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ALEXISONFIRE

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In March 2015 a vast number of “Drunks, Lovers, Sinners And Saints”* worldwide, rejoiced at the announcement that Canadian post-hardcore icons Alexisonfire, were to reunite for a series of festivals throughout the northern hemisphere after close to a three-year hiatus from performing together. But while the list of festival appearances grew and Australians were eagerly on the “Watch Out!”* for the Canucks to declare a welcomed return invasion to our shores with their deranged “vocal sword fight” derivative of punk music, it sadly never eventuated. As guitarist/ vocalist Wade MacNeil explains, it wasn’t a lack of desire that stopped the quintet from touring our land of “Sharks And Danger”*, it was simply timing.

“When we first started doing the brief reunion shows last summer we were hoping to get to Australia, but that all came together a little too late, so we were only incapable of adding Australia to the tour schedule. So we got asked to do UNIFY sort of in place of what we had missed out on originally, which is a great festival and incredible that there is one of that nature considering the others went away for the lack of a better description. We are over the moon to be playing it, although a bit later than originally planned, but better late than never, right?

As is most likely common knowledge now, the five-piece will be making the long venture south to play UNIFY 2017, as well as a run of headline shows throughout our fine nation. Understandably, all of us Aussies are beyond excited at the opportunity of seeing these five ‘Nades tearing up our stages as they have done numerous times in the past. What came as a pleasant surprise for this writer was the extremely enthusiastic response from Mr MacNeil about the prospect of heading down under.

“There is nothing nicer, in my opinion than escaping the Canadian winter for the Australian summer. I mean I am used to the freezing cold because I grew up with it, but there is one time every winter where I will fall on some black ice, like slip really hard which I am sure is hilarious to watch from an outsider’s point of view.” He laughs – “Anyway, I’ll be laying on the ground in the snow and all I will be thinking at that point is: ‘There has got to be a better way to live’; but that’s the truth of it, when you have slipped on your ass in the snow and it’s freezing, it really is time for reflection.”

As aforementioned, the five men of Alexis have visited our nation countless times in their 15-year career from which they cherish a number of memories. It inspired this scribe to ask about one of their first Australian shows which took place in Adelaide at the famed Enigma Bar in 2004 and if he recalled what transpired.

“That was crazy, that show especially – wasn’t the air conditioner ripped out of the ceiling?”

It certainly was.

“That was one of those shows which was SO exciting that it was on the brink of it being really out of control and dangerous, but it just sat on the ‘before’ level of craziness. It just teetered on that edge you know? It straddled the line between everyone almost destroying the place with a smile one their face, but it could have easily have gone the other direction or a step further and someone lighting the venue on fire!”

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What is to transpire next month for the quintet’s first shows here since 2012 is not especially known. At the time of our conversation, Wade was yet to join up with George (Petit, heavy vocals), Dallas (Green, guitar and angel vocals), Jordan (Hastings, drummer) and Chris (Steele, bass) to layout the blueprint for their Australian annihilation.

“We haven’t jammed yet because Jordan (Hastings, drummer) is still on tour with Billy Talent. I think it is something we will have to figure out when we are all together and playing in the same room. There is some stuff that just HAS to be in the set, so the setlist is already started so to speak.”

The immeasurable amount of fans here most certainly have their favourite songs which they will wholeheartedly desire to hear; but what about the five-piece or Wade personally? Does he have a standout track that continually inspires him and the band?

“I think for me the song that has become my favourite and is a staple in what we play is Happiness By The Kilowatt. I think it is because that song is so dramatically different to the original recorded version; we have turned it into this 10-minute long adventure of a track, it feels like we should always be closing the set with it. It’s a song that is alway evolving and changing, I love playing it.”

Having disbanded on what appeared to be a rather traumatic ordeal, it seemed that a Burial* had in fact finished Alexisonfire for good. But how did it come about that Wade, Dallas, George, Jordan and Chris began trekking the path to reuniting and more importantly, how did that process strike them as former bandmates but, and most importantly, still friends?

“It was pretty spectacular the first shows of reuniting. I was nervous about doing it in that I didn’t want to cheapen anything that the band had done before we broke up. I gave it a lot of thought, we all did; we had so many conversations whether this could happen you know?”

Wade continues – “When we broke up, that was the finality of Alexisonfire, we thought ‘we’ would never happen again. When we started having those discussions last summer it was really weird. But, we looked at all the reasons we weren’t doing it there basically not there anymore.” He says – “Then, in reality, there wasn’t a real reason NOT to play. Essentially we just put aside the worries about whether it was a full reunion, or the legacy or anything else that comes with being in a band so long. However, there wasn’t a good reason NOT to do it, we love playing together, we are brothers, F*CK it, let’s play some shows.”

 

Written by Will Oakeshott

*On that note, this wordsmith would like to formally apologise for the excessive use of Alexisonfire song and album titles as “puns” throughout this article, understandably the excitement “Cannot Be Broken”**.

**Lyric from Midnight Oil’s The Dead Heart which Alexisonfire have covered (sorry).

 

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ALEXISONFIRE BEHIND THE SCENES

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GET A HAIR CUT WITH ALEXISONFIRE

Get your hair cut by ALEXISONFIRE’s bassist and apprentice barber Chris Steele!

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There’s 1 winner for each show (5 winners total) who will get their locks cut and styled before a show by Alexisonfire’s bassist (and apprentice barber), Chris Steele.

Here’s what you could win:

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Please only enter if you have a ticket to a show already and you are male.
Enter your name, email, what city you have a ticket for.

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%%name%%
%%email%%
%%yes-no%%
%%address%%” use_redirect=”on” redirect_url=”https://digi.heavymag.com.au/thank-you-giveaways/” success_message=”Rad. You’ve entered the comp!” form_background_color=”#686868″ module_id=”et_pb_contact_form_0″ title_font_size=”26px” title_text_color=”#ffffff” form_field_text_color=”#e5e5e5″ use_border_color=”on” border_color=”#444444″ border_width=”3px”] [et_pb_contact_field field_id=”Name” field_title=”Name”][/et_pb_contact_field][et_pb_contact_field field_id=”Email” field_title=”Email Address” field_type=”email”][/et_pb_contact_field][et_pb_contact_field field_id=”yes-no” field_title=”Do you have a ticket to a show? (Yes or No)” fullwidth_field=”on”][/et_pb_contact_field][et_pb_contact_field field_id=”address” field_title=”Which city will your see Alexisonfire?” fullwidth_field=”on”][/et_pb_contact_field] [/et_pb_contact_form][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section][et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” background_image=”https://digi.heavymag.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/12/background2.jpg” background_color=”#212121″ custom_padding=”0px|0px|50px|0px” padding_mobile=”off”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” custom_padding=”25px|0px|25px|420px” padding_mobile=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_code admin_label=”Code”]<center><iframe width=”100%0″ height=”56″ src=”https://embed.spotify.com/follow/1/?uri=spotify%3Aartist%3A53RsXctnNmj9oKXvcbvzI2&size=detail&theme=dark” scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ style=”border:none; overflow:hidden;” allowtransparency=”true”></iframe></center>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” padding_mobile=”off” column_padding_mobile=”on” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” background_size=”initial”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_code admin_label=”Code”]<iframe src=”https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Aalbum%3A1yiI6ruQYIge8EBd6bRksf” width=”100%” height=”380″ frameborder=”0″ allowtransparency=”true”></iframe>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]