Music Interview: Alexisonfire break boundaries

By Adam White

In the past year, Alexisonfire has won awards, sold thousands of records, produced several music videos and played countless shows in front of swarms of devoted fans. The five guys from St. Catherine Ontario have taken the Canadian music scene by storm, achieving what many said was impossible for a “screamo” band. In doing so, the band has left many in their wake wondering how they did it.

“We’ve just been very honest about what we’re doing,” says Dallas Green, guitarist and vocalist for the group. “A lot of bands are in it for the fame; a lot of bands start because they want to be rock stars, where we just started a band because we really like playing our instruments.”

It’s clear Alexisonfire take pride in always being there for their fans. For proof, one need only look so far as their strenuous tour schedule. Fans often get lost between inflated egos and posturing, but Alexisonfire has always strived to keep their fans as a number one priority. Aside from this devotion to their fans, the success of the band can be chalked up to setting realistic goals.

” Think big all the time, but realize it takes small steps,” explains Green. “Instead of making a huge goal like selling 10 million records, we said ‘hey, lets play as many shows as possible.’”

When the boys from Alexisonfire tried their luck in the US they set out with the same attitude which made them so popular in Canada.

“It’s hard for us to go down to the States,” he says. “We don’t have the media coverage down there. For us it’s all about word of mouth. We just try to tour as much as possible.”

Even with word of mouth on their side, it was just as hard as Green expected to break onto the US punk scene. Canada is full of talented, popular bands who, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to crack the border.

“The thing with Americans, is they like American bands,” says Green, pointing out the difference between the market in the US, and countries like Japan and England where they love North American music.

Despite the difficulties many of their peers have faced across the border, Alexisonfire has been persistent enough to enjoy some success. In fact, they seem to gather a strong following wherever they go. With the help of Much Music, Alexisonfire has been able to reach a mainstream audience like no other Canadian hardcore band before them.

Thanks to fans diligently voting for them the band nabbed a Much Music Video Award for best independent video for “Accidents” off their sophomore album Watch Out. Along with their MMVA, Alexisonfire took home a Juno this year for Best New Group.

The band has its priorities in order, making their music as available to fans as possible. If you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on tickets, no worries, simply flash your Alexisonfire tattoo at the door and you’re set. With or without a band tattoo, Green promises quite a show when the band comes to Calgary with The Used.

“If we can get the kids at the shows to have as much fun as we are having upstage playing our songs, then it’s a successful show for us,” he explains.

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