So, the big news is hot off the press that The Amity Affliction have announced their sixth studio album MISERY and after teasing us all mercilessly online over the last week, we finally have the big reveal!
Frontman Joel Birch let Maniacs pick his brain on creating the new album and the process behind the cinematic video for first single "Ivy (Doomsday)".
MANIACS : From what we've heard so far on Ivy (Doomsday), it sounds you may be experimenting with a new sound on this record - including clean vocals from you as well as Ahren - would that be right?
Joel Birch : “Absolutely right. It’s been time for a change for quite a while now, but we weren’t necessarily sure whether the last album was the time to do it. It’s a tricky decision to make as a band; we’re growing within the band, but are people ready for a change yet? This Could Be Heartbreak was definitely the end of an era for us, and I’m really excited to see what the future holds, this record feels like the beginning of something we can really grow in.”
MANIACS : What has been the most exciting or interesting aspect of working on the new album?
J.B : “For me personally, it was exciting - and terrifying - to be losing the screams for a great deal of the record. We experimented with it back in 2008, but then abandoned it moving forward, and I’ve always had the mindset that I just couldn’t sing. With the help of a singing coach at home and the positive encouragement from Ahren (Stringer – Vocals/Bass) and Dan (Brown – Guitars) though, it’s become a new facet of the band. Recording is always stressful, so honestly the best part happened when we all signed off on the mixes and I got to sigh a huge sigh of relief that was finished hahaha.”
MANIACS: The Ivy (Doomsday) video is a further example of your visual creative work (again working with Ryan Mackfall director of the All Fucked Up video). It captures a very challenging subject matter. What can you tell us about creating it?
JB : “I’ve wanted to do a three-part series of videos that can be viewed one after the other as a short film for years now, but the music wasn’t right for it. We did a test run last album, if you will, with I Bring The Weather With Me and This Could Be Heartbreak, but even those were really shallow explorations of my ideas. All Fucked Up is where I really took the reins and laid out a narrative. That combined a few real-life events into one clip, with some fiction in there as well, but it still wasn’t quite what I had imagined we could do.”
“This next series of clips are a return home for us; it’s been a while since we have done a clip in Australia where we have made a point of it, generally we have made it more American-centric because we needed to do that to reach that particular audience. These clips are extremely Australian, and a way to embrace where we come from and also embrace the country that makes it all possible. As far as the content goes, it’s pure criminal Australiana to me. We have a rich criminal past dating back to colonization and invasion, and I wanted to tap into that. With the sexual assault, I really wanted to emote how I feel about the current situation - which isn’t current per se, it’s just that it’s finally being spoken about - through film.”
“I’m disgusted with male society et al, and believe that we need some serious introspection as a whole, both culturally and individually speaking. The entire premise of the clip is Dain’s disgust for men who prey on women, and it leads to imprisonment. I believe that is a great metaphor for those who speak out against sexual violence and assault; a lot of the time they are shunned, they are mistreated, and they are ostracized, thus leaving them in a form of imprisonment.”
MISERY is out Aug 24th and available on CD, vinyl and download with exclusive bundles available at 24 Hundred store. Pre-order here.