3000AD (for Rock Hard #59)

Rock Hard #59



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.

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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.

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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.


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