Metalcore heavyweights The Amity Affliction recently released their sixth studio album, ‘Misery’. It’s quite a departure from their usual sound, so naturally it’s received mixed reactions from both fans and critics.
Speaking to guitarist Dan Brown backstage before their show at London’s Electric Ballroom during their UK run to promote it, we find out the band are actually feeling very confident about their new direction. Read on to find out what made them change tack.
DP!: How’s tour been going so far?
D: Good! We’re getting into the swing of it now. At the start of course we had all these new songs to play, and we were kind of freaking out in the rehearsal, but we’ve tuned into all of them now, so we’re on a roll. We’ve done a few dates in Europe, now we’re here in the UK, then we’ll go back to mainland Europe for the rest of the tour.
DP!: How have you found the reaction to ‘Misery’?
D: Really good. It’s a different vibe live, because we’ve got a few songs that are pretty much… well, people have said EDM, but it’s not really. But it is bordering that way, so you look into the crowd and see all the kids ready to mosh, and then it gets to those parts and they all look at each other like, “What should we be doing?!”. So, we’re looking out there and it feels like they’re learning as we’re learning, but everyone’s having a good time. There’s a bit of actual dancing now, haha. And everyone sings THAT bit in ‘Feels Like I’m Dying’ too.
DP!: ‘Misery’ is definitely a new sound for you guys. What made you change direction?
D: Well, I’ve always said that the bands that are heavy these days are just so extremely heavy that it’s not really worth us dipping our toe in that pond if we’re not gonna go all the way in. If we were to remain as heavy as we were, we’d be outclassed pretty quickly. You know, you listen to like Whitechapel and all that sort of stuff, and it’s just insane. We can have our heavy moments, but it wouldn’t be anything like that. We’ve done the heavy stuff for like three albums now, and I guess we’re growing up and starting to think about other genres. Most of us don’t really listen to really heavy stuff anymore.
DP!: Was there any concern that older fans wouldn’t connect with the new sound?
D: Yes. Definitely. There’s always the grey area, the issue where you can’t do the same album as the last time because people will say it just sounds exactly the same, but if you change they complain about it too. So, we’ve figured that if we do what we really like then that’ll hopefully be infectious. I think if we put out something we’re not really into we’d lose more fans because they’d see it on our face that we’re bored. If we’re happy, I think they’re happy. I’m sure we’ve lost some fans, but I think we’re gaining more than we’ve lost. I also think we’ve got a few fans that have been with us for so long that they’re loyal and stick with it, which is nice.
DP!: How did you choose which of the new songs to put on the setlist? The title track didn’t manage to make the cut.
D: Yeah, we thought about playing that one, but we just thought about how it would go live. I love it, it’s my favourite song on the record, but it’s more of a driving song. It doesn’t have a peak moment or a breakdown, so we didn’t know how well it would go live. The other songs we chose by kind of checking online to see what was most popular, what had the highest streams.
DP!: So, why is ‘Misery’ your favourite song in particular?
D: Well, I’ve had that guitar riff in my back pocket for years, and now finally it’s in a song. Plus, it’s got new elements like the vocoder and saxophone. It’s just so dark and cool.
DP!: You’re currently touring with Joe from Defeater on drums. Is that gonna be a more permanent thing?
D: We’ve had a bit of a revolving door recently with drummers, because we parted ways with our old drummer, Ryan. We’ve been trying others out slowly; some have worked, some haven’t. But Joe’s working out pretty good, and I don’t really see him going away. He’s not in the band officially yet, but I think that will be the outcome. We’ve known him from before, and we wanted to get him to drum for us earlier, but he had other commitments. We got him in to drum on the album, so it made sense to bring him on the tour, and he’s playing the old songs really well too.
DP!: What’s next for you guys then?
D: We’ve got the end of this tour and then we’ll go home, then do an American tour early next year. We’ll tour Australia next year too, and we’re doing Download next year in Australia too, which is gonna be crazy. There’s like Slayer and Ozzy Osbourne on the bill and stuff. I just want to quickly play our set and just watch them.
The band’s sixth studio album, ‘Misery’, is out now through Roadrunner Records/UNFD.