I welcome 3000AD on the pages of ATMOSFEAR. Bands from New Zealand do not often visit us. Let’s get acquainted. Introduce your band. Where are you based, who plays in the band and when did you from?
Thank you for featuring us! We are from Christchurch, New Zealand which is also where we are primarily based. The band members are Hellmore Bones (drums/ lead vocals) Sam Pryor (Guitar and backing vocals) and Scott Austin (Bass and backing vocals). This reinvented version of the band has only been around for about 5 years but the members have been playing together in various bands since high school.
Did you play somewhere before 3000AD?
As mentioned we were in some other bands but they were more experiments than serious projects.
With a name like 3000AD, the group is definitely will not be lost in the crowd, but what is the meaning of this name?
That’s right, part of the reason we choose 3000AD as the band name was that it was quite different. We actually first wrote a song called 3000AD and eventually decided it was a good representation for the bands music as a whole. Our music is mostly set in a bleak dystopian future so the name fits that vibe quite well.
What are the five bands that most influenced the work of 3000AD?
I would say early Metallica, Slayer and Sepultura fused with The Misfits and Bad Religion.
What problems did you face while recording your debut album “The Void”?
It took a very long time to complete, the song development process was very lengthy. The recording was also quite drawn out so the biggest challenge was to keep focus over this long time period. I also broke my hand very badly at one point and was not sure if I would be able to play guitar again. But we got there in the end!
How satisfied are you with the result? Did it work out as planned?
Our mission objective from the start was ‘no compromise’ and that served us well I think because it turned out exactly as we wanted it to, even though it took some extra time to get there. We also had a lot of very talented people working on it at the mixing and mastering stage. Clint Murphy who produced some of my favorite metal albums and Sterling Sound who are pretty much the gold standard for mastering. The art by Eliran Kantor (Testament / Soulfly artist) is exceptional too, which competes the package.
What is your lyrics about? What is music or lyrics primary for you?
The album became a sort of unintentional concept album actually. We had all these songs with this bleak dystopian theme as I previously mentioned. Then when we were deciding on the song order it all just seemed to fall in place, there was even a logical order to them that made sense in terms of the lyrical themes. For example, the start of the album paints the picture of this almost uninhabitable future earth and by the end, the planet is abandoned entirely.
Regarding what is primary, I think a good metal song always needs that strong riff or musical idea that everything else fits around. The lyrics of course are very important and we pride ourselves in being less generic in that domain. But realistically we spend 98% of our time on the music so I would say that is primary.
You found the publisher in the face of the powerful Ukrainian label Metal Scrap Records, but are there any New Zealand labels?
Yes are a few small local labels here, but for us it was all about pushing our music forward past the limited New Zealand scene. So Europe was a logical place to expand into and Metal Scrap Records have a wealth of experience in this market which was exactly what we were looking for.
Let’s talk about the New Zealand scene. What bands from your places can you advise our readers and how often do you have concerts?
There’s a very underrated band here called Cobra Khan which I would say is a bit of a crossover band too. In my mind they are world class but metal does not get a lot of exposure in New Zealand. Check out the song ‘Graze the Earth’. We used to have quite a good local scene in Christchurch but the earthquake in 2011 destroyed most of the venues and a lot of the bands that were active at the time moved or disappeared.
Geographically, New Zealand is located very far from world music centers. Are you planning any concerts in support of your album in New Zealand itself and beyond?
We have played in New Zealand for many years so for now we are more interested in expanding out to new places. As you have alluded to it’s not exactly the place to be for metal.
The final question. What are you planning to do next?
Well we will be on tour in Eastern Europe this March / April supporting Necronomicon so it will be great to see how the new album goes down with a totally new audience. Also we have our album release on March 27 so look out for that!
Thank you very much for this interview, can please explain how all began?
Three angry, bored teenagers start band. That could’ve been the headline. Growing up in a small place like New Zealand there was never a lot to do. We all knew each other, all loved heavy music and it just seemed to come together. And we’ve just kept doing it. We never got bored or felt like there was anything better to do. And so here we are. We released our first album this year and I don’t think we’ll stop anytime soon.
3000AD what does it means?
3000AD came from one of our songs. It’s set in a future where all the institutions that we had faith in have collapsed. People live amongst the debris of a vanished golden age. Everything is destroyed and all that’s left is a wasteland. I think we gravitated towards that as a general statement about how fragile, everything is and how quickly things can change. It spoke to our pessimistic and cynical side and summed up our attitude towards the world. So we went with it.
Many line up changes?
It started with just Sam and myself. Drums and guitar. But pretty quickly I think we realized that we needed some low end if we really wanted to pummel the living Hell out of people. Scott had played in bands with both of us before and I don’t think he would’ve given us any choice other than to have him join in. As soon as that happened, we really had the sound we needed. Who woulda thought? Since then it’s really just been the three of us. Even when we’ve found ourselves living in separate countries we’ve still stuck together and made it work. Occasionally our friend Steve has joined us on guitar but he lives in Chile now and his Metal days are sadly behind him.
What influences your music and lyrics?
All the terrifying Shit that goes down. Loud, aggressive music and loud, aggressive world events. We’re a loud aggressive band. Classic Thrash bands like Slayer or Punk bands like The Misfits or bands like the Beastie Boys. We love that stuff. Anything with a lot of attitude. When the music sounds the way it does when we play it, you can’t really sing about peace and love. So, the music basically influences the words. The stakes are high so anything less than the end of the world or the chaos we find ourselves in and where that will lead are the kind of lyrical concepts that seem to fit best.
