Glasswerk: So, Alexisonfire, a Canadian band. Canadian music for me
has always been synonymous with the more left field types of bands
such as Silver Mount Zion etc. How have bands like this influence
George: Well there was a really eclectic Canadian scene growing up and we were all listening to different types of music. I mean it was
really easy to get into any type of music in southerm Ontario. There
was a really strong indie rock scene and a really strong punk scene
and metal scene which everyone drew influences from and which
definitely had a big effect on me, it definitely did you know?
Growing up with bands like Moneen and all the other bands around us
who were all really fun to be around. A lot of these bands came and
went and the nucleus of the scene would break up but all of these
bands left a little bit of an impact on the southern Ontario scene.
Glasswerk: How much are you influenced by the old school hardcore of that area? Bands like the Subhumans for example?
George: Oh yeah the Subhumans, although when I was a kid I was going to more punk shows than hardcore shows, I definitely saw bands like the Smugglers and Teen Idols and stuff like that but I wasn’t so
much into hardcore as I was into the Lookout records, punk rock
stuff, Screeching Weasle, The Dead Kennedys…
Glasswerk: The whole San Francisco scene…
George: Yeah yeah, but later on I definitely got into hardcore in
post-adolescence. No Means No were a great Canadian hardcore band.
Nowadays I’m more into stuff like Teenage Head and The Viletones and
stuff. There’s a great Canadian band called the Sons of Ishmael who
had a seven inch called Hayseed Hardcore which really in the middle
Glasswerk: You’ve toured extensively with bands such as the Bled. Do you think that ‘Black Flag’ mentality of touring absolutely
everywhere is still alive today?
George: I think it’s very different for us as opposed to Black Flag.
I mean Black Flag were touring before the internet, they built the
highways that bands like us travel upon now. That early hardcore
scene and the bands that toured relentlessly, that’s what they did
they made it possible. They went out and found the promoters in
every town and I feel we are now reaping the benefits of their
hardwork. Any bands around today who tour these routes owe a lot to
bands like Black Flag, Dead kennedys, Minor Threat, bands who
created the whole indie scene by touring and getting the word out. I
mean yeah, we have been trying to keep that up and tour as much as
possible but its not so spontaneaous, well sometimes it is but, like
touring over here right now, the promoter guys just pack us into a
big carrier and off we go, sometimes it smells pretty bad but it’s a
labour of love.
Glasswerk: So what do you think of the whole internet thing these days? do you think its helped out the scene a lot?
Well yeah I mean it cuts and it slices I suppose, I mean there’s
part of me that thinks it’s great you know, it’s beneficial for
bands to get their stuff out there, but part of me is the old crusty
dude who doesn’t relate to myspace or anything like that. So I think
I’m kind of on the fence about that and a lot of different aspects
of it. I don’t really understand this post-the-advent of myspace
phenomenon of being on tour and your record label calling you up and
saying “I think You should take this band out on tour, they have a
really good myspace presence” what the fuck does that even mean? You
listen to bands that have got big via myspace and not via a touring
work ethic and they’re different bands you know, they don’t have the
roots of playing in halls or clubs. It’s almost like they’re
launched really quickly, I don’t know, there’s obviously pluses and
minuses to all of it, but it definitely has changed the industry a
Glasswerk: Yeah, I remember seeing a video of you playing, quite a long time ago, playing “.44 Calibre Love Letter” in some small
little house or something and it looked amazing, really punk rock.
George: Yeah I mean we’ve played abandoned marinas, little tiny
shacks with terrible stages and amp stacks but they were fun shows
you know when you pack fifty kids into a room that holds like
twenty, shows like that just go off, they are really fun shows to
play. We still sometimes get chances to play shows like that when we
come over to Europe and play places we’ve never been or sometimes in
the states when we hit the smaller town and you get the really tight
smaller shows that are really hot and sweaty. But I think those
shows are going the way of the buffalo, some of the best places to
see bands sometimes are in these small rooms packed with a small
number of devoted people who are really there to rock out and have a
Glasswerk: Any plans for any new releases? You’ve just had your third album out obviously, anything new coming out after that?
George: I just heard the other day that our label has put out or bbc sessions on a seven inch, I’ve always been trying to do that cos
we’ve had two sessions now and I love that whole story of the BBC
and like I was a big John Peel fan. So its really neat to finally
have a bbc sessions release especially as I own the bbc sessions of
so many other bands you know? I only found that out the other day
though someone handed me a flyer and I was like “hey, this is our
bbc session, your advertising that” [laughs]
Glasswerk: any plans for any more split albums soon?
George: I don’t know, I don’t think we’re gonna release anything apart from albums for now, maybe some seven inches, small collectible
type stuff, oh we’ve got a DVD in the works right now, we did six
shows in Toronto around Christmas time and filmed a whole bunch of
stuff around that which is all getting put together right now, but I
couldn’t realy give you a date on that because theres tonnes more
stuff to do on that. Artwork and all that stuff.
Glasswerk: Ok, George from Alexisonfire, thank you for your time.
George: No problem man.