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Interview with Harbinger (Metallica Tribute) ahead of their NYE show at Ding Dong Lounge

Harbinger are a Metallica tribute band originating in Gisborne, who have been together for 10 years or 2 years with the current line up and a couple of the band members now living in Auckland. This Friday night they headline Burn In Hell 2021! New Year's Rockin' Eve at Ding Dong Lounge and Drew Bang from Ding Dong Lounge caught up with them.

Drew Bang: So you're billed as a Metallica tribute band. Do you only play Metallica?

Vin: Mostly Metallica shows, yes. But we’ve been known to also do the odd Slayer tribute from time to time and [we] do an annual Halloween show where we play all sorts of Rock and Metal legends from Queen, Lynyrd Skynrd through to Iron Maiden, Slayer and Slipknot (and of course Metallica).

Drew Bang: Do you have any originals too?

Vin: We were originally formed as an originals band so there’s some old ones floating around. Recently though we’ve been 100% covers. We all have other projects involving originals.

Drew Bang: Have you played outside of Gisborne a lot?

Vin: Yeah, a fair bit around the North Island but this is actually our first-time playing Auckland so that’s definitely going to be fun. We’ve had people asking us to get up here for some time now, including our Auckland based Guitarists who are probably loving not having to commute somewhere else for once.

Drew Bang: Brad's been hanging around Ding Dong Lounge since the early days. How did he join the band?

Vin: I’ve known Brad for years from his early days in Gizzy and he seemed like he’d be an awesome fit when we needed to replace one of our guitarists. He’d actually already "on the spot" filled in for us when one of our guitarists had to leave midshow in 2016 and Jake was already based in Auckland at that stage so it was no major to not have him Gizzy based.

Originally it was a temporary replacement but after the first show together that changed pretty quickly.

Drew Bang: How does it work having guitarists living 480km away?

Vin: A little tricky not having regular practices but generally hasn’t been too much of a worry. We just need to make sure we’re practicing regularly, individually and it all falls together once we get together again pretty quickly. We try to rotate new songs into the set fairly frequently so that’s really the only curveball, as the regular songs are like riding a bike. But a few good run throughs before the show, and they go pretty smooth.

Jake: It works by doing homework ahead of the gig then refining together just before a show.

Drew Bang: So how do you rehearse?

Vin: Occasionally we’ve met up in Rotorua and practiced there but it’s generally a run through the night before the gig as a refresher which works out well.

Drew Bang: What's your favourite Metallica album and song ever?

Vin: Justice would go down as my favourite album currently but that answer has changed a few times over the years. Song wise that’s a toughy again. [My] favourite song to listen to is probably Disposable Heroes. [My] favourite song to play is The Day That Never Comes.

Jake: My favourite song is One. My favourite song to play is probably Blackened.

Brad: My favourite song is The Four Horsemen. My favourite album is Kill ‘Em All.

Drew Bang: What can we expect from you this Friday night?

Vin: A killer experience that’s a cross-section of Metallica’s entire career but predominantly weighted towards the first 5 albums.

Jake: You can expect a royal ass whooping complete with Grime, Punk, Metal-Up-Your-Ass this Friday!

Brad: A great night with a high energy show and killer tunes. Don’t miss it!

Harbinger headline Burn In Hell 2021! - New Year's Rockin' Eve this Friday night at Ding Dong Lounge. Book tickets now!

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