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The Heathen Collective - The Heathen Collective Interview 13/01/13

13 Jan 2013 // An interview by Asmith

I had a chat to Goose from The Heathen Collective, here's what he had to say...

How long has The Heathen Collective been together?

We started in late 2003 as a 3 piece band with myself, Rowan and Ford and were gigging by early 2004. So 9ish years. 
The thing is though, we started out as more of a jam band that liked to get messed up on whatever our chosen poison was at the time and go play shows and have a good time. 
Rowan at the time was playing bass for Wellington Groove/Thrash band Fire and I was doing vocals For Wellington Deathcore band Scoria and then later for Fire.
So it ended up being a part time project until 2009 when we decided that we were going get serious. We Rewrote all our music and lyrics and recruited Dhanesh (Ex Rising Force) to play second guitar and expand our sound.

How did you come up with the name The Heathen Collective?

Well one day not long after we started the group, I was in a CD store having a browse when I came across the David Bowie album Heathen
The cover which features a picture of Mr. Bowie with whited out eyes and a vacant stare really caught my attention. In a weird way it kind of reflected to me how I personally felt at the time. Numb, Lifeless and vacant.
I went back to the lads with the idea of having Heathen as a name but giving it our own meaning that represented us as the outcasts that we are. Which is that if society was Christianity, Then we were the Heathens. 
When we started taking things serious in 2009, I had found out about the 80's thrash band Heathen and heard they were making a come back and releasing an album. 
So we changed the name to The Heathen Collective to represent not only us but our circle of friends and everybody just like us. We also liked the initials hahahaha!

How would you describe your music to people who have never heard you before?

We are a simplistic and groove infused mix of all different types of heavy music. Our music is written without technical time signatures purposely so anyone listening can have a mosh and keep in time hahahaha!

Who are your biggest musical influences?

There are so many! But Black Sabbath, Sepultura, Pantera, Gojira, Refused, Tool, Deftones and Machine Head to name a few bands that come to mind straight away.

What is your favourite gig you have played so far?

We somehow made it into the National Finals of the Global Battle of the Bands in Auckland in November of 2011. That was a kickass show! It was also our first out of town show. We drove up from Wellington and got bugger all sleep on the way. But we got up, Cranked our tunes and had the crowd pumping!
Junefest last year in Wanganui was another great show to play!

If you could play with any band in the world who would it be?

That's a hard question to answer. Once again, Theres so many! If Dime and Pantera were still around i'd say Pantera. But since he isn't I'll say Machine Head.

If you could play any venue in the world where would it be?

The Troubadour, Los Angeles.

How did you find the experience of playing at Beyond The Black?

Great! We had a lot of fun! Jen the organiser and her crew put on a wicked night! We got to catch up with a lot of people we have met over the years, Got drunk as hell and got to see some awesome bands.
Our set was a bit rough though as something was wrong with Dhanesh's Guitar amp and we had to play the first 3 songs without him until he could sort another.
That left me a bit confused as to what was going on which caused me to lose my place and forget some lyrics in the first song. But besides that we played a good show and had fun doing so.

What are we going to see from The Heathen Collective in 2013?

We are going to be rerecording some songs from our album and EP that we were not happy with and releasing those digitally. The track's that we decided to keep have already been remixed so they sound better and have been released as a free downloads on our Reverbnation page and also on this site. 
We will also be recording and releasing a new album. This year for us is all about getting heard and seen while making friends and fans along the way. Gotta keep on the grind ya know!

What is the best part about being a musician?

Being able to have an outlet to express your thoughts and opinions, Playing out of town shows and meeting new people all while having a good time!

What's in your personal music collection?

I have a little bit of everything from UB40 to Eazy E to Deicide.

Who is your favourite NZ band and why?

Gunt. Great music, Great bunch of guys and a great thirst for liquor.

Name an up and coming NZ band you think people should check out?

Pariah, Amachine, Gift of Ruin, Cephalopod, Sekht, Dislocate and also Devile. Hahahaha sorry was that meant to be one band? I can't count very well.

What's the funniest thing you have seen at a gig/on tour?

We were playing a show in Napier and the sound engineer thought he would be a cheeky bugger and play Elvis Presley's greatest hits while we were setting up.
I set up, grabbed the microphone and sung along to every song pitch perfectly while the rest of the lads set up. The look on his face was priceless.

What's your most embaressing gig/tour moment?

Forgetting the lyrics during the first song at Beyond The Black.

What advice would you give to other aspiring musicians?

Know what you want from music. If you are in it for money, Go to the pubs and play covers. If you are an artist who writes their own material, Don't expect to be paid much. In fact, expect to lose money.
The main thing is never give up. Keep doing what you are doing as long as it makes you happy. Life is too short to not be living the life you want to live.

Where is your favourite place in NZ to be?

At the moment, Masterton.

When not playing music, what else do you do in your spare time?

Write music, write lyrics, write album reviews and promote our band.

When is your next release/what will it be?

Our next full length album will hopefully be released mid this year. If not, It will be later in the year for sure.

How do you keep in contact with your fans?

Through Facebook, Myspace, Reverbnation and Twitter.

If you could create a rumour about The Heathen Collective what would it be?

That we all met and formed the band in a maximum security psychiatric ward and that we all have shaved heads and wear tin foils hats under our wigs when we play live.


About The Heathen Collective

Formed in Wellington in late 2003, Aaron Gunn (vocals/bass), Rowan Reidy (guitar) and Ford Manaena (drums) joined forces to conceive what is now known as The Heathen Collective.

Influenced by such acts as (hed) P.E, Deftones, Tool, Refused, Machine Head, Pantera and Black Sabbath, a simplistic groove inspired sound was forged and exposed to the Wellington metal scene.

Growth and evolution of the band has been a slow process as Rowan and Aaron were involved in Wellington acts Fire (Rowan and later Aaron) and Scoria (Aaron). In 2009, The Heathen Collective decided too many years had been wasted and it was time to take things more seriously.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for The Heathen Collective


Year: 2022
Type: EP
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Year: 2012
Type: EP

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