Strokes and death and birth: Kiwi metal band Old Loaves on their new album's seven-year journey

Kiwi metal band Old Loaves have gone through their fair share of challenges to finally release their second album Banks.

Depression, death, fatherhood, distance, and a stroke have all played their part in the band's journey, but they say it's made them feel even luckier.

Banks comes seven years after their first album.

"Seeing it on Spotify this morning was really cool," says vocalist and guitarist Ben Ward.

The gap's partly due to the trio being split between Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua, meeting up whenever they could for recording.

"We would practice when we practiced and we wrote when we wrote. Maybe it'd be once a month, maybe it'd be once every three months," says Ward.

Their only pressure was their own musical values.

"We're nerds and snobs of our own variety, so we try to keep it to a fairly high standard," says bassist John Strange.

The band says the album immortalises the challenging and affirming experiences of strokes, birth, and death.

Ward drew from his experiences with depression - and fatherhood.

"To be able to have these songs as this piece of history in my life, and kind of reflect on seeing there's a light at the end of the tunnel is really huge for me."

Original bassist Kalem O'Brien died suddenly last year, while drummer Cameron Reid suffered a stroke at just 32.

"The fact that we even finished recording, and then to look at where I am now, the difference even in that year is massive," says Reid.

He had to learn his instrument all over again.

"Being forced to recover from something like that, you just have nothing but time, and your own head. And you've got to find things you enjoy," he says.

The band was only supposed to be a one-off thing for Ward's Wellington leaving party - but they were approached to record a song straight after and that was that.

"Stubbornness. People kept on booking us. Never got the chance to break up!" jokes Reid.

Ward admits if he knew he'd be playing more than once, he might've picked a different name.

"Our old flatmate said 'Old Loaves' because we had a sack of old crusts in our kitchen cos he worked in a bar, and it just stuck around. I was like, 'We're only gonna do it for one show, may as well use this!'"

Being spread out means an Old Loaves show is a rare beast, making the ones they do play much more special for audience and band alike.

"It's one of the best kind of releases you can have. It's amazing to be able to be lucky enough to play music," says Reid.

They're celebrating Banks' release at Auckland's Whammy Bar on Saturday night.

"While it is entirely a self-indulgent exercise, we do this purely for our own enjoyment. And that's evidenced by the fact we took seven years to make this album!" says Strange.

Beyond that, in true Old Loaves style, they're taking each day as it comes.