“My near-death experience kicked me up the ass”—the Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch on their new album

March 5, 2014 by Dan Slessor

“My near-death experience kicked me up the ass”—the Amity Affliction’s Joel Birch on their new album

Australia’s the Amity Affliction recently headed into the studio to track their fourth currently untitled full-length. Focusing on getting better at what they do rather than reinventing themselves has served the band well so far, though this does not mean their steady rise has been an easy one. The personal problems of vocalist Joel Birch have threatened to derail the band on several occasions, and though he is enthusiastic when AP caught up with him, it’s clear his demons have once again played into the creative process.

What stage are you at with the new record right now?
We’re getting close to finished. The guys are just quad tracking guitars which is something new for us, and it will make for a really nice, thick wall of sound, and there are three songs that need vocals. It’s been a little different in that we staggered the recording this time. Instead of just doing drums, bass, guitars and then vocals we have been getting them down throughout the entire process.

Has that made for a better recording experience?
For me, definitely. The last two records we did in America, and though I was there the whole time with the guys, it got boring sitting around while guitars and everything were tracked, so I’d just be hanging out in the area we were staying. This time, we’re recording at our guitarist Troy [Brady]’s studio, Evergreen, which is really close to where I live on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. Everyone’s been involved the whole way through, which is something that our producer Will Putney [Winds Of Plague, Upon A Burning Body] really emphasized. We discuss everything—the guitars, vocal melodies and even the lyrics, which is the first time I’ve opened myself up to being told a line’s not strong enough. I’ve rewritten it right there with everyone around, and we don’t settle until we’re all happy with it.

A lot of bands prefer to get away from home when they record, so there are fewer distractions around—presumably this isn’t the case for you?
Being at home has been incredible, man. I’ve got two kids and my dog and my partner, who I’ve been best friends with since we were 13, and it’s very cool being able to come home and go to bed with her at night. We tour a lot, and being in the States for six weeks to make a record is a long time to be away from home, so it’s really nice to have this really relaxed recording environment. There’s far less tension because of that.

This is the first record you’ve made with guitarist Dan Brown. Has he been actively involved in the writing?
Yeah, he’s been sitting down with Ahren [Stringer, vocals/bass] and an acoustic guitar and they’ve been coming out with much better harmonies than we’ve ever had before. There are no real changes going on, though. Some bands can reinvent themselves over and over, like Bring Me The Horizon, who are killing it and going from strength to strength. That makes sense for them, but we’re not that band. We’ll always play the same music, we just keep polishing and refining, and hopefully getting better and better at it.

Tags

interview the amity affliction joel birch amity affliction

Comments