Tag Archives: The Amity Affliction

Confession – Soundwave Special

After the recent disappointment at having to miss their Cairns show supporting Amity Affliction, Melbourne metallers Confession are about to play the biggest stage of their life at the upcoming Soundwave festival but vocalist Michael Crafter says the band is still upset at having to miss the recent show at the Union Jack Hotel.

“It was a nightmare!” he exclaimed.

“I woke up that morning and they said ‘your flights been cancelled today from Darwin to Cairns’ and I was like ‘fuck, okay’ and I had to tell everyone coz I was the first person up as usual but there was no resolve. I was like ‘send another fucken plane’ and they said they couldn’t and i said ‘what do you mean you can’t? You’ve just cancelled six people’s flights get a motherfucken plane and stop being useless. Put us on a shitty plane or send one of those Qantas ones in. You’ve gotta have planes sitting around, you’re a fucken airport!'”

The end result, as we all know, was that Confession and In Hearts Wake had to miss the Cairns leg while Amity Affliction chartered a special plane to bring them to the gig, but there was a slight silver lining to the cloud for Michael and the boys.

“They gave us $18 worth of meals each,” he laughed.

“Actually they put us up in a real nice hotel in Townsville and gave us a room each and room service and shit like that so us and In Hearts Wake just went to Townsville and lived it up in a hotel for a night and had a day off but we would have rather have been in Cairns, so we’re just gonna have to do it again in the middle of the year sometime.”

Playing festivals like Soundwave is great exposure for up and coming bands, getting to play with and learn from bands at the top of their field, but Michael says that while Confession are definitely looking forward to the experience, it still doesn’t hold anymore importance than regular gigging.

“It’s cool,” he said, “but I don’t know the importance any more so of doing certain gigs over other gigs. How can you weigh that up against, say, the Amity tour that we just got off? We will be playing to some big crowds and we’ll get to play with alot of bands we have never performed with before; important bands as far as metal goes like Slipknot and stuff. We’ll get to see some cool shit and we’ll get to play to alot of people that have never heard of our band before which is cool so I’m more excited for that.”

The first few years of the Soundwave festival saw no Australian representation on the stages, but in recent years the number has been growing each year, and Michael says that is a good indicator of the current strength of Aussie metal.

“Me and A.J (Maddah, promotor) have had alot of arguments over the years about not having enough Australian bands on and now there is alot more there which is good to see,” he laughed.

“I mean, these days, you can have a big American band playing in somewhere like Sydney and then you put on someone like Northlane or In Hearts Wake or Amity on the other side of town in another venue and they will still probably pull more than the American band in that genre. Any one of those big bands would outdo the Australian ones by far but there’s alot of support behind Aussie bands these days because Australian bands are as good as anything else in the world.

Confession are a band not afraid to try different things to maximise their potential, with the band traveling to Sweden to record their second album ‘The Long Way Home’ and more recently California for last years ‘Life and Death’, and Michael says that the experiences of writing and recording in these countries has only strengthened the bands sound.

“It (recording overseas) is easier in my opinion,” he said.

“There’s just something about recording overseas that sounds better. It’s not anything against the Australian recording situation it’s just that we wanted what’s best for or band and going to places like Sweden or the States is gonna bring out the best for this band and the best for our sound. There are people in those places that have been recording metalcore and things like that for a long time so it was definitely a good thing for us.”

Writing and recording in a different, perhaps unsettled environment can also be a factor, and Michael says that was one thing he took advantage of.

“I wrote all the lyrics and stuff there actually,” he said.

“I just scratched away on my lyrics book and started again once we got to the States. We definitely worked on alot of new stuff. We had alot of it down already but at the same time we fucked around a bit and changed shit up and stuff like that to more fit what we were trying to do and alot of the other elements that we were trying to add while we were recording.”

Australian music and Australian bands have long been known for helping each other out. It’s just the Aussie way. And on ‘Life And Death’ Confession used the services of fellow metallers Amity Affliction and Northlane to good effect.

“Joel and Ahren from Amity sung on the album, as did Adrian who was in Northlane. Joel I harassed and said he he should sing on that particular song (51-73) because it was about the beach and going home which are favourite topics of his and we both kinda grew up in similar places but obviously on the other side of the country so we both know how important it is to go home to your family and see your friends and stuff like that and that’s why I wrote the song and Joel was perfect for it. On the other song , Holy War that Ahren sings on, I remember thinking who the fuck am I gonna get to sing on the crazy part? Ahren screams in between when he’s singing for Amity sometimes so maybe I’ll just ask and see. I wrote that song about organised religion and how stupid it is to fight over religious beliefs to the point where you go to war and I told him I wanted him to sing on it like a psycho and he said yes and that he would do it that day and I was like ‘what the fuck?’ and all of a sudden he’s in the studio and he sent me a preview of it a few hours later and I thought Holy shit, this actually sounds psycho so here is a guy who’s sold gold records because he sings like an angel and he’s screaming like he’s in a death metal band! It’s a cool thing to have because he’s never really screamed like that on anything, he’s only known for his singing parts.”

“I think part of the reason why Australian bands help each other so much is because we all come from the same place. We all come from a family where no – one gave a fuck. We are from the hardcore/metalcore scene where all the labels and fucken magazines and radio stations, they never cared until we started selling records and then they wanted to jump on board because people cared. At the time when we were starting to get bigger everyone was focusing on rock bands and shit like that and now bands like The Amity Affliction or Parkway Drive have surpassed the size of any rock band. Especially over the years when they have been focusing on bands like Gyroscope and stuff like that, and these sorts of bands over the years were definitely big but they had major radio play and they had major magazine interviews and stuff like that and then bands like Amity and Parkway and Northlane and even Cog 15 years ago, they just basically came along through sheer hard work and got big. By the time all the magazines and everyone caught on these bands were already killing it and selling out big venues without the help of mainstream media.”

“A band like Amity, and I’m not dissing other dudes here, but Amity had nothing thrown at them. They were fucken one of those bands where for 5 years no – one cared. I remember years ago asking the boys how their tour was and they said there was only five or ten people at the shows. They’d say their tour sucked or they were getting ripped off and losing money and stuff like that and they had lots of nightmare stories and then all of a sudden they just kept working and persevering and look at them now. They’re the biggest heavy band in the country. It’s crazy to think that.”

One common theme through each of Confession’s album is the story of cancer, with their debut album called just that and the last album featuring a song called ‘Fuck Cancer’ and Michael explains that it is a subject which the band and more particularly himself has a great affinity for.

“I lost my Dad in October and my Mum has cancer now and I lost my best friend a few years ago so it’s definitely one of the things that has affected my life,” he said.

My best way of dealing with it is to write about it and perhaps put a positive light on a negative problem. It’s about staying positive and it’s about keeping your chin up, no matter whether it is you or someone in your family or one of your friends you’ve just gotta stay positive no matter what. The only advice I can ever give to people is to prepare yourself mentally for the worst but then hope for the best because there’s no real way to come to grips with what you may have to deal with. It’s great because I get to connect with people at shows that are dealing with similar things whether someone in their family has cancer or they have cancer themselves and I try to make time every day to talk to people so I can hear about their lives and their stories because we all go through the same shit and just because I’m in a band and I get to tour it doesn’t mean that I’m not suffering like everyone else is mentally. I just have that outlet which is music to be able to sing about it which is cool.”

Kris Peters

Confession play at the upcoming Soundwave festival. For more information and tickets go to soundwavefestival.com

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