Chase Brenneman of Living with Lions is really excited to be playing a part in the monstrous bill that is Soundwave 2013. Ahead of their first trip to Australia, it has been quite an adventure for this Canadian pop-punk band since the release of their second feature full-length album, aptly entitled Holy Shit.
Criticism played a huge part in this album. Released in 2011, the cover of Holy Shit is designed to look like a Bible, featuring the logo of FACTOR on the back – The Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings, which assisted with a grant for the album. There was a huge uproar in the media, as Chase explains, “We were not really expecting anything like that, especially on that scale. We just dealt with it as it came. A lot of it came from media outlets – opinions that were really poetically based, and it was just a bunch of assholes saying a bunch of bullshit. We did not really care too much. It was interesting on a personal level to see how easy it is to be affected by someone in the government, because all the criticism that we caught from it affected us individually on a personal level.”
An advantage of being in the media is more exposure. Chase mentions that “it was people with more like right wing agendas. It was crazy; it got to the point where politicians were talking about it on television and in news articles. Some people sided with us for our rights to express ourselves freely, especially with government funding of an arts grant. Other people sided with the conservative government, labelling us as bigots and kids – maliciously trying to go out there and offend a group of people.”
The album itself is their best work yet. Chase explains, “We had a lot of time to work on it and we put a lot of thought into each individual song, whereas our first one, Make Your Mark, is just us putting a collection of songs together. We really spent a lot of time working and writing on Holy Shit, and we really liked everything that we put into it. I was really happy with the way it went. We had an idea in our head of what we wanted and songs that we liked.”
Many bands are honoured to be on the massive Soundwave 2013 line-up. Living with Lions are no different; however, they were added in a unique way via Twitter, where AJ Maddah said that he might hold a special place for them, which Chase is very grateful for: “We are just super appreciative that he gave us a chance to play. We were added at the last minute. It was just by chance that we had Japanese tour plans and I reached out to people to see what was going on in Australia at the time. They were nice enough to throw us on Soundwave. It is a huge line-up! The shows were probably sold out at that point, so they did not need to add any more bands. They gave us a really cool opportunity and we have heard such awesome things about the festival…we could not really be more excited.”
He further takes us into the bill and mentions who he cannot wait to see: “I am looking forward to seeing Blink and Metallica. Metallica are one that is on people’s bucket list, a band that you have to see before you die. We have a lot of friends that are going to be there too and bands that I really enjoy, like Polar Bear Club, The Wonder Years, and Cancer Bats, so I am excited for a lot of different bands.”
The band is thrilled to be playing a couple of sideshows too. He says, “The shows will be pretty energetic and fun. The Wonder Years and Such Gold are good friends of ours, and Versus the World are good too. All of these bands are really exciting bands to watch, so I’m hoping that people will be impressed and have a really good time!”
Being their first time in Australia, we asked Chase what they will do on their days off: “We definitely like to enjoy our travel time. We are not the kind of guys who will spend our days off in the hotel. We really like to explore things. I am sure we will try and get to the beach as much as possible, and try and check out some of the cities. The cool thing about going to new places is the adventure.”
Holy Shit is out now.
The Wonder Years / Such Gold / Living with Lions / Versus the World Sidewaves
Monday, 25 February – Annandale Hotel, Sydney
Thursday, 28 February – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Living with Lions will be appearing at Soundwave Festival nationally. For details visit http://www.soundwavefestival.com