Big Day Out newcomers: Antagonist

By Joanna Hunkin

We'll be covering the Big Day Out this Friday with regular updates, blogs and photos throughout the day at nzherald.co.nz/bigdayout. ALSO: Send in your photos after the event and be in to win a PDA worth $750!

It was the days of flannel shirts, baby doll dresses and Doc Martens.

Crowded House was leading the way for Kiwi artists overseas and Sheryl Crow's hit All I Wanna Do dominated radio airplay.

Forrest Gump cleaned up at the Oscars, leaving a legacy of torment as people continually espoused the phrase, "Life is like a box of chocolates..."

The year was 1994, and on a sunny February morning, Mt Smart Stadium opened its gates for the first ever Big Day Out.

Thousands of adventurous punters filed into the grounds to see, amongst others, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and Straitjacket Fits.

Little did they know, they were about to become part of local music history.

14 years on, the festival has become the cornerstone of Auckland's live music calendar, drawing fans of all ilk from throughout the country.

The festival has been running so long now, some of the bands performing today were but wee nippers when the first BDO took place.

Over the next three days, we'll profile some of this year's debut performers and find out what the BDO means to them.

Sam Crocker from Antagonist

Who: Sam Crocker (vocals), Ross McDougal (guitar), Kris Bosman (guitar), Josh Moffitt (bass), Israel McDean (drums)

What: Loud and thrashing, the boys say they write "sincere raw metalcore that isn't musically watered down or commercialised".

When they're playing: Blue Stage, 11 to 11.30am

From: Auckland and Hamilton.

Formed: 2005

Ages: 22-27

When did you find out you would be playing at the BDO?

We were in Australia when we found out, in September. I've got no idea how it happened. We were driving somewhere ridiculous, from Brisbane to Adelaide, and Dean called us and asked if we wanted to play. It's cool, I didn't think we'd get asked. We're an underground band so for them to pick up on us was kind of crazy.

Has it always been a goal to play the BDO?

Not really. It's awesome to be playing but it's not like we formed the band wishing we could play the BDO one day. It's rad though.

Have you been rehearsing or practising any new moves?

[Laughs] No, we probably should be. We've got a bunch of new songs. We've taken some time off, since about October, to write a new album so there's a bunch of new songs off that we'll be playing.

Do you remember your first BDO as a punter? When was it?

Yeah, I haven't had good BDO experiences. The year the band Poison the Well and Thursday played, I can't remember what year that was, they were playing at 7 or 8pm and I waited all day to see them. I didn't cover up or put sun tan lotion on and I got completely smashed. I was crisp when the sun went down. It was rad but I barely enjoyed them because I was so hot and burnt.

Were you there early enough to see the first bands on stage?

Yeah both times I've been there all day. One time it was The Bleeders, they were playing the slot we're playing.

Why should people make an effort to come and see you early in the day?

If they like music that's got something more to it - sincerity and conviction. There's a lot of thought behind it in terms of political stuff. If you like metal you should come check it out or if you like punk.

Who are you most looking forward to seeing at this year's gig?

I'm really looking forward to seeing Brand New but they're on at the same time as Rage Against the Machine who I also want to see.

If you see them backstage will you go and talk to them?

Hopefully. That's one my things, I'm going to try and hunt [Brand New] down. I'm going to be a gross stalker. I'll get a photo and get them to write me a note.

Can you tell us what year the first BDO was held? Bonus points if you can name at least one of the performing acts.

Um, can I ask someone else? I think it was `95 or `96? `94? `97?... It wasn't Rage, eh? Offspring? Smashing Pumpkins?

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