Manchester Apollo – 12 November 2006
From one dressing room to another… immediately after a great interview with Senses Fail, I caught up with Dallas Green, of the amazing Alexisonfire for a chat prior to their slot at the Manchester Taste Of Chaos date.
As always Dallas was warm, friendly and excited to be playing here in the UK once again. Dallas told us about how he was feeling pretty tired as he’s having trouble getting used to the time difference, and keeps falling to sleep at 10am!
E. I last spoke to you about six months ago, when you were here for the City and Colour tour. What has been going on since then, what have you all been up to?
D. Lots of stuff, after that I went to Europe with Alexis and then we got home and we did the Warped Tour in North America. Then our new record came out and we have just been touring since then. We came over to do Reading and Leeds and then we did a Canadian tour and an American tour and now we’re here.
E. So you have just been on the road all the time!
D. Yeah, that’s right!
E. How are you enjoying the Taste Of Chaos tour so far?
D. It’s good, but we have only been on it for two days ‘cos we haven’t been on the whole thing so, for us it’s great but all the other bands are really tired and stuff. They have been on the road and they are ready to go home. So we’ve kinda come on and we’re new faces so everyone’s like, ‘oh, hey guys’!
E. So you’re the most popular people in town! Do you think that being part of a tour like this puts more pressure on you as a band?
D. Definitely, ‘cos when you do your own tour mostly you have the kids that like your band come to watch you play, and that’s usually the way it is, you know. Kids that are interested in getting to know your band come to watch you play but on a big tour like this there’s you know, probably a handful of kids that maybe don’t like you or a handful of kids that have never even heard of you, so you have to play to not only the kids that are here to see you but tons more people. We’re on right in the middle so you have to keep it going and we’ve got a tough act to follow, we play after Underoath who are always amazing live – so yeah, there’s a lot of pressure doing big, big tours like this.
E. Of course there are also benefits – it’s a great opportunity to get more people in there listening to you.
D. Oh shoot yeah, exactly, you get to try and win more people over.
E. I am sure that you will do just that!
E. My next question was going to be – have you had any more group tattooings whilst you have been on this tour, but since you only joined two days ago there will have been no time for that kind of thing yet!
D. No, a bunch of us have just got tattooed in California by our friend who tattoos us there, but we haven’t gotten all the same thing yet.
E. Well that was quite a fun story from our last interview anyway!
E. How did the whole thing come about with you having Olly (Mitchell, Johnny Truant frontman) as your tour manager?
D. Well we just became friends with them when we did the Johnny Truant/Alexisonfire tour, and …well he’s actually here with us now too…Paul who was in here earlier, he’s the drummer for Johnny Truant! It’s just nice to have people who know the area with you, so when I was doing that I was gonna do it in a car, the City and Colour thing, so we figured we would just ask Olly ‘cos he’s my friend, you know, instead of getting in some professional tour manager.
E. So is he responsible for all the late nights and lack of sleep..!!
D. Nooo that’s just me, I can’t adjust, can’t switch gears, it’s not working out!
E. Moving on to Crisis…the album did really well didn’t it, debuting at number 1 in Canada and in the top 100 over here in the UK?
D. Yeah, it’s crazy, yeah
E. You have certainly had a fantastic reception over here and you’re getting more play on the music channels than ever before…
D. On the shows that we have played so far it seems like kids know the words to the newer songs more than then knew the older songs, so that’s cool because we like the newer songs better!
E. And new fans are always a good thing!
E. Did you ever imagine that it would be so well accepted and so quickly?
D. No, I mean, we have grown to be quite a popular band in Canada, so we figured it was gonna do well there. We never imagined it would go to number 1 but that’s something that we don’t really imagine because, we never really ever think that we’re capable of that, you know. We’re such an independent smaller band that with records by Christina Aguilera and stuff like that coming out at the same time we just don’t expect ours to go in at number 1… But to have it do so well over here already, the last records have taken us touring and touring and touring for people to get used to it, but this one – people got into it right away, it’s very surprising but it’s great.
E. When you got together to write the songs for this album, did you plan to write songs that are fairly softer than your older material? If you go right back to your debut Alexisonfire, these new songs are more easy listening.
D. I don’t know if they’re softer, but I think they are maybe just a little less metally, and stuff like that. I think we have more of a rock influence now as opposed to the first record, which was kinda all over the place and stuff and I think that had a lot to do with that it was the first bunch of songs we had ever written. We didn’t know what we wanted then but I think with this record we really figured out that we just wanted to write good catchy rock songs that are fun to play live. On the first two records there’s a bunch of songs that we don’t like playing now because they just don’t feel the same playing them live as when we wrote them. But now, every song on the new album we really just love to play.
