I had this idea of doing a New Zealand metal special. I got two friends to gather 32 names that I sent a questionnaire to. Not even a handful answered but one that did was SEAS OF CONFLICT. Answers by Nic Martin; (Drums). Anders Ekdahl ©2016

This is your chance to introduce your band to the readers. What makes your band special for them to check you out?
– We are Seas Of Conflict from Hamilton, New Zealand. A 5-piece progressive metal band focussed on crafting songs that take you on a rollercoaster of moods and atmospheres.

Why have you decided to play your choice of hardrock/metal?
– We have all individually been heavily influenced by heavier music. As much as we have our own personal tastes, the common thread is a passion for immersive music with substance and emotion.

How much would you say that you have been influenced by the past and how much by the present when it comes to your sound?
– I think there is a well-balanced variety of old & new influence in our writing. We are all pretty big supporters/listeners of new music which we think is important. I would say our sound is more influenced by newer music but we are definitely doing our own thing and trying to not keep any specific band in mind when writing material.

It is not like you guys can jump in your van and drive down to Berlin to play a gig on a Saturday. How do you promote your band once you’ve played to everybody interested in New Zealand?
– We would love to be able to tour all of New Zealand; let alone Europe! We are pretty lucky to have some pretty supportive friends in our city who organise shows. We aim to present ourselves as best we can, in the hopes that next time we play, our crowd will bring more friends each time.

We live in a globalized world where we are influenced by stuff that happens outside of our realm. But do you feel that you bring a distinctive NZ flavour to your music? What is that if so?
– I think New Zealand as a whole is a pretty mixed bag when it comes to music. We are already influenced by the Western world (be it music, politics, current affairs, media). As we’re young and impressionable, it’s hard to not have society/the world in mind. Some of our lyrics reflect our views on the world, the environment, societal functionality in a more abstract way.

We’ve seen how Swedish death metal exploded. How Swedish melodeath exploded. How Norwegian black metal assaulted us but why do we not see an explosion of NZ metal?
– NZ metal is a funny beast. While we are constantly ignored and overwhelmed by Top 40 pop hits via radio/TV, there is a very strong connection between metal bands across the country. I think we are just discouraged by the fact that there is really no one who wants to invest the time and money into bands that really deserve it.

Back in the 80s you could talk about a scene. People traded tapes, bought zines. Today we have the internet. Can we still talk about a scene? How important is DIY today?
– I think DIY is more important and stronger than ever. Almost everybody and their dog are connected to the internet these days, so there’s almost no excuse to not put yourself out there in some form. However, I think that screens have taken a huge bite out of sincerity and personality in the music scene. People are more likely to just sit at home and stream your music, instead of going out for a night and watching you perform it. Which is a big shame. Our goal is to give people a reason to come out and breathe life back into the “scene”. Because what we need is not a scene, but a community.

Do you feel it is important to support local artists when you look for artwork or do you chose that by way of what will attract attention?
– Absolutely. There is no shortage of creative minds these days, and the internet makes it so much easier to discover artists. Collaborations are special, especially when you get it right. It’s a powerful way to reach a new audience when you can cross more than one platform; visual, aural, or otherwise.

Do you feel that it is important to support the NZ hardrock/metal scene by promoting it when you go abroad? Are you proud of being a part of it?
– Definitely, my wardrobe is 99% band merch. It makes for a good conversation starter, and it’s great to put people onto good music and expand your buddies’ audience.

If you were to decide how would your future look like?
– A community full of support and celebration of great underground music (although I would love to not have to use the word ‘underground’ in the future!.

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