Alexisonfire

Door Jeffrey Zweep 17 november 2009 Reacties staat uit voor Alexisonfire

Alleen in Nederland is Alexisonfire de afsluiter bij deze Eastpack Antidote Tour. Voor de deuren van de Melkweg is het ‘s middags al redelijk druk, er staan al genoeg kiddo’s te wachten op een glimp van hun helden. Dezelfde kids kijken raar op als ik zonder schroom de zaal binnenloop, ik heb namelijk al om half 6 een interview met screamer George Pettit, terwijl er buiten nog minimaal twee uur gewacht moet worden.

In het restaurant van de zaal tref ik George en twee biertjes. De band was ‘s middags al aangekomen in Amsterdam en is met wat lui van The Ghost of a Thousand bij het Epitaph kantoor langs geweest om een flinke stapel cd’s mee te nemen. De shows van de band in Nederland worden steeds groter: “It gets bigger everytime, it’s beautiful, I feel lucky that we’re able to come here and have a good show.” De vorige show was gecanceld omdat de opa van de drummer was overleden, dus het werd ook wel weer tijd voor een show hier.

Alexisonfire werd in 2001 opgericht, na een ‘3-band break-up’: “Southern Ontario at that time, a lot of the bands were very incestious, a lot of drummers and guitarplayers were playing in two or three diferent bands, so everybody knew eachother. It were kids shows; nobody’s making any money, we’re just having some fun. So that’s where everything started.” Al de drie vorige bands stopten rond dezelfde tijd en gitarist Wade Thomson wou wat nieuws proberen.

In het begin waren de invloeden van de band vooral screamo en post hardcore, maar ook de want meer ambient klinkende bands als The Appleseed Cast en Mogwai. Maar de bandleden waren geen echte tekstschrijvers: “We were using parts, so we’d bring a bunch of parts together and that’s a song. And on the other albums we were developing our songwriting, it was okay if a song had repeated parts. That’s more of our niche now than writing big eclectic songs that are all over the place.”

De band is dan ook ietwat berucht om de lyrics op Watch Out, zo gaat ‘Hey, It’s Your Funeral Mama’ over go-karting. Uiteraard wil ik daar ook het fijne van weten: “Not far from us, there was a place called Prudhommes, they had these go-karts and they were al busted up. I was very nervous when I drove them, I even remember one time that a wheel fel of. They were so shitty, so everytime I wrote someting down and it became a song. It’s kinda stupid and childish, but at the time it inspired me.”

Inderdaad, de band is lang niet altijd serieus, iets wat blijkt uit wat George over hun split-cd met Moneen te zeggen heeft: “The whole split-cd with Moneen feels like one big joke. We know eachother very well en we all had fun when we listened to the cover songs on that cd. It was just a good excuse to do something fun.” De nummers van de cd’s daarna voelen persoonlijker aan, waar hij me gelijk in heeft: “Those songs are a little bit more about ‘oh this is what I’m feeling’, opposed to; here’s a song about Linda Blair, or just trying to write something funny and sarcastic. At the time of Crisis, it didn’t felt right to write something funny, those songs are more about kids living in cities. About everyday life and the new record is all across the map.”

Nieuwe plaat, Old Crows/Young Cardinals is net uit, waarom deze titel? George: “Originally it was gonna be called Young Cardinals, but then we finished the song Old Crows, so we kinda liked the idea of those two combined. But I’ve been avoiding giving my interpretations of it, because there can be so many interpretations, wich I kinda like. Old Crows and Young Cardinals are opposites of eachother, so I like this dark imagery behind it and it reflects the album.”

“The albums before, we were home for a month, we wrote and recorded the album in a month and we’ll be back on the road. For this record, we had six months alone to write it and record demo’s, so we had more songs than we could fit on the record. And for the first time we went away from home to record an album, we did that in Vancouver.” Een van de nummers die de plaat wel heeft gehaald is ‘The Northern’, gebaseerd op de hymne ‘Roll, Jordan, Roll’: “It’s not a religious song, what most people think. But the reason why we used the lyrics, well Dallas and I are big blues fans, and ‘they’ believed that it all originated from that hymn, ‘Roll. Jordan, Roll’. Blues was labelled as ‘the devils music’, and it all developed from there: it became rythm’n blues, it became rock ’n roll, all the dangerous music. So it’s more an aknowledgement of our roots.”De band-website is theonlybandever.com: “It’ just stupid inside joke that we turned into a website, because none of us had high expectations about what’s gonna happen with the band.” Na deze Europese tour gaat de band weer even back home, om daarna naar Australi? te gaan. Daarna een Canadese stadion-tour met Billy Talent, wat festival-shows en misschien in de winter van volgend jaar een Europese headline-tour.

De band heeft een intense liveshow, dus is het geen tijd voor een live-dvd? George, lachend: “I love the idea, and we tried. We actually got this kid, who was an university student and this was going to be their end of the year project. We played six shows in Toronto and we did tons of interviews for it. Everything was captured, we even flew in Gared O’Donnell from Planes Mistaken For Stars to sing songs with us. We did all of this really amazing stuff, he captured it all and then, at the end of it he was like: ‘If you guys want me to make this documentary, I want 95.000 Dollars.’ So we were like; well, you can keep it. We don’t have 95.000 Dollars, and even if we did and we paid him that, we will never earned it back. So, somewhere out there, in limbo, is an Alexisonfire documentary.”

Ook is de band alweer bezig met een nieuwe EP, genaamd Dog’s Blood: “We just got the artwork done for it, but we need to write two more songs.” Uiteraard sluit ik af met de befaamde schoenmaat en vol trots verteld George: “I have size twelve, I have huge feet. What size do you have? Your feet look even bigger that mine! A little while ago I was in Vietnam and I threw my shoes away, because they were all busted up and I couldn’t buy new shoes. No one in that country has size twelve. So the rest of the tour, I had to wear sandals, haha!”

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