(pronounced as "Alexis On Fire") is a five-piece post-hardcore band that
was formed in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada in 2001. The band consists
of George Pettit (vocals), Dallas Green (guitar, vocals), Wade MacNeil
(guitar, vocals), Chris Steele (bass), and Jordan Hastings (drums).
The band describes their music as "the sound of two
Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife-fight" (a reference to their
song "A Dagger Through the Heart of St. Angeles", which was also the
inspiration for their album cover art). When the band came out of the
underground like an "utterly captivating car-accident-in-progress" in
late 2001, it was enough to impress critics and attain a gold
certification for their self-titled debut album.
Aside from that, the band has released two more very
successful albums: ‘Watch Out!’ in 2004, and ‘Crisis’ in 2006, both
which have achieved platinum certification in Canada. The band toured in
support of ‘Crisis’, until December 2007. In December 2008 the band
shared the title of their forthcoming album ‘Old Crows, Young
Cardinals’ during a show in Hamilton, Ontario.
Alexisonfire began recording ‘Old Crows, Young Cardinals’
(with a slightly altered title) on February 1, 2009 and by March 1, 2009
the recording process was near completion; Only leads, overdubs, and
vocals were left before mixing and mastering.
new album will be out on june 19th, therefore we handed over
some questions to the band and here you can read what they had to say
about their latest release.
Congratulations on your new album ‘Old Crows,
Young Cardinals’ which will be released in a couple of weeks, of course
we’d like to ask you a couple of questions about it.
Could you start this interview off with a short
introduction of the band and the origin of the bandname for our readers?
We are named after a ripper, a peeler, a stripper named
Alexis Fire. She also happens to be a contortionist. We all knew each
other from going to punk shows in our hometown. Our old bands used to
play together. So, after they fizzled out we started this. Since our
album ‘Crisis’ came out we toured across the world twice, and then took
some much needed rest.
It’s been a couple of years since your previous album
came out, so how did you launch into writing material for ‘Old Crows,
Young Cardinals’ and how much time did you spend on the songs?
We spent about 4 months putting everything together. We
played them and played them until we felt we had exhausted all our
ideas, then we went into the studio.
Which approach did you take to make this album, did you
go for a more raw exposition.. or something more reminiscent of your
previous other works, or something all together different?
It’s something new but I still feel it is very much an
Alexisonfire record. We have definitely changed from record to record.
We recorded live off the floor so it sounds closer to one of our shows
than previous records.
Did ideas come easily so that you just had to write them
down or was it more of a careful composing thing?
We always start with small ideas then build and build
until everyone is happy. We did scrutinize these songs for a lot longer
than any of our previous albums though.
What comes first, lyrics or melodies?
For myself I do both separately then put them together.
Our singer George writes pages and pages then cuts them down to fit the
songs. Dallas writes melodies then puts words to them.
What were the goals you had in mind when you started to
record ’Old Crows, Young Cardinals’, any elements you definitely wanted
to have on the album?
We definitely wanted to have a more classic sound. We
used very old gear to record. And tracking everything at the same time
also helped that feel.
Could you please describe the implications of the title
‘Old Crows, Young Cardinals’, what does it stand for and is there a
special meaning behind it?
Simply put it’s about horror beauty. All the bad balanced
against the good.
How did the recording process proceed, did you work
differently this time than you did with your previous works and how much
time did you spend in the studio?
Yes, the album was recorded all live. The 4 of us playing
a big room with everything recorded at the same time. We would play the
song until we got a good take of us all nailing it. It usually was about
the 8th or 9th take. We spent 2 weeks doing all the instruments and 2
weeks doing the vocals.
What do you think are the main differences between your
previous works and ’Old Crows, Young Cardinals’?
I think the songs are more cohesive on this record. They
flow better and we blur the lines of which one of us is singing, which I
like a lot.
What is the utmost important ingredient for a song
according to you?
Feeling. It’s all vibes.
Do you have any favourites on the album?
I like “Sons Of Privilege”, that riff’s all downpicking
Have you received any feedback on the album yet?
People love it or they are cursing us for changing. It
happens each time we put out a record.
Are third party opinions (press, fans, etc.) on your
music important to you? Or are your music and band the only things that
You always tend to take the harsh things people say to
heart. You get 9 good reviews and 1 that’s bad and it’s that bad one
that tends to stick with you.
Overall, are you pleased with the outcome of the songs or
would you have liked to have changed anything in retrospective? Which
element on the CD are you most proud of?
I’m very happy with it. I think we are at a point where
we wouldn’t put something out unless it was exactly what we wanted. What
I like the most about it are the tones. Especially, the organ on “The
Northern”. It’s an old Hammond organ from the 60’s and it sounds very
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the kinds of
things that motivate you in your writing, your poetry, and your lyrics?
Everything works its way into the lyric writing process,
from the art you see to the television you watch and the books you read.
They all find a little place in your ideas.
With several albums under your belt, how far has you
career surpassed your original dreams and what would you say is the most
rewarding part of being in a band?
The most rewarding part is being able to get up on stage
and play guitar everyday. It feels as if everything is right for that
hour. We weren’t a band of huge aspirations so yes we didn’t really see
things getting to this point. We all wanted to be in a band and that’s
it. But you never think that will happen when you are 16.
What is your opinion on the post-hardcore scene these
days? What do you think about the overload of bands at the moment and is
there anything missing in the scene?
I think it’s easier to be in a band than ever before
which means tons of shitty records. You meet bands that seem like they
are going through the motions and that’s a shame. Hopefully, the huge
amount of shit bands will inspire some kids to do something genuinely
What can we expect from Alexisonfire in the near future,
any touring plans?
Touring our faces off for the next two years.
Where do you see Alexisonfire going within the next
couple of years, and where do you see your musical direction going for
the next album?
We are gonna try and play some places we have never been
before like South Africa and China this time around. As for the next
record, I cant even think about that right now.
Anything left to say to our readers?
Listen to Sam Cooke
Thanks for your time,
George Pettit – Lead Vocals
Dallas Green – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Piano
Wade MacNeil – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Chris Steele – Bass Guitar
Jordan Hastings – Drums, Percussion
Former members :
Jesse Ingelevics – Drums
(2004) Watch Out!
(2009) Old Crows / Young Cardinals