Killyourstereo.com was present at Soundwave in Sydney over the weekend. Over the day we were lucky enough to have chats with Adam and Hunter from AFI as well as Brann from metallers Mastodon. Check out our interview with AFI below, as we talk new album ‘Burials’, the festival experience and going from being snowed in back home to the warmth of Australian shores.
You guys played earlier in the day, how was it? It was great from where I was standing.
Adam Carson: It was fun. It was really hot, though. I was sweating sunscreen from my eyes, which was burning. Painful. But it was fun.
Yeah. I have to admit, it seemed a teensy bit out of place, all the sun and warmth.
AC: (laughs) Yeah, with festivals that’s just part of the deal.
Hunter Burgan: You have to kind of suspend your belief.
For sure. How’s your time been down under so far? Have you had a chance to hang out and check stuff out yet?
AC: We got to Sydney yesterday to play today, the festival moves pretty quickly. We had a full day in Brisbane before the show. We’ve got a day off tomorrow.
On the note of sideshows, it’s kind of interesting because they’re both at quite small, cozy venues you’re playing.
HB: We always like the opportunity to get up close with the crowd. It’s a nice contrast to the festival environment where you just feel totally disconnected.
Are there any bands on the line-up that you’re excited to see, or perhaps have already seen?
AC: I love seeing Jimmy Eat World, Green Day. I want to see Gwar really badly, I’ve never had an opportunity. Actually, I take that back, I’ve had an opportunity, I’ve just never seen them.
They’re pretty full on. Lot of fake blood.
AC: Yeah. I was going to wear a white shirt and try to catch the last half of their set, and run back in time to play covered in blood and pus and whatever else they’re throwing out.
Pretty much. ‘Burials’ has been out for a little while now, how’s it been playing the new songs live?
AC: It’s been cool.
HB: It’s been good, yeah. We’ve had a really good response to the songs. People are reacting to them immediately and singing along. It’s cool.
It’s interesting, given that it’s a festival set, you guys have got a bit of everything. There were some songs off the new album, Sing the Sorrow, Decemberunderground and you threw in ‘A Single Second’ for good measure. Is it important to have that kind of diversity within the festival set?
AC: Yeah. We figured out a long time ago that people sort of identify with different eras of the band, so when you do a festival it’s good to have a cross-section so there’s something for everybody. There are songs that are fun to play, and there are songs we play all the time, so it’s nice to have that diversity. It keeps it interesting.
Besides those sideshows, you guys have a couple days off, what are you keen to check out in between shows?
AC: I’m going to go to the beach tomorrow. I’ve been told that between 11 and 2 is the worst time to be there because of the sun and the direct exposure. Might try and make it kind of a late afternoon beach trip.
HB: Is it true that Australia has the highest skin cancer rate in the world?
Well, I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me.
AC: The sun is just far more intense down here.
HB: Yeah. I was in Portland two weeks ago and there was just inches and inches of snow, and I was snowed in for a couple days. It’s just such a completely different thing.
Last time you guys were in Australia was also for Soundwave, back in 2010…
AC: It’s a really fun festival. It’s well-organised, and it’s pretty cool when you’re getting on a plane and the plane is full of people in bands. It’s a really mellow touring schedule, you play a couple times a week and it always feels like a vacation when we come to Australia.
Yeah. I guess US festivals are probably a bit more hectic, scheduling-wise.
AC: Yeah. And you don’t get to travel with everybody, so it doesn’t feel the same.
For sure. I think that’s about all I’ve got, thanks for taking the time to talk.
AC: Sure thing, thanks for having us.
AFI play Prince of Wales in Melbourne the tonight. Tickets are sold out. You can catch the band at remaining Soundwave dates in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.