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Interview: Alexisonfire

9th September 2008

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In 2003, a five-piece hardcore band from Canada going by the name of Alexisonfire, popped out of nowhere, and over that period they've managed to turn a lot of heads in their direction, sell thousands of records and earn themselves swarms of devoted fans.With three successful albums under their belts, what's next for the fun-loving hardcore rockers? 

AlexisonfireI caught up with bassist Chris Steele, whilst they were driving across America on the way to kick off what seems to be a very busy year.

First of all, a lot has happened for you guys since the release of your debut in 2003 what have you guys got planned for 2007?

We just came off the big round of 2006 and we just had about two weeks off, of hanging out around Christmas time, like we try to do every year. Now we’re just driving to Connecticut to join our first day of our American tour with Senses Fail and Saosin, which is a very sketchy town so it’s a scary place to start the tour. But all in all the shows and the kids are always good there, so we’re really excited to start the tour and to meet up with our friends.

How long is that tour lasting then?

There’s going to be about 3 weeks on this tour with these guys, and we go down south and all through America. Then we’re going back over to Europe to do some arena shows with Billy Talent, so that’s going to be really cool, because they’re pretty much from our hometown and they’re just really good friends of ours, so we can’t wait to be overseas and do some shows with them. I think it’s going to be awesome.

What about when that’s finished, you have a UK tour in February coming up don’t you?

Yeah, right after our tour with Billy Talent we start over there and start our headlining tour in the UK, which we can’t wait for, we hear that ticket sales are doing awesome, and we’re playing the Astoria which is selling really well, which is really exciting news for us. I think Taste of Chaos really helped us attract some of the numbers that will be coming to our shows, so we’re really busy!

Any plans for after the UK tour?

Straight from there we fly to New York City to jump on tour with Anti-flag, and we’re on tour with them for quite a while, then we’re back overseas, and we’re going to try and do a world-trip and get Australia in there and maybe go back to Japan.

Pretty much non-stop then!

Yup, we’re going four months without a break, but it’s for the best, we just want to try and get around to all the fans we can, and try to bash them over the head with our music!

What about writing new material, how’re you going to fit that in?

We’ve actually already started writing new songs, during some extra time during sound check, we’ve got a bunch of new ideas already so we want to definitely settle down at the end of the year and record. There was about a two year break between Watch Out and Crisis and I know we don’t want to have that long of a break in-between this next release.

Do you find it a different experience playing in the UK than in different countries?

Definitely, all places have a different vibe and different styles, but I find all in all that if the kids are really in to it, then it’s kind of the same all over the place. Like, if the kids were having a great time in Canada then it would be the same vibe as if we were in the UK. We tell them to run around in a circle pit and stuff, so it’s much like the same vibe, but you guys are very welcoming. I know that in the US especially in the bigger cities the kids have so much of a variety, at any given week they could have up to as much as three or four different tours to choose from, and so sometimes you can tell that some of the kids are getting a little jaded even when they’re really young. Whereas in the UK, when they have an international act you guys get really excited, you can tell from the expressions on peoples faces.

Do you get recognised a lot in the UK?

When we’re outside the venue we get recognised and the kids get really excited and want to talk to us, and get pictures and all that, and it’s just over-whelming to fly over a huge ocean and have kids be that crazy for us, it’s a really cool feeling. Every time we go back to the UK, everything seems to get bigger and better, you guys just treat us so well and it’s awesome.

What do you think it is that makes Alexisonfire stand out so much from the other bands of the same genre around at the moment, and makes you so popular overseas?

I think that our image is that, we don’t have an image really. There are bands out there that have an image and get a bit more serious on stage and have their serious times on the stage which is all well and good, whatever they’re into, but with Alexisonfire we take our music writing seriously, but when it comes to playing live we play the songs to the best of our ability but at the same time I think people can relate to us, because we’re just a bunch of fun loving goofs and we get up on stage and dance around like goofs and talk about goofy stuff and make silly jokes and combine it with our hard-hitting music. So, we have a little contrast and that makes people able to relate to us, because we’re just normal people like anyone else, and we take time to spend time with our fans, and we have more than enough time to talk, and that means a lot to the fans.

So the plan for 2007 is just touring it seems?

Yeah, pretty much, Crisis has been out for a while now, but there’s still so much touring for it left to do, and a lot of the cities we’ve played already, we’ve got to go back and play them one or two more times before the new album.

Would you say that when you guys are on tour you’re pretty relaxed, or have you got a pretty strict routine?

I’d say a little bit of both, but for the most part it’s quite relaxing. It all depends, like some tours we get our own bus, so we can wake up late for sound check, but on this tour the shows are a little earlier so it’s not like our headline tour at all. All in all it’s relaxing, we’re on our own 15-seat bus and everyone’s in the back watching DVDs on their laptops at the moment, playing video games. It can be a bit stressful, driving long distances and not getting enough sleep, but it’s still really cool, it’s not like being on a bus when the driver has his own schedule, this way we can pull over when we want, it’s fun loving and we have a good time.

Have you made any new years resolutions this year?

Actually a bunch of us in the band, this is a little cliché, but we’re planning on getting a little more into shape on this tour. Yeah, because we’ve had those few weeks off and our vacation we haven’t really been that active, but we made sure that our tour manager booked us into hotels that had a fitness room and pools, so we’re going to go swimming every night and get in the fitness room, not even to lose weight, just to be a bit more healthy!

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