watchman'

Everybody dies, so The Watchman here is the undertaker biding his time until you have to go to Judgement Day. It’s a true band-y song. We all love Iron Maiden and playing loud guitars - this is a wicked jam and a blast to play live.


This one’s about a beautiful girl, falling in love with the drugs and the money. We experimented with a lot of different sound effects on this. It’s a true testament to Brad’s production ear and to Dr Lee Prebble’s engineering skills on making the studio sound like another instrument.


Controller was one of the very first tunes that we had as a band. Brad showed me the tune, and we recorded a demo at his house right in the beginning stages. From there, the song morphed into a great tune to play live, one that we all love to jam as a band. It’s about another beautiful girl who falls in love with an asshole. She’s blinded by his looks and fame, but he’s a control freak.

'Ain’t No Use'

For this one we channeled the '70s funk, along with a blues/soul thread throughout with the claves, harmonies and guitar. We wrote this about trying to stay away from all the bad shit in this world – environment, politicians and the rest.

'Love Will Save Me'

Brad and Ara had this groove going on the Nord and Moog. Stu and I went to get dinner up the road, came back and the boys already had it down. After a hearty munch, Brad wrote the lyrics about his daughter, and how she changed his life for the better. It relates to any dad out there, but from there we had it down. Loved recording the talking box on this one too.


A song that’s close to me, as a son who’s lost a father. Love jamming this tune with the brothers, we get to show off our musical side on this one – playing how our dads' taught us to play, straight from the heart. There’s a lot of death on this album!

'Lonely Man'

Country jam to finish the album? I think yes. Let’s just say our close friend tequila was involved in this recording. We’re a band that isn’t defined by style, we just love to play it all. Don’t sell your soul to the devil!

*The L.A.B album is officially out tomorrow - and over summer the band are performing at Northern Base, Electric Avenue and more to be announced, including a free album release tour across NZ.