E. Are you planning to play a mix of songs this evening?
D. Yeah, well we only have a half hour so we’ll try and do a couple from each record and we’ll play more off the new one, but yeah we will play a few from the others.
E. On Crisis…there are a lot more vocals from Wade on this record…where has he been hiding his voice all this time?!
D. I think that Wade just came to the table with more vocal ideas, you know, and that’s the way we write. We don’t say ‘okay here’s what you’re gonna do, here’s what I’m gonna do’. It’s just like whoever comes up with an idea…we will all work with it. Wade just brought more songs that he had singing ideas for.
E. And he sounds really good too!
D. Yeah he does.
E. Are you able to tell me what will be the next single released from the album – do you know yet?
D. Yeah, it will be Boiled Frogs. We shot the video a month ago so it’ll be out I think at the end of November or in early December.
E. What is the theme for this video?
D. The song is kind of a dedication to some of our parents whose generation got stuck working shitty jobs, and they give you just enough to keep you going but don’t really ever give you enough so you can escape from it one day, and that’s what Boiled Frogs is about. So we did a video kinda like that, we each have a different role and it’s all just about monotony and being fed up with your situation and stuff like that.
E. Back to your success in Canada… you have been nominated for some awards that are coming up shortly – the Casbys – and you are up for best newcomer, but also your solo album and the Alexisonfire album are up against each other for best indie album!
D. I heard that’s gonna happen a couple of times this year and next year – there’s a thing called the Juno’s which is like the Canadian Grammy Awards and we heard that we are gonna be nominated for the same award so…
E. It’s kinda strange because Sometimes came out over a year ago!
D. Yeah, but it just got really popular all of a sudden, over the last few months, so I think that people are now starting to like treat it like it came out this year, but it did, it came out last November!
E. So have you been winding each other up about it?
D. Yeah, yeah we have. They always give me crap about it, you know!
E. I have also read that you have all been doing your part for charity too – recently George has done a painting for the Brush For Hope Kidney Foundation, and you have all been organising food drives…
D. Yeah George did a painting and it’s up for auction, and it was up for over a thousand dollars I think which is crazy! It’s freaking George out cos he never thought that that would happen. But yeah, we like to do things, like on our Canadian headline tour we did a food drive and things like that. There’s also an organisation called Skate For Cancer which we try to be really involved in, it’s our friend Robbie who raises money for cancer research and awareness and stuff like that. I figured that when you get to a certain point in popularity where you can attach your name to something and it helps people who maybe wouldn’t look at it otherwise, look at a cause, then I think it’s your right to do it. I don’t know, it just seems like you should do it and it’s very easy to do so…
E. Do you have any plans for other events like that in the future?
D. I think we’ll stay supporting Skate For Cancer continuously, and we’ll just kinda wait and see what comes our way that we really wanna get behind. I’m sure that for all of our Canadian tours from now on we will pick something like the food drive to do.
E. Onto your website, there is a news section up there and is it right that you are also going to be writing a journal on there?
D. Yeah, we’ve already started it, yeah. That’s just something that is fun and we can post youtube clips on there – like on our American tour we had a really great show in Austin Texas, and the next night it was on youtube, so we did a journal about it and put up a link to that. So if something funny happens we can just write about it.
E. Will you be writing a journal whilst you’re on this tour?
D. Yeah, although we’ve only been on it for two days and the internet has been really sparse, so we haven’t really had a chance. But I’m sure we will soon enough.
E. Who has been writing most of the stuff on there so far, because there are some really funny posts on there at the moment!
D. It’s mostly Wade and George that get around to doing it so far.
E. I thought it was! You can tell by some of the comments that they have come from those two!
E. Also on the news section of your site – there is mention of an untitled new band which features members of Alexisonfire and Attack In Black…can you tell me who is involved in this project?
D. Oh, Wade is involved in a thing called Black Lungs – I don’t know if you have ever heard about it…Wade is putting out a solo record, similar to mine, and I think he is gonna do some shows in January. This band called Attack In Black are gonna play as his backing band, sort of.
E. So is that already written and ready for release?
D. Yeah the record is already done, he recorded it in summer, but he’s not had a chance to put it out yet.
E. So what will happen next for Alexisonfire? What are your plans for next year?
D. Oh, just touring! We’re coming back here in February to do our thing with Comeback Kid. We get home from this, and then we have Christmas off, and then we’re doing a Senses Fail tour in the States. Then we come back here, and then we go back to America.
E. So you won’t get much time off!
D. Yeah, we’re just touring… and you know we’re over here all the time!
I thanked Dallas for a great interview and wished him the best of luck for the show. We bumped into Johnny Truant’s Olly on the way out as he was laughing about the size of the dressing rooms! He kindly saw us back to tour manager Stu and then gave us a big wave during their set. The great thing about this band is that they never lose their humility, they are sincere, and keep their feet planted firmly on the ground.