Today The Amity Affliction have released This Could Be Heartbreak, the latest in a linage of epic albums from the native post-hardcore troupe who have developed a nasty habit for impressing both critics and fans in one brutal blow.
If their new suits didn’t already prove it, the first two singles from the record have strongly indicated that Amity had kicked it up a gear, potentially even more. Then, the recent, acoustic ballad from the album confirmed as much.
Now as they prepare to take the album directly to the people, Music Feeds caught up with the bassist and clean vocalist Ahren Stringer to check in on how things are shaping up on the week of release.
Music Feeds: Man, August came out of nowhere! Any day now you’ll be releasing the new album and hitting the road once again, things are about to get mental again…Does it feel good?
Ahren Stringer: It’s good! I had a nice little break at home, now we’re gearing up to do the whole world circuit again. We’ve actually been getting a lot of practice [Laughs]. It’s not something you can really get use to but it’s good fun and we enjoy it…we’re all Gold Virgin members, one of the perks of the job I suppose.
MF: Your new album, ‘This Could Be Heartbreak’ drops this Friday, what’s the climate like in the band right now so close to the release?
AS: We’ve been sitting on our hands for about, four or five months. I think this has been the longest period of time between finishing recording and actually releasing the album. I’m sure there’s some reason for that in the manager and label world but for us it’s just been torture. Once you finish something you just want it out straight away.
MF: Oh wow, five months, the album before that was only released in 2014. How soon after ‘Let The Ocean Take Me’ did you start writing ‘This Could Be Heartbreak?’
AS: We kind of potter along. We definitely started writing pretty soon after Let The Ocean Take Me came out, probably three or four months. We have a little rig we take on the road. But I think it was right after the Big Ass Tour that we started to knuckle down.
MF: Going through your press releases now there’s so many “Golds” and “#1s” in there. Does it become hard to keep a grip on the original Amity sound now that you’re come so far from where it all started?
AS: It’s always been something that’s come so natural to us. We’ve been doing the same thing for so long it’s second nature now. Even with the coming and going of present and past members, Dan and I really know what we want to do.
We keep trying to better our songs and grow as songwriters. We try to keep it as Amity as possible with out disgruntling fans – even disgruntling fans by not changing. It’s a bit of a tightrope but I think to the best of ability we keep it Amity without changing too much but also evolving and trying new things.
MF: There seems to be a lot of attention to detail with the record. Everything seems very meticulous and planned. The album never spends too much time in one soundscape, even down to the first two video clips being from the same narrative. Is there a strong concept to ‘This Could Be Heartbreak?’
AS: Yeah, for sure. We always try and keep a general concept but this particular record we meticulously put together every song and made sure it’s a bit of a rollercoaster when you listen to it from start to finish so we made sure we had all bases covered.
We’ve got the acoustic song which needs to be paired with a nice heavy song after it, etc, etc. Even with the first two singles. Before they had lyrics or melodies or anything we knew they were going to be the single, we really wanted to make sure. We made Joel re-write and re-write until we were happy. Those two songs were for sure the hardest to finish and finalise but we were really stoked with how they came out, those two especially.
We also always make sure we have a closing song. We’ve done that every record, really. If you go through our back catalogue the most serious and darkest song is always the last on the record.
MF: On the topic of your back catalogue, I realised next year it will be 10 years since your debut EP ‘High Hopes’!
AS:I had no idea, but yeah that would make sense!
MF: Is that a bit of a head trip?
AS: Yeah for sure. I mean, Back then we didn’t take it as seriously as we should have and I think that’s kind of testament to how long we’ve been a band and how steady our growth’s been. I listened to Severed Ties the other day. Not High Hopes, I’m not too much of a fan. But sometimes I go back and reminisce and yeah it is cool, comparing our songs from back then to now, it’s definitely a cool trip.
MF: Well I suppose that answers my next question, about a potential re-release to celebration the anniversary.
AS: Unfortunately not, we prefer to let sleeping dogs lie. I think most artists would say the same. It’s counter-productive, you know? It’s not quiet time to go down memory line yet.
MF: That’s true, you do still have a headline Australian tour to do. Off the back of The Big Ass Tour, how are you feeling about the upcoming album shows?
AS: They’re big venues! I mean like the Tivoli, I saw Guttermouth, Pennywise and stuff back in the day. It’s def cool to pack out those rooms and play more intimate shows for the release.
MF: Well judging by your writing schedule and turn over rate we talked about before, I assume you’re already cracking on the next album for after that?
AS: [Laughs] No, but we have some ideas in the works. We have some ideas of where we want to go with the new record it. It’s still a long, long way away. We’ll still be releasing it in two-years from now. We’re only just speaking about it now but I think we’re going to try something different on the next one and see what happens.
‘This Could Be Heartbreak’ is out today and The Amity Affliction’s national tour kicks off next Friday August 19th. Catch all the details here below.
The Amity Affliction – ‘I Bring The Weather With Me’ Tour