Before playing to a sold out show in Bristol, Dan and Joe from The Amity Affliction sat down and spoke to us about the new album, the Aus music scene, and of course, Nando’s.
First of all, how’s the UK tour going?
Dan: it’s huge – all sold out so far; been really, really good.
Joe: Some of the biggest shows I’ve played since I joined a band in Europe, for sure.
Dan: We already know the Beartooth guys, too.
Did that make it easier for you, then? Going on tour with bands you know and like.
Joe: Absolutely, yeah. We knew coming into this that it was just going to be good friends and just super easy, super chill. There are no egos running around.
Dan: Touring is touring, and if anything goes wrong, we know them, and they know us, and it’s usually just miscommunication, and you just fix it within the half-hour, and it’s all good, and you move on.
Are there any sort of rituals or anything you guys do as a band when you come to the UK?
Dan: I always try and eat Curry, so I’m just a food guy. We ate Nando’s today. We have it in Australia, but we’re more like fast food with it. You guys are more restaurant with it, and I like the breakfast.
Joe: Yeah, it’s just still the English breakfast as it is. We always strive for that but then usually end up eating cereal and bananas.
What’s your go-to Nando’s order?
We just did the full set today. We had a chicken between us and four sides and hot. Hot at the right level.
The new album has just come out. What is something about the process you can let us in on?
Dan: I think this time – interesting for us now that the album is out – there’s two singers in the band, and they’re not here at the moment, but they always get all the media attention, and we’re like, that’s cool, whatever. We don’t care; there’s no ego. But this album has come out, and Joe and I have talked to each other, and I said, “Oh, I’m getting tagged in a lot of stuff, are you?” And he’s like, “Yeah, me too.” We’re like, okay, that’s probably a good sign. Like, we’re kind of somewhat in the background. If we’re getting tagged and stuff, then it’s a good sign. So that’s been different this time around.
We put out Misery, and it got some mixed reviews, but then we’ve put this on there, and it’s been, I’d say, 99% positive. So yeah, that’s awesome to be tagged in positive things.
What do you want fans to get out of the album?
Joe: I don’t know. Just like, honest enjoyment. A satisfaction. Whatever they’re looking for out of the music, I hope they find it.
Dan: We try and write eclectic albums. We try and make it somewhat of a journey. So if someone’s listening to it, hopefully they can find that track that speaks to them, rather than just be like, “Oh, none of that’s for me.” If they can find that little bit that they like, then they might kind of trickle off over to the other things that they have yet to try, and make some new fans.
You guys also have a big US tour coming up with Sleeping With Sirens -how did that come about?
Dan: We’ve wanted to do it. We’ve known those guys for years and years and years and years and years, and we always say, “Let’s tour together, let’s tour together.” We’ve got lots of friends in lots of bands that we’d love to do it with but just can’t because, you know, they’re in Europe, we’re in America, we’re in Australia, they’re in America – it’s just too hard. So finally it’s come into the right timeline for both of us. We’re like, “Hey, we’re both free; we should do it.”
Will that be a similar situation for you as with the Beartooth guys, where you both find it easy as bands to cooperate on the road?
Dan: Yeah. Actually, it’s funny – some of the Beartooth guys, Cam, he’s not on this tour, but he used to guitar tech for us. And then Zach used to play in a band called Like Moth To Flames. And we did Warped Tour with them a bunch. Within the scene, there are lots of friends everywhere, so it’s just cool when it lines up and you can do stuff together, because you know it’s going to be fun. We go on tours with a lot of people we don’t know and it is fun, but you know, it’s like hanging with the boys.
What is the Warped Tour experience like? Because in other interviews with bands they just basically said it’s like just a big summer camp.
Dan: That’s pretty much it.
Joe: Yeah. It’s hard work, but it’s also gratifying, and it’s pretty intense, but you feel accomplished.
Dan: It’s like the worst and the best thing ever. Growing up, especially in Australia, we were like, “Ah, Warped Tour is so cool. How cool would it be to go to a warped tour?” And then eventually like, “Oh, I’m playing Warped Tour. This is insane.” But the routing is ridiculous. Sometimes you do like 20 or something shows straight, and you’re tired and just upset, and then you party all night. And then you just keep going. But yeah, that’s why I say it’s the best and the worst. You’ve just got to treat yourself well, and that’s a good time.
