I N T E R V I E W
By Ian Duggan
Hamilton has long been recognised for the strength of its metal bands. One that is continuing this trend, and growing in its popularity nationally, is melodic thrash metal band Deathnir. We talked to the band about touring, building a fan-base, merchandise and the bands future plans.
HUP: Deathnir have been touring over the last couple of months, which has included performances in Rotorua, Tauranga, Levin, New Plymouth, Napier, Auckland and of course Hamilton. How did the tour go, and what were your highlights?
Deathnir: The tour went really well. We played at a lot of new places we hadn’t played before and met some really cool musicians from other bands. The night we played in Tauranga we were at a venue called Krazy Jack’s which was actually shutting down that night so we got to play at the last show ever there which meant a lot to us. A lot of cool people came and we made a lot of new friends. Other highlights were playing at The Mayfair in New Plymouth and finishing it all off in Auckland at Ding Dong Lounge.
HUP: Where did your love of metal come from, and who are the bands major influences?
Deathnir: We all got into metal from early ages; a lot of our love for it comes from the attitude and musical skill it demonstrates. Our major influences include Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, W.A.S.P and Slayer.
HUP: Your album ‘Die by the Axe’ was released just over a year ago now. Are you writing new songs, and has the band’s sound evolved since the debut release?
Deathnir: We have been writing new songs over the past few months and are looking at recording a second album sometime next year. The sound has gotten a lot faster and thrashier with some of our new songs getting up to 200 beats per minute. We are working on using more double kick, bass solos, duel guitar solos and harmonies. All-in-all we are getting heavier and faster while still staying true to our roots.
HUP: Do you have long term goals for Deathnir? What would you like to achieve?
Deathnir: At this stage we are working on writing new songs for a second album which we are planning on recording next year. We are also looking at the possibilities of international touring and performing with bands from outside of New Zealand.
HUP: On Facebook the band has close to 1200 likes, which gives some indication of the strength of your following. How have you gone about building this fan-base?
Deathnir: Our main activities for building a fan-base are performing live and utilising social media websites like Facebook. These are really important because if you want people to like your music then they need to hear it. Your main goal as a band is to get people to your shows, but they won’t come if they don’t know where you’re playing, or even IF you’re playing. Promotion on social media as well as mainstream media like radio and television is really useful for getting your name out there so people come, and if they like your music then they usually come back.
HUP: I love that besides the album, you have an array of merchandise including t-shirts, guitar picks and badges. What was the motivation for producing the picks and badges, and have they been popular items?
Deathnir: We have been asked numerous times in the past by people at our shows if we had patches. The answer was always no which usually disappointed people who really wanted them. This year we decided we needed to get some because they always seemed to be in demand. Since we got them we have sold quite a few so I guess you could say they have been popular. The picks on the other hand we ordered specially for ourselves so they are not for sale. Sometimes, however, there are fans in the crowd who go really hard in the mosh pit and it’s fun to reward them by chucking a pick their way.
Deathnir Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/deathnir
Deathnir Bandcamp: https://deathnir.bandcamp.com