You guys define yourself as a Modern Thrash Metal band, why?
It’s really hard to define yourself. In some ways there isn’t really much point as it’s not a particularly fruitful thing to do. We definitely see ourselves in the thrash mould however. Especially in our approach to guitar. We are a part of that lineage. But, at the same time we’ve never liked to simply copy one thing or ape a particular style. I think we’ve added our own sensibilities into the mix as well. So it’s Thrash, but hopefully with our own stamp on it with a few other twists thrown in.
How it is to have a Metal band in New Zealand?
We’ve always seen ourselves as a little group of outsiders. As a band we just kinda do our own thing. New Zealand is such a small place and it’s so far away from everything. I think that’s one of the reasons we love it, but we’re much more interested in playing in places outside the borders of our homeland, on the other side of the world, where the action seemingly is. We have some great friends playing in some great bands over here, but there are only so many places you can play…
What are your plans for the future?
Soon enough we’ll be touring in Europe. We were set to tour for the release of our album but that was right when the Covid-19 pandemic struck. So now we are waiting for the dust to settle and as soon as it does we will be over there. We’re also always working on new music and have luckily been able to continue to get together over here in New Zealand and keep writing, jamming and preparing ourselves for what’s next.
What is your opinion about Portugal?
I don’t think any of us have been to Portugal and that’s an absolute travesty. Hopefully that can change very soon. I’ve known some great people from that part of the world. I know we’re all looking forward to travelling through Europe and we’d love to see Portugal for ourselves. Some great music has come from there. If you guys would have us, we’d love to come and play.
Imagine you could be an animal, which one you would choose?
I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m a very Lazy person. I don’t really like doing a hell of a lot. And so observing my cat, I’ve often thought it would be a much more preferable life. Just laying around the place, doing whatever you feel like, Eating food out of a can. It all seems great. No downside. If you could make that happen, I’m in.
Anything you would like to say it wasn’t asked?
Thank you so much for you questions and hopefully we will see you out there in the world sometime very soon.
3000AD przypadek spośród wielu. Tak opisywał pewne zbiegi okoliczności występujące na debiucie 3000AD “The Void” gitarzysta Sam Pryor. Jest on członkiem młodej, ale całkiem dobrze (przynajmniej dla mnie) brzmiącej kapeli, która przypomina zespoły jak Black Fast. O tych podobieństwach, jak i o tym, co sprawia, że muzyka zespołu jest oryginalna, oraz o samej tematyce utworów (głównie ocierającej się o science-fiction), a także inspiracjach kapeli, przeczytacie w poniższym wywiadzie.
Cześć! Czy mógłbyś opisać nam muzykę zespołu? Czego możemy się po niej spodziewać?
Hej! Nasza muzyka jest często opisywana jako crossover. Powiedziałbym, że jest ona mieszanką thrash metalu i staroszkolnego punku. Jednak jest w niej także trochę progresywnych i melodycznych elementów.
Jak sądzisz, co sprawia, że jesteście oryginalni?
Mieszanka gatunków, o której wspomniałem oraz fakt, że nasz perkusista jest również głównym wokalistą. Wszyscy w zespole jednak udzielają się wokalnie. Przez co, byliśmy porównywani do Beastie Boys, pewnie ze względu na kilkugłosowy wokal.
Masz to uczucie, że wasza nazwa (3000AD) wymusza na was przywiązanie do jednego motywu, jakim jest science fiction?
To jest dobre pytanie! Kiedy pracowaliśmy nad motywami do tego albumu, wyobrażaliśmy sobie nowoczesną despotyczną cywilizację. Pomimo tego, że tematyka całego albumu dzieje się w przyszłości, połowa z utworów okazała się bardzo na czasie. Dla przykładu utwór “Network” jest o manipulacji dokonywanej przez media, oraz szaleństwo, które może dzięki niej powstać. “Cells” jest o globalnej pandemii, zaś “These Fires” może zostać łatwo odebrana jako nawiązanie do pożarów lasów w Australii. Stąd, nawet jeśli próbujemy zostać wierni temu motywowi “przyszłości”,to same utwory mogą odzwierciedlać obecną rzeczywistość. Jednak tak, nazwa sprawia, że w najbliższym czasie prawdopodobnie nie będziemy śpiewać o smokach czy wikingach.
Wasza muzyka troszkę przypomina mi miks Black Fast i Hallas z crossoverowym nastawieniem. Czy słyszeliście te zespoły? Czy zgadzasz się z tym (całkiem śmiałym) stwierdzeniem?
Chcę tutaj podziękować za informację o tych zespołach, nie słyszałem o nich wcześniej i oba są naprawdę zajebiste, na swój różny sposób (śmiech). Trochę rozumiem, dlaczegosłyszysz to podobieństwo. Black Fast ma tę energię, aś Hallas ma melodię i chwytliwe motywy. Ogółem – naprawdę świetna muzyka.
Co inspiruje was lirycznie? Wymienisz dzieła, które zainspirowały utwory na “The Void”? Powiedziałbym, że trochę czuć tu “System Shock” oraz “Blade Runner”
Liryczne inspiracje przychodzą zewsząd. Filmy, książki, wiadomości, nawet sny! Tak, masz w pełni rację, jeśli chodzi o inspiracje sztuką. Kiedy rozmawialiśmy z Eliranem Kantorem na temat grafiki albumu, nawet wspomnieliśmy o “Blade Runner”. Sądzę, że udało mu się przekazać tę wizję doskonale, wciąż będąc totalnie oryginalnym. Myślę, że właśnie dlatego jest jedną z ikon grafiki metalowej.
