Unless you’ve been living under a social media detox this week, you would have seen the biggest news to hit us since… COVID. Yes, that’s right. Music festivals are coming back, and the mother of all alternative/heavy music gatherings, UNIFY Gathering is coming back, hot’n’heavy in January 2022!
To celebrate this hugely anticipated event announcing their all-Australian lineup next year, UNFD teamed up with WoS’ very own boss man Browny to bring you the best hype livestream for 4 massive hours of exclusive rants, fan giveaways, scoops and all round good fun banter with bands who’ll be appearing on the lineup, like Ocean Grove, Yours Truly, Thornhill, WAAX, teen heart throbs/Nickelodeon award winners Short Stack and last but certainly not least Australia’s favourite festival headliners The Amity Affliction.
Did you miss the fun? Well, never fear. I did the fun for you (sorry not sorry!) and recapped it all for you below with seven sneaky scoops that will have you clicking on the ‘buy ticket’ button over at Ticketmaster as soon as you’re done reading this.
#7 Ocean Grove have some exciting news to announce shortly…
They released their latest album, Flip Phone Fantasy, during the emergence of COVID and have yet to play that album live for us all, so according to frontman Dale Tanner, the boys who sneakily dropped ‘Ask For the Anthem’ during Unify 2019 are hella pumped to play for us live and “in the flesh” at Tarwin Lower next year. Before that time comes though, keep your eyes and ears close to Ocean Grove camp as they’ve been hard at work on “some exciting breakthroughs”! Needless to say, I’m intrigued…
#6 Thornhill confirmed that Cherry will NOT be playing at UNIFY, BUT new Thorny material is on the way!
Unify’s self-proclaimed Beer Pong Champions Thornhill also hinted that exciting things are in the pipeline for them, including a new song and possibly video if rumours are correct. But the news fans wanna know, is his pop-heavy supergroup Cherry are going to make an appearance at the festival next year? Well, Thornhill’s Jacob Charlton quickly put those rumours to rest and confirmed that Cherry will definitely NOT be playing a set. Regardless though, with Thornhill no longer the UNIFY babies, expect them to step it up hugely next year and act like the inspiring big brothers to friends and upcomers Bloom. Having recently experienced Thorny’s huge set during In Heart Wakes’ recent show in Brisbane this year, I foresee these guys to bring one of the biggest, most exciting moshpits of the day. If we don’t get a beer pong game going in the pit, I want a refund! #Horny4Thorny
#5 WAAX confirmed that Maz is still in the band and their new musical era is about to bloom!
Brisbane alt/rockers WAAX recently threw a cheeky spanner in the works a few weeks ago by announcing they were on the hunt for a new singer. This got us scratching our heads wondering, WTF? All is good though, as frontwoman Maz DeVita reappeared on the livestream alongside guitarist James Gatling. Phew! The gimmick was all in good fun though, with Maz revealing her fake-leaving the band was a ploy to get fans hyped for their first new single ‘Most Hated Girl‘, which they revealed is on the verge of dropping in a matter of weeks on September 1st! Furthermore, they’ve also asked for screamers on socials, so could this be the beginning of a heavier era for the Brissie indie rockers? Stay tuned…
#4 Luke Logemann revealed what to anticipate regarding UNIFY’s second announcement as well as an important tip for upcoming bands
UNFD head honcho Luke Logemann even took time out of his hectic day in lockdown to join in on the festivities and jumped on the line with Browny to discuss how it all quickly came together and how optimistic he feels that the the 2022 event will run (there’s even a contingency plan sorted already!) While Luke discussed how UNIFY 2022 is most definitely the most diverse lineup that the festival has booked thus far, he also took a moment to reflect on UNFD’s 10th year and how even during Covid, the label is growing internationally at a record rate — they’ve just signed two international bands and while he didn’t give much of a hint about who they could be, all will be revealed VERY soon!
And in terms of what to anticipate for UNIFY announcement #2, Luke mentioned this would revolve mainly around bands they weren’t able to confirm this week for specific reasons. Also, are you in a young band who’d kill to play the UNIFY stage one day? Luke’s tip: instead of hitting that submission form on UNFD’s website, it’s more productive if you work hard, make good music, play shows (when it’s legally and feasibly possible of course) and that’s honestly the best way to get noticed by the team!
