New Zealand exports Antagonist A.D are a force to be reckoned with. The metallic hardcore Kiwis have stayed true to their roots across their seven-year career, rarely making concessions to the masses and honing their blistering sound across five intense releases. No strangers to Australian shores, the band are returning for a headline run in August alongside US heavyweights Lionheart and Sydney’s own Shinto Katana. Vocalist Sam Crocker recently spoke with Kill Your Stereo about the tour and the band’s latest album, ‘Nothing from No One’.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in the band?
26/M/NZ – Sam – Singer of songs.
For the uninitiated, how would you describe your music?
Metallic influenced hardcore – euro influenced melodic metal hardcore?
The single ‘Violence” stays true to your longstanding sound. Did you guys try to shake up the formula at all with ‘Nothing from No One’ as a whole?
We sat down and talked about what we liked about our music – what got us excited – our original influences and also what we’d like to see added to the equation. We spent a lot time trying to make it interesting – adding layers to the music that’d create an energy and depth to it.
What influenced the decision to release the album through Mediaskare Records?
Mediaskare are an awesome highly regarded label – our friends in The Ghost Inside also recommended them to us.
You guys are set to tour your second home with Lionheart and Shinto Katana in tow. What are you most excited about the tour?
Australian food/coffee and friends! But I’m psyched to play our new songs live and see their response! Also really looking forward to seeing some of this new Shinto stuff live – it’s so heavy.
How does it feel to come back in a headline role this time?
It feels like it’s been a long time coming! I can’t wait, feeling a little bit nervous since we accompanied by such amazing live bands. Should be killer shows.
How do the Australian and New Zealand live scenes differ?
They are pretty similar – Australia is that much bigger than NZ so as you can imagine the shows are bigger. NZ has some really cool venues that carry it a bit like VOID in Hamilton. We’ve had a little bit of drought of solid hard working bands in NZ for a while (with the exception of Ricky Bobby who just broke up), so that also affects turn outs and vibe at shows. But there’s some really cool new bands coming up that’ll hopefully push it a bit. Australia always has good bands; even the bad ones are pretty good at being bad if you know what I mean.
What has been your favourite tour of the band’s career?
It’s a hard call – Europe was amazing because every day it was like HOLY SHIT I’M IN EUROPE. Japan was EXACTLY the same – HOLY SHIT I’M IN JAPAN. I love every tour honestly – playing shows, seeing bands and hanging with my friends cannot be beaten.
Tell us about the craziest thing the band has ever done?
One time we were playing with The Bleeders (big punk band in NZ circa 04-07) in a small bar in Hamilton, there was a screw up with advertising and venues so the tour went from 400 a night down to 6 people at this little bar. While we were playing 2 of the 6 people in the club started fighting with The Bleeders who were also standing in the crowd watching us… Josh (bassist at the time) ran off bass in hand and joined what literally looked like a rolling cartoon fight with limbs/bass/beer bottles flying around the room, somehow I got pulled into all of this as well. The rest of the band had no idea and finished the song without noticing me and Josh dropping elbows with The Bleeders on the few people who had actually paid to get into the show.
Not many Australians are familiar with New Zealand’s hardcore scene. Who are some bands that you would recommend?
A few great bands just broke up – Ricky Bobby and The Burial. At the moment new bands that are looking to set it off are Too Late, Bad, Out Cold and Regime.
What does the future hold for you guys after such a long time of being together?
Lots of shows coming up trying to reach new corners of the globe – as far as we can go. We’re already looking towards our next release – we had a ton of fun writing this one and are excited about what we can come up with next.
Are there any comments you’d like to finish on?
Thanks heaps for taking the time to do this interview – appreciate it a lot! Shout outs to Funky Pies and Seven Seeds.