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Alexisonfire

Alexisonfire released a new album last summer, entitled 'Old Crows / Young Cardinals', which shows a slight change in their musical direction. We thought that was enough reason to ask singer George Pettit a couple of questions. Unfortunately it took him quite a while to answer our questions because the band was quite busy touring…

By: Thijs | Archive under punk / hardcore

The band Alexisonfire has been through some changes since the very start, most noticeably musically, can you elaborate on that process?
Well, when we started the majority of Alexisonfire were teenagers. When I was nineteen I was listening to a lot of screamo bands like Orchid, Page 99, Saetia etc. As we grew older our tastes in music changed and we began to draw from a wider range of influence. Our earlier records are our fledgling attempt at writing songs. We were searching out our niche. As we got older we were much better traveled and better equipped to make music. We started thinking about our song writing in a different way. Instead of just stringing together parts like on our first we began to write songs with verses and choruses.

You must have been asked this question a thousand times before, but I have to ask who came up with the name and what's the story behind it?
The band's name was derived from Alexis Fire, the world's only lactating contortionist stripper.

What are the main influences musically? And does every band member contribute an equal part musically or is there a clear leader?
The music is written collectively. I don't know if there is a “main” influence when it comes to Alexisonfire. We all listen to a lot of different kinds of music and we take a bit from what ever we listen to. I would have to say that we are equally as influenced by things that we like as we are by things that we hate. Sometimes you see a band that is so devoid of anything worthwhile that you can't help but make conscious decision to never be like them.

Some of you are in other bands also, can you tell us something about those bands? Should someone who is into Alexisonfire check those bands out too?
Jordan plays drums in a hardcore band called Hunter with a few of the guys in Moneen. Dallas has a folky solo project called City And Colour. Wade has a solo project as well called Black Lungs. I put out a seven inch a couple of years back with a band called the Bergenfield Four with members of Fucked Up and Attack In Black. If you like Alexisonfire you might like the other bands we play in. But then again, you may be not.

Dallas Green started to play solo, other band members were busy with other projects… There were rumors of band members not getting along. This is your chance to tell us what really happened.
I think we went though a period of unhappiness between members in 2006 but it was nothing too serious. Most of the Alexisonfire break up rumors were started by us. We thought it was funny to manipulate the media a bit. Especially when you are about to write a new record.

band imageOver here in Europe a lot of people think that the style of music you're playing is immensely popular in the States. Is that true? Do you play football stadiums? And if so, is it a good or a bad thing to visit Europe and play in smaller venues?
We aren't all that popular in America. Alexis is biggest in Canada I guess. We don't play in football stadiums as much as we play in hockey arenas. Touring in Europe is amazing. Some of the smallest shows we have played in Europe have been the most fun. Playing in small venues packed with ravenous kids is the greatest. I want to sweat until it stings my eyes and I feel like I'm going to pass out. That is my idea of a good show.

There's a European tour coming up this fall, what are your expectations? Any crazy stories about previous tours?
Well the tour is happening in October/November actually. Should be a lot of fun. There are too many “crazy stories” to try and remember.

'Old Crows / Young Cardinals' is your fourth full-length and I'm pretty sure that you think it is your best yet. I believe you immediately, but can you explain to our readers why this is your best album up to date and why they should buy it and not download the sucker?
I hate this question. I'm not a car salesman. Go on line and listen to some of the songs on our MySpace. If you like the way it sounds, go ahead and buy the record. If you don't like the way it sounds don't buy it. There is nothing I can say to change anyone's mind.

Okay, let's try a different question then: this new album is somewhat more accessible than your previous efforts, was that a conscious choice or something that just happened?
It definitely wasn't a conscious choice. We weren't sitting around in the jam space trying to make radio singles. All we wanted to do was write better songs. I don't think that screaming gives any credibility to our band really. It used to be some new interesting style but now it is completely safe. I would argue that making a record with less screaming has been more of a risk than if we put out a crazy record with loads of screaming.

Alright, it is a corny question, but who knows what the answer will be, so I'll ask it anyway: What is something nobody knows about Alexisonfire?
We are all scientologists. All hail lord Zenu!!!!

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