Czy możesz opisać to, w jaki sposób ona powstała?
Mieliśmy wizję posępnej dystopijnej przyszłości i był to motyw, który często pojawiał się w naszych utworach, o czym już wcześniej wspominaliśmy. Mieliśmy ten obraz w naszych głowach i trzeba było go zrealizować tak, żeby wszystko było bardziej emocjonalne i rzeczywiste. Tutaj wchodzi Eliran Kantor, absolutna legenda grafik muzyki metalowej. Jego praca nad “Dark Roots of Earth” Testamentu, mnie po prostu zmiotła. Wiedziałem, że muszę spróbować zagwarantować sobie z nim kontrakt na grafikę. Najpierw poprosił utwór. Na szczęście po jego wysłuchaniu poinformował nas, że chciałby być częścią projektu. Końcowy rezultat był jego wizją, wizją tego przyszłego świata, którą przez jakiś czas poznawał, słuchając naszej muzyki i wchodząc w klimat. Po tym, jak stworzył tę grafikę, stało się dla nas oczywiste, że znaleźliśmy idealną osobę do wykonania naszego oryginalnego pomysłu.
Który utwór z “The Void” jest najtrudniejszy do zagrania?
Prawdopodobnie “Journeys”, przynajmniej dla mnie. Jest to brutalna kombinacja szybkiego tremolo, następnie mocnego kostkowania w dół. Refreny wchodzą w idealnym czasie i pozwalają lekko odpocząć mojemu przedramieniu.
“Cells” jest w jakiś sposób metaforą systemów centralnego planowania?
To akurat utwór o globalnej pandemii! Co dziwniejsze, wydanie singla odbyło się prawie dokładnie w tym samym momencie (chodzi najpewniej o marzec 2020, kiedy został wydany materiał promocyjny, aczkolwiek sam utwór już był wcześniej dostępny – przyp. red.), co pierwszy wybuch pandemii. Do tego zawsze trzeba zaplanować wydanie singla wcześniej, jak to wymagają platformy streamingowe. Jednak zawsze możemy inaczej interpretować te teksty. Być może są dodatkowe warstwy, których nie jestem świadomy, ze względu na to, że nad większością tekstów pracuje Hellmore.
Myślisz, że zawsze powinniśmy przejmować się tym, że ktoś śledzi nasze niektóre działania? Jeśli nie, to gdzie jest ta linia, co jest prywatne, a co nie?
Zgaduje, że jest to odniesienie do “Who’s Watching”? Tak, powiedziałbym, że zwykle różne rządy pokazywały gotowość do zabrania praw obywatelom zawsze wtedy, kiedy miały tylko do tego okazję. Jest to równia pochyła. Tak jak to Franklin powiedział: “Ci, którzy są gotowi oddać swoją Wolność za poczucie przelotnego Bezpieczeństwa, nie zasługują ani na Wolność, ani na Bezpieczeństwo”.
Powiedziałbyś, że “The World We Knew” to przestroga?
Oczywiście, wydaje się być ona na czasie. Nie bierzcie dóbr swojej cywilizacji za coś wiecznego. Historia nam już pokazała, że cywilizacja jest mniej wytrzymała, niż to, co zdajemy się przypuszczać. Na przykład, kto by się spodziewał tego, co się obecnie dzieje w Amerye? Myślę, że szybki powrót do historii mógłby tylko to potwierdzić… tak wiele imperiów upadło, mimo że wydawały się wieczne.
Czy ten sam czas trwania kawałka, 7:17, na zarówno “Journeys”, jak i “Born Under a Black Sun” były celowe?
To akurat był totalny przypadek, kolejny w serii wielu, które wystąpiły na tym albumie. Kiedy po raz pierwszy to zauważyłem, myślałem, że to był jakiś błąd (śmiech), jakby ktoś coś błędnie skopiował i wkleił.
Czemu nie dodaliście “Devolution Theory” do “The Void”? Czy zbyt różnił się od reszty zawartością?
Na początku był na płycie! Jednak spędziliśmy mnóstwo, czasu próbując dopasować najlepszą kolejność utworów, aby nadać albumowi płynność i dynamikę w odpowiednich momentach. Mając to na uwadze, po prostu nie byliśmy w stanie znaleźć dla niego logicznego położenia. To był wtedy jedyny powód! Jednak jak o tym teraz wspomniałeś, to prawdopodobnie była to też kwestia lekkiego zróżnicowania tematycznego.
Muszę dodać, że teledysk do “Who’s Watching” jest świetny. Kto go stworzył?
Dziękujemy za pochlebną opinię! Został stworzony przez YOD Multimedia, których polecam z całego serca. Naprawdę daliśmy im dość niesprecyzowany szkic motywu, inspirowanego “1984”, zaś rezultat był po prostu wspaniały. Myślę, że dzika natura teledysku dobrze współgrała z muzyką.
Czy określiłbyś jeden moment definiujący gatunek science fiction?
Myślę, że to jest “2001: Odyseja Kosmiczna”, czyż nie? Ten film absurdalnie wyprzedzał czas. Poza tym ta widoczna geneza iPada!
Co zamierzacie robić w 2021?
