REVISITING THEIR EPITAPH RECORDS DEBUT NEW JUNK AESTHETIC RELEASED SEPTEMBER 15, 2009.
Famed American Science Fiction Writer Pierce Brown once said: “Every hero must return home. Starks to Winterfell. Harry to Privet Drive. Luke Skywalker to Tattoine. Katniss to District twelve. The fun is in seeing how they return.”
Buffalo’s Every Time I Die have been kept to an enforced inactivity since the pandemic began. The long-serving and honoured quintet (quite literally, the band has a day named after them “Every Time I Die Day” or “ETIDD” on December 15th awarded by District Delaware Council Member Joel P. Feroleto) had just concluded the crafting of their ninth studio album Radical and were about to begin plans to once again, tour the world in support of it to the utmost delight of their legions of fans throughout the globe.
Enter COVID-19; planet Earth is put on pause and artists and musicians are hung out to dry (out). The five-piece shelved the release until they could tour in support of it and so begun the longest wait between ETID records, five years to be exact.
“Every hero must return home.” – thankfully here we find the acclaimed southern metalcore punk rock (maybe?) outfit, back on stage. Tours are planned and being organised; Radical has a release date; it is almost as if part of our lives have gone back in time to the glory days we knew pre-pandemic.
For this scribe, ETIDiots worldwide and ETID themselves, there is a significant number mentioned in the aforementioned writer’s quote: “Twelve” to be precise and an even more significant date being this day, September 15th. See twelve years ago, Every Time I Die unleashed their fifth full-length New Junk Aesthetic and first for their current home Epitaph Records. At that time this author of sorts had the good fortune of an interview via email with the (my) hero and fantastic frontman Keith Buckley which that magazine never published. Thanks to Wall Of Sound, here is a revised version of that article to help celebrate the announcement of Radical out October 22nd and take us back to times less turbulent.
“We deserve to be moved by more than force alone” – Vivacious vocalist Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die screams in ‘Goddam Kids These Days’, the closing (bonus) track of the long-serving southern hardcore punk outfit’s fifth album New Junk Aesthetic and first for Epitaph Records. Truthfully, there might not be a better lyric to capture the quintet at this stage of their existence; it’s been a turbulent road ETID have driven along, but it is one which constantly moves them.
Trapped in: “Some sketchy ass hotel room in Wyong. There’s no internet and the bathroom looks like, at one point there were people either killing or having sex with multiple smackies” as Keith Buckley describes at this juncture, cloaked in comicality as he almost scarily always is, he is in a reflective and righteous mood. Understandably so, this is a point in the TID’s career the quintet may have only dreamed about. Believe it or not though, even during the writing and recording of New Junk Aesthetic, life was as harrowing than humorous for the five-piece as Keith details and understandably briefly.
“The recording process was a little more stressful for us because of everything that went down with our ex-drummer (Mike “Ratboy” Novak).” Keith continues – “As far as the writing is concerned, however, it was the same as its always been. We write what we feel. Whatever our collective moods are at that point in our lives. There is no concerted effort to make a record that sounds one way or another.”
For Mr Buckley personally however, the group’s adored lyricist, his perspective of his scripture for LP number five is a rather intriguing one: “The concept, in retrospect, seems to be a 1984, big brother sort of thing. At the time I wasn’t really aware of it, but most things like that come to light only after the fact.”
“Big Brother” could well be an identity ETID transcribe to. There is no denying their leadership in the world of heavy music which countless bands aspire to; their translation of mathcore, metalcore, southern metal, hard rock, hardcore and punk is not only individual, it is inspiring. These fluctuations in their formula has them supporting bands from various alternative genres, but this diversity does not divide them, it delights them, whether they are supporting My Chemical Romance or Killswitch Engage. It plagued this writer to ask though, is their a change in the ‘TID game-plan to suit these differing acts when they are supporting them?
“Nope. We don’t change a thing. We just kick ass. All day.”
Does this approach always pay off?
“Taste Of Chaos was very metal oriented. We had to win over a lot of the crowds, especially in Germany. Which we failed at. Germany just doesn’t like ETID.”
There is assuredly some “antic” in this answer; an analysis of Keith’s lyrics will easily showcase his astonishing turn of phrase and genius within. An unknown fact is that he is an educator and has an offer to further his academic career waiting for him back home; as he enlightens:
“I would always love to go back to school to finish my masters but it’ll always be there. I’ll ride this wave as long as it carries me.”
The wave has brought him and his Buffalo Brothers Andy Williams (guitar), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Josh Newton (bass) and new drummer Ryan “Legs” Leger (“Great dude. He gets into some VERY delicate adventures on tour.” – Keith admits) to Australia again for The Boys Of Summer tour in 2010. Being no strangers to the land down under, it was necessary to enquire about Keith’s perspective of our nation?
“I’m always excited about coming to Australia. It’s beautiful and everyone seems to welcome us with open arms. It’s way too expensive though. I lose a lot of weight when I’m here because I cant afford to eat.”
The Boys of Summer Tour 2010, Gold Coast QLD 📷: Paul ‘Browny’ Brown
To conclude with some final questions relative to Australia and Keith’s known obsession with film and TV, these were in regards to the rumour of his fondness for Chris Lilley and the series ‘Summer Heights High‘; is this rumour in fact, a reality?
“(Laughing) It was recommended to me by a friend who has great taste in humorous matters. I love it. Chris Lilley is a genius.”
Referring back to his love for film and his overall talents in ETID film clips, it was necessary to ask whether Keith had thought about acting himself?
“Haha I’d love to act. I just don’t want to train in it, but most people who have acting training are over actors.”
Could we see a more serious approach to Every Time I Die’s film clips?
“Not a fucking chance. We’ll never take ourselves too seriously. It’s our best defence mechanism.”
Unmistakably ETID are still ‘Champing At The Bit’ and they are moving by more than force alone.
Lost Interview by Will Oakeshott @TeenWolfWill
Revisit New Junk Aesthetic and get keen for Radical‘s release on October 22, 2021