If History has shown us one thing, it’s that Australia has a tendency of producing musical talent that captures the attention of the international audience. Now, at the risk of receiving death threats, I’m not comparing bands … but if you don’t think Brisbane born, post-hardcore, drink ’til death hooligans The Amity Affliction are one of these bands, then stop reading now … you won’t like where this is going.
So in the wake of their latest release Youngbloods and with the much-anticipated ‘Fuck The Reaper’ tour speeding towards us, I caught up with bass and singing extraordinaire Ahren Stringer.
Having informed me of his recent sea change from tropical Queensland to cultural hub Melbourne, and a brief discussion on why that was the right move, Ahren updated me on all the latest happenings, “We actually just got signed to Roadrunner [Records] which is real exciting, it’s been a long time in the works but finally all official and ready to go! [This means] We will now have releases all over the world and a whole lot more tours and stuff, it’s great”. Remember that bit I said about Amity being one of those internationally acclaimed bands? Yeah.
Though for The amity Affliction, news of this nature is simply another feather in their already busting cap, by which I mean it’s been a big year for the band. Having previously played this year with the likes of Of Mice & Men, Deez Nuts and of coarse the great I Killed The Prom Queen (RIP), for the Destroy Music tour. We got chatting about what it was like to play with the forefathers of the Australian metal scene we now know. “It was great, I mean we’ve all pretty much grown up listening to Prom Queen, and we’re all still fans, so to tour with them – and to be headlining – was amazing, it was a great tour; we all had a lot of fun” And what of US based Of Mice & Men playing here for their first time in Australia? “That was cool as well, they are all really good guys, we toured with them in America so we already kinda knew them, but by the end of it we were all good mates”.
By now you know the ‘Fuck The Reaper’ tour is taking Amity to heights experienced by few of their peers, booking venues such as Sydney’s Big Top and Brisbane’s Tivoli, it’s become clear that The Amity Affliction have gotten serious. “It’s amazing booking these venues now, we’ve come a long way and finally starting to make stuff happen; it’s a great feeling you know to come from nothing to something, so hopefully it keeps getting better from there, it’s pretty monumental stuff.” And the big news doesn’t stop there.
Following ‘Fuck The Reaper’, The Amity Affliction are heading off to the UK then Europe then to the USA, playing shows with heavyweights such as Funeral For A Friend, Escape The Fate as well as Peirce The Veil and Miss May I. You can’t help but be impressed at an Aussie band holding it’s own next to names like those, so we got talking about how Australian bands are treated abroad. “On international tours it’s completely different to Australia, you get treated like a king no matter what – even if you’re the opening band, we get crazy riders; in Europe you get dinner cooked for you every night, great accommodation, it’s just unheard of here, you’ll be on a headlining tour somewhere and struggle to get an extra case of beer – oh, and in America as well all their venues are licensed all ages so you can always have a drink … yeah, you get treated well, especially in Europe.”
Clearly becoming quite the travel expert after many an adventure with the band, I asked Ahren what his favorite country – other than Australia of coarse – was to tour in “Um, I’d say England, or maybe just the UK in general. We’ve been there a few times now and starting to get a bigger fan base”
With the interview drawing to a close, I had to find out, after a year of massive tours, new deals, and progressing in leaps and bounds, what’s next for Amity? “Well, we’re recording early next year, most likely with Machine again in New York, and yeah … a whole bunch of tours after that!”
Hard work, talent, and timing. It all seems to be falling in place for The Amity Affliction who, after commodities and fuels, are looking to become one of Australians most successful exports.