Mam nadzieję, że zagramy sporo koncertów, jeśli tylko granice się otworzą i nie będziemy mieli kolejnej sytuacji, takiej jak z “Cells”. Myślimy o trasach takich jak ta z Necronomicon po wschodniej Europie, która zacznie się we wczesnym 2021 roku. Jeśli nie to skorzystamy z naszego planu awaryjnego, pracy nad kolejnym albumem.
Dziękuje za wywiad! Powodzenia!
Dziękujemy HMP za wsparcie, mamy nadzieję, że niebawem zagramy w Polsce!
Technological nightmares and thrash in the past have given great records, for example, by Voivod and, more recently, Vekotr. To revive this trend, 3000AD of Sam Pryor, with the debut album “The Void” (Metal Scrap Records).
Welcome Sam! Could you introduce your band to our readers?
Thank you! We are 3000AD, a sci-fi influenced thrash metal / punk group from Christchurch, New Zealand
Could you explain the meaning of the band name?
As mentioned there is a sci-fi theme to the band branding and in the lyrics and art of our debut album “The Void” so 3000AD is appropriate in that sense. We are looking at a dark vision of what the world will be like in that time period.
“The Void” is your first full length, your thrash is more ’90 oriented then ’80: are you agree?
Maybe! I will let you decide! We didn’t actually aim to make it sound like anything in particular. Most of my influences are from the 80’s, but we try to put a modern spin on things and not just churn out the same types of riffs that are typical of that era or the new retro thrash type bands.
How “The Void” is born? Were all the tracks written for this album or there are some songs from your demos or your previous bands releases?
They were written over a very long period and endlessly refined. A couple of the newer tracks we were going to hold back for the next album, but then we figured we may as well make our debut as strong as it possibly can be!
I can’t read the lyrics, is “The Void” a concept album?
It was an unintentional concept album! Because usually with a concept album you come up with the concept first and then go about writing songs around that concept. For this album, it was the total reverse! We wrote a bunch of songs without anything really in mind, and then discovered they were all related and almost told a type of story. So, with that in mind we put the songs in the correct order to tell that story.
The cover artwork, by Eliran Kantor, is strictly connect to the band concept?
Absolutely, I gave him a lot of details around the album concept and that art was his genius interpretation of it. I think it’s one of his best works but I’m probably biased! Ha-ha.
Is difficult for you to promote your band from New Zealand?
Yes, it is quite hard, New Zealand is in the middle of nowhere of course and the population is very small. We are looking forward to a time when we can tour again to get the word out. We have our Europe tour with Necronomicon scheduled for next year so hopefully it works out this time!
How much important is for you to have a label, Metal Scrap Records, in Europe?
It’s really a great thing for us, having that expertise in a Metal hub like Europe. It’s the perfect way to help us overcome the limitations of New Zealand and they are a great label to work with.
What’s about the metal underground scene in New Zealand?
The scene is starting to come back again I think. We have a few gigs to play which is nice for a change after all the lockdowns. Hopefully, people now will appreciate live music more!
Tell me something about the evolution of the band from the rehearsal room via Sounds Of Vengeance until now.
We have known each other since high school and we are all in our 30’s now, so it’s been a while! Sounds Of Vengeance was one of many different projects that were involved in together, all with slightly different line ups. I would say Sounds Of Vengeance was very raw Thrash Metal, where as 3000AD is more refined and has more elements from other styles.
What about the name of the band? Why, meaning, etc.
Well the lyrical themes had a common thread of this dystopian future vision of Earth, so the name 3000AD first came about as a song title and later evolved into the band name itself. I think if you take a look at Eliran Kantor’s epic artwork for ‘The Void’ you will definitely see how that title fits into the atmosphere and vibe we were aiming for.
What about the recordings? Where, how long, partners, incidents, problems, anecdotes….
It was a very long process indeed, maybe 5 years?! We had a lot of challenges, drums were re-recorded in different studios, I broke my wrist badly which delayed the guitar tracking process. In fact, for a while I was unsure if I would ever be able to play guitar again, which was about the scariest thing I could imagine. We spent a long time tweaking the arrangements and getting everything sounding as good as it possibly could. In fact, we are still adjusting things a bit post recording, even after all those years of development! But that will have to be just for the live performances.
Try to introduce the guys of your band, please.
Hellmore Bones is the lead vocals, the lyric man and the drummer, so he’s got a fairly unique collection of roles. I (Sam Pryor) as the guitarist come up with a lot of the musical ideas that then go through a group development process of sorts. Scott Austin is in charge of backing vocals and bass.
Try to describe the music on the new CD in your own words. And what about your musically evolution in all those years, from the beginning in 2013 up to now? The style is something like Old School Thrash Metal in a modern “dress”.
I would say that’s a pretty accurate description. We took the heavy Old School Thrash Metal influence and then tried to throw in some new elements. Add some more catchy hooks in the vocals, give the bass a more prominent role and just create something that’s not directly emulating any one band while still taking influences from many of the legendary acts. As for development over time, it’s just a very prolonged refining process that moves so slowly you don’t even notice it often. I think only now we are sounding like what we have been aiming for many years.
Lyrics – give me some examples for main themes, meanings and so on.
All the songs are addressing different elements of a future vision of Earth that is almost inhabitable. The environment is destroyed, the government is authoritarian and out of control, plagues are common place, fires are raging, people are desperate. It’s raising the question of how bad do things need to get before we write off the planet initiate some sort of mass exodus.
