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Monday 2nd May, 2011 9:39AM

Hello Beastwars! Describe your sound in 5 words or less.

“The apocalypse in your ears”.

Tell us about your debut album. How long has it been in the making?

We came together about 5 years ago wanting to play something along the lines of Kyuss crossed with The Cult. It didn't end up sounding quite like that. We played heaps of shows in our hometown of Wellington and a lot of people were asking for an album so we saved up some cash from these gigs, and a bit of our own savings, and went down to Dunedin. Recording with Dale Cotton was a great experience, he reminds me a bit of Phil Spector, without the funny wig and gun lust. And I also think that getting out of town and heading to Dunedin in the middle of winter really helped us make the album in 5 days. There were no distractions because we didn't want to leave the house because it was so cold.

Did you write a lot of the songs for the album or does a lot of it come from live performance?

The song ‘Cthulhu’ was basically a studio song that we're now attempting to play live. That came from a demo and we just played it once on the day in the studio and the vocal line/lyrics were all improvised on the spot. There is another song on the album that we haven't played live for 3 years and one song that was written especially to fill a sonic gap that we thought was missing from the album. The rest are all songs that have been in our live set for quite a while now.

You have pulled together quite a tour for the album; playing with Lord of Tigers, Arc of Ascent and others. Where is this tour taking you?

Yeah I'm really stoked with all the bands we'll be playing with - we're huge fans of them all and we listened to the Operation Rolling Thunder album a lot while we were recording. We'll be checking in with Wellington, Lyttelton, Port Chalmers, Hamilton and Auckland. This is our first 'tour' although we've played once before in Dunedin and a couple of support slots in Auckland. It's exciting to be headlining our own tour and we've had a good response to the album and the announcement of the shows so far so hopefully everyone comes along and has a great time.

I personally can’t wait. In your time together you must have played some killer shows, including being on the bill with Melvins and High on Fire. Who inspires you?

The Melvins/High on Fire show was pretty special as both those bands are big influences. I could try and list everyone else but with 4 members in the band that would be impossible so it's easier to say that we're inspired by bands and artists that are doing their own thing and kicking ass at it, regardless of genre. We've been really lucky to play some great shows with bands that we really dig but also some of our first shows playing to just 9 people were pretty good too.

What does it mean to you to make heavy music on your own terms when music seems to be getting dumber and more formulaic?

Hey what are you trying to say here mate? Haha. Dumb riffs are the best riffs as long as they aren't clichéd or cheesy but being able to do that in itself is an art form. Obey the riff; it's as simple as that.

What would be your dream band to open for?

That's an easy question. Black Sabbath circa 1970.

What local (NZ) bands are on your radar?

I'm personally really into Glass Vaults and I hope that Rifles get their shit together and start making some more music soon. There are a lot of great bands out there and it's cool that we'll manage to play with a lot of them on this tour.

Dunedin seems to be the epicentre for NZ’s heavy music scene. What is the state of the Wellington rock & metal?

I think our friends Razorwyre are responsible for reinvigorating a sense of excitement in metal for Wellington. It feels good that we can do our part to help build on that.

What does the future hold for Beastwars?

We're really looking forward to getting the vinyl back from the pressers and having people check out the album in that format. It's a beautiful thing watching the vinyl spin around and Nick Kellers artwork is a psychedelic wonderland of both beauty and destruction. We've started writing our new album and are thinking about how we want to record it. Then hopefully a trip to Australia for some shows and a New Zealand tour with Razorwyre before the end of the year.

Ricardo Kerr