It's been two years since Beastwars released their critically acclaimed debut self-titled album.  The recording debuted at #15 on the NZ Top 40 charts, was shortlisted for the 2012 Taite Music Prize, was nominated twice at 2011's New Zealand Music Awards winning Best Album Artwork and was a finalist forBest Rock Album.

Today Beastwars have released their long awaited follow up album 'Blood Under Fire'.  To celebrate they'll be performing a special set tomorrow  (Saturday April 20th) at Real Groovy Records at 4PM  for Record Store Day where there will also be limited edition 100 blood red vinyl copies made available for purchase.

Beastwars then head off for a tour New Zealand, and for the first time, Australia supporting John Garcia's' post-Kyuss band Unida.  We had a chat with drummer Nathan Hickey and found out about these exciting times for Beastwars. 

You've just released your new album ‘Blood Under Fire'. How do you think the album sounds?

Well our plan was to make the first album sort of big brother, we didn't really want to change too much. We wanted to keep everything that we liked about the first one and just kind of intensify everything. It was interesting because we sort of wanted to simplify things, but some of the songs sounded a bit more complex and not quite as "bash you over the head" as the first album. It still definitely sounds like us but we've taken one step forward and one step to the left.

Where did you record it?

We recorded it with Dale Cotton in Dunedin again, at his house. He has a basement garage kind of thing that he's soundproofed, so we set up in there and recorded in 10 days. A pretty similar setup to the first album which we also recorded at his home; although that was a different house in Dunedin.  It's quite an intense time living with four other guys for 10 days, it's a bit crazy. But that's what happens when you record an album, you go a bit crazy.

And you recorded it in just 10 days?

Yeah, we did the first album in just 4 days and then with this one we thought if we had 10 days to do it we could relax a bit more and not have to go so crazy trying to fit everything into 4 days. But no matter how long you've got you're still going to go crazy. You're still going to be working 12 hours a day and every spare minute you're awake you'll be recording.

Is there an underlining theme with the album?

Yeah, it's a pretty dark album but at the same time it's not a depressing album. It feels quite triumphant.

The album artwork is just fantastic...

Absolutely, Nick (Keller) is the go to guy these days. We're pretty proud to say that we were the first one to tap him on the shoulder to do album art. Now lots of bands are using him, which is great.

And you've got a special performance at Real Groovy Records for Record Store Day...

Yeah, we're going to play a short set there. We're all coming up for Black Sabbath who are playing that night; that's a band treat to go to Black Sabbath. We're going to play a 20-25 minute set at Real Groovy and we'll have about 100 red coloured vinyl exclusive to Real Groovy and people can come up and get them signed by us and Nick. It should be a fun day.

Beastwars has a tour coming up as well?

We're trying to play a few places that we haven't managed to get to over the last couple of years like Invercargill and Timaru. They are two places that we get asked a lot to go too, but for some reason it has never really worked out. This time we've made the effort so hopefully people come out and support us. It'll be fun and really looking forward to it.

And shows in Australia too?

It's pretty amazing timing for us. We've always wanted to go to Australia but we didn't just want to go for no reason. There's an Australian promoter over there who is bringing over Unida; he knew we were fans of that band and he asked if we'd like to support them in New Zealand and Australia for shows. It was perfect timing, just two weeks after our album comes out.

How do you think the metal scene is currently in New Zealand?

We put a little call out on our Facebook to see what bands our fans wanted us to play with and we had hundreds of comments fly up naming different bands.  That indicates to me that there are a lot of bands out there, many I hadn't heard of that I checked out and were really good. And I hope that what we are doing has kind of inspired a few people that just want to get out and play, because that's what we did. We didn't really go out there with a plan, so it's been a really fun thing.

After the tour is wrapped up, what is the plan then for Beastwars?

We have no plan, it's pretty weird. We'll get this tour over and if we survive we'll talk about what we are going to do next. But there are some guys who are talking about taking us to Europe next year, but that's a long-term thing and it cost a lot of money so we'll see. If we get nominated again for the Taite Award next year and we win, we'll spend the money on flights (laughs).



Saturday April 20th Auckland Real Groovy, Queen Street from 4.00pm
Special album launch show - FREE

Friday May 3rd Auckland - Kings Arms
With Unida and Arc Of Ascent
Tickets from

Saturday May 4th Wellington - Bodega
With Unida and Arc Of Ascent
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Thurs May 9th Sydney - The Square
With Yanomamo, Summonus & Bruce

Friday May 10th Sydney - The Manning Bar
With Unida & Truck Fighters

Saturday May 11th Melbourne - The Bendigo Hotel
With Ruiner, Broozer & Batpiss

Sunday May 12th Melbourne - The Hi Fi
With Unida, My Left Boot & Mammoth Mammoth

Friday 17th May Hamilton - Static
With Viking Weed
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Saturday May 18th Palmerston North - The Royal
With Cephalopod, Deaths Door and Turbostill
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Friday May 24th Christchurch - Churchills
With Awakened Inferno and Scythes
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Saturday May 25th Timaru - Barkode
With Descendants of Darwin and Scizerac
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Friday May 31st Dunedin - ReFuel
With Mountaineater and The Fu King
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Saturday June 1st Invercargill - Beach Bar
With Mountaineater and Concubine
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