Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Henchmen - Death Machine/Bitch Goddess

This Henchmen single may be well known for the song 'Bitch Goddess' due to the Get a Haircut NZ 2004 NZ rock and roll CD compilation however looking at the cover there is the impression that Death Machine, "I'm gonna die like Jimmy Dean." was the intended single. Truth is both sides rock equally. The Henchmen came out of the ashes of independent punk legends The Dum Dum Boys. This single was released on Cadaver records which was the band's own record label.

Recorded June 1983 at Progressive Studios, Anzac Ave, Auckland. Produced by Terry King, Terry Goth, Norm Dillinger and Robyn Vamp. Originally released 1983 on Cadaver Records LP We've Come To Play. Later released on Cadaver Records 7". Tony Goth-vocals Norm Dillinger - guitar Jeremy Chunn -bass Billy Williams- drums

This song was originally written and composed by Tony Collins and Tony Norman in 1983 and appeared on The Henchmen album We've Come To Play which was released the same year. It was musically formed with the spirit of MC5's 'Come Together' in mind whilst the lyrics used the imagery of the whore/angel heaven/hell duality in referring to rock and roll Babylon, Television New Zealand made a video of this song and it was subsequently selected in the top ten local video clips for the year 1984. By this time however, the Henchmen had left the shores of New Zealand for Australia later to evolve into Reptiles at Dawn with European record contract and tours to begin forming a new legend. (I remember reading a review of their album in the UK metal magazine Metal Hammer back in the late 80s). Tony Collins now lives in France and sings for his new band Lost Disciples having released two albums to date and is busy working on the third. Tony Norman lives in New Zealand.
Tony Collins, 19th March 2003. Taken from Get a Haircut CD Booklet

The band also released a 7" in 1982 I Got A Right / R 'n' R Attack

Other Henchmen releases are:
Lust For Glory LP (2000) [1.7", 12" and unreleased]
Lust For Glory CD (2002) [7", 12" and live tracks]
Grim Relics LP (Sonic Heist) (1989)

It seems the Lust for Glory LP and CD are now hard to find in New Zealand but interpunk carries them. Also there are filesharing blogs which have the NZ Hate Your Neighbours compilation album which can be found by googling for Henchmen Bitch Goddess. I'm not putting the link because filesharing blogs are lame which is why I've only linked to MP3 blogs in the sidebar.

Salad Daze

Digging through the smalltakeover vault I came across an old New Zealand Levin based punk zine called Brainless Child from 1991 which featured an interview with now long since defunct Auckland hardcore band Salad Daze. Here it is in full with a few details added.

Salad Daze are a way cool hardcore band made up of some cooler people!!!! Their first 7" is sold out, but go and see 'em live because they don't half fucking RIPPPPP!!! (I saw them live once and agree, they didn't seem to care how many people they played to when I saw them in Palmerston North with The Warners back in the day.)

Brainless Child: Okay, can you fill me in how Salad Daze came to be and what connection you had with the late Bygone Era?

Salad Daze: Yeah, a couple of us were in Bygone Era at various times, but we formed a while before they split and had actually intended to gig with them. Salad Daze was put on hold for a while, when Bygone Era were gigging constantly, building up to their final gigs. We've been playing around ever since '89.

Brainless Child: Many people agree on the fact that you play a very D.C. ish hardcore, plus with the name Salad Daze, are bands like 7 Seconds, Minor Threat....etc your main influence?

Salad Daze: We all love and groove out on a lotta past and present D.C. bands of the like and it probably does show (Government Issue and Dag Nasty) to some extent in our sound. We also love a lotta other sounds from The Hard-ons to S.S.Decontrol and countless others ....(blah, blah)

Brainless Child: Another thing people say is that you are a "young" band with "tight, excellent" musicians. How old is each member of the band and how often do you practice?

Salad Daze: Us??? Thanks for the compliment (Hi Das Unter Mensch) Well, Rob and Simon have been playing for five years off and on, Luke's been drumming for about 8 years and Kieren's had that voice ever since his skating accident. Our ages range from 18 to 23 and we usually practice once a week all going well.

Brainless Child: Did you have any trouble releasing the 7", didn't Casualty have something to do with the pressing and what sort of advantages/disadvantages are there in releasing your own material?

Salad Daze: We financed the record ourselves, and it did take a little longer than usual (6 months) due to it being pressed in Sydney, plus the mix-ups on the 2-track, but we wanted to know the ins and outs of it all. It wasn't hard to do really, it was just the distance and the lack of communication, like what's going on with the 7", Brucie? Greg - Casualty's "hard" man gave us all the contacts and he overlooked the cutting etc...It was financially viable, I just wish more NZ bands would D.I.Y. instead of typically moaning can't! There's no real disavantage of pressing 250, this way we get every sale cash up front and aren't owed money for years to come. Just go for it!!!!

Brainless Child: So do you try to communicate any ideas through your lyrics/music or do you just play to entertain??

Salad Daze: Kieren writes most of the words and as does Luke sometimes and there is no real message in them, and we do try to put the emphasis of "fun" into a gig these days. It's pretty depressing watching a band with their backs turned and looking as though they're bored as fuck!

Brainless Child: What sort of positive things can you see happening in the NZ music scene at the moment?

Salad Daze: Some of the posi things happenin' would have to be people starting up new 'zines/bands and gig organizers looking into new venues. It's not as busy as it used to be, but hopefully things will get better.

Brainless Child: Is there any particular city/country in the world you would love to play in?

We would love to play virtually anywhere (even Levin) but preferably on a bill with heaps of other top bands, so we could check 'em out, which would probably have to be in the states somewhere. How about Western Springs guys??

Brainless Child: Right any future plans and anything else to add?

Salad Daze: Plans include a 12" EP out before the end of the year and a trip down to Wellington and New Plymouth. If one thing we wanna do is play more all age gigs. Thanks for the time and trouble for the interview.

I don't think the 12" EP came out but the band released three 7" EPs in total. The first one was also reviewed in Brainless Child.

Yeah, this is more like it. Four tracks of tight D.C. ish hardcore, with melody and power. The lyrics are in the inner/personal vein so that gets the thumbs up from me with the best tracks comin from 'Rain' and 'Fast Life'
Needs a fuller sound to make it top notch material, but I'm looking forward to more.

At one stage I owned all three salad daze 7"'s but in a bid to downsize, make a profit or de-punk I stupidly sold the lot of them. I recently found a taped copy of the first EP and agree that it needs a fuller sound however I'm a sucker for a chorus and would have picked 'Child Cannot Remain' as the standout song.

Salad Daze's second EP Gib was their finest moment in my opinion. It was put out on green vinyl only which probably has more appeal, simply due to the colour, to the record collector scum of today than the collector/fans at the time. There is an online copy on the new zealand Punk Archive page

Their next EP, Uncle Dad was heavily Fugazi influenced. Searching the web for info on Salad Daze turned up this recent photo of Simon Kay (the interviewee) and Ian Mckaye.

Kieren later went onto front another hardcore band called Balance I'm not sure exactly when drummer Luke Casey left Salad Daze but he played in a lot of bands but the most steady was The Nixons who later became Eye TV for legal reasons. Luke was replaced by Miles Gillet who went on to drum for San Diego pop punk band Fluf. Miles Gillet later that band to return to New Zealand when his father became ill.

Beastwars - IV

After over a year off for various reasons, we have returned solely because we wanted to review the new Beastwars album. I really w...