Band: The Amity Affliction
Album title: Everyone Loves You Once You Leave Them
Label: Pure Noise Records
Release Date: 02/21/2020
- All My Friends Are Dead
- Soak Me In Bleach
- All I Do Is Sink
- Baltimore Rain
- Born To Lose
- Just Like Me
- Fever Dream
The release of The Amity Affliction’s (TAA) seventh record ‘Everyone Loves You Once You Leave Them’ is only days away. It’s the debut record on the band’s new label Pure Noise Records. I got a chance to listen to it in advance and I’ve been spinning it quite often ever since the first playthrough.
Once again the band doesn’t shy back from talking about mental struggles on this record. A topic that still gets swiped under the rug by many people. All the lyrics are written by the band’s vocalist Joel Birch, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder a few years back. As he stated in an interview a while back, he often writes the lyrics when he’s at rock bottom. But the music is a catalyst for him and also for many of their fans. They cherish the raw honesty of the band’s music.
Social media is so fickle, frontman Joel Birch determines. The answer of the internet-horde often is: ‘You’re a successfull musician. It’s impossible you suffer from depression. Fuck you!’ The other side is not often shown. We do have a great job and we are blessed. But like anything else, it’s not all roses. When someone dies, you can hear the mob say: ‘Oh my God, this artist was such an Inspiration.’ I’m so sick of this ignorant hostility against mental illnesses in music and other jobs. We have a platform to say something – and that’s what we do.
Until today the overall streams of the band, consisting of Joel Birch (vocals/screams), Ahren Stringer (bass/clean vocals), Dan Brown (lead-guitar) and Jon Longobardi (drums), passed the 200-million-mark and rising. Meanwhile, the band played countless sold-out headliner shows and toured with bands like Architects, Stick To Your Guns, Silverstein, Blessthefall, Asking Alexandria, In Hearts Wake, The Ghost Inside, Of Mice & Men and played at big festivals all over the world.
For the recording of ‘Everyone Loves You Once You Leave Them’, the band went back to Beltsville, MD to work with ‘Misery’ producer Matt Squire.
With the release of the first single ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ the band showed their heavier side and made all the fans from the band’s early days hope for an overall heavier record.
For the bigger part of the record we have let our heavy side out once again, bassist Ahren explains. We’ve tried to master the crafts, to exactly write, what we wanted to hear. Even though we are older, the majurity shows a little more with every record, Joel agrees. We wrote naturally and it felt great.
Two more songs have been released so far. The second single ‘Soak Me In Bleach’ is a very catchy tune, which could’ve also been on the band’s last record ‘Misery’.
‘Catatonia’ is probably the heaviest track on the record. There’s literally a flood of screams on this song.
When we recorded ‘Misery’ a good friend committed suicide, Joel recounts. We were alone in Toronto. The weather was miserabel. His death hit me like a ton of bricks and I spent several hours lying on the floor whithout being able to move.
On ‘Misery’ Joel Birch, who’s responsible for the screaming parts on the record, actually sang (clean) on a few tracks. This was received pretty well by the fans. The singing parts on the new record are less but luckily they are still there. The song ‘Aloneliness’ actually has no screaming parts at all, which probably makes it one of the ‘softer’ tracks.
Quite frankly it’s about being bipolar, Joel reveals. It’s the constant battle of finding out who I am right now. It’s the morbid and negative part of my existence. Lucky for me I have music. I have this daily release on tour. I don’t know what I would do without it. There are individuals that aren’t as lucky and fight to have some form of escapism.
In the end, The Amity Affliction are serious about ‘Everyone Loves You Once You Leave Them’.
I want everyone to know that there are others out there, whose live looks incredible, but struggle nevertheless, Joel continues. Mental ilnesses are uncompromising and ruthless. You can’t help it. It’s not your fault. That’s what it’s about.
I’d be happy, if people would get on this journey with us, Ahren concludes. Maybe it could make their day a little bit better. I live for music, it helps me to go on. If we could do that for somebody else, it would be incredible.
Whether it’s the fans of the earlier TAA days or the ones that just recently became fans of the band, ‘Everyone Loves You Once You Leave Them’ will satisfy them all. You have the heavy tracks like ‘Catatonia’, ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ and ‘Cofin’ which is kind of an intro on the record, but also the melodic tracks like ‘Aloneliness’, ‘Just Like Me’ and ‘Fever Dream’.
To sum it up, I like its honesty, I love the catchiness of the songs and I can’t wait to hear them live.
The Amity Affliction are currently out on a mostly sold-out tour in Europe with Beartooth. Surely more tours will follow in 2020!
Make sure to catch the band live and check out the record!!
For more information on the band, follow their social media