Alotta Presha to go out with a bang

After three years together, the eight lads of Wollongong band Alotta Presha have found it too much pressure to keep organising tours.

So the popular funk reggae band have called it a day, ending on good terms and now looking forward to a spectacular final gig.

"Because there's so many of us it was getting limited as to what we could do and how much touring we could all fit in," explains guitarist Justin McKinnon.

"It started organically and we're all good friends and have enjoyed the times, but it's just time to move on.

"We're just waiting to hear back from the symphony orchestra as to whether they will come and back us up [at the last gig]," he then jests.

Inspired by the legends of reggae, band members McKinnon, Liam Copland, Yani Socrates, Simon Tanner, Jevon Tawhai, Dave Porter, Scott Milander and Lachlan McNab came together from different musical backgrounds.

"No matter how many of us there are we can play simply and still make the big sound," he says of the band's reggae sound.

"It's a powerful thing that people can connect with.

"We're all open-minded and listen to new things, and that comes across in the music."

McKinnon laughs when asked about the origins of the band's name.

"Yani said to Liam 'What should we name the band?' and Liam said 'Geez, that's a lot of pressure'," he recalls.

McKinnon says they will miss the crowds and the trips away.

"It's difficult because that's what kept us going ... we'd get a room full of people and at the end of the show we've got 50 new friends," he says.

"Every time we play, we try and make it memorable."

During Alotta Presha's three years, the band made their name in the Australian festival scene, performing at the Rainbow Serpent, Playground Weekender, Foreshore Festival, Bondi LoveJam, Viva la Gong, Subsonic, Peats Ridge and Wollombi.

The band's EP launch last year is also a fond memory for McKinnon.

"It was crazy - there were people piling out the front of the place because they couldn't get in."

McKinnon admits he will also miss the touring and adventures in the van.

"We'd pay each other out for 10 hours and then get on stage and perform. We'd just pick on the shortest guy," he laughs.

The decision to disband came soon after Tanner moved to Ghana in West Africa as part of a youth ambassador program.

McKinnon, who "fiddled" with guitar through school, says he has no plans for the future yet.

"I still have to go to work 9 to 5," he says.

"I'll just take it as it comes, whether it's playing in a band - I just want it to happen naturally and not force it," he says.

"I like the adventure though and I would like to get back in the van."


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