New Zealand's longest running and most popular specialist music show is now 30 years old.
The Axe Attack, a show dedicated to heavy metal and hard rock music, has become a household name over three decades of promoting the music that a lot of people are afraid of, says host Paul Martin.
Paul, who is also the bassist for one of New Zealand's top metal bands Devilskin, started on air at Contact 89FM in August 1987.
The show was the brainchild of Contact station manager Max Christoffersen and was originally hosted by Bad Jonny Brooks.
It was during an interview with his band Knightshade that Paul met Jonny Brooks and was asked to co-host the show. Jonny left to travel overseas and Paul continued hosting with Jonny's partner Ana for a few months, before taking over the show on his own.
After winning Best Specialist Music Show on Contact FM six years running, Paul approached the brand new radio station in Hamilton, The Rock FM, and took the show to an even bigger audience in 1992.
Where it remained with The Rock until 2014, before moving to iHeart Radio and becoming a full metal station running 24/7.
“It's a true testament to the quality of the music, the fact that the show has been around so long,” says Paul.
“People who are into rock and metal aren't usually the fad-following types, who flit from genre to genre, trying to find their identity. People that loved Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin 40 years ago, still like it.
“You can't grow out of quality music. Every Halloween I host a Black Sabbath marathon called ‘Sabbathon' that has turned into the biggest show of the year for the Axe Attack.
“I get messages and calls from all sorts from lawyers, accountants, farmers and bankers, from 70 year olds to 9 year olds.
“The music speaks to them all. It's so satisfying introducing new bands to my audience, whether its System Of A Down, Pantera, Disturbed or Twelve Foot Ninja a lot of people hear these bands for the first time on the Axe Attack.”
A huge emphasis (no less than 33 per cent) on New Zealand artists has really made a difference to the local metal scene.
“We have so many talented Kiwi artists in this wide and wonderful genre and there's slim chance of them ever getting on air on mainstream radio. I take it as my responsibility to encourage these bands and get their music out to as many people as I can.
“I get a real kick out of reading about NZ bands who mention they got the bug to play after discovering music on my show, it goes full circle when I become a fan of theirs.”
Paul Martin is a musician and songwriter who plays bass guitar in Devilskin and plays lead guitar and sings in World War Four.
Paul is also a devoted family man, teaches guitar and has qualifications in industrial radiography.
Devilskin fans will be pleased to know that the band will be coming back to Tauranga when they play Baypark Stadium on October 22.
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