Fat Freddy's Drop Visit U.S. With 'Dr. Boondigga'
Fat Fredy's Drop Kerry Brown

New Zealand's Fat Freddy's Drop sure knows how to take its time. The seven-piece dub outfit has been together for nearly a decade, yet only recently released its second album of studio material and, up until last week, had played just one gig in North America.

"We are an indie group-we have to crack the whip on ourselves," the band's trumpeter and unofficial spokesman Toby Laing says with a laugh. "It would have been good to be quicker, but we have to be really happy with the production side of it as much as the music."

The band's first studio album, "Based on a True Story," was a phenomenon in its home country, riding its reputation as one of the best live outfits to become the first independently distributed album to debut at No. 1 on the New Zealand albums chart in May 2005. But constant touring throughout Europe and a rebuilding of the band's Wellington studio meant a four-year gap before its follow-up, "Dr. Boondigga and the Big BW," saw the light of day. That album was just released stateside and brought the band to the States for a sold-out, three-stop West Coast tour.

But Laing promises that Fat Freddy's Drop will return early next year and that the wait for the third album won't be nearly as long. "The success of the band has relied very much on fans discovering the music and communicating it to their friends, and that gave us a lot of support here already," Laing says. "We're entering a new creative phase and improvising like we used to. Now we're keen to visit new places."