Posts Tagged ‘post-hardcore’

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.

*This is a piece I did with, check out the original article here.


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.

Trad Nathan live

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.

I don't think I can ever do a aussie metalcore interview and resist posting the cheesy early band photos. They are always so good.

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.


Melbourne ambient metalcore act House Vs Hurricane (HvH) have parted ways with long term keyboardist Joey Fragione, due to personal and musical tensions. Joey was a significant part of the well known HvH sound, which incorporates dance influenced synth along with more traditional hardcore and metalcore riffs. He had also written a significant part of the band’s debut album, Perspectives, which caused quite a stir on the Australian scene when it was released in March 2010.

HvH: Slimmed down to a 5-piece.

The split was announced on Tumblr last week and the band had the following to say with regard to their future direction:

“We shall continue on as a five-piece, with all our currently booked shows proceeding as planned. We’ll also be announcing a tour we’re really excited about this Wednesday and if all goes to plan, we’re hoping to have a brand new song for you all around March. Our attention from now will be focused on continuing the writing process for our second full-length record, which we’re aiming to record in the middle of the year, with a release to follow in the second half of 2011. We’ll be filming a series of writing/jamming videos so you can all follow the progress of the record (and give you all a bit more insight into what we do), along with consistent tour and studio diaries when the time is right.”
Read the full statement here.

Old days: HvH with Joey (third from right).

While they are continuing on without a keyboardist, the band has stated that keyboards and electronics will remain part of their sound. HvH are no stranger to line-up shifts, having two bassists and one drummer depart in the last two years, as well as several fill-in members. Nonetheless they have gone from strength to strength, recently playing a national run of shows on the No Sleep Til Festival, alongside massive bands including Megadeth, Katatonia, Parkway Drive and Atreyu.

The band clearly have no intention of slowing down; they will be hitting stages across Australia with several Melbourne shows and a national tour coming up. Catch HvH live tomorrow night (Tues, Jan 25th) in Melbourne at Plastic (Bang venue) supported by Melbourne hardcore act Vultures. HvH are also playing Pushover on March 13, along with a big line-up including Deez Nuts, Dream on Dreamer, I Exist, Hopeless, Break Even and Trainwreck. To top it all off they are undertaking a national tour in March, with Your Demise (UK) and Adelaide purveyors of dirty hardcore, Nazarite Vow. The tour kicks off on March 17, and is hitting all major cities, including two shows in Melbourne at the Corner on March 19 (+18) and 20 (AA).

Get full details on upcoming shows at:
House Vs Hurricane official Facebook
House Vs Hurricane official Myspace

hvh HvH in 09. Photo courtesy of the HvH official Myspace House vs Hurricane (HvH) has caused quite a stir in the Australian hardcore scene. This young 6-piece group from Melbourne has brought hardcore, electronic and trance elements together to create a mix that has rocked venues across the country. Next up is the US, as HvH prepare to fly over to record their debut album with US producer Brian McTernan, known for working with groups such as Circa Survive, Darkest Hour and Thrice. HvH’s first EP, Forfeiture, sold over 3000 copies, distributed by Australian label El Shaddai. HvH are currently in negotiations with several labels, including US labels, and when the LP drops, more than just the Australian heavy music scene is going to take notice.

Official video for the song Forfeiture, from their debut EP of the same name.

