Antagonist A.D.

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Antagonist A.D.
Origin Auckland, New Zealand
Genres Metalcore
Years active 2005–present
Labels UNFD, Trial & Error, Elevenfiftyseven, Mediaskare
Members Sam Crocker
Israel McDean
Matthew Livingstone
Luke Manson
Joshua Moffitt
Past members Sean O'Kane Connelly
Brendan Wishnowsky
Ross McDougall
Kris 'Boozey' Bosman
Milon William

Antagonist A.D. are a metalcore band from Auckland, New Zealand, formed in 2005.


Formation and S/T Demo (2005)[edit]

Antagonist A.D started in 2005 by vocalist Sam Crocker and bassist Joshua Moffitt. The intention was to create a fast heavy metal hardcore band in the vein of unrelenting American acts such as Martyr A.D. and Until the End combined with "Euro" breaks similar to European bands Arkangel and Maroon.

Known then as simply Antagonist—feeling the bands shared similar ideals and ethos the name was taken from Maroon's debut full-length.

The original line-up also comprised drummer Brendon Wishnowsky and Sean Connolly. The band quickly recorded a well received four-song demo with Ulcerate's Jamie Saint Merat. Some releases of this demo following the main pressing featured a fifth song entitled "Some Glory".

These Cities, Our Graves (2005–2008)[edit]

The end of 2005 saw the band lose original guitarist Sean and drummer Brendon, but gain guitarists Kris Bosman, Ross Mcdougall and drummer Israel Mcdean. The line-up at this point boasted a remarkable and promising pedigree composed of former members of notable[citation needed] New Zealand hardcore/metalcore bands The Warpath, 21 Guns, Kill Me Quickly, Evil Priest and Promise of Bloodshed.

The band's debut full-length These Cities, Our Graves was recorded in early 2006 by Avalanche City frontman David Baxter (then guitarist in metalcore band One Must Fall). The album was released on 1157 records (previously a home to NZ hardcore greats such as DSM, Balance and The Bleeders).[1]

Lyrically, the band stood apart from others in there genre as well as local acts with their subject matter. Covering topics widely left alone in Australasia like animal and women's rights—tracks such as "Show Some Heart", "Suicide Girls" and "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." became signatures for the band.

It was at this point when the band made their first trip to Australia with the help of Washed Up Records label owner Tommy Dollars. Playing in Victoria and South Australia with well-known local bands Stronghold, Her Nightmare and, then, relatively 'new' band, The Red Shore the band as well as various Queensland dates supporting US hardcore band Most Precious Blood. It was the first time in years that a New Zealand hardcore band had made the trip across the Tasman.[citation needed]

Gaining momentum and a solid fan base throughout Australia the band was quickly picked up by Melbourne-based label Trial & Error Records.[2] An Australian version of These Cities, Our Graves was released through Trial & Error Records in 2008. Featuring two brand new tracks, "Distance" and "Stranger".

The band then toured Australia nationally with Parkway Drive, Have Heart (US) and Break Even in support of the release.[3]

Following the tour the band continued to play throughout both New Zealand and Australia for the next year and built a reputation as New Zealand's most hard-working band[citation needed] as well as being known for their energetic and engaging live show.[citation needed]

We Are the Dead (2008–2010)[edit]

Antagonist A.D. released their second studio album in Australia and New Zealand in October 2008. Recorded at various studios around Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand it was sent off-shore to be mixed and mastered by Zack Ohren—the man responsible for The Ghost Inside's album Fury and the Fallen Ones.

With international tours looming on the horizon the band released We Are the Dead under the name Antagonist A.D., adding the suffix to avoid confusion with an American band using the name Antagonist already.[4]

This same year the band played New Zealand's biggest music festival Big Day Out sharing the main stage with notable act Rage Against the Machine.[5]

2009 saw the band undertake a successful headline tour throughout Southeast Asia (Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia) and Japan. Returning mid-2009 to tour with Earth Crisis and Day of Contempt through Australia.

Shortly after the Earth Crisis tour towards the end of 2009 the band decided to part ways with guitarist Ross McDougall, who is now in Saving Grace.

In August 2010 they made their first trip to Europe with friends 50 Lions (Australia) and Gravemaker (Canada), returning to New Zealand mid-September to tour with Parkway Drive on their Deep Blue album release tour alongside The Devil Wears Prada and The Ghost Inside.

Old Bones Make New Blooms (2010)[edit]

Old Bones Make New Blooms was recorded in 2010 at Red Dog Studios by Nate Sowter. Following a series of delays from record label Trial & Error the five song 7" saw the light in February 2011.

Between the recording and release of the 7", the band found a replacement for Ross in Matthew Livingstone.

Founding member and bassist Joshua Moffitt left the band in July 2010 to move to Japan, where he worked with other scientists on a new sustainable and environmentally sound power source for Japan.

Nothing from No One and Haunt Me as I Roam (2012–present)[edit]

Nothing from No One was recorded in 2012 by Nate Sowter. Drums were tracked at the Porch Studio in Hamilton and guitars and vocals tracked at Red Dog Studios in Mount Maunganui. The album was mixed and mastered by Zach Ohren and released on Mediaskare Records. The album was released July of that year and was followed up in August by an album release tour of New Zealand and Australia.

In 2013 the band embarked on a world tour including New Zealand, the US, Australia, and Europe. The band were accompanied by labelmates Murder Death Kill on the US leg. The Australian leg was in support of The Ghost Inside and alongside Emmure and Hand of Mercy. The European leg was a collaboration of tours with friends Parkway Drive and Deez Nuts. With a successful touring year under their belt, the band decided to focus energy and time on writing a new full-length album, which resulted in the release of Haunt Me as I Roam in 2015.

From its inception, the band have shared the stage with countless high-profile overseas acts (Madball, Converge, Parkway Drive, The Ghost Inside, Darkest Hour, Unearth, Bleeding Through, Comeback Kid, Throwdown, First Blood to name but a few) and continue to tour between New Zealand and Australia frequently.

Lyrical themes[edit]

Antagonist A.D. are known for their outspoken views on socio-political issues such as racism and sexism. Animal rights issues feature heavily in the band's lyrics, and all members are vegans and vegetarians. The band are vocal supporters of Sea Shepherd.


Current members

  • Sam Crocker - vocals (2005–present)
  • Matthew Livingstone - guitar (2010–present)
  • Luke Manson - guitar (2012–present)
  • Joshua Moffitt - bass (2005-2010, 2014–present)
  • Israel McDean - drums (2005–present)

Former members

  • Sean O'Kane Connelly - guitar (2005)
  • Ross McDougall - guitar (2005-2010)
  • Kris "Boozey" Bosman - guitar (2005–2013)
  • Milon William - bass (2012–2013)
  • Brendon Wishnowsky - drums (2005)


Year Title Label
2006 These Cities, Our Graves Elevenfiftyseven Records
2007 Distance
2008 We Are the Dead Trial & Error Records
2011 Old Bones Make New Blooms
2012 Nothing from No One Mediaskare Records[6]
2015 Haunt Me as I Roam UNFD[7]


External links[edit]