WEB EXTRA: Award show be damned: Alexisonfire just want to play live

In 2006, the record label had to push and cajole Alexisonfire to attend the Juno Awards; the band was nominated for and won New Group of the Year. This year, Alexisonfire received three nominations, appeared at the award show by choice, and went home with nothing. The irony of the situation is lost on this Canadian rock group.

In an interview with The Hatchet, guitarist and vocalist Wade McNeill explained that Alexisonfire’s involvement in any award show is “flattering, but it is most important to tour, play, and have people come out, not to get a pat on the back from the music industry.” A good live show is the band’s top priority, and its music-making process revolves around it. McNeill said that while writing, Alexisonfire focuses on “how we’re gonna play live and how you’re really gonna feel.”

The key word to the feel on the new album Crisis is “anthematic” in McNeill’s eyes. For a group whose fourth album makes the 2006 Kerrang Critic’s Top 10 list with radio mainstays like Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance, Crisis works hard to avoid crossing the line between hardcore and screamo. McNeill said that Alexisonfire took a darker, more introspective route while writing, and the results are clear. Whether discussing the plight of mixing religion and politics (“My God is a Reasonable Man”) or the struggle against nature (“Crisis”), it is clear that the new technique paid off. The pi?ce de r?sistance, however, are songs like “We are the End,” “We are the Sound,” and “This Could be Anywhere in the World,” in which guitarist Dallas Green weaves his soft tenor through vocalist George Pettit’s heavy screaming vocals.

“‘This Could be Anywhere’ is about coming home after every six months, seeing it dramatically different from the way you left it, watching it dissolve a bit,” McNeill elaborated, offering a message that many students may appreciate.

Interested or appreciative Hatchet readers should take an opportunity to see Alexisonfire live this Saturday, April 7, at the 9:30 Club. The show opens with Set Your Goals Below, The Explosions, and Anti Flag at 6 pm.

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