Flight of the Conchords - Biography
When a random conversation turns to racist dragons, a hiphopopotamus, robotic genocide and straight-faced sexual self-deprecation, you can only be referring to “New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo,” Flight of the Conchords. Formed in the late ’90s by college roommates Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, the comedic duo are renowned for their hilarious arsenal of dry wit, acoustic guitars, and an entire catalog of ridiculous songs. Think of them as Spinal Tap for the indie-hipster generation.
Flight of the Conchords came to prominence in 2002 when they self-released the live album, Folk The World Tour—Live Album, in their native New Zealand. Already a comedy cult favorite in their homeland, the album brought them a worldwide spotlight. The duo were nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe the following year and soon had their own radio special on BBC 3 also called “Flight of the Conchords.”
The band says they got their name while sharing a dream where a flock of flying Gibson V guitars resembled the now retired Concorde airplanes. Although they had yet to release any material stateside in 2005, they were awarded the Best Alternative Comedy Act at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. That same year the duo performed on the live half-hour HBO comedy special, One Night Stand. The next year Flight of the Conchords filmed a documentary of their South by Southwest gigs for New Zealand television titled, Flight of the Conchords: A Texan Odyssey. Although Clement appeared in a series of popular Outback Steakhouse commercials, North American audiences didn’t really get a taste of the group until HBO launched the Flight of the Conchords television show in the summer of 2007. The shows’ humorous mix of scripted dialogue and hysterical music videos was a rousing success in the vein of Ricky Gervais’ Extras.
In October of 2007 the Conchords released their first North American EP on Sub Pop Records, The Distant Future. A full-length album was released in early 2008, the Tenacious D-like album, Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop), and it contained 14 songs from the first season of the show. Flight of the Conchords released their second full-length, I Told You I Was Freaky (Sub Pop) in October 2009, two months later they announced that HBO chose not to renew their show. It would have been their third season.