date: 27 May 2009.
answers: sam sam.
1) Your last show at Ellen Melville hall was killer! How is it to be back in New Zealand and playing shows?
It's awesome being back in New Zealand. I got pretty badly homesick at some parts of the last tour, so it was so good to see my girlfriend & family again, not to mention to hang out with all my friends. That EMH show blew me away, it was a rainy shitty night & I didn't really think anyone would come out.. It was sweet.
2) Antagonist AD have without a doubt had the most 'mainstream' success and exposure out of any NZHC act since Balance. Would you want to attribute this mainstream exposure and success to anything in particular?
I'd say the only reason we got any type of exposure or I guess acknowledgment was just because we played all the time, in as much places as possible. I was meant to be studying but I hated it & loved playing shows so I just started booking as much as I could for us really haha. People just started noticing our name everywhere & got interested. Once Bubba (1157) put out our CD he got a lot of press for us.. That reached a lot of people outside of the HXC scene, so that was awesome, most of those kids still come to our shows & just hxc shows in general so that's amazing.
3) How was your tour of South East Asia and Australia? Have you observed much of difference between the New Zealand hardcore scene and these scenes overseas?
Hardcore is a crazy thing, because the general 'scene' is pretty much the same everywhere you go - which is rad. Everyone is so accommodating, sure there are lots of challenging personalities everywhere, but you get to meet some amazing genuine people. Australia is pretty big, they're a lot of kids that go to shows there, but it seems to be dying recently - I guess due to over-saturation. They are getting so many touring bands I think people are just starting to not care. South East Asia reminded me a lot of NZ wherever we went, the shows were quite small & intimate but it was made up by enthusiasm & a lot of heart. Super D.I.Y over there as well, everything was like it was still in the mid 90s, so many ZINES & DISTROS!! You just don't really see that anymore, & a lot of the bands had this mid-tempo 90s thing going on, which was rad. The only exception was Singapore which was quite trendy & clinging to USA a lot more.. Don't get me wrong Singapore was awesome, that was just a thing I noticed there.
4) What triggered your interest in hardcore? What were some of your favourite local bands growing up?
Well, when I was about 12 my sister used to come home with local CDs for me, it was stuff like SHINKASTA, GHIDRAH & 'All we have is difference' classic hamilton releases! I loved that shit - I didn't really understand or grasp it too well, but I loved that energy & passion that it had, it was nothing like anything I had previously heard.. I was obsessed with GHIDRAH for ages so definitely them.. I got big on BALANCE, loved SOMMERSET & KITSCH... DAYONE (less than perfect) was one of the first CDs I actually bought myself.. Seeing MISLED BY LIES made me want to sing in a band.. But seriously so many local bands ruled, I'd say all the ones I've mentioned so far have had the most profound affect on me..
5) Congratulations on getting the support slots for Earth Crisis. To me it seems like Antagonist AD and Earth Crisis share a common world view and ethic that shapes lyrical direction. Does the band take much influence from Earth Crisis and karl's lyrics?
Personally, Earth Crisis had a huge effect on me when I was younger and thinking about going Vegan. They were one of the bands that just helped reaffirm my beliefs & be proud about my potential decision, reinforcing my strength & discipline to pursue veganism. I think Earth Crisis has had a similar affect on the rest of the band in same way, I could be wrong here, but I think EC was one of the first hxc bands Boozey heard through some sampler, essentially getting him into HXC. I honestly can't believe we get to share the stage with such an influential & respected band, it's just insane.
6) From time to time I (sadly) hear some people make passing comments about how Antagonist AD have strayed from their roots and become 'rock stars.' Is there anything you would like to say to these people?
Haha, Yeah totally, haven't you heard the newer stuff with the poppy chorus's and the clean vocals?? Seriously, the few people that we've ever heard (down the grapevine, no one has ever made a comment to our faces) saying stuff like that were either trend jumping dudes who used to be friends or were just people into our band who have since 'progressed' onto 'better' things or new jacks who just have no idea about how much work we've put into this over the years, or even how much stuff we've done here in general. We haven't done a single thing different from when we started, the only thing we've done is tour overseas, we are all broke, sleep on floors when we are away, don't really get paid for shows, always looked out for other bands before our own, everything we have done overseas is DIY through us talking to people & making friends, mostly tour kinda sucks haha, we have sketchy overnight drives, don't get much sleep, don't have much time/option or money for food, the only thing that rules about it is hanging out with friends and playing music, not sure where anything rockstar comes into that?? I'd like to invite anyone who's ever said anything of the like to come say it to one of our faces & tell us why, because I'd really really like to know how they came to that decision. And....when those same people are asking for their fave big overseas band to be brought over to NZ are they gonna hate on them for touring and probably actually making some money... therefore if you stick to their distorted rationing - being "rockstars" as well?
7) You guys are on 1157, which not only hosts some of the biggest names in New Zealand music like Cobra Khan, but also has hosted some of the greatest hardcore bands New Zealand has seen... Balance, DSM, and State of Grace come to mind. What is it like seeing your name crop up to band names like those previously listed?
Haha, the only reason I wanted to be on that label was to be on the same roster as all those classic bands that I grew up listening too. I still can't believe that we get to share it with those bands! It's a total privilege.
9) It seems like Antagonist AD have a pretty hectic schedule these days. What kind of non-musical aspirations do you have at the moment?
Man, the band is my life. We don't have a manager or anything like that, I still book everything for us so it just consumes all my time. When I'm not doing that I just try to fill every second of my time either hanging out with my girlfriend, family & friends!! I did a design course in 2007 so I try to play around with that and keep up to date, but yeah, at the moment the band is my focus.. I'm trying to tackle Muay Thai at the moment with a bunch of mates, trying to train most days so that's keeping me sane & tired outside of the band.. People laugh at me when I say this, but I have a couple of ambitions haha, first being to have a couple of amateur Kickboxing fights, & the second is to play league for the warriors. haha...
10) It seems like the lyrics you write for Antagonist AD aren't just shaped by people/ideas within the hardcore scene/community, but also by social critics and thinkers outside of the scene. Would you like to share about that?
All the lyrics I write just come from everything I experience, they mean nothing if they aren't relevant to you. I think that's one of the biggest & most ironic points in hardcore - bands recycling lyrics or saying something because they think it's cool, not because they have experienced it & believe it whole heartily.
11) Will there ever be another Auto Hate show?
haha...not sure, bummed I missed them at that other smakdown... heard they're playing at the transformers 2 movie premiere??!!
12) Any final words or shout outs?
Thanks a lot for taking the time to write out these questions & send them to me etc & huge props for taking even more time to put together an entire zine!!