Michael Crafter goes head to head with Antagonist frontman about midgets, gambing and old school hardcore!

Interview w/ Sam (Vocals) of Antagonist  

By Michael Crafter 

So you sing for Antagonist from New
Zealand. How does it feel to have the chance to come to the best country
in the world and tour?


Ha ha! Is that a serious question? Wow ha ha! Yeah Australia is a good
place and we are definitely lucky to be able to play shows all over
our own country let alone go to overseas.  



What’s different about Australia compared to New Zealand? I know
we don’t have ‘Jake The Muss’, but Mark
“Chopper” Reid is a fucking legend.


You guys don’t have massive volcanoes everywhere. You just got that
big rock.. Australia is brown and orange. We are green.  


If some old man put cash down on the table in front of the whole
band and said he wanted to get a hand job, a cuddle and spoon – who
would be the first to stand up and take the cash and get the job done?
How much cash would it cost him?


Say $50 and $20  in casino chips? It depends if we got smashed
at the casino. If we did me or Iz would ‘jenkins’ for it, or maybe
double team and ride it on black? But if we are talking just for pure
pleasure, then Ross would be all over it  



When times get tough on tour people in the band start getting stressed.
Who is the first person to say “I’m going home and
quitting the band”? We all know this always
happens with every band.


Wow we actually haven’t had that yet. Oh get ready for it…that was
me. I do it every tour with every band. I guess going to Europe in the
winter we tell each other to quit sometimes, that’s about as worse
as it gets. Tour beats being at home working in NZ.  


The band is made up of vegan and vegetarian members. You’re known
to push this as part of the bands image.
Do u think you’re changing anyone’s thoughts or views?


It’s mental, we’ve gotten heaps of messages from kids saying we opened
there eyes to vego/veganism and just ‘inspired’ them to look into it.
And that’s fucking amazing and more than I could ever ask for. Just
to have one kid do it, let alone more and more. Was it you that said
how many vegans does it take to change a light bulb?? None because vegans
don’t change shit. That better not be coming up next…  


When you die what song will be played at your funeral? I already
shot-gunned ‘Bro Hymn’ and Day Of Contempt’s
‘Comatose’ and I’m dying first…


I was thinking about this the other day. ‘Everybody Hurts’ by R.E.M
definitely. I kind of wanted ‘Freebird’ too but I don’t know.
‘Pedro The Lion’ & Converge’s ‘Jane Doe’ too.  


Who is the best hardcore band to come out New Zealand? Most people
wouldn’t know any of them anyways, but just someone who you loved
and have since broken up.


We had some greats – DSM, Balance, Kill Me Quickly. I’d say its between
those three. There were some amazing bands that went completely under
the radar – Daredevil, The Redshift.  

Is a follow up
cd coming soon? I’m sure if you pull out a ripper cd you could be
huge in Poland and sketchy parts of Germany. You just gotta cover
‘Firestorm’ and you’re all set.
So when is the next release coming?


Ha ha, yeah! We can do shirts with seashells and recycling signs on
them too. We are writing stuff at the moment. We need a few more songs
but I’m so psyched on the way the new stuff is coming along. We want
to have it out early next year – hoping by March at latest. But at the
same time, we want to put out the best thing we can do, so we are spending
more time on the songs than we have before, so far its paying off.  


Is their anything new coming out of New Zealand for people to check
out?  Don’t say The Bleeders…

Ha ha! New Bleeders cd is gonna be good.
New chase cd is gonna be huge, definitely get that.. This young Hamilton
band called Cry Wolf should have a release sometime that’ll be fucking
great and there’s a band in Wellington called Strangers that just put
out a cd called ‘Weight’ – dudes who like Deathwish stuff will love


If you could pick one song that you think has actually made a change
in the hardcore/metalcore scene, what would the song be?

Are we talking NZ or internationally?
Thats a huge question.  


Um internationally – DSM’s ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and other songs about
hardcore don’t count anymore when most
of the dudes are either hessians or wannabe rock stars!


Haha alright. Um, you can pick out so much that has caused ripples ethically,
socially or musically. It’s hard to choose one. Right now what’s
plaguing my mind is shit like Job For A Cowboy or Bring Me The Horizon
now taking metalcore further away from hardcore.   


Firestorm brother. You shouldn’t
have even had to think about it twice.


Well I didn’t want to take the easy answer.  


What are your thoughts on bands working less and relying more on
the Internerd to make it big? It seems like
every second hardcore band adds 20202432432 people, gets some sick neck
and hand ink and makes 30 shirt designs. To me that’s not hardcore
and hasn’t got anything to do with the D.I.Y ethic.


Nah not at all. I mean there are all these things you can utilize to
make shit easier, but sitting on your ass all day adding friends ain’t
hardcore. But you know, real hardcore kids will recognize the real bands
and the kids doing it for the right reasons. In all fairness, the internet
got us to Australia.. At the same time though, I have never sat down
all day on the net adding friends or sucking e-dick to get my band anywhere,
and I know so many bands that do that and it’s fucking annoying. You
have to pay your dues.  


When it’s all said and done, what do you want from being in a band?
I was a person who wanted the fame. Wanted the glory, and when I got
it I found my true self and hated who I had become. Hardcore today seems
like a whole lot of kids who want to be the next Prom Queen or
Parkway Drive. I think bands need to go back to just being stoked on
playing some shows and hanging with mates.


Dude that’s what it’s all about! Playing shows, hanging with my best
friends meeting new people everyday and just being constantly surrounded
by like minded people. Not necessarily all of them but mostly dudes
that give a shit and know the world is fucked. I can escape and hang
in this kind of unreal world aside from the bullshit system. You know
this way more than me, but how is it I have seen so many places and
things and met so many people just because I grabbed a mic one day and
sung a Minor Threat cover and thought it’d be fun to do a band? 


Do you ever think sitting down and writing lyrics that mean
a lot and having something to say will ever actually change anything?
I wrote some terrible lyrics about girls and other
cliché shit and kids lapped it up.  Now I wish I
had a lot more to show for my self. But do kids actually take notice
these days?



I think it does, I mean only if it’s a trend. At the end of it all
I think there will always be that one kid that you just ignite something
in and that makes it all worth it. I mean even I piss someone off and
they hate everything I have to say and want to pull it all apart, at
least they are doing something too. You know? Ha ha! At the same time
you gotta be genuine and sincere, you cant write some bullshit and expect
everyone to be like wow he cares about the world when you’re talking
out of your arse. I think it’s part of being in a hardcore band. You
just get that aggression no matter where its from, if its heart felt
it will definitely make some form of difference. Sometimes those meaningless
‘girl’ songs get you through shit times too you know? 


Do u have anything else to say about life, chicks, vegan food, wooden
beer crates and the Hamilton Casino?


I was at the casino earlier tonight and watched a drunk American midget
lose $2000 on black jack. Last words = buy the Chase album when it comes out and keep an eye out
for ours. I think we are back in February for a couple of shows too…

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