What about your label? What about your future with this label? A sophisticated label but hard times, isn’t it? And why are you so immense international? You are from NZ, artwork is German, label Ukrainian, mastering/producing in the US… I forget something? 😉
Well, our label has been very helpful because we know that Europe is a Metal stronghold, so it makes sense to partner with people that have a wealth of experience in that location. New Zealand is also a very small country, so it makes sense to think more globally when it comes to producing an album, especially in a niche genre like Thrash Metal. We wanted to make a world class album so that meant hiring the best people to contribute to it from around the world.
Live and future plans? Nice stories from former tour activities? The Necronomicon Tour is postponed I suppose?
Soon we will do the European tour with Necronomicon, at the moment we are looking at late August but realistically it may be delayed again, it will happen though! Our touring has been limited to New Zealand previously, so we are looking forward to expanding a lot further!
By the way, some words about Corona?
It’s obviously a tragedy and a massive pain in the ass on multiple levels. At least things seem to be settling down now. It could have been a lot worse I think. Hopefully, we will be better prepared if something with a high morbidity rate comes along now.
What about yours and the members’ profession, hobbies?
Well, my day job is a web designer. It’s funny, because I got interested in that a long time ago, when I needed websites for my bands and did not want to pay for it, haha. Hellmore now works in a recording studio, which was a direct result of him learning recording skills from the bands we were in. So, bands and music have pretty much shaped our whole lives, even our day jobs. I don’t have a lot of hobbies beyond music, because I don’t have the time, maybe cars would be the closest. I like old Japanese sports cars.
What about NZ? You do every morning a haka, when you get up in the morning? Do you like rugby extremely and always wear all the time all black shirts? You’re like kiwis? And you don’t like Aussies? What I know about, is rugby, commonwealth with Great Britain and dreamland of backpackers… I of course, I know something about earthquakes; I hope you are not so affected….
What else, how do you like living there?
Haha, oh yeah every morning we haka then it’s fish and chips for breakfast… not quite! But we do all (in the band) like rugby, we all played it in school, so it’s pretty drilled into you. Plenty of people in New Zealand hate rugby though, so it’s not a given that a New Zealander will be interested in it. I’m surprised how much you know about these things! Yeah, Aussies are dickheads obviously
We do get a lot of German backpackers here. Scott, our bass player, ended up meeting one and moved to Cologne with her!
As for the earthquakes, 2 of the 3 members lost their family homes, but thankfully that was all we lost. I had to rescue my dog from my house, the chimneys collapsed on the inside and she got trapped. Christchurch has still not been rebuilt fully, but it’s getting better slowly.
What about clubs and music in Christchurch and nearby. Any tips and hints on clubs or bands?
A lot of the venues were wiped out by the earthquakes, so there is not really a go to Metal venue anymore, unfortunately. As far as bands go, Fall Of Them are a badass Melodic Death Metal band, check them out! Also, Extorted are great, have a really nice Old School Death Metal influence.
Please, give us your Top-Five CDs at the moment.
In no particular order (!):
Children of Bodom “Hexed”
Fear Factory “Demanufacture”
Sylosis “Cycle Of Suffering”
Okay, that’s it. Thanks for interview!
I have just found out about 3000AD, so I would be really pleased if you could introduce the band and its individual members and maybe briefly tell us something about its history. 🙂
3000AD are made up of three people. Sam Pryor on guitar, Scott Austin on bass and myself on drums. Everybody takes part in the vocals which helps to keep things interesting and adds little mayhem. We’ve just released our first album but we’ve been playing together for a long, long time. I won’t say how long because it’s embarrassing, but we all know each other pretty well by this point.
What inspired you to form a band? Which music styles and which bands contributed to your decision to establish a band?
We were still in high school when we started playing together. Like a lot kids we were equally both bored and pissed off and we just wanted to make a lot of noise and offend people. Sam had been in a thrash band and I had been in a punk band and Scott had been in both bands. The two bands happened to break up around the same time and since we didn’t really know anyone else we just started jamming together. And we liked it. Sam had always listened to a lot of the original thrash metal bands from the classic era. Anything that was RIPPIN! At that time, and even now I was specially into American punk bands like Fear, The Dead Boys etc. Scott seemed to be into all of it. It all just came together in a melting pot once we started playing.
Your trio comes from New Zealand. How is current metal situation going there? And generally, the scene on this island state? I have to admit that I don´t know many bands from New Zealand, apart from the brutal death metal band ORGANECTOMY.
The immediate local scene was pretty much decimated when the earthquakes hit Christchurch and has never fully recovered unfortunately. There used to be more of a scene and there were several venues that would do metal shows. Now there is only really one. Organectomy is probably a good representation of the general scene here, it’s pretty death / black metal dominated. I’ve always been surprised how few thrash bands there are here given how big thrash is worldwide. The biggest NZ metal export is probably 8 Foot Sativa which is Gothenburg style melodic death metal and more recently Alien Weaponry have been the first really successful NZ metal band to rep a thrash/heavy metal sound.
Which style of metal is the most popular and most used there and why?
I think Death Metal had a big impact on the New Zealand Metal scene. It definitely seems to have shaped the sound of a lot of the bands around here to some degree. When we first started playing we would often be the only band on the bill that was into thrash and it really seemed to confuse a lot of people, haha. But we just kept doing what we liked and a lot of people ended up coming around to us. There’s a lot of variety in the music scene here of course but when we first started playing, Death Metal cast a large shadow. Go figure.
