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The Hi-Tone Destroyers


During the mid 90’s, no man represented the Christchurch underground rock movement more than Matt Alien (aka Matt Johnstone).

As the leader of blue-revivalists The Black Panthers and his long-surviving scuzz-rockers The Hi-Tone Destroyers Matt was the equivalent of Iggy Pop to Detroit, Jim Morrison to California or (perhaps) Chris Knox to Auckland.

He managed to combine a little bit of each into his stage-performer, a drug-fueled, leather-pant wearing masochist who would bait his audience, sing lewd lyrics and absolutely roar on the guitar – totally encapsulating rock’n’roll at its dirtiest.

The Hi-Tone Destroyers were a little less raunchy than their Black Panther brothers – despite sharing half the same members, but had the swagger of the MC5 at full-force and could deliver the goods at any moment – usually at a punishing volume.

They spent a good decade playing parties and self-releasing scuzzy, amateur recordings, until the rock’n’roll revival hit full swing in 2002, resulting in Matt’s abandonment for Auckland (and warmer shores) to chase success., forming the group Slavetrader.



  • ‘Icepick’/’Motorcity Rumble’ 7″ Lathe-Cut Single [Solarphonic]
  • Play The Music Of The MC5 7″ Lathe-Cut Single [Solarphonic]
  • ‘I’ll Put A Spell On You’/’Sonic Reducer’/’Now I Wanna Be Your Dog’ 7″ Lathe-Cut Single [Solarphonic]
  • ‘Headache Head Headache’/’No Way Son’ 7″ Single [1996, Kato Kato2]
  • Born WithoutAn Off Switch [1996]
  • Enter The Lair Of The Black Flame Cassette [High Tension House HTH016]
  • Light Up Your Life [2001]
  • Modern Rock Can Kiss Our Ass Cassette [2001 Stink Magnetic]
  • Calling All Destroyers [2005 Archival Compilation, Kato]
  • Burn In The Fire Of… [2011 Archival Live Release from 2008 show at Venus Cafe]
  • Stay High! [2011 Archival Compilation]


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