The Amity Affliction are quickly becoming one of the most recognisable names in Australian heavy music. In the last 6 months they have crossed the globe, pulling extensive tours across Europe, the US and on Australia’s Soundwave Festival. They are one of few Australian metal/hardcore bands who have graced the Top 20 ARIA chart, with 2010’s Youngbloods debuting at #6. The band are due back into Australia to co-headline the Destroy Music tour with the revived I Killed The Prom Queen. I had a talk to keyboardist Trad Nathan about why punk rock is all about having a good time.
I’ll start off with an easy one, what’s your favourite beer?
I actually don’t drink beer. I know it sounds like the least manly, gayest thing you’ve ever heard. If I did drink beer it would be Coopers though, for sure. I do love alcohol though. I drink red wine or gin. I think I’ve just taken the next step to alcoholism *laughs*. Nah, drinking a lot of beer on tour, it definitely takes its toll on you I think. So I just stick to the spirits or the red. I don’t know how it treats my body better.
Speaking of drinking, how the hell do you get on stage night after night drunk?
We definitely drink every night on tour, but we don’t drink until we’re shitfaced. It’s just a little pre-gig ritual that we have. Our drummer Ryan, 90% of the time he won’t have a drink before we play. I dunno, drinkers drink, people who don’t drink don’t, it’s just what we do. We’re never fucking wasted so we can’t play. I think that was a big misconception of the band.
Oh shit I’m gonna destroy your party image.
*laughs* Nah we love to party, and get us off that stage and we’ll definitely party as hard as possible. But y’know, with bigger shows comes more responsibility, and we kinda got over that shit five years ago.
Prom Queen was a big influence on The Amity Affliction in the early days,
How does it feel to be now co-headlining a tour with them?
It’s ridiculous. I never thought I’d see the day. But at the same time they broke-up and went on hiatus. A lot of their fans have gotten older. I’d say their underage fan-base may have slipped from a couple of years ago, because the kids that were 16 then, are now 18. Amity’s had a really strong couple of years, especially the last year with Soundwave and the previous tours, our all-ages is probably stronger than it’s ever been. We’re probably sitting on par in terms of how many kids we’ll draw to the tour. Though personally we don’t give a fuck where we play. I’d rather open the tour to be honest, so I can party with everyone. Headlining is an irrelevant thing. That said, it’s definitely amazing to be co-headlining with some of your best friends and a band that influenced your band.
I was lucky enough to have a chat to Jona about it last week.
Was he stoked or was he being a dickhead?
He seemed pretty keen for it. Like you he said it doesn’t really matter to him who’s headlining, but if anything he’d want Prom Queen to put on a good show and keep you guys on your toes.
Like blow us out of the water or something? *laughs* Well you’ve got to work hard for the money. Seriously this last year, I think we’ve been in the UK for the whole of December, then Europe for the whole of Febuary, then we came back and had Soundwave straight away, then we went to the States and did 35 dates straight, and we’ve only been home for a week and a half, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine.
They’re coming from the opposite place, having only two weeks to rehearsal for it all.
Yeah, when I last spoke to JJ he said they only started three days ago. But they’re all talented motherfuckers, I’m sure they’ll smash it.
What’s next in terms of releases for Amity? Have you started writing the next album yet?
There’s a few ideas being thrown around, but nothing on paper just yet. I think as soon as we get this May tour out of the way we don’t have much on until October, so there’s definitely enough down-time to start writing and start getting something ready. No-one knows for when or why, but we’ll definitely be doing something.
So you’ll be working on an LP?
Oh yeah for sure, I don’t really see the point of doing EPs anymore. Although, I would like to do a split with Break Even or any good friends of ours really, and just do something like that fun in-between albums. We’ll see.
Why did you choose to release a compilation album, Glory Days? Are your first two EPs still in print?
They are but they seem to be really hard to get a hold of. So, rather than re-press everything, we just got sick of kids asking us where to get them. The packaging was more of a label thing, I would have rather have kept it separate, and I think a lot of people thought it may have been a new record when it was just a couple of un-released tracks. That’s probably more of a label thing, I don’t know what they get up to, it’s pretty dumb.
How would you have released it differently?
I definitely don’t think it was viable to split up the releases and print them from a cost point of view. I don’t bloody know, I probably just wouldn’t have just re-released them *laughs*. I would have like to seen them go to vinyl, or maybe 7”, something a little more creative.
Just before we run out of time, who are your main influences in terms of your keyboard playing? Have you had lessons?
I haven’t, no. I grew up listening to The Get Up Kids. They had a keyboard player, and I don’t how it sat with me so well, but I was just so intrigued by the keyboards, I guess it was kinda like post-hardcore back then. Then I started collecting vintage sythns, and started learning songs, and I just went from there. It was a good ten years ago now. I haven’t really had to learn anything [formally], especially in punk rock and hardcore. If you think that you’re like a shredding musician, go fucking play in a symphony orchestra. This is just about a bunch of retards that came together and just started writing songs. There’s no point in being a rock star. Punk rock is about having a good time, it doesn’t matter how good you are.
The Amity Affliction on Facebook.