by Steven Jenkins
Michael Crafter has been a significant figure in the Australian hardcore music scene for 15 years, but now he’s decided to hang up the boots. A successful lead vocalist for bands such as I Killed The Prom Queen, Carpathian, Bury Your Dead and most recently Confession, Crafter and his band mates are hitting the road in January for one last mosh.
“Everything is pretty much ready to go, just waiting on a few little things to get sorted. It’s all about the waiting game now, I’ll be flying to Melbourne to start practice with the guys and get ready. It’s pretty crazy that it’s at the very beginning of the New Year, but people are going to have to sober up and make sure they came out.”
“We haven’t toured properly since Soundwave 2015 which is almost a year ago now, we’ve done some small shows over in South East Asia and a couple of weekenders here and there, but nothing like a full month on the road like this is going to be. It’s going to be the last time I’ll be sitting in a small van with a bunch of stinky friends. We’ll just drive ourselves this time, just me and the band, it’s very DIY this time around.”
One of the heaviest acts in Sydney right now, Graves, will be joining Confession on this farewell tour. They’re a band to look out for in 2016 and it seems like they were an easy choice for a support act as far as Crafter is concerned.
“We kind of talked about other bands for a while and we had a bunch of bands in mind. We just wanted something heavy and we’ve toured with them before and they fit the groove of what we were looking for. There were so many submissions, I was blown away, but nothing really suited. In the end we just thought that Graves would be good and people should enjoy them, they do well.”
10 years in a band like Confession also means a lot of wild times and memories. Michael has travelled the world with this band, playing shows with some of the biggest names in heavy music. We were curious to find out what memory stands the test of time as far as Confession is concerned.
“The European tour we did with Parkway Drive was one of the biggest things I’ve ever seen. I remember we played Germany and at the time we were doing a Limp Bizkit cover but we weren’t really sure about it. Then we ended up playing it in this big old steel works place in front of like 6,000 people and it was just psycho. Some of those smaller countries like Denmark, you play at some venues to 400-500 people and then the next day you’re in this gigantic place playing to thousands of people screaming every lyric, it was insane!”
“We’ve snagged so many good tours; it’s hard to distinguish what the best time was. Every era of the band had some kind of great tour with different and amazing acts, we’ve been very lucky.”
Crafter is a fairly well known figure in the social media world, with thousands of Facebook and Instagram followers, there’s always going to be a few crazy fans. He reminisces on some special interactions he’s had with fans over the years.
“Someone came up to me at Soundwave and got me to write ‘Life And Death’ and also got me to sign their arm, then they went and got it tattooed. A dude in Queensland had a portrait of me tattooed on his leg. I don’t know, I feel like that’s just f*cking insane! Even people in Europe knew who I was and were asking me to sign stuff, and I just couldn’t believe it. It’s not so much crazy but more of a cool thing like when someone gets my lyrics tattooed on him or her it’s there for life. If somebody wants to get my ugly head tattooed on themselves then good on them I guess.”
When it came down to it, there was one defining moment, which made Crafter realize that he had to call it quits. Being a father as well as a touring musician can be incredibly tough on any relationship, and sometimes you’ve got to make a choice.
“My daughter Kennedy was starting to miss me, she now knows that I go away with the band and it’s hard on not only her but myself as a father. I went to Asia for 3 weeks and I missed her like crazy, I then came home and wondered to myself, what more do I need to do? Where do I need to go? The answer was nowhere.”
“I’ve been everywhere I wanted to go and I’ve done everything I’ve set out to do. All my boxes were ticked. I felt like if we went back into the studio and did another Confession album that it would be just another Confession album. At least people have these four albums to listen to, if they still like the band then they can always listen to us and reminisce. I feel like Confession has a pretty solid back catalogue that’s always going to be there, I’m very proud and happy with it considering it started off as a basic project on MySpace from my lounge room.”
Confession have had more line up changes than an AFL draft over the years, so it wasn’t easy to gather the troops this time around. But Crafter was able to secure a line up with a couple of friends from other bands, as well as some familiar faces from previous Confession releases.
“We’ve got Adam from the original line up, Jake from the Life And Death album; we’ve also got Richie and Brandon who are both from Buried In Verona. We couldn’t really distinguish who to get, we couldn’t get Dan Brown back because he’s out with his massive stadium band The Amity Affliction right now. We needed someone who could do the singing parts and Richie was the perfect fit.”
“We just wanted people that could have a good time and that’s what this line up like to do, plus most people were just too busy with their normal lives, the last thing your work wants you to do is tour just after Christmas holidays. But yeah, I’m fully stoked with the guys I’ve got coming with me on this tour.”
Michael just had a short and sweet message for those who are unsure about whether or not it’s worth heading out to see them for one last time in January. “It’s going to be a legitimate amount of songs from each album, I guess if people like any of the albums then just come out, just hang out and have fun. The shows are going to be good and you won’t be disappointed, if you’ve already seen us perform before, I hope to see you there again for one last time.”
You can check out Crafter’s YouTube cooking show “Crafterchef” below and find out how to make his dodgy Strayan Sushi Maaate!
Confession Tour Dates
Saturday, 2nd January 2016, Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday, 3rd January, Arrow On Swanston, Melbourne AA
Monday, 4th January, Basement, Canberra
Tuesday, 5th January, Towradgi Surf Club, Wollongong AA
Wednesday, 6th January, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Thursday, 7th January, Drone, Newcastle AA
Friday, 8th January, The Helm, Mooloolaba
Saturday, 9th January, The Brightside, Brisbane
Sunday, 10th January, The Lab, Brisbane AA
Wednesday, 13th January, Coolangatta Hotel, Gold Coast
Thursday, 14th January, Woy Woy Leagues Club, Central Coast
Friday, 15th January, Barwon Club, Geelong
Saturday, 16th January, Unify Festival, Gippsland
Sunday, 17th January, The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Wednesday, 20th January, YMCA HQ, Perth AA
Thursday, 21st January, Prince Of Wales, Bunbury
Friday, 22nd January, Amplifier, Perth
Saturday, 23rd January, Enigma Bar, Adelaide
Saturday, 30th January, UTS Underground, Sydney Lic/AA
***Sausages were harmed in the making of this video. (NSFW)