Meet the Band.
Every member of the 8 Ball Aitken has spent more than 10,000 hours perfecting their craft. They are one-of-a-kind individuals who gel and musically inspire each-other onstage.
“I feel blessed to have these guys beside me onstage night after night. They lift me up so that I can find the smoothest tone for the soft moments and the most electrifying riff for the times when I want to get loud. Everyone brings their own gifts to the band and we all love and respect each other".
Scroll down to read more about the guys.
ROBERT MACKAY - RHYTHM GUITAR
Introducing the phantom Robert Mackay. Rob’s “inner rock pig” has gained great satisfaction in playing with 8 Ball Aitken for over a decade.
Rob is a full time record producer with Pacific International Music and has produced 125 albums so far. Playing with 8 Ball is Rob’s main live performance outlet.
“Playing session parts in a studio and playing live are two entirely different planets,” says Rob Mackay, “Playing with 8 Ball is such a pleasure, we knit, weave and groove guitar parts well together, its all about complimenting what 8 Ball does and being a part of a great team, enjoying one’s self,” he adds.
“I have been known to have a beer or seven and am famous for smuggling quality red wine backstage, man cannot live on bread alone.”
Rob is also hoping to add to 8 Ball’s merchandise line with an inflatable Rob doll that snores just like the real thing! The prototype is currently being stitched together.
Rob like 8 Ball Aitken began his musical career in high school in teenage bands. Rob played in Melbourne’s ‘Exentrix’ ranking #1 in Melbourne, Victoria, 1989. Rob’s first laden record was with ‘Degenerates’ and his live band was ‘The Veggies, Fresh Veggies, The Vegetables’. When Rob moved to Queensland, he joined Hervey Bay band ‘The Bobkatz’, best known for hit country chart single ‘The Man In The Picture’.
Rob’s first influences were The Monkees, The Beatles, Skyhooks, Daddy Cool, and Neil Young. “I really liked how Skyhooks’ guitarists worked their riffs around each other. It is the approach that I use when playing in 8 Ball Aitken’s band. I find a counter riff or play a complementary part, leaving my ego at the stage door as I slot into a tasteful groove.”
“Rob is as fine as the wine he sips, flirting with his Gretsch guitar, teasing and seducing it into a lewd and erotic state,” remarks 8 Ball Aitken. “He’s a man with an impeccable purpose and he is a talented man both onstage and in the studio. Rob’s humor and storytelling are some of the greatest fun times after the show.”
WARNING: Do not buy this man red wine unless it’s of high quality. It will get thrown at you.
PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL MUISC
NIK DOWNING - DRUMS
Nik Downing is the muscely, vested, smiling guy behind the drum kit.
Nik is the man who brings the crowds in off the streets. He keeps the grooves strong. He is the ‘brother from another mother’, or at least a ‘cousin from a different uncle,’ not by blood but by spirit and groove.
Nik’s drumming career started in Sydney and has taken him to Europe where he spent ten years working the festivals and clubs following his drumming muse.
“My favorite thing about Nik’s drumming is his musicality and dedication. He approaches the drums like it is a full band and he plays melodically. He has no fear to try new ideas out and he never slacks off or misses a beat,” say 8 Ball.
Nik brings solid timing, power, and professionalism to the band.
Nik’s beautiful wife Joanne is his daily motivating force and she is usually backstage with a towel, clean shirt, and a cold beer waiting for him.
DARREN SCOTT - BASS
Darren is the man behind the shades in his urban sneakers. He is the second longest standing band member of the current 8 Ball Aitken Band. For almost a decade Darren has held down the bass guitar grooves.
“Darren is a multi-talented multi-instrumentalist and singer. He can riff and jam with the best. It takes a lot of skill to play bass and sing harmonies at the same time. Darren does it while wearing sunglasses and keeping a straight face. He is also working on his first solo album that is set for release in 2057,” chuckles 8 Ball.
