Eight years is a solid run for a band in the music industry today. After announcing they were calling it quits in 2013, and a run of farewell dates in the US in 2014, the band comes to Australia early next year as part of Soundwave to play their final shows as a band. We had the chance to chat with Brandon Roundtree and drummer Ryan Tinsley ahead of their tour to reflect on their time as a band.
Conditions is in a weird state of – well, I guess you could call it ‘limbo’ – in that you guys played your ‘final show’ a few months ago, yet you’re still doing one final Australian tour. Does it feel like after having played your ‘final shows’ that Conditions is finished and Soundwave is one final sort of reunion deal? Or are you looking at this as a sort of ‘going out in a blaze of glory’ grand finale?
Brandon: I like that. Blaze of glory. Let’s go with that.
Ryan: Yeah, this is us, sort of running backwards off of a cliff with machine guns blaring, just doing it.
B: *Imitates machine gun noises*
I know you’re probably really sick of hearing this question, but there’s not really any way around asking it – why have you guys decided to call it quits?
B: We just kind of hit a wall. I think it’s happening more and more that we’re hearing about bands who tried to do it the old school way by just touring and touring and touring, and releasing quality material just isn’t happening like that for us anymore. We just sat down before we did a U.S. run and thought ‘eight years is a very good run’. Two full lengths, a couple of EP’s, various other pieces of music, a lot of tours and stage time. I think we all just came to the decision that we had a good run and it was time to grow up. It was not an angry decision, and not one that we made out of spite, it just sort of felt natural.
I mentioned earlier that you guys did a run of farewell dates earlier this year. How did those go? I imagine that would have been quite an emotional time?
R: Yeah, they were great. The shows were packed, people were nuts, we played a really long set. We saw a lot of people travelling from out of town. There were people that literally travelled ten or twelve hours.
B: At our Richmond show, there were two or three people that travelled from Toronto.
R: It was an insane trek.
B: There were two people that came from Texas, which is a 25 hour drive. Some people from Florida. There were a lot of people travelling from all over. There was one guy that flew out from the UK the first time we had our farewell dates planned out, which unfortunately had to be rescheduled. He was pretty upset.
R: There were a lot of people from all around that travelled to our last two shows, which was insane.
B: I don’t know if you guys heard over there, but our bass player was arrested before our last show, and that’s probably a good testament to how these shows went. They were totally rowdy, and they went off.
Now this isn’t going to be your first time in Australia, and it’s not your first time on Soundwave. You played in 2012 as well. How was that run of shows?
B: Oh, that was amazing. I think I speak for everyone when I say that’s the pinnacle of us basically just feeling like rock stars.
R: It really was.
I remember seeing you guys for the first time in Sydney while I was waiting for Angels & Airwaves, playing on a little tiny side stage that was probably the smallest of the whole festival, and it was just such a cool set. You guys were like, the little rock and roll band that could.
R: That’s so cool man, thanks heaps for sharing that with us.
Last time you were down, you guys played a couple of sideshows with Four Year Strong, I Am The Avalanche, and Fireworks. Now, to be completely honest, you guys stick out on that lineup like nothing else because you have a completely different style to all those bands. Did you find that challenging at all?
R: Slightly, yeah. I’d be lying if I said no, because they’re all really good friends, and they’re all similar styles, but realistically, we were just way too stoked about the fact that we were playing shows in Australia.
For lots of punters, sidewaves have become a huge part of the Soundwave experience. Are you guys hoping to be playing any this time around?
B: Yeah, oh yeah. I think we’re gonna do two. I don’t think we’ve gotten any specific information about that yet, but we’re excited!
Are there any bands on the bill that you’re really excited to play with?
R: Oh man, definitely.
B: The band’s that we’re playing the same day with, I wanna play with, obviously Slipknot. Atreyu…I’m kind of drawing a blank on who else is playing with us on that day….
R: Long story short, everybody! (laughs)
Of course when it comes to a festival like Soundwave, there’s always some absolutely huge bands playing the bill. This year, Slipknot are headlining the day you’re playing. Being one of the band’s towards the lower end of the bill, is it somewhat intimidating playing the same show as these bands?
R: Always. I personally always get extremely nervous for every show because I’m such a perfectionist and I want to perform well so badly. I’m consistently nervous, but I like that. It pushes me harder. The only thing that will outshine how nervous I am, is how stoked I will be to share the same ground as some of those bands.
What bands that you’ve played with that you look at now and just go, ‘how the hell did we manage to get on the same show as them’?
R: Our second tour was with New Found Glory and Paramore. Obviously, we’d all listened to NFG growing up, and this was just before Paramore blew up with Riot!
B: We also did an AP tour with D.R.U.G.S. and those guys were a supergroup, so to tour with them and then even actually have their numbers in our phones now is enormous.
R: Who else is there…?
B: We played a show with T-Pain once.
R: Yeah, we did play a show with T-Pain! (laughs)
(Laughs) All right, that’s the one to tell everyone you meet from here on about!
R: (laughs) Definitely! That was pretty awesome.
So, after Soundwave, Conditions is over – what happens for you all then?
B: We all retreat into our holes and do our own thing.
R: We all become bald, grey, fat old men!
B: Yeah, just instantaneously overnight! (laughs)
Catch Conditions playing their final ever shows as part of the mammoth two-day Soundwave Festival in 2015.