Introducing a brand new feature, 5 quick fire questions! First up we have phenomenal metal drummer; Larry Paterson. Chatting about his upcoming UK tour with I.C.O.N and Heretic Order, which makes a stop at Trillians on the 24th February.
What brings you back to bonnie Newcastle?
Howdy. Well, it’s gig number four of our latest UK tour. We’re going to be out with The Heretic Order for a sort-of ‘double headline’ thing for eight shows and it’s bloody great to be able to include Newcastle in this run.
You’ve played all over the world in various bands. How does Trillians rank compared to other rock venues you’ve played?
I’ve always liked playing Trillians. The first time I played here I think was with Blaze and every time it was a blast. Iron Knights played here and now I.C.O.N. It’s an unusual place in some ways when you walk in, because the room feels long and thin and you expect the stage to be at one end rather than the middle, but it’s always got a cool sound and good vibe. The sound guys we’ve had have always been great and it’s easy getting gear on and off stage which is a bonus when you have change overs. That can be a huge pain in the arse! Plus…IT’S EVEN GOT PARKING!! UK venues can be bloody terrible for a complete lack of load in and parking space; something that is generally much better overseas. So, yep, Trillians is a good one in every way and I’m glad it is still open after it seemed to be close to closing down for good a while back.
What are I.C.O.N up to at the moment?
We’re pretty busy. We have this tour, which is the first of this year for us. We finished 2015 on a high note after going on the road in Europe with Operation: Mindcrime and Fire & Water- nice people and excellent bands. We’re heading back to Europe in March and then have shows that are still being confirmed for the rest of the year. We’re still on ‘The Blacklist Tour’ in support of ‘The Blacklist’ (hence the cunning tour name) which came out last year. The album has been going well and gotten some great reviews. We have eight tracks ready for the next album which we should be recording in June for a release a few months after that. That’s the cycle we want to get into: album, tour, album, tour. Too many bands are content to sit on their arse and wait for the ‘greatness’ to arrive. Fuck that. Metal belongs on the road anyway – and a new album gives you the perfect reason to be there.
By the way…we’re collecting a good following of Metal Bastards along the way and if you want to be one and tune into what’s really going on then join the forum at our website www.iconukonline.com
What is New Zealand’s best export?
Ha! It would make me a real prick if I said ‘me’ 😊 Hmmm…best export? Well to be fair apart from some decent wine, beer and bits of food it would be the band Devilskin. Those guys (and girl) are bloody great. They’re part metal and part something else…but whatever it is it really works; especially on stage. They managed to have a platinum selling independently released album, which is quite an achievement! They are actually in the UK in February while we are on our tour. The bassist Paul Martin is one of those guys that has worked tirelessly in metal; both in bands like Devliskin and World War Four and also as a radio DJ. Back in the 80s it was difficult being a metalhead in New Zealand – most music had to be imported, gigs were rare, gang members liked to give you shit and the police would stop and search you on suspicion of possessing long hair and an earring. So you had to really bleed metal to stick with it – which is why us older New Zealand headbangers are still so passionate about it. It runs deeper than a religion! Paul is one of those guys. So, don’t miss them if you have the chance. Great band.
How would you describe the state of heavy music at present?
Hard to say to be honest. I don’t give a flying fuck what other people’s opinions about bands are so I just tend to follow my own path and listen to what works for me. I think there is a reason a lot of people still look at the greats: they are just that – great. There will never be another time like those days of the 1980s when those bands really conquered the world, but it’s a crushing blow knowing that there is no more Motörhead and bands like Maiden, AC/DC and Sabbath are either retiring or edging towards it. The sad thing is that a lot of people will shell out big money to go and see Maiden or AC/DC for example, but won’t pay a fraction of that price to see an up-and-coming band. All the greats started in the same pubs and clubs that we play.
It’s not that there aren’t some fantastic bands operating at a grass roots level, there are. But the audiences are not like they were. Music has lost its importance to many people; not all of course, but many. It’s just a background noise while they post drivel on facebook, run into each other like schoolkids playing bullrush in the playground, or take endless selfies of themselves at shows in order to impress…somebody. So it’s very difficult to build a proper head of steam for a band without buying into the endless bullshit and self-congratulatory back slapping that has come to dominate some parts of the ‘scene’.
There are many mediocre bands out there – just as there always was; the 80s were no different in that respect. And there are many bands who believe their own hype and feel like conquering heroes without being willing to really do the work that a band needs to do. But thankfully there are also the other bands; the ones that not only play well, but are cool people who get out there and work like bastards on the road and in the studio. Up there in Newcastle you have Def Con One, for example. Great band. Nice blokes (even that demented Antton fella). It’s those bands that will always fly the flag for metal. In the same way that there are people like yourself and a lot of others I know who really do give a damn and spend a lot of time taking photos, writing blogs, doing reviews…all kinds of stuff…and, most importantly, going to gigs and giving bands a chance. They keep the scene alive and well – even if it doesn’t make the pages of Metal Hammer.