The Amity Affliction

Interview: The Amity Affliction – Joel Birch and Troy Brady

Do you look at that roster and think that you’ve made it to some degree; you’re now on a label which supports some of the biggest bands in the world.

Troy Brady: To me it is more of a gimmick. You’re not going to see us touring with Nickelback or KISS but I suppose in a way it is cool to see; it doesn’t mean anything though. In the end we got the deal that we wanted and now we don’t have to compete with one hundred other bands on the label who sound like us. Signing to Rise Records would have given us certain advantages but we’re then lost in a roster of bands who sound like us.
Joel Birch: Yeah I don’t think it means too much with regards to who you are. It is not like we will be put on a package tour, they don’t do package tours because the bands and the labels are so big. You can’t put Slipknot and Nickelback together.

Well you could but I don’t think there are enough armed police in the world who could stop them rioting.

Joel Birch: [Laughs] That’s true. I’d love to see that now.
Troy Brady: [Laughs] Slash opening for Slipknot who are supporting Nickelback.

The digital re-release of ‘Youngbloods’ was today via Roadrunner but had it ever been given a release over here prior to that?

Joel Birch: No.
Troy Brady: We wanted to get the physical album over here but because we had to go back and forth constantly with this deal then it never happened. By the time the deal was sealed, Roadrunner were no longer interested in releasing a physical album as it was regarded as dated in their eyes, so that’s why they did the digital release.
Joel Birch: They pretty much said that, while the deal was being talked about, we couldn’t sell the album.
Troy Brady: They wouldn’t let us sell the album on our last tours. We had so many people coming up to us at shows asking if they could buy the album and we had to turn all of them away. Even if we told them to just download it or whatever, they said they have but they want the physical. That was a bit disheartening to not be able to give it to them but this time, now the deal is sorted, we have plenty of CDs and they are selling double what our t-shirts are. That’s a good sign that we aren’t just a merchandise band, people are interested in our music and want to own our CD.

Did you not try and sell some from the bus or anything, away from the managers and other bands?

Troy Brady: We should have but then again it may have blown the deal that we were working towards so it was too much of a risk.
Joel Birch: It was just one of those things that we couldn’t really mess around with but it was very annoying.

As this was the album that really kick started everything, did you ever think when you recorded it that it was good enough to cause such a reaction and raise you to such a level?

Troy Brady: We never expected it. I heard you asking about the general success earlier and it is just the same feeling. We knew what we recorded was a great album but for people to react in the manner they did was just beyond our wildest dreams.

You recorded the album in the US and recently a few Australian bands, mainly hardcore bands, have said that they feel they must go abroad to record because Australian producers don’t really seem to understand this sound.

Troy Brady: I think Australia is a little far behind in their engineering and production stance, especially with our genre, so it makes sense for bands like us to go overseas and work with people who have made these sort of albums and understand what we are doing. In Australia there are only one or two producers who could do the record justice but I still don’t think they are the right people. For us it was perfect, we took everyone away from their home lives and distractions so we could just focus and record.

What was it like to work with Machine?

Troy Brady: Legend. We’re going back to do the next album with him also. I think the problems we had, well they weren’t really problems, just bumps in the road but I think this time around we understand each other so much better so there won’t be any weak moments this time around, everything will be banging.

Did he help you in any way that helped to improve your playing?

Joel Birch: He helped me as he is a vocal guy. He is very heavy on the vocal side of producing.
Troy Brady: He didn’t want to know about the guitars at all [laughs].
Joel Birch: Machine is an ideas guy.
Troy Brady: He doesn’t want to give you an idea that will take you twenty takes to get right. If he gives you something then he expects you to be able to deliver but for me, I like to play something over and over until I get it spot on. He has got better things to do than watch me fuck up over and over [laughs]. I think that was his position on it. This time we’re going to split everything up into segments and we know that the second engineer we worked with on the guitars was better than the other guy so we’ll want him in and more involved this time.

I’ve seen you mention online that you have started writing and working on ideas so are you looking at a set direction for the next album or do you just wait to see what happens?

Joel Birch: We’ve never set out with a direction musically, ever. We’ve been writing the same kind of music in the same manner as we always have and we can all tell that we are improving as musicians. I don’t know if that is why we are doing well, we’re just hammering that same sound into kids brains that they get so used to us but we’re not going to change or just jump on some bandwagon as we’re not a gimmick band and never will be. We’ll just keep refining and anything we don’t like then we’ll fix it and then make it better the next time around. Too many bands try to aim for something and the reason they do that in most cases is just to fit in.
Troy Brady: I think the only thing different I’m doing this time around is not deleting anything. I’m just going to keep filling a hard drive full of riffs and random shit so that everything I do, I have it there to go back to. Last time I focussed too much on trying to make a song. Now I could listen to something and think it is shit but in three months I could use it for something and I wish I had done that before because in the future it will be worth it. The more options we have then the more creative we can be.

Imran [Siddiqi, guitarist] just walked in behind you, how has he fit into the band?

Joel Birch: Imran how do you like being in this band?
Imran Siddiqi: You tell me.
Joel Birch: Great.
Imran Siddiqi: It’s shit! They won’t let me leave, every night I’m handcuffed to a rail in the bus. Tell the police when you leave.
Troy Brady: Shut up or you’re in the cage again.

With the time it took to sign this deal and all of the back and forth you had with Roadrunner, do you think there may be more squabbles in the future if they feel anything with the album needs to be changed?

Troy Brady: We only do this for ourselves; we don’t give a shit about anyone else. If they say they hate the songs then we’ll just say suck it [laughs]. If we’re happy with the outcome then that is what we want released. I know many labels do that with artists and they mess them around with the final cut but I can assure you that what we hand to them will be our album.
Joel Birch: I feel zero pressure from them anyway, just personal pressure.
Troy Brady: Yeah, I can’t see them getting in our way but we have to make sure we work for each other. I need to make sure my game is at the top so I don’t let any of the guys down but we all have a great work ethic and we would never release anything that isn’t to the best of our ability.

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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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