Ahren Stringer – The Amity Affliction ‘A Touching Balance Between Love and Grief’

The Amity Affliction has been a staple in Australian heavy music for as long as I can remember and as the band age, they try new things in the studio, experiment with sounds and in the process, attract a larger audience, while still staying true to their subject manner and beliefs.

With the release of their latest single ‘Like Love’ and headline announcement for UNIFY Gathering 2022 (which is confirmed to be taking place in January) we grabbed clean vocalist/bassist Ahren Stringer for a chat and even got some juicy hints on their forthcoming release…

Hey Ahren! Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. How are you doing?

Miserable and want to tour but can’t, thanks for asking. Apart from that just moved into my new house so that’s cool and keeping me occupied.

Not long to go now until we’re back sweating at a show again! Congrats on the release of your latest track ‘Like Love’. How have you found the response so far?

It’s been great, we thought our fans would like it, so we are stoked that they confirmed it for us.

I understand it was dedicated to your dear friend, Sean Kennedy. Can you tell us a little more about the themes present here and how the writing/creative process unfolded?

Yes SK was one of my best friends and Joel wrote the lyrics as kind of a balance between Love and Grief. It’s always like this and we talk about our process a lot! Joel = Lyrics, Dan = Music, Joe = Drums, I do the melodies and try to make it all work into the final product.

When I first heard the song, the words “I’ll be in space” really struck me. Is there a deeper meaning here? What do these lyrics mean to you?

SK and I were always texting and even when nothing was happening. A couple of weeks before he passed, he told me he was doing a bottle shop trip in an Uber and said he was listening to “you’ll never get to heaven” and I said “well we won’t” and he replied “I’ll be in space.”

I love that you’ve kept both his memory and personal moments with him in this song, it’s very moving. Amity have always been a strong voice behind mental health and your music has helped me and so many others get through some incredibly tough times. Is there anything you’d like to say to anyone struggling at the moment

It’s a hard one because I don’t think there’s anyone in Australia that hasn’t struggled at times in the last two years, and we have been in Victoria so it’s been messed up. Just hang in there, talk to your friends and it’s ok not to be ok. But there’s always help if you reach out and talk.

We’ve seen that you’ve been in the studio, recording some new material. It’s also the first time the whole band has been in the same room for a really long time with everyone living in different parts of the world! After being apart for so long, did that pose any challenges in recording, or is it like you’d never been apart?

It was amazing all being together again and like anything when you have spent as much time together as we have over the years, it’s always pretty quick to just return to normal. We have a group text chat that goes off pretty much 24/7 so we are in constant contact anyway.

And Joel lives in QLD and I’m in Vic so I don’t think it has made fuck all difference if I was here or Canada as we still can’t see each other haha.

We heard a much needed guitar solo on ‘I Bring The Weather With Me’, a lot of experimental synths on Misery and some heavier aspects on Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them, can we expect some surprises on the new release?

We will just do what serves the song the best in any situation, but I think you can expect it to be pretty heavy. We are really enjoying playing the heavier stuff again. Seems our audience is happy with that as well…

We do love the heavy stuff around here! Any hints on when it may be released?!

No idea! Still writing more and timing has to work out so we can jump in a studio together again. No time soon that’s for sure.

Something to look forward to, hopefully along with MORE SHOWS! Where in the world are you most excited to play when it’s possible? Is there a festival somewhere in the world that you’d love Amity to be a part of?

Well we can’t wait to play everywhere. We have toured so much we just want to go everywhere again. Can’t name one place, but I’m obsessed with US sports so probably there so I can get some games in when we have days off! It’s really the same as festivals.

We just got announced on Slam Dunk in the UK and we haven’t played that one in ages so let’s go with that!

It’s really great to see Amity back on overseas lineups, that’s for sure! Thank you for chatting with us Ahren and we look forward to seeing you next at UNIFY Gathering in January and your own tour from February!

Interview by Rhiannon Porter @rrhiannonporter

If you or anyone you know needs help with their own mental well-being call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, Lifeline on 13 11 14, or find your closest Suicide Prevention/Crisis Support Organisation on Google…

Stream ‘Like Lovehere

The Amity Affliction – On Tour Across Australia

Playing UNIFY Gathering in January 2022

Everyone Loves You… Tour kicks off February 2022

Tickets Here

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