Watership Down (band)

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Watership Down
Also known as Watership Down (2002, 2010-present)
Atomship (2002-2004)
AtomshipDown (2006-2009)
Origin Ocean Springs, Mississippi, United States
Genres Alternative metal, post-grunge
Years active 2002-2004, 2006-present
Labels Wind-Up Records (2002–2004)
Associated acts Ugly Kid Joe, Papercut Massacre, Lonely Unit Shifter, Together Tomorrow, Anorexic Skeleton, Yoon
Members Chad Kent
Derek Pardoe
Brooks Hubbart
Past members

Nathan Slade
Joey Culver

Jesse "Bones" Duncan

Watership Down (formerly known as Atomship and AtomshipDown) is a three-piece alternative metal band composed of Derek Pardoe, Chad Kent, and Brooks Hubbart, possibly best known for their 2004 single "Pencil Fight". Nathan Slade was the band's original guitarist until his death in December 2009. The band was known as Watership Down in 2002, before changing their name to Atomship that year, which ran until the band's disbandment in 2004, shortly after the release of their debut album, The Crash of '47.[1] Joey Culver stood in for Derek Pardoe on the recording of The Crash of '47, as Pardoe was unable due to his anxiety. Atomship was dropped from Wind-Up Records due to poor record sales. In 2006, Atomship reformed as AtomshipDown.[2] In 2010, AtomshipDown reverted their name back to Watership Down.



The band was formed in 2002 by vocalist Derek Pardoe, drummer Chad Kent, and guitarist Nathan Slade in southern Mississippi. The band was originally called Watership Down, after Richard Adams’ classic tale of the same name but was renamed "Atomship" later that year. The band retains a cartoon alien rabbit as its logo, designed by Nathan Slade, which also reflects the group's interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials.[3] As confirmed by their debut album's title, the album references the alleged date of the UFO crash in Roswell, N.M. "We're fascinated with some of these things", Slade says. "We’re not conspiracy theory nuts but it is interesting how the media covers up some stuff that's obviously there. We have a pretty strong thirst for knowledge." [4] Derek Pardoe, who was a founding member and lead vocalist, was not featured on The Crash of '47 and remains uncredited for his role in the production of the album, and his role in the band overall. Joey Culver stood in for Derek on vocals for The Crash of '47 because Derek's Pardoe's anxiety issues made him unable to record with the band. 10 of the 11 tracks on The Crash of '47 were written by Slade and Pardoe while Chad Kent was recovering from shoulder problems. It has been said by some that Joey Culver helped form the band; this is not the case. Culver was given credit on the album but only wrote the song "Plastic People". Nathan Slade played the bass on 5 songs, with Ugly Kid Joe bassist Cordell Crockett playing bass on the rest.[2] The band had a falling-out with Joey Culver in late 2004 over "irreconcilable differences", mostly over musical differences regarding the band's single, Pencil Fight.


In 2006, Atomship reformed as AtomshipDown with the band reunited with original singer Derek Padroe. In 2007, the band announced that they were going to release two albums simultaneously.[5] The first of these albums was to be entitled Let Us Sleep Awhile, while the second was untitled, but labeled as the evolution of Atomship. Derek Pardoe founded "Omni-Mind Productions" at which the band recorded the tracks "Deflower", "For So", "Red", and "Magnolia".

In an interview posted on the band's Myspace page on February 10, 2007, vocalist Derek Pardoe states the following:

"The band's debut album, "The Crash of '47," was well received nationally and essential listening locally. The success of The Crash of '47 was due, in large part, to Derek Pardoe, the band's original lead singer. Pardoe wrote the lion's share of the lyrics along with Slade and Kent. The trio has since reunited, and is hard at work on the follow-up to their debut. They say they've never been happier, and I know their large and loyal fan base is thrilled to have the core unit back together. "We did this huge circle," Pardoe said. "You know, when we came back to write, and doing all these different kinds of things, we ended up right back where we were, because it's what we enjoy."[2]

Pardoe also stated that the new album was progressing slowly. The band began working on a demo reel for Let Us Sleep Awhile. The final track written for this demo was entitled "Silhouette" and can be found here.

Death of Nathan Slade and Watership Down[edit]

Derek Pardoe announced on the band's Facebook and MySpace pages that guitarist Nathan Slade died on December 5, 2009. The cause of death was an accidental drug overdose on a prescription medicine.[6][7] The band then recruited guitarist Jesse Duncan to fill the vacant guitar slot. After Slade's death, the band reverted their name back to Watership Down.

On June 15, 2010, Derek posted the following on YouTube: "Self Recorded Demo coming soon. Thank you all for being so patient while Chad and I took time to deal with the loss of Nathan and took our time deciding if we would play again as Watership Down and release what work we had done with Nathan including some new music we had written together."[8] In addition to some songs recorded for Let Us Sleep Awhile, confirmed songs on the album are "Come Back" and "Seven Months". The former is where Derek announced the above, and can be viewed here The latter was featured in Derek Pardoe's tribute to Nathan Slade, which can be viewed here On August 27, 2010, an article about the group was featured in the South Mississippi newspaper the Sun Herald. In the article, the band's new guitar player, Jesse Duncan was announced. "I was out for a long enough time. People have asked me to play in other projects, but I don’t think I’m ever going to stand on a stage again without Chad," Pardoe stated when asked if he will play live. "The way to beat anxiety is by realizing that you cause it. I had some hard times, and there was a period when people thought all I did during the day was panic. But things become more important than anxiety. You become stronger for the experience, though."[9] Touring bassist Roy Williams is involved in the making of the new album, which is set to be released in 2013.[10]

Band Members[edit]

Former members
  • Jesse "Bones" Duncan - lead guitar (2013)
  • Nathan Slade - lead guitar, bass (2002–2004, 2006–2009) (deceased)
Touring members
  • Roy Williams - bass (2003–2004, 2006–present)
Session members
  • Cordell Crockett - bass (2004)
  • Joey Culver - lead vocals - stand in for album (2004)


Album Title Date of Release Label
The Crash of '47 May 4, 2004 Wind-Up

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Hooks, Justin (13 April 2007). "Atomship". Sun Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ a b c http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=122164139&blogId=228437687
  3. ^ Matthew, Solovey (7 October 2004). "Atomship singer discusses sci-fi and the elusive breathrough". Hershey Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ http://www.myspace.com/atomship
  5. ^ http://www.myspace.com/atomshipdown
  6. ^ Pardoe, Derek (5 December 2009). "AtomShip". Facebook. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  7. ^ http://comment.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewComments&friendID=122164139
  8. ^ Pardoe, Derek (15 June 2010). "Watership Down - Come Back". youtube. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Justin, Hooks (27 August 2010). "The Return of Watership Down". 
  10. ^ Pardoe, Derek (22 December 2011). "Watership Down". facebook.