Graham Reid | | 3 min read
So of course the new Beastwars album Blood Becomes Fire out on limited edition 12" record for Record Store Day -- when they play free at Real Groovy in Auckland -- is on blood red vinyl. That's utterly fitting because this thrillingly disciplined metal band from Wellington deliver songs with titles like Tower of Skulls, Ruins, Blood Becomes Fire and Shadow King with all the intensity of a concrete mixer set on stun.
Beastwars -- who kick off their Blood Become Fire Australasian tour in Auckland om May 4, dates below -- have delivered an exceptional second album which packs quite some sonic punch.
Guitarist Clayton Anderson says of playing this new material live that he hasn't had the same sense of excitement since he learned to play Slayer's Mandatory Suicide and his school band played at the Marlborough Boys College assembly.
Time then for Anderson to answer the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire, and he proves a very interesting character
The first piece of music that really affected you was . . .
My parents 7" of The Surfaris' 'Surfer Joe' with the B-side 'Wipeout'. I use to thrash that from age four - playing 'drums' along to it, using knitting needles as drum sticks on the leather foot pouf my folks had in their lounge.
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
The Beach Boys. Again, my folks had a few of their records and mum's knitting needles got bent out of shape with me whacking anything that made a good sound along to the music (couches, tables, pot, pans and poufs).
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
My right brain is saying Lennon but my left brain wants Jagger. Nirvana over the Ramones (and Kurt, for all his punk ethos, had that Lennon gift of knowing how to write a great song). Madge, definitely - I'm a kid of the 80s. The same with Jacko, "Shamone hee hee".
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
Music's a must have life force and certainly not a career. If I didn't have that I'd probably need some other form of artistic expression and I'm pretty shit at painting. Theatresports?
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Please, if you haven't heard these three songs before, listen to:
One Line by PJ Harvey
Cross the Breeze by Sonic Youth
The Sleepwalker by This Kind of Punishment
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
I have my (void) passport signed by Noel Gallagher, a Cure songbook signed by Robert Smith, Rid of Me signed by PJ Harvey and my 1990 white Gibson Explorer signed by Metallica. All have great stories attached to each.. but that's for another time.
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Can I choose more than one? Everyone who's interested in music must read: 'When Giants Walked the Earth, by Mick Wall, Faithful by Marianne Faithful and How Soon Is Now - the madmen and mavericks who made independent music, by Richard King.
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
The Cure. If I was given a day to practice, I'm sure I'd nail a whole set made up of their songs from Three Imaginary Boys to Disintegration (all those nights sitting at home as 14-year-old learning guitar). But I'd be pretty stoked to play along to a 15 minute version of Prayers for Rain.
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
Lars von Trier’s The Idiots, the doco DIG! and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
The last vinyl I bought was Peter Jefferies Elevator Madness. Recent downloads are: Nick Cave, Push the Sky Away (bought vinyl as well); Dead Skeletons, Dead Magick (gifted the vinyl); and Cocteau Twins, Garlands (what a beautiful, dark album.)
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Sympathy for the Devil. I could go anywhere in the world and people would say, "who the f*ck are you?" and I'd say "please allow me to introduce myself, I'm the man who wrote Sympathy for the Devil."
Nick Keller's inside gatefold from our first album. It's beautiful. It's like: "how's that serenity.. hang on,.. what's that going on over the mountain on the horizon?"
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
Never really felt the need to get one myself. Besides Matt has enough tattoos for all of us.
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
In my head, out of my head, making the most of this world and preparing for the next.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
"This is your future. Are you a 'beastliever'?"