The Checks (band)

The Checks were a New Zealand rock band known for blues-driven, high-energy rock. The group released three albums, Hunting Whales, Alice by the Moon and Deadly Summer Sway and toured extensively before splitting up in 2012.

The Checks
Three members of rock band The Checks performing live at a rock concert
The Checks at Homegrown, Wellington, February 2012
Background information
OriginNorth Shore, Auckland
GenresRock, garage rock
Years active2002 (2002)–2012 (2012)
LabelsFull Time Hobby, Pie Club Records
Past membersEdward Knowles
Sven Pettersen
Callum Martin
Karel Chabera Jr.
Jacob Moore


The Checks were formed in 2002 when Takapuna Grammar School friends Ed Knowles, Sven Pettersen, Karel Chabera, Jacob Moore and Callum Martin came together over a mutual love of music.[1] The newly formed band got their first break by impressing bFM breakfast DJ Hugh Sundae, and went on to win the Auckland regional finals of the Smokefreerockquest, qualifying them for the 2003 finals.[2][3] In 2004 the group won Most Promising New Act at the bNet Music Awards, and then picked up the Most b.Net Radio Play award for their song "Mercedes Children" in 2005.[4][5] The Checks reputation grew and with only one single released, the group were personally selected by R.E.M. to open for them on their 2005 New Zealand tour, and were invited by NME editor Conor McNicholas to join the NME New Music Tour of the UK in 2005.[6]

The Checks were signed for a four-album deal with UK record label Full Time Hobby (through Sony/BMG UK) and moved to England to record their debut LP. Hunting Whales was released in October 2007 and spent four weeks in the New Zealand album charts, peaking at number 21.[7] Despite some success in the UK, Full Time Hobby records could no longer support the band. The Checks could not sustain living in the UK and return to New Zealand, recording under their own label, Pie Club Records.[8] As well as touring in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the United States, the Checks also played support gigs for The Hives, Oasis, Jet, Muse, The Killers and AC/DC.

In 2008 the group recorded new song "There is a Field", released as a non-album digital download, before recording their self-produced second album Alice by the Moon in Auckland in early 2009.[8] Alice by the Moon was released in June 2009 to critical acclaim and peaked at number 13 in the New Zealand album charts.[9] In 2010 Alice by the Moon was shortlisted for the Taite Music Prize and won Rock Album at the 2010 NZ Music Awards, with the Checks also being nominated for Best Group.[10][11]

The group recorded their third album Deadly Summer Sway in 2011 which was also released to favourable reviews.[12] The group released a trilogy of music videos for the songs "Candyman Shimmer", "Ready To Die" and "Perfect Lover", directed by the Trophywife collective.[13]

In August 2012, the Checks announced they were breaking up. No reason was given for the split.[14]


  • Edward Knowles — vocals
  • Sven Pettersen — lead guitar
  • Callum Martin — guitar, backing vocals
  • Karel Chabera Jr. — bass guitar
  • Jacob Moore — drums, backing vocals



Year Title Details Peak chart
2007 Hunting Whales 21
Take Me There EP
2009 ZM Live Lounge: The Checks EP
  • Released: 2 June 2009
  • Label: Pie Club Records
2010 Alice by the Moon
  • Released: 3 September 2010
  • Label: Pie Club Records
2011 Deadly Summer Sway
  • Released: 11 November 2011
  • Label: Pie Club Records


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
NZ [7]
2005 "What You Heard" 21 Hunting Whales
2007 "Take Me There"
"Hunting Whales"
2008 "There is a Field" 'Non-album single'
2009 "You and Me" 12 Alice by the Moon
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that country.

Music videosEdit

Year Music video Director(s)
2005 "What You Heard" Dylan Pharazyn[15]
2006 "Hunting Whales"
2007 "Take Me There" Diamond Dogs
"What You Heard" Diamond Dogs
"Tired From Sleeping" Sam Peacocke[16]
2008 "Terribly Easy" Ian Hart
"There is a Field" Benjamin Rood[17]
2009 "You and Me" Tim van Dammen[18]
"Til the Dance Is Over" Tim van Dammen
2010 "Ballroom Baby" Benjamin Rood[19]
2011 "Candyman Shimmer" Trophywife/Ian Hart[20]
"Ready To Die" Trophywife[21]
2012 "Perfect Lover" Trophywife and the Filth Collective[22]


Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 The Checks bNet Music Awards - Most Promising New Act[4] Won
2005 "Mercedes Children" bNet Music Awards - Most b.Net Radio Play[5] Won
2005 "What You Heard" NZ Music Awards - Breakthrough Artist of the Year[23] Won
2010 Alice by the Moon NZ Music Awards - Best Group[10] Nominated
2010 Alice by the Moon NZ Music Awards - Best Rock Album[10] Won
2010 Alice by the Moon Taite Music Prize - Finalist[11] Nominated
2012 Deadly Summer Sway NZ Music Awards - Best Rock Album Won


  1. ^ "Fresh Talent: The Checks". NZ Musician. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  2. ^ "SMOKEFREE ROCKQUEST 2003. PART 03". NZ Film Archive. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  3. ^ "The Checks". Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b "2004's Music Award Season". NZ Musician. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Shayne Carter wins bNet lifetime achievement award". NZ Herald. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  6. ^ "The Checks Confirmed For NME Tour". NZ Musician. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "The Checks discography".
  8. ^ a b "The Checks - Back In The Restaurant". NZ Musician. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  9. ^ "The Checks - Alice by the Moon". NZ Herald. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  10. ^ a b c "2010 Winners". NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Taite Music Prize 2010 Finalists". IMNZ. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  12. ^ "Album Review: The Checks, Deadly Summer Sway". NZ Herald. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  13. ^ "Candyman Shimmer". The Checks. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  14. ^ "Kiwi rockers The Checks announce split". NZ Herald. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  15. ^ "What You Heard". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  16. ^ "Tired from Sleeping". NZ On Screen. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  17. ^ "The Checks - There Is A Field". The Checks. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  18. ^ "You & Me". Tvand. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  19. ^ "Ballroom Baby". The Checks.
  20. ^ "Candyman Shimmer". The Checks.
  21. ^ "Ready to Die". The Checks. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  22. ^ "Perfect Lover". The Checks. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  23. ^ "2005 Winners". NZ Music Awards. Archived from the original on 8 August 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.