When I was listening to your latest studio record, I figured out that you had created old thrash metal with more modern elements. Did you want to sound like this at the beginning or is it just a result of the band´s development through years?
I think the sound just came to us naturally over time. It’s a real blend of all of our individual personalities and tastes. Not just our taste in music but also in films and books as well. It’s all in there. The imagery of certain things. I also think that we try not to let the technical aspect of playing take precedent. For us it’s much more about the attitude and the emotion. And the sheer Volume.
What does your name, 3000AD, even mean?
It’s always hard to come up with a name. At least it was for us. We wrote the song ‘3000AD’ first. Afterwards, when we were trying to think of a name, the song and its lyrics just seemed to encapsulate a lot of what we wanted to get across in general. So we pinned ourselves to it and it just stuck. Then again there’s always the chance it could be completely meaningless.
You are releasing the debut album “The Void”. Why did you call the album like that? What does it suppose to mean?
The name could have a lot of different meanings, depending on how you look at it. A lot of the songs look towards the future and imagine what that future might look like. There are songs that have themes of space travel and mans Ultimate fate in the universe. So in a literal sense ‘The Void’ could just be seen as the great vacuum of space that isolates us and surrounds us with its cruel indifference. But ‘The Void’ could also be seen as the empty place within each person, or inside the culture and values that we’ve created that can lead us down a fatal path of no return.
The recording process was certainly very interesting. Could you describe it?
If I had to describe it in one word it would be ‘Long.’ I think it took us a lot of time to understand exactly what we wanted to make, and then how to make it. We recorded the drums in Hollywood at a great studio called Boulevard Recording all in a single day. Then we came back to New Zealand and spent quite a while working on the guitars and vocals. Working out arrangements, adding things, cutting things out, and generally going insane. But looking back I’m glad we did because we ended up being pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Unfortunately, I don´t have any access to your lyrics, therefore I would like to ask what is the main idea of the album? Is it a concept one or are many individual parts present there? Should it symbolize the journey to the hopeless future?
The album was definitely not written as a concept album. But it’s very strange to me that all the themes of the individual songs ended up telling a kind of overarching narrative. I wouldn’t describe myself as particularly paranoid or fatalistic, but the lyrics to the songs certainly turned out that way. I know that the music itself definitely sets that scene. As for what it all symbolises, I don’t think it’s very easy to look towards the future without detaching yourself from the past and present. So even though these songs might seem like they’re set in a time far off into the beyond, they could very easily be about the right here and now. A strange sense of decay seems to have set in.
How do individual members of the band contribute to the writing of the songs? Who is responsible for the musical part of it and for lyrical side of the album? Did you plan to include every member to the vocal production from the beginning?
Everything starts with Sam. He will come up with the whole musical foundation. Just lots of insane riffs. We will get together and just jam them out. Some stuff that he has come up with before on his own and some stuff that we will just come up with in the moment. We’ll spend some time shaping things and he’ll often have a good sense about what parts will work together. Then when things are feeling good I’ll go away and work on the lyrics and vocals. Once that has happened we’ll pretty much have a song. Of course, we’ll still have ideas about how to tweak things and that is usually where Scott comes in. Because he’s a bit more removed from the initial process his ears really come in handy. He’ll have a good sense about what is working and what isn’t. And finally when he’s happy, we’re all happy. Kind of.
It took us a while to figure out our vocal approach. I think having multiple voices is a real advantage. Certain voices can represent a different narrative thread within a song, or they can just work together to emphasise a moment.
How did you get to know the European, or more exactly, Ukrainian label Metal Scrap Records? Have you already signed the contract for the next few records or has it been decided yet?
We had been in touch with Anatoliy at Metal Scrap about arranging a tour around Europe that he was putting together. We sent him the unreleased album and he asked us if we’d like to put it out on his label. We said yes. We’ve been working on lots of new material and I’m really excited about how it’s sounding. And about Metal Scrap.
I´ve read somewhere that the new album will be released in digipack CD and digital versions under the label Metal Scrap Records, but “The Void” is supposed to be released in vinyl version as well. So then what is true?
It’s all true! You can currently buy the album On C.D, Vinyl or listen to it on your favourite streaming service etc. We would even like to set up a special number you can dial, where we will hum the whole record for you over the phone. We just haven’t been able to figure out how yet. But give us time.
The cover of the album is truly interesting but it´s hard to understand it. Who was the author? And what should the cover artwork represent?
The cover was done by the great Eliran Kantor, who has also done covers for bands like Testament, Sodom and Soulfly. My personal advice is to buy the album on Vinyl so you can see it all nice and big and soak in the little details, haha. When we finished recording we sent the songs to Eliran and he listened. Right away he got a great sense about what we were about and the type of world we had created in our music. When he sent the artwork through for the first time we were stunned. It was like he had been in our heads the whole time. He’s an amazing guy.
Currently in Europe we are setting very strict rules in order to stay safe from the coronavirus. As a result, we haven´t been able to go to concerts or other types of cultural events. How do you fight against the virus in New Zealand? What types of restrictions have been applied?
Our bass player Scott is currently living in Germany. Talking to him over the phone it seems like our experiences during this time have been quite similar. Luckily New Zealand is a very isolated little country and I think that has helped in avoiding much widespread illness and mayhem. We just stayed inside a lot. It was great.
What about your musical, mainly concert visions for the future? What are your plans?
Thank you for your time and interview.