You guys have been a band for 15 plus years. What do you think gives you that longevity and sustainability over the years?
Dan: I can’t speak for the first half of that, but I’d say it would have a lot to do with our lyrics and the message our band has. It’s very genuine. Always try to remain genuine. And I think people can get behind that more so than some bands that have a gimmick or they’re just, you know, a quick rise and a quick fall. We’ve just kind of done what we’ve always done, and we liked doing it. I think that’s somewhat infectious to people.
And because we’ve been a band for so long, we get some people that are like, “I used to listen to you guys when I was 14; now I’ve got a kid, and now they listen to you too.” And we’re like, “Well that’s insane.” So like, the kid’s 14 now, so we’ve almost done a whole generation. That is awesome. Hopefully, those kids have kids, and they like us too.
Having been around for that length of time, do you find yourself responsible for promoting new up and coming bands and stuff like that?
Joe: You try. I mean, you can take certain bands under your wing, but as individuals, young people come around and are just like, “How did you di it; what did you do?” And it’s just like, kind of just grind it out.
Dan: Yeah. Just keep doing it.
Joe: There’s no secret. You just have to commit.
Dan: Commit and learn the whole time. Don’t be complacent and think this is it. There’s always someone better. There’s always someone coming up underneath. So yeah, just stay on your craft and do it as good as you can.
We just finished an Australian regional tour, so we usually play capital cities, and that’s all fun. We get some bands that are established. But for this regional run, we actually got some local bands to open the shows. So I guess that’s a way of pulling up. Because I remember being young and in a band, and whatever band would come through town, you’re like, “Oh yeah, see our band is going to open for them.” So we’ve all been on the other end of it, and now it’s good to remember to pay it forward.
What is that scene like? Because over here, we obviously don’t see it as we are literally across the world from you.
Dan: I think it’s funny – a lot of people that hear Australian bands go, “Oh my God, every band from Australia is amazing.” But you guys are only hearing the bands that have got to that stage where they do become international. So obviously if you’re at that stage, you’ve done the work, and you know what you’re doing by then. There’s a lot of bands still kicking around, not getting it right.
How have things changed in the scene since Amity was formed?
Dan: Lots of bands sign to labels very early now in Australia because they’re available. When I was young in a band, there were no labels, so it was maybe one or two per state, if that. So you would just have to get out and grind, and manage yourself, and figure out how to print t-shirts, and it was a lot more DIY. And now I think – somewhat to the disbenefit of the band – a lot gets done for them too early. And then you end up in this deep sea of, you don’t know how anything works, but you’re out in the public eye, and it’s very quick. And that’s just society these days – stuff gets chewed up and spat out.
Joe: You’re getting everything handed to you before you know how to handle all of this. And it goes and trickles down from the suits, all the way down to the actual musicians. And they spend all this money on gear, and it’s good to want to sound good and professional and everything, but you’ve got to learn about that stuff as it comes – you can’t just go out, buy all this expensive stuff and then have that expectation of like, “Oh, we’re a professional band now, and people will come and see us.” It doesn’t work.
Dan: That being said, bands like Slayer – if they had even heard of us, they’d be saying the same thing about us. So it’s just the older generation kind of looking at the young ones going, “You guys got it pretty easy.” So we feel that, but there’s definitely good bands coming through that. I don’t mean to say there’s not – there’s definitely, definitely good bands coming through.
Apart from that big American tour, what else is Amity up to this year?
Dan: We’ve always got stuff in the pipeline. You’ll hear about it soon. Contractual things.
Joe: Yeah, the new record just came out, so we’re going to be busy for a while.
Dan: More film clips, more singles, more fun, cool stuff. And then we’ve got some b-sides that will eventually come out. So yeah, that’s fun for everyone. We’re busy. We’ve done the behind the scenes work now with the album recording; now it’s time to go out touring.
‘Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them’ is out now. Watch the video for their latest single, ‘Forever’: