Interview The Amity Affliction – “Why don’t we write our own intro and use it on stage?”

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When they dropped by Belgium, we got the opportunity to talk to Dan Brown (guitar) & Joe Longobardi (drums) from The Amity Affliction about their new album ‘Everybody loves you… once you leave them’ and the tour following the release of that album.

GRIMM: The new album ‘Everybody loves you… once you leave them’ is out now for about a week now, right?

Yes, a little over a full week now. It came out not this past Friday but the week before, on the 21st (February 2020, FYI).

GRIMM: ‘Everybody loves you… once you leave them’… How was it received? Did you already receive any feedback?

Yes, it’s huge actually. More than our expectations. We had mixed reviews on our last album, the previous one, and this one came out and it’s… I’d say 99% positive and that’s awesome for us. We’re pretty happy about it.

GRIMM: Do you already have numbers? Have you already sold a lot of copies or is that irrelevant these days?

Like you say, it’s not that relevant anymore, but we are selling more than we thought we would, which is good, but album sales are generally going down and streaming is more the thing. I haven’t done the math on it, but I think like… X amount of streams (is like thousands or something…) before that equals one sale, so… it’s time to pump those numbers, but… yeah… physical sales are more than we could have expected.

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GRIMM: The title, does it refer to something that happened in real life? Is it personal?

I think it could be, I think… I don’t know… I don’t want to speak for JoelJoel does all the lyrics and words so he’ll be more informed, but to me, I just take from it that it means like when you die,  everyone just remembers all the good things in you. All the crap falls away. People always remember the nice things I think. It might be more than that but…

Yeah, and you might not be thinking about somebody and then they might just pass away and you’re just like “ooh shit! they’re gone now, and I could have sent this or done that with them” and get that moment of reflection where, once you’re gone, there’s obviously no coming back and you know, that people think in a certain way.

GRIMM: Is this just the title, or does it also come back in certain songs?

It’s the title from the album, but I think it’s also a lyric from, I think Baltimore Rain? Track 4 or 5 I think that is? So again, Joel writes all the lyrics, you’d have to ask him…

Besides of that song, we just thought of a name for the album. Last time we just called it ‘Misery‘ ’cause it was simple, but then for some reason we’ve had a lot of success with long album names so we thought “let’s do it again”. I don’t know if that matters, but we thought “let’s give ourselves the best shot” and we tried it again and it worked!

GRIMM: So you’re not really thinking that it’s a message throughout the entire album? 

Like a theme? It could be, unfortunately it’s a Joel question. I don’t want to speak for him.

GRIMM: Do you have a favorite song of your own on this record?

For me, I like the intro ‘Coffin‘ ’cause the drums are sick in it and it’s just really really heavy, and it builds up and it has an insane release. It’s the shortest one and the most simple one, but I like that one the most. And we play it live, and it’s one of my favorite songs to play live.

We did an intro, we haven’t done an intro before, or maybe albums and albums ago we did but we thought: “we’re quiet so often, we have to think of a new way to come on stage” so we’re like “why don’t we just write our own intro and use it on stage?”

GRIMM: Are you opening with it tonight?

Yes! And for the next two years I’d say (laughs)

GRIMM: We were running through your previous tour dates. You don’t seem to be at home quit often?

We can’t be! I think, it’s basically impossible to be in a band and put out records consistently, every two years or so, a year and a half and not go on tour. That’s just not how it’s done. And there’s no point you know, unless you’re doing it for fun, which, we are, but it’s about more than that.

GRIMM: You have to live from that…

Yes, and even at the end of the year we look back and we say: people that have a 9 to 5 job, getting 2 weeks off for Christmas, at home, and they go home every night, we end up with like a whole third of the year at home, so it evens out.

GRIMM: Actually, if you look at it that way…

Yeah! That’s what I tell my wife anyway,  tryin’ to cheer her up (laughs)

GRIMM: You have been touring with Beartooth for two weeks now, how is that going?

Awesome! We already knew those guys before and we’ve done multiple tours and some of the members have worked for us at times, and they came out to Australia to support us so…

Day one is really easy, you don’t have to meet anyone, you just know them, so that’s been cool. And they’re backing us up and the shows are all sold out, and that’s credit to them!  They are doing really well and we just have to be here.

GRIMM: So that’s basically like three weeks of touring with friends…

Yeah, you just show up and you’re like “what’s up man?”. No pressure, no stress, no nothing, it’s just hanging out you know. You can pop into anybody’s room and say what’s up? It’s not weird or anything you know, it’s just the homies.

