Rave raises awareness

Mantis (Clara Hynes) is one of the featured DJs at Metamorphisis.
Mantis (Clara Hynes) is one of the featured DJs at Metamorphisis.
Metamorphosis is a DJ fundraiser event next weekend at Erricks to raise money and awareness for suicide prevention, as well as supporting vulnerable people in the local music community.

It’s not easy trying to make a living as a professional artist or musician and few succeed. Even those who become "famous" still often struggle to stay relevant and pay the bills. This constant struggle of trying to make a living from any form of art is a bit like trying to apply for jobs every week. The ongoing rejection from slow sales or cancelled gigs can literally be killing.

Many in the music scene have been affected by the loss of friends and whānau who weren’t able to get the support they needed in time. The organisers of Metamorphosis think it is time the dance music community came together and used its collective energy to make a pile of money for this worthy cause. This isn’t just a local initiative, but part of series of one-night raves across the country.

At our own Metamorphosis, in Dunedin, you’ll be able to boogy your butt off to six well-known local DJs spinning the discs you crave. Featured artists are Italiks, Poison Rat, Zebede, Mantis, Te Selekta and Inertia.

All of the organisers and DJs will be donating their skills for free and all proceeds will go towards Weka (Wellness Empathy Kindness Aotearoa) and the Life Matters Suicide Prevention Trust (Te Whare Oranga Ngākau).

Mantis (Clara Hynes) is one of the featured DJs. The Ōtepoti favourite has been DJing for more than six years and has played at popular dance events all over the country. She describes her sound as "underground drum and bass" and she immediately jumped on to Metamorphosis because it’s "a very cool cause to bring people together".


 - Tickets: events.humanitix.com/metamorphosis-tepoti

 - Short documentary about the Dunedin drum and bass scene: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8M4rxnSjaE

Imperial Slave plays Deathfest Two.
Imperial Slave plays Deathfest Two.


Next Saturday at the mighty Crown Hotel we have Deathfest Two — a celebration of the "dark side" of heavy metal music.

First popularised by the likes of Slayer (US) and Mayhem (Norway) this style of "black" or "death" metal first originated in Europe in the late ’80s when many bands followed Black Sabbath and Metallica’s leads and began to explore the outer limits of the genre in a never-ending quest to discover just how heavy a heavy metal band could be.

The answer turned out to be, very heavy.

Last year’s first Deathfest was a huge success and I talked to the gig’s organiser, Sam Sheppard, who drummed for Kiwi metal band 8 Foot Sativa, and a number of other well known metal bands, about both his own music and the mini-festival. His band, Imperial Slave, is one of the five bands playing alongside local blast-beat gods, Autonomy, Methchrist, Blood Cauldron. The final band is yet to be confirmed.

Like many musicians, Sam started playing in a high school band, with his brother Matt, who became the vocalist for 8 Foot Sativa after the original vocalist, Justin "Jackhammer" Niessen, left to start another band.

Sam was originally the drummer in 8 Foot Sativa but before that both were members of Sinate — another well known Auckland thrash metal band. When "Jackhammer" left, Sam felt isolated in the new band and reformed Sinate. The band moved to Germany in 2009 and Sam became a well known drummer in the German metal scene. In 2019 he moved back to Aotearoa. A shoulder injury made his ferocious style of drumming difficult, so, after several months practice, he reinvented himself as a vocalist and formed Imperial Slave, with Ant Hati and Isaac Lundy on guitars, Achilles Manley on bass and Matt Wright on drums.

Their first album, Imperial Slave, came out in 2021 and the second one, Still At Large, was released last year.

If you’re one of the many head-bangers who think that Metallica and Iron Maiden (as well as many other popular metal acts) have lost their direction and turned into bloated soft-rock bands, this is definitely the night for you! It will be hard and it will be very, very heavy!