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Also known as
  • Watership Down (2002, 2010-2017)
  • Atomship (2002-2004, 2017-present)
  • AtomshipDown (2006-2009)
Origin Ocean Springs, Mississippi, United States
Genres Alternative metal, post-grunge, progressive metal
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
  • Chad Kent
  • Joey Culver
  • Roy Williams
  • Jared Slade
Past members
  • Derek Pardoe
  • Nathan Slade
  • Jesse "Bones" Duncan
  • Brooks Hubbart

Atomship (formerly known as Watership Down and AtomshipDown) is a four-piece alternative metal band currently composed of Joey Culver, Chad Kent, Roy Williams, and Jared Slade, 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. Due to original vocalist Derek Padoe's anxiety, Joey Culver took over his place for the recording of their debut album The Crash of '47, released in 2004. Atomship was later dropped from Wind-Up Records, due to poor record sales, which led until the band's disbandment later that year.[1] In 2006, Atomship reformed as AtomshipDown.[2] In 2010, AtomshipDown reverted their name back to Watership Down. In 2017, the band reformed Atomship with vocalist Joey Culver.



The band was formed in 2002 as Watership Down, named after Richard Adams’ classic tale of the same name, and was originally composed of vocalist and bassist Derek Padroe, guitarist Nathan Slade, and drummer Chad Kent. Although renamed to Atomship later that year, the band retains a cartoon alien rabbit as its logo, designed by Nathan Slade, reflecting the group's interest in UFOs and extraterrestrials.[3] During production of their debut album, Padroe suffered severe anxiety that led to him stepping aside the recording process. Joey Culver was brought in as a session vocalist to record the album. The finished album, The Crash of '47 was released on May 4, 2004. The album's title 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] Nathan Slade played the bass on 5 songs, with Ugly Kid Joe bassist Cordell Crockett playing bass on the rest.[2] The band recruited bassist Roy Williams for touring in promotion for the album. Not long after being dropped from Wind-Up Records in late 2004, the band had a falling-out with Joey Culver and subsequently disbanded.


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]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."[7] 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."[8] Touring bassist Roy Williams is involved in the making of the new album, which was set to be released in 2012.[9]

Return to Atomship[edit]

After years of sporadic information from the Watership Down Facebook page, Derek Padroe announced on March 2017, that drummer Chad Kent has decided to reform Atomship with vocalist Joey Culver and bassist Roy Williams, thus ending his association with the band. In addition to Kent, Culver, and Williams, the band added late guitarist Nathan Slade's brother, Jared Slade on guitars.

Band members[edit]

  • Chad Kent - drums, percussion (2002–2004, 2006–present)
  • Joey Culver - lead vocals (2004 [session], 2017-present)
  • Roy Williams - bass (2003–2004 [touring], 2006–present)
  • Jared Slade - lead guitar (2017-present)
Former members
  • Derek Pardoe - lead vocals, bass (2002–2004, 2006–2017)
  • Nathan Slade - lead guitar, bass (2002–2004, 2006–2009) (deceased)
  • Jesse "Bones" Duncan - lead guitar (2013)
  • Brooks Hubbert - lead guitar (2014–2017)
Session members


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


  1. ^ Hooks, Justin (13 April 2007). "Atomship". Sun Herald. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  2. ^ a b c "Featured Content on Myspace". 
  3. ^ Matthew, Solovey (7 October 2004). "Atomship singer discusses sci-fi and the elusive breathrough". Hershey Chronicle. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  4. ^ "Atomship - Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace. 
  5. ^ "AtomshipDown - Listen and Stream Free Music, Albums, New Releases, Photos, Videos". Myspace. 
  6. ^ Pardoe, Derek (5 December 2009). "AtomShip". Facebook. Retrieved 6 December 2009. 
  7. ^ Pardoe, Derek (15 June 2010). "Watership Down - Come Back". youtube. Retrieved 18 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Justin, Hooks (27 August 2010). "The Return of Watership Down". 
  9. ^ Pardoe, Derek (22 December 2011). "Watership Down". facebook. 

External links[edit]