Thanks to Rob for answering these questions:
What can we expect to see from Puppeteer over the next year?
We've just released our debut album, 'Tucked In By Brutality' so we're currently booking a long string of shows around the North Island to support the release and get these songs into the minds of Metal/Hard Rock fans. That should see us busy through till around August hopefully. Other plans on the near horizon include our first video clip, new merchandise and our annual December To Dismember Tour which we are hoping to this year take all over the country.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
Get out there and play, that's all I can say. Nothing beats the thrill of playing to a crowd of music fans, I've been doing this 6 years now and I still get excited for every show. Oh and also spend time on getting decently produced recordings that help you stand out.
Who are your favourite NZ musicians/bands, and why?
We dig alot of underground/indie Metal & Hardcore acts such as Saving Grace, Harvest, Fuelset, Life Lament & In Dread Response. These bands really resonate with us as we are in a similar scene, we've been lucky to share the stage with a few of them too. The guys in Fuelset are great & have given us two support slots for them now including our very first show back in 2008.
As far as major acts go I gotta say I love the classic kiwi bands; Shihad, The Datsuns, The Exponents & of course the legendary Jordan Luck. These band's need their own genre, "Kiwi." you hear it and you can just tell it's from New Zealand.
What will Puppeteer's next release be?
Despite the fact we've only just put out a new album, the ideas are already flowing in and we're working on writing new songs already. We're in talks about maybe doing a Split-EP with another band maybe later in the year which will include a combination of both band's writing a song as one track for the CD.
How do you come up with your lyrics?
During the writing process of 'Tucked In By Brutality', Scott (bass) & I came up with this interesting idea of doing a concept album that centered around Nighmares. Before we knew it the simple theme grew to something with much more depth, the best way of putting it is "A mans nightmare fueled descent into paranoid psychosis." This made the lyric writing alot of fun whilst a challenge for the two of us. I tell ya, making a whole album that is one story is a mission.
Who would you most like to support live?
Metallica (rumour has it there due here in November so fingers crossed), Machine Head, Iron Maiden. Basically any of the brilliant classic American & British Metal and Hard Rock acts.
How do you believe Puppeteer fits into the NZ music industry?
The new album has really opened new doors for us in the industry, we've gained interest from the NZ Metal Army and we're playing a few shows on their May tour. Also couple of the DJs on Planet FM, in Auckland have been real supportive of us the last few months so things seem to be on the up for us in the metal sector of the NZ music Industry.
Watch this space... There's a new wave of Kiwi heavy metal bands coming up big and strong & we're bang smack in the middle of the group.
What can you never leave home without?
My Ipod, I love that thing. Or guitar picks apparently, I always find one in my pocket without even knowing it was there.
Hell, once i hired a suit and put my hand in the pocket when I was trying it on and there was a pick. It was nuts.
How do you describe Puppeteer's music?
Thrashing Groove Metal with a splash of Hardcore.
Think Metallica & Iron Maiden meet Machine Head with a touch of Trivium.
What is your favourite NZ venue?
Kings Arms, No doubt about it. That place rules.
What is the best part of being a musician?
When you can look out from the stage and see someone singing lyrics you wrote.
Or when you can actually hear a group of people singing them. That's the greatest feeling.
What is in your CD collection at home?
LOTS. everything from Blues & Country to Hardcore Punk & Death Metal.
What is your most embarrassing on tour/gig moment?
Let's see. Maybe when I fell up steps on stage at an outdoor gig in January 09 during our last song. That kinda stuff happens to me all the time on stage though so nothing abnormal, if you come to a show there is a chance I'll stumble over something.
Oh mate, there's been so many awesome gigs. Our Album Release Show was a definate highlight of our career.
The Tauranga, Auckland & New Plymouth dates of our 2009 Tour were also AMAZING.
My favourite early gig was probably the Cliff Burton Tribute we played in 2008 when we played 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' & 'Creeping Death' by Metallica and the crowd got their heads banging. That was the first time that happened for us so I jumped in there with them guitar and all. I got a pick of it somewhere.
What is your favourite place in NZ to be?
There's this little quiet spot called Pureroa where we went camping to during our break over Christmas & New Years.
Took the acoustics and sat round a camp fire. It's like just south of Taupo.
As far as gigging place goes probably Taranaki, the fans & bands there are so friendly they just wander over and start having a big chat to you like you're old buddies. Big ups to the Naki.
What inspired you to become a start Puppeteer?
I was playing in this blues rock band, Acid Rain. Ryan (ex-drummer) and this guy Callum (ex-guitarist) thought of starting a metal band. At the time I was getting into alot of Southern Metal so thought I'd talk to them about setting up a side project to Acid Rain. Thus Overproof was born, I was originally bass player but when we decided to play a more thrash based sound I jumped on guitar & we changed our name to Puppeteer. The band was only supposed to be a fun little outlet to get my metal influences out of my system so they didn't affect Acid Rain, we did 2 shows supporting my other band and at the end of the second night, Acid Rain & I parted ways. That was it for us, Metal was my true passion in music so after enlisting my childhood friend Scott on the bass we had a complete lineup and were ready to make a serious impact. Enter Fuelset, we got on the bill as opener for these guys when they came to Tauranga. That was our first real show.
How did you come up with the name Puppeteer?
In 1986, Metallica released what many (including us) call the greatest Thrash Metal Album ever 'Master Of Puppets' when Ryan, Callum & I were throwing name ideas around in the early days one of us mentioned Puppeteer as sort of a homage name to Metallica. I can't recall who exactly said it but I think originally it was half joking... but then we thought on it and realised it was the only name for us. Our original name was Overproof, to go with the southern element I wanted to go with but that didn't suit the thrash route we took.
How do you keep in contact with your fans?
When we play I talk to them between songs and give them opportunities to answer my questions, MySpace & Facebook are a cool idea, when people write us an email I try real hard to answer every single one personally. Also if you're a fan and really go hard at a show I generally come up and talk to ya.
What rumour would you like to start about Puppeteer?
Vaughan (Lead Guitar) is really Wolverine from X-Men.
Born on the power of Groove.
Fueled by the passion of Rock.
Puppeteer is solid Kiwi groove metal with a live show that dominates the stage.
2 albums & an EP to their name, Puppeteer are a premiere act in a New Wave of New Zealand Metal.
Puppeteer are based in Auckland and Tauranga.