I caught up with vocalist Chris Dicker and drummer Sam Osborne before one of their band practices and asked them a few questions about HvH and the upcoming record. – How did you get Brian McTernan to produce your record, did you contact him yourselves? Chris: Yeah, before we’d even spoken to labels or anything, we sent him a message over Myspace. We found his studio on Myspace, then sent him an email saying we planned to record an album around this time of the year, and if he was available and how much it cost. He hit us back and said he was interested, said he was into the tunes. Basically just let us know he was interested, so we did it. – Why did you choose Brian, was it because of his work with Circa Survive? Chris: Circa’s like my favourite band ever. The way I personally saw it, he’s done a whole different mix of stuff. He’s just did Darkest Hour’s new record; he likes the heavy side of stuff. He’s done Circa Survive, which is the whole weird guitar effect kind of vibe. He’s done a couple of different keyboard bands, you know that Sky Eats Airplane band? They have big midi keyboard influences. He did that really well. Just his ability to mix all of those styles and mix them well. There are aspects of that in our band. If he can do each individual band then he can probably do the whole lot. – Does the album have a title yet? How many tracks? Chris: *pauses, looks at Sam* Doesn’t have a title yet. Sam: Working title… Chris: Maybe about 12 tracks. – Are they all written at the moment? Chris: We’ve got a whole bunch of songs written, but we’re still deciding on which songs to use, and chopping different parts up and putting them together. I think we’ve got 8. We can play eight. Sam: Yeah, eight songs Chris: And can play half of two more. We’re still very much in the learning process, and there’s only five weeks to go, so we better get a move on. house interview 2 Sam (L) and Chris (R) at our interview. – Are you planning to work with Brian to write songs together, or do you aim to have them all done? Chris: That’s the thing with a producer. Personally I’d rather just go and have the songs finished. But he’s such an established dude, and has worked on so many good records, that I think are good anyway. I’m sure he’d have some pretty cool ideas. I’m sure he’s chopped up many different bands recordings. So any ideas he has we’ll take into consideration, it’s just whether or not it suits with what we are trying to do. – How do you think the line-up changes have affected the band? Chris: I think it’s totally different. Dynamically, it’s different; it’s changed the dynamics. We don’t fuck around as much, we’re a bit older than we were around the time of the EP. It’s just freedom now man, to write how we want to. We’re all stoked. – Why did you choose to fly over to the US to record your debut? What are the advantages over recording in Aus? Chris: The way that we discussed it is that we think the production of the EP was pretty up there, we were pretty happy with how that sounds. We wanted to make sure that the debut was a step upwards production-wise. Obviously the ability to work with someone like Brian, who has worked on some of my favourite records is a privilege, something that you totally want to take advantage of, being possible. So when he said “Yeah I’m keen to do it”, we were like “Alright, fuck it, let’s do it.. lets go over.” It opens doors, you get to meet people, just from recording with someone who works in the US, an established producer. – Have you finalised the label for distribution of the LP? Chris: *laughs, looks at Sam* Sam: *nods head saying no* Chris: We’ve settled on two labels, but legally I don’t think we can discuss that, we are in a bind with our previous label so we can’t really talk about that. Come back on the first of November *laughs*. – Are you looking at Australian or overseas labels? Sam: Yeah, I think we can talk about that. Chris: Distribution here, a label here for distribution, and a label overseas as an actual label for the band. – I understand Chris2 (guitar) wrote Forfeiture, now Joey (keyboards) has started to write tracks for the LP, how is his style different? Chris: With the EP, Chris came to the band with the songs on the EP, 90% of what he wrote is on the EP, we still mucked around with structure and we all had our own little input writing the EP. When it comes to the album, Joey has probably written just over half of it, and Chris has written the rest of it. We definitely played around more in the band room, with stuff like structure, just trying to create the right vibe, get it sounding the way we want it to. It definitely had a different impact, writing differently. It’s all worked very well. And what was behind Joey starting to write tracks for the LP? Chris: That goes back. Myself, Joey, Chris and Ryan played in a band before HvH (Beyond Mine). We wrote a bunch of stuff and the direction started changing, so we dumped that name and got a new name and started writing everything else. Once we had done that Chris had already written five of the EP songs, we wanted to release something, record and play shows. Joey was writing that whole time. In Beyond Mine, Joey wrote some of the songs for that band as well. house Sam and Chris feed the need for nicotine. – House has completed several national tours. Which band has been your favourite to share the stage and tour with? Chris: Mary Jane Kelly. I guess they are now an aggressive hardcore punk band. They’re just the best dudes though, we have the wildest times. I love that band *laughs*. Bullet for my Valentine we didn’t even see when we toured with them. We never even saw the dudes once, they were just backstage before the set. Sam: Naz Vow (Nazarite Vow) Chris: Naz vow was fun as well, they are a band from Adelaide. Sam: Good stage energy. Chris: They put on a good show for sure, that was a good tour – What was is like touring with (now defunct melodic hardcore band) Rex Banner? Chris: That was a ball. We’re still really good friends with one of their guitarists, Kelly. That band was heaps of fun. That tour was actually really good. We played with another band called A Secret Death, they broke up as well. Really fun tour. Actually every band, bar Bullet for my Valentine has been a bunch of sweet dudes. They were just rockstars, we never saw them *Sam and Chris laugh*. – House has management and books through Destroy All Lines now. What are the advantages of having agents do booking for you? Do you think using agents is necessary to organize the types of tours you do now? Chris: I don’t think it’s necessary, but it makes it a lot easier. Because obviously Cam, at Destroy All Lines books for us. He knows all the promoters, all the people who work at the venues, he deals with them regularly. If we want to play any specific venues we’ll be like “yo dude we’d like to play this venue” and he knows them straight away. He can hit them up the same day. It’s not essential but it makes life a lot easier when you don’t have to do everything yourself. Sam: It’s even easier because he’s a really good dude and helps us out heaps. Chris: He’s like a seventh member of our band, he’s just the best dude. He’s being working with us since day one. He books 50 people venues to the 800 people venues. It’s just been a pleasure full stop. Our management is US management, Destroy All Lines don’t actually manage us. We’re managed by Jerry Club, he lives in Los Angeles. He helped us get a foot in the door and start talking to US labels. He manages a band called Suicide Silence and a couple of other death metal bands like All Shall Perish. So he, again, same kind of deal he knows all the people we want to talk to. If we to talk to a specific label, he’s probably already has spoken to them previously. It makes it a whole lot easier to get going in terms of starting a conversation. – The trance and electronic elements in House has definitely made a lot of people notice the band. Is that side of the music going to be expanded on for the LP, or are you moving in a different direction? Sam: It’s still there. Chris: It’s definitely still there. I guess everything on the EP has just been expanded. The heavier parts are heavier, the poppy parts are poppier, the dancier bits are more dancy. I guess, it’s different… it is different, but I think it’s a natural progression, nothing dramatic I don’t think. – Having done several tours now, how has the crowd reaction changed? Are you getting a lot better response than the early tours? Chris: For sure, 100%. The recent shows.. we just played Perth for the first time, we’ve never been there before. Two of the three shows were sold out in ten minutes, the kids just knew all the words in all the sing-along parts. They sung along really loud, it’s amazing really, I’m still get taken aback by it, because I still remember the days when were playing to 25 people at Noise Bar in Brunswick. Now we play venues like Manning Bar, which we did on our Perth headline tour, there was like 750 people there, and everyone knew the words, and kids were going apeshit. It’s just amazing really. I still can’t get over it.

More info on their Myspace page: