Citizenship: Beastwars

The Australian Government isn’t the only entity that puts people through a rigorous cross-examination to prove their loyalty to a bunch of stars and a Union Jack. Each week year or so at M+N, we make an Australian New Zealand act kiss the flag by asking them questions about their favourite local acts: who they’ve been listening to recently, their underground heroes, or whether they prefer Kylie or Dannii Minogue.

Hard-hitting Kiwi riff-obeyers Beastwars are steadily emerging, sludge-drenched, from the New Zealand underground, going from Camp A Low Hum supremos to supporting Mastodon at their Auckland show. The Wellington act are starting to make their in-roads in Australia, returning to Melbourne more than a few times since their debut here in late 2013. Beastwars have stormed our venues often enough to warrant a dusting off of our long-dormant Citizenship Test ahead of their return for this year’s CherryRock festival. Answers by vocalist MATT HYDE*. Lead photo by *NIK STAVELY.


You’re now frequent visitors to Australia, what was it like coming over for the first time?
We learnt that not only can every animal kill you but so can the people.

Lorde divided her [Taite Music Prize prize money](http://www.3news.co.nz/entertainment/lorde-wins-taite-prize-gives-money-to-runnersup-2014041620) between the other nominees last year, what did you spend the cash on?
We bought a double neck 12 and six string 1976 Ibanez guitar.

What are your touring prospects like in NZ currently?
We’re playing with Red Fang in Wellington and Auckland in May then back to writing our third album.

When can we expect that third album?
When it’s done. Not this year. All going well we’ll be in the studio later this year.

Part 1. Geography

Tell us about your hometown.
Wellington. It’s the king of the southerly. Bleak and wind-swept.

Name your favourite bands from your neck of the woods.
Mermaidens, The All Seeing Hand, Spook the Horses.

Where’s your local bar/pub and what’s it like?
Our house. It’s like being on tour without leaving the house

Part 2. History

Which Australian bands did you grow up listening to?
Hoodoo Gurus, Hunter & Collectors, The Church, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – you would hear these bands a lot on student radio. AC/DC was also the sound of the suburbs growing up in the Hutt Valley in the ’80s.

What’s the first Australian record you bought?
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – The Firstborn Is Dead

Who’s your favourite Australian band/artist of all time?
The Birthday Party.

What’s the most ?Australian? record ever produced?
Paul Kelly – ‘I’ve Done All The Dumb Things’. Great song. Always reminds me of a head chef I worked for in Sydney in ’89 with all his stories of regret and fun of the late ’70s and early ’80s in Australia.

Part 3. Current Affairs

Who are some of your favourite new/current Australian bands?
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Spencer P Jones & The Nothing Butts, The Drones, Child, Horsehunter, Tame Impala.

b. If you could collaborate with one current Australian artist, who would it be, and what would it sound like?

Mick Harvey. Not sure what it would sound like because I don’t know if he would even be interested in working with us.

Last great Australian band you saw.
Nick Cave at the St James in Wellington, November last year.

Part 4. Multiple Choice

The Voice or X Factor?
You mean Killing Rock and Roll and what’s wrong with the world? Neither.

Hungry Jacks (Burger King for you Kiwis) or Red Rooster?
Neither. There’s really so much great food better than this.

Northcote or Brunswick?
They both seem pretty great to me.

Potato cake or dim sim?
Potato. I’m Irish.

Dan Sultan or Dan Kelly?
Dan Sultan.

?Kylie or Dannii Minogue?

Cate Blanchett or Nicole Kidman?
Cate for sure. She talks Elvish to me in my dreams.

?Neighbours or Home & Away?
Home & Away?.

Cheezels or Twisties?

Kimbra or Gotye?
Neither. Silence instead.


Beastwars arrive back in Melbourne this May around this year’s CherryRock festival.

Friday May 8 – Cherry Bar, Melbourne VIC
Saturday May 9 – Yah Yah’s, Melbourne VIC
Sunday May 10 – CherryRock015, Melbourne VIC