Darren is currently cruising in the Caribbean on one of those extended working holidays that see the sun set over the ocean everyday in paradise. It may sound romantic, but Darren is always heading to a gig somewhere and that has been the case since he first started touring the outback as a teenager.
Darren is the techno man in the band. He is the most capable sound guy, the film maker, the creative force snapping pics and twisting knobs, and playing all the while. He is the video producer behind many of the 8 Ball Aitken music video clips including 'Six Stringer', ‘Drop On By’, and ‘Hit The Road’.
'He has his own puppet that doesn’t like to me called a puppet’ https://www.facebook.com/milanoix/
“What I personally love the most about Darren is his outlook on life. The answer to every question asked too Darren is usually ‘why not?’ He is one to roll with party and enjoy life.
DILLION JAMES (AITKEN) - KEYBOARD
Dillion is 8 Ball Aitken’s younger brother. He tinkles the ivories and plays that funky, groovy, syncopated, Hammond organ.
Dillion’s influences have been boogie music, second-line New Orleans grooves, reggae, swing, jazz, and anything you can shake too.
“Dillion’s trip to New Orleans changed his life and inspired him to learn to play the way that they do on Frenchman Street. He can’t help but bring his New-Orleans flavored organ and piano sound to the stage.
Dillion hails from the Atherton Tablelands and is now a proud father settled in Brisbane. He also fronts his own outfit The Dillion James Band.
Dillion is a songwriter and has released two albums. Dillion is a multi genre man playing boogie-woogie piano then shaking his dreads around to a reggae groove within the same set. He can spread his talents across several instruments, as he is also a highly skilled drummer, bass player, and guitarist.
“Dill can often be found out the back of the venue explaining the laws of astrophysics and climate change to some unsuspecting drunk guy who didn’t know what he was getting into when he said hello to him,” laughs 8 Ball. “Touring with Dill means taking home made hummus and baked beans", he adds.
ZED CHARLES - BASS
Hey Ladies, this gentleman could make you blush. He has charm the size of a stadium and a reputation for being one of the hottest guitar-slingers on the Australian music scene today.
Zed Charles is Brisbane based. He also plays in his own band ‘The Royal Artillery’ who are known for delivering rock n roll, heavy blues, dark psychedelic stoner-rock, and desert metal.
Zed and 8 Ball have jammed together and been friends over many years. Their friendship and musical bonds on stage shows these two guitar gurus going about their musical work with a deep focus and commitment to their craft.
“Zed will forget his socks on tour, but he will blow the audiences socks off”, chuckles 8 Ball.
LINDY LOO - MERCH QUEEN
Good things come in small packages. The pretty lady with the heart warming smile who sells band merchandise is Lindy Loo. She’s 8 Ball’s better half (of course).
"If you are digging the gig and you want a CD or some souvenirs to take home, then go and see Lindy Loo. She is without a doubt the best band merchandiser/designer in the universe,” says 8 Ball. "When the band looks out into the crowd and sees there fans wearing the band shirts. They know that they have an army of loyal supporters”, he adds.
“I started selling tie dye t-shirts years ago so I could see my fans coming and run the other way as fast as I could,” laughs 8 Ball. “Lindy Loo has taken it to a whole new level and I am so proud of her and the incredible designs that she comes up with. Not only does Lindy Loo set up shop and take care of the gear, she is also one of the smallest and most capable roadie I have worked with. She is not your six foot something, bearded, tattooed, stereotypical roadie, as she does all her work in high heels”.
Lindy Loo has earned a song or two. She is the queen of organisation and keeps the band healthy and well fed on the road. She was destined for a life in the music business after being a huge music fan attending gigs since she was a small child. She has a deep appreciation for anyone who masters their crafts.
Lindy may be a flower on the outside, but she stands with strong with roots of determination, commitment and dedication.
“Lindy wears many hats within the team and is the silent extra member of our band. We all love Lindy Loo, but sorry fella’s she is taken”, says 8 Ball.