#3 Expect to hear newer, HEAVIER material from The Amity Affliction, both on and off the stage
If you were expecting a 10 year anniversary set of Chasing Ghosts at Unify Gathering next year, you can probably kiss that dream goodbye. Although 2022 marks 10 years of The Amity Affliction’s Chasing Ghosts era, when vocalist/bassist Ahren Stringer jumped on air to chat with Browny, he especially highlighted how the band’s forthcoming Unify set will consist mainly of material from their newest albums like Misery (2018) and last year’s release, Everyone Loves You…Once You Leave Them.
Ahren further went on to mention that if you’re that kid who yells from the pit “play Stairway to Hell!”, you’re definitely going to have a bad time. The same also applies to any references from their Youngbloods era. He reckons they’ve got so much newer, better material than ever before and are adamant on continuing that path into the future rather than dwelling on the past. Not to mention their fanbase has grown exponentially since those albums, so alot of that material will most likely fall on deaf ears: “We just want to play the songs that people want to hear, and what we also want to play.” Less crowd calls, more moshpitting, are we clear kids?
Off the stage though, the Amity boys have been constantly busy writing new, heavier tunes for us all. YES, you heard me. Ahren confirmed that they’ll have a couple of brand new tracks out in time for the festival which will be on the heavier end of the spectrum, fitting perfectly right next to songs like ‘All My Friends Are Dead’ and ‘Catatonia’.
While Ahren also hinted that he’d be keen to jump on the UNIFY stage with fellow headliners Violent Soho and provide some much needed death growls to songs like ‘Vacation Forever’ and ‘Canada’, the fans in the chat were gunning for a stage collab with… Short Stack. That’s when he let slip that he’s done some work with the Stack boys recently, but more on that shortly…
#2 Say hello to UNIFY’s first ever all female bands, Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers and Teenage Joans!
They only crashed onto the scene earlier this year with their track ‘AHHH!’, but alongside Teenage Joans, the girls from Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers have the official honour in being UNIFY’s first all female bands booked on the festival. EVER! What a milestone! While chatting with Browny, the girls brought huge energy to the livestream that just made it so much more enjoyable to tune into. I don’t know about you, but they definitely have the cool factor going for them here, alongside the fact they’ve signed to James Tidswell’s label Domestic LaLa. With “Papa Soho” behind them, the girls will surely bring an extra dosage of good vibes to next year’s festival!
#1 Short Stack’s comeback album is in the works, but while we wait for #SWAYSWAYCIRCLEPIT to be a thing, they’re also working on something super cool and it may have something to do with The Amity Affliction…
Are you all still shook that everyone’s favourite teenage heartthrobs Short Stack are making their debut on UNIFY Gathering next year? Well, you better believe it, as this appearance from the Central Coast three piece also mark their official debut on an alternative music festival. What a feat for the only band we know to have won a Nickelodeon award, hey! Shaun showed high levels of excitement about finally being able to tick UNIFY off the band’s bucket list and to be able to share the stage with one of his favourite bands, The Amity Affliction! Which brings me back to where I left ya earlier with the Amity segment. While Shaun was pretty tightlipped and wouldn’t reveal a whole lot on, Ahren did reveal he’s been working behind the scenes with Short Stack. Could this be what Shaun wouldn’t spill? Who knows? I’m well intrigued and interested.
Whether there is an Amity/Stack collab in the works, Shaun froths The Amity Affliction just like the rest of us and would not say no to putting something together last minute, like, guesties on stage at the festival perhaps? With that being said, #THESHORTAFFLICTION is absolutely going to be the best live stage collab since Tonight Alive and Friends. So between that and Browny’s motion #SWAYSWAYCIRCLEPIT, I would hands down not want to miss Short Stack’s official debut at UNIFY Gathering 2022.
See you in the pit!
Recap by Tamara May @citylightstam
Rewatch the Twitch Livestream in full here!
Keep up to date on everything UNIFY-related with our official Rolling Coverage here!
Grab your tickets to UNIFY Gathering 2022 here
UNIFY Gathering 2022
The Amity Affliction, Violent Soho
Alpha Wolf, Banks Arcade, Bugs, Bloom, Dream On Dreamer, Gravemind, The Last Martyr, Ocean Grove, Plini, Pridelands, RedHook, Short Stack, Starve, Stepson, Teen Jesus & The Jean Teasers, Teenage Joans, Thornhill, To Octavia, WAAX, Wildheart and Yours Truly.
Thursday January 20 to Sunday January 23 @ Tarwin Lower, South Gippsland, VIC
[Back up weekend 10 – 13 March 2022 should January dates need to move]