GRIMM: That’s what I was wondering… before these shows you’re all in these rooms, do you actually visit each other?

Yeah we do, sometimes there you go and f*ck around: “Hey! What’s up guys!?” and have fun. 

Actually we stole some of their water bottles before they came today, which I wouldn’t do with a band I don’t know, but I feel comfortable stealing from my friends! (laughs)

GRIMM: It’s sold out everywhere, that’s pretty cool you guys could say that!?

Yes, every show! We like to think that we’re pulling our own, but obviously they’re doing the headline and they’re doing such an amazing show. When you’ll see them tonight, they’re super energetic!

GRIMM: You are older, they are newer and I was wondering: are they officially headlining or are you co-headlining?

They are, and even though we’re a band for longer, they’ve all been in the music industry just as long. Caleb has been playing in bands since he was 14, Connor, the drummer has been playing in bands since he was like 12? You know? They’ve been around the block, they know what the deal is.

GRIMM: Where do you see The Amity Affliction in 5 years from now? Are there certain goals you still want to achieve with them?

We’re probably… We’re always gonna be writing new albums and we’re probably gonna be touring. Exactly what we’re doing now…

Sitting in this room with you, five years from now, we’ll make a date! (laughs)

We’re so full-time now that I don’t think we could be doing any more. We’ll be (hopefully for our loves at home to be) touring any less, and…

Right now I’d be happy to be doing exactly what we are doing right now.

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GRIMM: You’re from Australia, there are wildfires going on or were…

They’re pretty much done now. We got a lot of rain, so that’s good.

GRIMM: You’re always far away from home. Do you often think of that when you see or read about it?

Yes, well actually, we had a regional tour just after the fires happened but we’re usually doing cities and you won’t see any of the effects of the bush fire, but when you’re out in the regional areas we really did see the effects of it but when we were driving down freeways and highways and there’s fires on the side so actually more than ever. If I was sitting at home it would have had nothing to do with me, but because we were on tour all over the country, in these regional areas, we saw the fires and the smoke and everything (the effects of it also). It’s pretty horrible, but Australia’s pretty good at it. We all work together, nationwide, so when whenever there is a crisis, everybody kicks in, and all the other countries that helped out… a bunch of money came from international fund raising and so we’re happy everyone is helping us.

GRIMM: For us it’s just something on the TV, just like all the other misery, but if you’re right in the middle of it…

Yeah, pretty horrible…

I think it’s the worst one. We have bush fires every year, but this is one that just got out of hand, it’s obviously global warming. When all the ‘fuel’ is already dry, and there hasn’t been rain for a long time than it’s harder than it would be.

GRIMM: Have you done anything with the band? Like a fundraising?

Yes, we’ve put on a benefit show in Richmond at the Corner Hotel, and we had a bunch of Australian bands playing and I think we raised like 50 or 60 thousand dollars. It was all last minute, we had a day off and we decided: let’s use this day off for a show! I think we put it out for sale like 5 days before the show, and it just sold out! It was a smaller venue, but it just sold out. Al the profits went to charities. The bar donated money, and we used every cent from the ticket sale, and the venue donated the venue fees and all the other bands played for free. Even our crew didn’t get paid for the day. They donated their time so…

GRIMM: That’s pretty awesome!

It’s definitely not your first time in Belgium. Is there anything you like in Belgium that you’re looking forward to whenever you come over?

Chocolates and the waffles with those little… 

GRIMM: Sugar Waffles?

Yes those!

Food! I say that everywhere when we get interviewed: let’s talk about the food!

GRIMM: Is the food so terrible in Australia?

No it’s good, it’s great! But it’s different. So it’s nice to try things everywhere. I think culturally, everything is a little blurred everywhere, and I blame the internet, but food… food is definitely a regional thing. Makes you feel there, when you’re on tour or visiting other countries.

GRIMM:  Is there anything personal you’d like to add to this interview?

I’d say just go check out our new album! it’s called ‘Everyone loves you… once you leave them’, it has 10 songs and it’s a little bit different than the last one. It’s a bit of old and new mixed in so… If you want to stay up to date with our band that’s what we’re doing at the moment. We’ll be back in Europe in a few months so keep an eye out for that tour on

GRIMM: Is it online yet when and where you’re playing?

Euh… not yet. It will be in a little while.

GRIMM: OK, you can’t say it yet?

No, we can’t tell right now, but we will be back.

GRIMM: OK, those were all my questions. Thank you for your time!

Thank you for talking to us. See you next time!

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