Well it’s hard to have any big concrete plans at this point due to the way things are at the moment. All I know is that we will be coming over to play in Europe as soon as we possibly can. The album came out right as the world went into lockdown and the tour around it sadly had to be postponed. We were really excited to come over and make a lot of noise but we know we will be there as soon as we can. Thank you.
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with Christchurch, New Zealand based Modern Thrash Metal band 3000AD. Huge thanks to guitarist Sam Pryor for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
Sam Pryor, I play guitar and do some backing vocals. While the band in its current form is relatively new, the members have been involved in various projects together going way back to high school. 3000AD just happened to be the combination that felt best to us, so we proceeded to throw everything we had at our debut album “The Void”.
How did you come up with your band name?
The band name started as a song name (the opening song on our album) but once we had established the lyrical content and imagery for the album it seemed to be a good representation for the bands branding as a whole. The Void is very much set in a bleak dystopian vision of the future, around the year 3000AD.
What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
We are from New Zealand. Metal in general is pretty underground here, there is not a lot of mainstream exposure or support like there is for other more “accepted” genres. The scene is predominantly a death / grind metal one so thrash bands are a bit of a rarity.
What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our latest release is “The Void” it’s a first full-length album and it’s available currently on all streaming services and physical copies are also available worldwide.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Speaking only for myself when I discovered Metallica at around 12 that was me set for several years. I just became obsessed and listened to them almost exclusively. Then I went on to discover the other thrash greats like Slayer which I would say would be the second greatest influence. Many years later the German titans Kreator and Sodom were probably the next big rabbit hole I went down. I would say for each of those bands the first album I discovered became very influential, no matter if the album was considered to be one of their best or not haha. For example, the first Slayer album I got was “Diabolus In Musica”, and to this day I fucking love that album even though it’s widely considered to be a low point in the career. People are stupid though; I feel like a lot get their opinions from forums and social media.
What first got you into music?
I always listened to the radio a lot as a kid, I remember hearing Bohemian Rhapsody and just being fascinated by it. It was so different to everything else I had heard, and it had a sort of theatrical narrative that gave it an epic quality. Plus, it was just super fucking rocking haha. Once I found out that song was by Queen they became my first favourite band and launched me into guitar driven music.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Well we don’t have a dedicated lead guitarist so I would like Sami from Kreator come in and rip out some killer solos. He’s super underrated in my opinion, Kreator became a force to be reckoned with after he joined.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Hellfest in France because it’s an absolutely mind-blowing festival. It’s like its own world or something, the level of production and the atmosphere. I’ve been to a lot of festivals but that one is something else altogether.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
I have yet to receive one but then we have not played many shows with this band because all our time went into the album production. Maybe after the European tour in August with Necronomicon I can report back haha.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Thank you for all the support whether it be via messages / streams / album sales. We never take it for granted especially when there are so many bands out there to choose from.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Cliff Burton, no question. Imagine a new Metallica album with him?! Imagine how much he would energise the other guys, if only!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Just having the ability to create exactly the music you want to hear is very fulfilling. Jamming is very therapeutic too, it’s something I’ve been doing since I was about 14 and when you start ripping into a song it very much is still the same mindset and excitement as it was at the beginning which is very cool. I think that’s actually one of the best things about being in a band and it’s available to anyone regardless of success level.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I do miss the days of physical albums being the norm. I think if you had to go down to the store and grab a CD for $20 odd dollars and you could only afford one each week you inherently would value the music more, invest more time in it, and ultimately get more out of it. Spotify is great for discovering music but to this day I still buy CDs / Vinyl because they sound better (still) and you get a more immersive experience with having the physical album and the booklet etc.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Well I could list obvious thrash masterpieces like Puppets, but I would say for an absolute classic that’s not so obvious, Exodus – “Tempo Of The Damned”. I think that is still the best Steve Souza fronted Exodus album.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Vinyl is best for warmth and richness, CD is best for precision and punch, cassette is good for nostalgia value, downloads are good for instant gratification / convenience. Plus, if the download is lossless they will sound as good or even better than CD.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Probably Pantera here in Christchurch way back in 2001, I was 14 and it was fucking terrifying and amazing at the same time. That definitely left a lasting impression.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Something else creative most likely, I’m a graphic designer too so I’d probably just be doing more of that.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
James Hetfield, Christopher Hitchens, Bill Burr, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. It would be a random as fuck party haha.
What’s next for the band?
Next, hopefully, is the Europe tour, as long as that pesky virus does not ruin our carefully laid plans again!
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
To listen: just search 3000AD on Spotify
To buy: www.3000ad.bandcamp.com/
To watch: search 3000AD on YouTube
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
I had to Google them haha, looks like a biscuit to me!
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks Ever Metal for the support, much appreciated.
3000AD is a newer band, but the group could easily have hailed from the 1980s when crossover had its origin and heyday. The New Zealand-based trio has released its debut album The Void through Total Metal Records and, subsequently, guitarist Sam Pryor dropped by Metallian Towers for a quick chat with Ali “The Metallian” while bassist Scott Austin and singer/drummer Hellmore Bones remained back home in Christchurch. – 02.08.2020
METALLIAN: Thanks for dropping in, Sam. Let’s start with the obvious. Why 3000AD? While the next millennium technically begins in the year 3001 one has to ask was nothing from this century or millennium available?
SAM: No worries, thanks for the support! Well, we wanted something that stood out a bit. There are many band names that are hard to remember so uniqueness was a big part of the decision. Then the subject-matter we deal in lyrically is primarily set in a future dystopian vision of the world so it fits the vibe of our music quite nicely.
