Welcome to the Scrabble Club. As the ďnew old guysĒ to this summerís Warped Tour, Alexisonfire are spectators with a fresh perspective. That and a new album in tow, Chris Steele (guitar) and Wade MacNeil (guitar) wrap up their thinkings on a playing new material off Old Crows/Young Cardinals, Warped Tourís most hated and a handful of Canadian bands that we should be keen on.
Letís start off with Warped Tour, since thatís where we are. How has it been treating you so far?
Chris: Very well. We just got did the first part of the Canadian leg. We went back to our hometown, which was comforting. We got pumped up to the Mainstage for those two shows, which was kinda cool. The shows were great and large, you know. But itís good to be back in the States because we really enjoy the Hurley Stage as well. Last time around - we did [Warped Tour] in í06 - weíve definitely seen a big improvement in the audience numbers.
You guys are in a bus, right?
Chris: Yeah! I donít know how some of these bands on this tour even do it in a van.
Iím impressed by some of the bands that just follow the tour and donít even play.
Wade: Yeah! I was standing in the food line with Gallows and theyíve were talking about this band that came from England to follow the tour. They were working in catering with the hopes that they can play one day? Do you know how fucking much it costs to fly from England? Seriously. [laughs] Chris: And itís nice to be back in the nice weather. Montreal was just a rain shit show. A monsoon. The merch table and our merch dudes were standing in a small pond. Luckily whenever we play festivals, and itís usually rainy in Canada, at least lately, a half hour or forty-five minutes before we have to go up, it stops raining. And then weíre done and it starts raining. It happened yesterday.
You guys were out on Warped Tour in 2006. You said that the crowds are definitely bigger for your sets now, but what else do you notice thatís different in 2009?
Wade: Weíre kind of the new old guys on the tour. Weíre not the old guys, but weíre the new old guys. When we were out in í06, none of the other bands really talked to us. We just had our friends that we knew. This time, weíre in this middle ground. These young bands are telling us about how they saw us in Florida in 2001 and they loved the first record.
Is it weird for you guys to have bands look up to you because you were at that point at one time and now youíre the veterans?
Chris: I think itís pretty awesome. It feels good, itís just I donít have the heart to tell some of those bands to stop using Autotune if you like our band so much.
Iím sure a lot of people come up to you, and say, ďListen to my music!Ē Have you ever told a band, ďNo, man, I just donít think youíre very good.Ē
Wade: No, weíre too polite and Canadian for that.
[Laughs] Iíd like to talk about your new album [Old Crows/Young Cardinals], since it just came out on June 23rd. You want to throw around some words on how you feel about it?
Wade: It seems like people are just starting to get a grasp of the new songs. Itís this kind of pull when you play new stuff. People donít know it as well, but you want to play it because itís brand new. People kinda stop dancing and start listening. The one song weíre playing off Young Cardinals, people are starting to really know it. Itís such a good feeling to watch it as what I imagined in the jam space when we were writing it. Chris: Yeah, on a Warped Tour set where itís only half an hour and the album only being out for two weeks, weíre just going to play the single for now. At first we tried to throw in another new one, and you can definitely tell that they donít quite know it.
Do you ever get sick of playing old songs?
Chris: I like them. I feel comfortable playing them. We played two shows for the record release in England before we came over here, and we played a few more new ones. I was having trouble figuring out what to do with my body while I was playing them. Whereas the old songs, itís like second nature. Wade: But it keeps us fresh.
So what places in the U.S. are your favorite places to play?
Chris: I really like the West Coast. Seattle and San Diego. Wade: Yeah, Seattle is really good. Chris: I really like the Northwest. Parts of Oregon and weird little towns. Wade: When weíre touring, I want to buy a motorcycle, drive into Portland and just live there. Chris: I like Chicago, but our shows are always terrible there.
Why are your shows terrible there?
Chris: I donít know. We like to hang out there. Wade: Yeah! Our shows in Salt Lake City Ö amazing, but I donít want to hang out in Salt Lake City! And Philadelphia. When have we ever played a good show in Philadelphia?
Do you have any thoughts on some of the bands on Warped Tour that everyone has been hating on?
Wade: A lot of people take it to heart. They look at it like this is the name of punk these days. This is what we do and what we grew up on. And I donít think what they do has anything to do with what we do. So I just donít care. I donít think it has anything to do with the shows we grew up going to and or the records that had an impact on us and made us wanna do this. I donít think those bands motivate those kids to do anything like that and this is just a sour note in whatís going on. It has nothing to do with music that actually matters. Chris: I love Jeffree Star. Wade: [To Chris] You take it back! [laughter]
I always like to ask bands to give us recommendations of smaller bands or local bands, just to keep the good word flowing.
Wade: Statues and Vicious Cycle are these two great Canadian punk bands.
Chris: And Attack in Black. And The Constantines. Theyíre from Canada as well. Awesome rock bands.
Many thanks go to Chris and Wade for spending some quality time informing AbsolutePunk.net users of the bandís well-being and current happenings.
I love their music and I wish they would come to Florida.
I really want to go to Canada! It seems like a great place to listen to great music. I mean Alexisonfire, Silverstein. A lot of great Canadian bands.