Canberra wizards I Exist are currently on tour with Phantoms in support of their recent "Bad Romance" split, and have been making an effort to be one of the most entertaining bands in the country right now. The band will be playing the annual Push Over festival next month, and we caught up with the band’s guitarist Aaron to discuss the festival, as well as the band’s plans for the rest of 2011.
Start off by stating your name, your role in I Exist and your current drink of choice?
My name is Aaron, I play guitar and occasionally sing and my current drink of choice is Ocean Spray Cranberry Classic.
The band is currently on the road with Phantoms as a part of the Bad Romance tour, what have the shows been like so far?
Shows have been awesome so far, good response for both bands at all the shows, it’s always a bit daunting playing after Phantoms because they are so good, but we think we’re doing pretty well too!
Have all the members of the bands managed to behave themselves so far?
I guess so haha, no one has gotten into any trouble, Sam pashed a few dudes, I got told off by a security guard for wearing thongs in Brisbane, and Paddy said he didn’t care about Australian hardcore.
The tour is in support of the split with Phantoms, also named Bad Romance, which was brought to life after you two toured QLD together last year and fell in love with the Wet N’ Wild water park. Who came up with the idea to do the split?
Kelly and I came up with the idea, when teetering on the edge of this big drop slide called the Kamikaze (which Phantoms ended up naming a song after) and thought it was cool, then ended up being shoved off and pretty much instantly both doing the girliest screams you have ever heard, the ride took a photo of it, we should have bought that one haha.
What was your favourite ride at the water park?
Probably Mammoth Falls (which we named a song after haha) that ride is so sick, six dudes in a tube, most normies just trudge along in it, Jhat and Sam managed to stage dive the whole way down the ride and nearly killed all of us.
The band’s debut album “I: A Turn For The Worse” has been out for a while now through Common Bond Records. What has the overall response to the album been like?
Amazing so far, we couldn’t be happier with how people have responded to it, we never even planned on recording a full length to be honest, we just wrote a bunch of songs that sounded good together and recorded them, and there it was. We’re so stoked people like it and have gone out and picked it up, its killer.
The album also got released on vinyl through Midnight Funeral Music, what does the band like so much about vinyl releases?
I personally just think they are an awesome different way of representing a release, the artwork is bigger, for our type of music the recording sounds better on it and its just something great to have and be able to hold in your hands. And Craigos is a legend.
Last year at Hardcore 2010 you played live with four guitarists. Are you planning on doing this again any time soon or have you told Kelly to go away?
Hahaha, we haven’t gotten sick of him yet, he’s as dumb as everyone else in the band, so he fits right in. I don’t know if we’ll do it again though haha, the main issue is aside from hardcore we haven’t really played a stage that would be big enough to allow it haha. It sounded enormous, but also ruined my hearing for the rest of the day.
Coming up in March you will be playing the annual all ages Push Over Festival. What are you looking forward to the most about playing this?
I’m just really keen to play an All Ages type show down here, I live in Melbourne and since I Exist came about we’ve only played a couple AA shows down this way and Push Over is the perfect place, heaps of kids will be there, a bunch of people who may not have heard us will get the chance to, and I think it’s a really cool idea. It gives a lot of younger bands a chance to play something with big bands too.
Do you think the festival having such a mixed line up of bands will work in your favour?
I like mixed bills, we tend to stand out a bit at these type of things so in some ways it may work against us but I think for the most part it will just expose us to people who may not have heard us before. Whether they like us or not is a different story haha.
Are there any bands in particular that you are looking forward to checking out on the day?
Anchors, those dudes are sick – loving it, and Break Even, good mates of ours and their band is so good, the songwriting is amazing.
Not long after Push Over you will be playing the Shotpointblank reunion show along with Stolen Youth, Iron Mind and Outright. Are you stoked to be a part of what will be a huge show?
I am very very stoked on this, I play drums for Outright so I’m pretty stoked to be playing twice haha. Plus Iron Mind and Stolen Youth are killer, and getting the chance to see Jiggzy get drunk and play some mosh riffs will be amazing.
In mid April you will be making the trip over to Perth once again, what is it like playing shows in Perth compared to shows on the East Coast?
Perth is kind of like Canberra, the scene over there is killer but it’s pretty small and condensed, which is awesome. A lot of people come out and have a good time and you can pretty much depend on them to always keep coming out and being legends, I love it. The weather over there is always sick too.
Can we expect to see the band release another record by the end of the year?
You can. It will be recorded very very soon.
Who are some bands that you have been enjoying lately that we should be checking out?
You should be checking out Warbrain and Anchors from Melbourne, Venom Eyes and Life and Limb from Canberra, Phantoms (der), Headaches and Fires of Waco from Brisbane and Sex Wizard will do something new soon and it will be so good.
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
Um, play with Eyehategod before they end/we do. That’s pretty much my life goal, so in turn it will be this bands goal.
What does the band have lined up for the rest of 2011?
Record something new, put it out, do a couple tours, get drunk with mates, go to Canberra and hang out, go see more places we haven’t, make more silly merch and have fun. Should be a ripper of a year, I’m so excited.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words or shout outs?
Thank you for taking the time to write questions and send them to me to give you answers about our silly band haha. It’s awesome! Come to one of the remaining shows of the tour, pick up the split, pit in your bedroom, make fun of Jake and listen to Phantoms and Eyehategod. Brutal.