Shihad, a band renowned for their blistering live shows and being a dominant force in Kiwi rock for 20 years, are the winners of this year's New Zealand Herald Legacy Award.

The prize, honouring local acts with an enduring influence, was announced along with the finalists for the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards tonight. Shihad will also be inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame at the ceremony at Vector Arena on October 7.

Singer and guitarist Jon Toogood said the band, also made up of bass player Karl Kippenberger, guitarist Phil Knight, and drummer Tom Larkin, were chuffed to win the award. However, it felt "a little weird" considering they are still going strong and about to release their eighth album, Ignite, on September 20.

"So yeah, it's like congratulations you are now officially old," joked Toogood. "But then we all had a talk about it and realised we have done quite a bit and we've been around for 22 years now."


Not a bad run for a band who started out as Wellington in 1988 as "a pack of inner city bogans that loved metal".

He said the main reason they are still together, through many highs and lows, including when they went through a name change after the 9/11 attacks, is because they always have a point to prove on every album.

"Which means we've got to be as good as we possibly can be if we're even going to bother doing this. It's all about proving to yourself that you're still in a kick-arse band. That's all it is."

Over the years there have been many defining moments for the quartet, but the band's support slot for AC/DC at Western Springs in February is one that sticks out for Toogood who believes Shihad are at their best live.

"I've never seen that many people in front of the band. That to me, and the fact I wanted to vomit before I went on, but didn't crumble under the weight of that buzz, and we enjoyed it and embraced it, made me think, 'That 20 years of training, that's what it was for'.

*Tickets for the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards are $20 from Ticketmaster
*C4 will broadcast the awards live from 8.30pm on October 7th