METALLIAN: I gather from your answer that ‘Aggressor’ or ‘Beyond’ or ‘Antichrist’ or ‘Massacre’ and any of their variants were not monickers you considered.
SAM: (Laughingly) Yes, you are correct, though our old band was called Sounds Of Vengeance, which is almost as generic admittedly. The other advantage of 3000AD as a name is you often appear at the top of alphabetical lists. Either top or bottom; it’s all or nothing!
METALLIAN: With that out of the way, let me get to why I really wanted to do this interview. Have you seen any penguins lately or perhaps befriended one?
SAM: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a penguin, but if I did there is no possible scenario under which I would not attempt to befriend it; they are objectively adorable.
METALLIAN: The Metallian Towers investigative unit is on the case ascertaining whether this man is indeed from New Zealand, but in the meantime he is indubitably correct about penguins. What about kiwis? I read that their numbers are dwindling and was quite saddened.
SAM: Yes, they are obviously a very useless animal. They have no arms, no defence mechanism and can’t fly so no wonder they are having a rough time with natural selection. Moreover, whenever you try and view them in a zoo they are always hiding so it’s almost an entirely pointless creature.
METALLIAN: In a “zoo?” It is determined then. These guys are new to New Zealand. Incidentally, is it kiwis or kiwi birds?
SAM: It’s ‘kiwis.’ Saying ‘kiwi birds’ would be like saying, ‘eagle birds’ or something. Having said that, some people say ‘tuna fish’ so there you go, the perplexing English language strikes again.
METALLIAN: Your lyrics are self-described as “dystopian” and they do come across as such. Is that because the country is run by Jacinda Ardern?
SAM: I dare not speak ill of the dear leader comrade Ardern.
METALLIAN: While we are here, and on the topic of politics, are New Zealanders as right-wing as Aussies?
SAM: From what I can tell Australia is like America in many ways, very divided politically. You might think some Aussies are right-wing, but try going to Melbourne. It’s pretty much like Aussie Portland, very left-wing. New Zealand is a more toned-down version I would guess, less extreme on both sides.
METALLIAN: Either way, how does the Prime Minister compare to Donald Trump?
SAM: Total opposite would be the best way to describe it. One seems obsessed with expressing the “correct” view points at all times. The other just rambles without thinking most of the time. Both seem overly concerned with their image though!
METALLIAN: Since you are here, one thing our readers have wondered about is whether all kiwis are fat. Is it because everyone eats the obligatory government mandated blocks of Whittaker’s every day? And while we are here is there a kiwi flavour?
SAM: It’s very triggering to me that you have mentioned Whittaker’s because I’m currently trying to maintain a ketogenic diet and that chocolate is fucking amazing. No kiwi flavour yet! It must be in the works though, they have tried pretty much every other combination.
METALLIAN: Is there any merit to a ketogenic diet? We have all been jaded by all the diets that have come and gone and proven to be fads.
SAM: There are some benefits if you are trying to lose weight quickly. You don’t even need to work out all that much, just cutting carbs almost anyone will start losing weight. Because your body starts burning fat for energy as there are no carbs on hand to use like is normally the case. The downside is that you need to cut a lot of the best foods like pizza, pasta, rice, et cetra. Fried chicken is all good though, so I’ve been smashing through a lot of that!
METALLIAN: Let me get this straight. Did you just call pizza one of the best foods? Moreover, there is a diet that allows fried chicken? Did that Kentucky uncle come up with the sham? Moving on, we at Metallian Towers were hoping not to speak about music here and keep it focused on anything and everything else, but could you tell our readers which your second favourite album is after DRI’s Crossover?
SAM: (Laughs) I actually only got into DRI recently! Thrash Zone is my pick of their catalogue. I am actually more of a metal purist. It is the other guys that bring the punk vibes. I still can’t go past Master Of Puppets even though that’s a spectacularly unoriginal answer.
METALLIAN: I recall buying Master Of Puppets when it came out back in 1986 and was impressed, but have not been able to listen to that band and its subsequent releases after they wimped out so much. Objectively, the early albums should still be a great listen, but knowing it’s Metallica makes them non-starters for me now. How do you see this complex?
SAM: Well, I find this to actually be truer of a band like In Flames than Metallica. The recent In Flames’ records are so far removed from their old masterpieces like Colony and Whoracle that I find myself extremely saddened. I used to feel like this for Metallica, but they have somewhat redeemed themselves with their last couple of releases. The song Hardwired on the latest album stands up very well to the old Metallica material in my opinion. They need all the credit in the world for that because no one would have guessed they would go back to a thrash sound in the Load/Reload era, and especially not as they entered their 50s. Plus, they are still a force to be reckoned with live, few could deny that.
METALLIAN: Let the denying commence! Popetellica aside, the reference to N Flames is apt. Separate question: what is next with the band and where does 3000AD go from here?
SAM: The next main event will be a European tour supporting Necronomicon hopefully kicking off in the first half of 2021. We have had it delayed a couple of times for obvious reasons, but this time I think it should work out great. People should be hungry for live music now too and we are more than happy to oblige!
METALLIAN: Finally, everyone has his own reason, explanation and logic and, quite frankly, none of them are wrong, but what is your reason for recognising that Metallian is the ultimate website?
SAM: Metallian is unsurpassed in its ability to generate unexpected interview questions. There is no one close in this regard!
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