Questions for The Amity Affliction
Saturday 11th December was a day of many firsts. It was the first Saturday I have had off work for a while, it was the first time I have ever interviewed an Australian band and it was the first time I have ever conducted an interview in the back of a van. But hey, if that is how The Amity wants to roll, that is fine by me. I first saw this band last year when they were supporting We Are The Ocean and, I don’t say this about many bands, but they literally had me at hello. From the first song they played, I was hooked. So when I discovered they were heading back to the UK in support of Asking Alexandria, I couldn’t resist catching up with Joel (vocals) and Ahren (clean vocals / bass) to see what they have been up to.
How is the tour going so far? Are you getting a good reception? Are you adapting to the weather?
Ahren: I love the weather so I’m psyched about it. It is definitely a lot colder than it is in Australia. As for the shows, they have been insane. The kids have been moshing and singing along, we didn’t expect that to happen at all.
Joel: We got snow when we arrived. We loved it though, everyone else was moaning and we were having snowball fights.
This is your second time touring the UK. Did you find out anything first time round that you are not going to do this time round?
Joel: Yep, we are not going to stay in Penge.
Ahren: We stayed in Penge for like two weeks ‘cos we had time off. We just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We were so bored and cold. We were penniless and just played monopoly all day and got drunk.
Where is Penge? Why did you go there?
Joel: Exactly! It’s like half an hour on the train from London. It felt like the middle of no-where. We got offered a few Sliverstein shows after the tour was over and we ended up just waiting around for them instead of just going home.
Do you have a favourite song to perform? Is there a particular one that gets the crowd going?
Ahren: I hate Hartley is always a really good crowd mover. It is a good sing-a-long.
Joel: Hartley and Anchors.
You have songs I heart Throsby, I hate Hartley, I heart Roberts’. Who are these people and what have they done to deserve a song named after them?
Ahren: Basically, Throbsy was just a guy that was in a mate’s band and he had just joined. He was new and young and everyone called him a heart throb so he was nicknamed Throbsy. We just thought it would be funny to say “I heart Throbsy.” From then on, the songs just became a tradition.
Joel: The next one was for the Roberts brothers, who are just good friends of ours and with Hartley, you can’t really heart Hartley, so we wrote hate.
Do you think your sound has changed much on the new album Youngbloods? How do you think it compares to Severed Ties?
Joel: I don’t think it has really changed…
Ahren: I don’t think it has changed dramatically, it has just got better. With Clint joining the band, he has written a lot of songs for it. On this album we have all written our own songs instead of all writing together, which worked out a lot better ‘cos no one can argue with it. It is just like ‘no, this is my song’.
Your latest album Youngbloods is out now, can you describe it in 3 words?
Joel: F****d and cool. 3 words.
Ahren and Trad have a side project Lovecats, what are the plans for this band? Will there be any tours? Albums? Or is it just a bit of fun?
Ahren: Well, to be honest we kind of just wanted to…
Joel: Make some money!
Ahren: We had a couple of major labels interested in it but it kinda fell through and now we are just so busy with the band, we don’t know what we are doing with it yet.
As you guys are Aussies, we have a few questions to suss how Australian you are in the eyes of an English person:
a) Can you surf?
Joel: I can and do.
Ahren: I can’t but I try to body board sometimes and I pretend to skate.
b) Do you barbeque all year round?
Joel: I don’t eat meat so there is not much barbequing to be done with vegetables, unfortunately.
Ahren: Yeah, we don’t barbeque as much as people would like to think. Whenever there is a chance to, it is always a good time.
c) Do you own a wobble board or a boomerang?
Joel: What’s a wobble board?
Ahren: Rolf Harris…
Joel: Oh f*** no! The only time I have ever owned a boomerang was when I was a kid and I threw it and it killed a bird. I felt so bad! I blamed it on the cat and cried– no more boomerangs for me.
What are your New Year Resolutions? And what will the New Year hold for The Amity Affliction?
Joel: I don’t have any resolutions and the New Year will be touring, touring and more touring. We will also be missing almost the entire summer which is pretty cool for him (Ahren), not really for me.
Ahren: I don’t like the sunshine at all. The rain and the snow are my poison.
If you are interested in checking out The Amity Affliction, they will be on tour with Deez Nuts in January. Please see their Myspace for dates and ticket information:
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