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Sam Crocker Vocals | Matthew Livingstone Guitar | Luke Manson Guitar | Joshua Moffitt Bass | Israel McDean Drums
Antagonist A.D are used to doing things the tough way, and their phenomenal new album Haunt Me As I Roam is a perfect demonstration of the hardships they’ve faced and subsequently overcome.
While they’re used to forging their own path – New Zealand might be a beautiful place but as one of the most isolated countries in the world it’s a nightmare for hardcore bands who want to take their message worldwide – fourth album Haunt Me As I Roam breaks new ground for Antagonist A.D.
The cast willing to line up and throw their weight behind Antagonist A.D stands as an impressive justification for such hardship. Architects’ Sam Carter, The Amity Affliction’s Ahren Stringer, Deez Nuts’ JJ Peters and Comeback Kid’s Andrew Neufeld all contribute vocals to Haunt Me As I Roam, with former Amity guitarist Troy Brady, The Ghost Inside’s Aaron Brooks and acclaimed producer Will Putney all working behind the desk. And with the bar raised accordingly high, vocalist Sam Crocker had to step up.
“It was hard. It was torture,” he says. “Never have I written lyrics that are so revealing and confronting to myself. Every hour recording was an hour facing my demons and re-living loss in every emotional sense of the word.
“Topics I deemed too personal have been covered on Haunt Me As I Roam,” Crocker continues. “This band is and forever shall be a cathartic release for me. It’s where I can be empowered by the music to get through anything. I’d like to think this new record will help a lot of people connect with issues they perhaps were just struggling with on their own.”
And it’s that journey from local band to road-hardened world traveller that taught him how to push through. The work required even to leave his home country involved building a whole new community, as Antagonist A.D – completed by guitarists Matthew Livingstone and Luke Manson, bassist Joshua Moffitt and drummer Israel McDean – carved out new touring routes around New Zealand.
“There was no one before us,” remembers Crocker. “A few bands (DSM, Balance etc) had traveled to Australia for a festival in the early 00s, but we were heading into uncharted territory. For a New Zealand hardcore band to tour internationally, we were well and truly carrying the flag.
“We have learnt a lot over the years, especially on the road. In 2013 we spent four months back to back undertaking a world tour. We learnt more in that time that in the entire lifespan of the band up until that point.”
Those long days and nights on the road around Europe, North America, South East Asia, Japan, Australia and of course New Zealand were chewed up and spat out in the form of Haunt Me As I Roam. “Everything I have learnt from the road, from sleeping on floors, from the tight stages, from my life lived within the worldwide hardcore scene is all on this record. The Songs are our most dynamic yet and the lyrics our most personal.”