Photo Credit: Robin Ervolina
The Amity Affliction is a band that reaches into the deepest parts of your heart and reveals the shadows that lie there. They are a band that isn’t afraid to pry into the ugly parts no one wants to talk about and throw it into full blast.
The Amity Affliction, from Gympie, Australia, consists of Ahren Stringer (clean vocalist/bassist), Joel Birch (unclean vocals), Ryan Burt (drummer), Kyle Yocum (rhythm guitar) and Dan Brown (lead guitar). Shockwave Magazine got an opportunity to talk to Ahren. What followed was information about heart breaking fan stories and spotty showers.
I’m sitting here with Ahren Stringer from The Amity Affliction. You just played your set. How did that go for you?
Ahren: It was really fun, probably the most fun we’ve had at any of these festivals. We’re on a headline tour at the moment, but we got heaps of festivals in between. That was by far one of my favorites.
What made it one of your favorites?
I think just the amount of crowd surfing, and the fun that everyone was having in the pit.
You have been all over Europe and America this year. How has the tour been going so far, all around?
It is by far our best tour here. I think we’ve really been coming back to the States three times a year for the last five years. We see more and more people every time we play certain places, and we’re doing bigger venues this time around. In general, it’s an all around better tour.
What do you like about America vs touring in Europe?
It’s always different, but the crowds are pretty similar. Everyone there just sings along and has fun and gets involved. In Europe, no offense to America, but they treat you like gods almost. They feed you, and bathe you and feed you grapes… (laughing) not really, but you know what I mean. Especially coming from Australia, we don’t even get riders there half the time. It’s pretty rough over there, back in the old days anyways. In Europe, they really cater for the artists. If you need a place to sleep, they’ll let you stay in the venue and all sorts of stuff. America isn’t too bad either, especially now that we’re playing bigger venues. There’s always a shower, anyways.
Those can be spotty. They literally feed you?
Not feed you, but they’ll have like a big spread! They’ll cook all day for all the bands, everyone including the support bands eats for free as much as they want.
My sister has a foreign exchange student from Norway. She says all of our food is way too sweet.
Yeah, that’s true. I feel the same. I’m a real salt fiend to be honest. There is sugar in everything over here, it’s really hard to avoid.
What about this tour differs from all of your last few?
We’re on a bus, which is a treat for us. We are usually on either a bandwagon or a van. The last couple tours we did over here was on a bandwagon, and for people who don’t know what that’s like, it’s very bumpy. They don’t have any hydraulics, so it’s really hard to sleep. There’s also not as many beds, less room for the amount of people, and everyone is living on top of each other. It’s a bit better this time. Although bandwagons do have a shower, but this bus doesn’t. We’ve had to go four days without a shower at a time, sometimes.
Baby steps, right?
This Could Be Heartbreak is probably the most emotionally powerful record for you guys. Which song would you say is the most emotionally reaching on the album for you?
They are all pretty emotional, Joel writes all the lyrics so it’s all his words. For me, my favorite song is “This Could Be Heartbreak” which is the title track. That’s really fun for me to play, that and “I Bring The Weather With Me” were the first two singles and they tie together. So those two songs for me are the most fun to play and the most encompassing of the lyrical content of the whole album.
What has been your most memorable fan experience after the release of this album? I know you’ve had a really big outpouring of support and stories.
It’s so hard to pick just one. Last night in Pittsburgh, I went out into the crowd and high-fived all of the fans. One kid gave me a picture of his brother who had recently died and he looked exactly like him. I was like “Wow, this is crazy.” He was a huge fan and I’m sure he would have been a great guy. There’s been lots of stories. Even just today at the signing we did here, the first two people that came up had recently lost a loved one to suicide. It happens a lot, and I think because we sing about it so much that it’s really relatable and lots of people have similar stories. It’s really touching for us, knowing that we’ve helped those people.
It seems to be kind of a theme throughout the album. Along those same lines, your videos for “This Could Be Heartbreak” and “I Bring The Weather With Me” follow the same funeral theme. Can you tell me about that?
We had this idea back when we recorded Chasing Ghosts and the song called “Life Underground.” We saw this movie called “Buried,” — it’s Ryan Reynolds and he’s in a coffin throughout the whole movie. We were like, “That would be a cool idea for a film clip,” as the dirt pours in and he gets buried alive. It’s really dark. We thought “That looks so cool” and Joel continued to write the songs that we could borrow that idea from. So we were like “Lets have the first two songs be a two part story” and me and him went through it and came up with ideas for the first two songs. The rest is history. The music videos we have been really happy with to be honest.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This Could Be Heartbreak is out now. Pick up a copy if you haven’t, or download it for free.
Do you really want people to download it for free?
(laughing) Just listen to it if you can.
Find This Could Be Heartbreak on iTunes and be prepared to have the deepest part of your heart picked apart by the Australian group’s best album to date.
If you missed their set at Louder Than Life, check out the photos we captured for you. You’re welcome.
Photo Credit: Robin Ervolina