Beastwars hid away in a garage playing their heavy rock music for nearly two years because they didn't think people would like it.

Then a friend asked them to play at a birthday bash — they were blown away by the response.

Band member Nathan Hickey said people were coming up to them and saying "you should be out there doing it".

So that's what they did.

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"People describe our music as sludge which is an extension of the word grunge but it's heavier and darker," Hickey says.

He and the three other members of the band, Clayton Anderson, Matt Hyde and James Woods, released their first album in 2011. "It went to number 15 on the charts and we thought that was pretty good," Hickey said.

In 2013 their second album went to No. 2 — "we were beaten out of the top spot by, would you believe it, Michael Buble," Hickey said.

"We thought surely out third album would make the top of the charts. But no such luck, not only did Prince die but Beyonce also released a surprise album. We ended up at No. 4.

"Finally this year we made it with our album IV. It was pretty amazing to get a call from Universal Music NZ Ltd while we were on tour to tell us the good news. They knew how bad we wanted it."

The album and tour followed the break-up of the band. "I was in London when I got a phone call telling me that Matt had cancer. I came back to New Zealand and the band reunited to release this album after Matt had finished his treatment.

"We went on tour doing nine shows around Australia and New Zealand.
"When we got back Matt went to the doctor worried about how exhausted he was. The doctor asked him what he had been doing. When he learned about the tour he cautioned him that he really shouldn't be going so hard out.

"So on this tour which, includes a gig at the Paisley Stage in Napier on November 30, we will be having a two-week break between shows.

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"When you see Matt on stage you will understand why he runs out of energy — he's like a possessed wizard," Hickey laughs.

The band played at The Cabana in 2013 but have been focussing on the main centres in recent years.

"However, after a huge amount of requests from locals when we asked fans 'where to next' on our Facebook page, we decided it was time to your the regions. If you make the effort people turn up. We played to a packed room at Mt Maunganui. "

Hickey has fond memories of Hawke's Bay. "I used to spend my Christmas holidays camping at Havelock North.

"I'm really excited to come back to play in Napier. We are great friend of Bay band Jakob and have toured with them but for some reason we never came to Napier. I wish that we had."

Beastwars' albums include The Death of All Things, Blood Becomes Fire, Beastwars, and they will be playing a range of songs from all their albums.

The Wellington band was also nominated for Best Group and Best Rock Album at the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.

*Beastwars
Paisley Stage, November 30.
Tickets: www.undertheradar.co.nz/beastwars