As I’m sure you are well aware now, Alexisonfire are headed to Australia for the final time in a month’s time to play two shows on their farewell tour. Tickets for Sydney are sold out with limited tickets available for the Melbourne date. Deborah Konopnicki recently caught up with Wade from the band for a chat about these shows, his new gig in Gallows and more. Expand this post to take a read.

Hey Wade! How are you?
Good thanks mate! How are you?

Pretty great right now. I’ve been a big fan of yours for many, many years so I’m looking forward to having this chat with you today.

What’s happening for you at the moment? Gallows is keeping you busy with the release of the new record?
Yeah! I’m starting an American tour in New York this coming Saturday. Maybe! Depending on if New York isn’t totally under water. It’s pretty crazy. Even when we were in Toronto it was blowing really hard. We were going to sleep not knowing how much damage we were waking up to. It’s pretty scary. I’m on the road until pretty much December with Gallows and then I’ll hop on that plane and head to Australia.

December is the Alexisonfire farewell tour – as you mentioned. It was incredibly exciting to see that the rumors about it happening came to fruition. You guys must be stoked that you get to close the finial chapters with these shows.
Yeah, that’s exactly it. It’s nice that we can come back to it and do one last tour. It’s something that’s really good and something that’s really positive and have it be a celebration of what we did as a band rather than be some tired grinding thing. We’re ready to call it a day. We can’t think of a better place to do it than Australia.

Was it something that you planned initially when the breakup occurred, or was it only something that you recently got talking about?
I think when the breakup occurred; it wasn’t something that we were talking about at all. Then there were a few things that happened after that. Dallas was in a bar in Australia and some guy just came up and talked to him. He talked to him about how Alexisonfire changed his life so Dal emailed us about all of that. Right around that time I was in Thailand. Met this kid in Bangkok in this bar district. We sat down and talked about the band for ages. I was thinking about how crazy it was a how far away from home we were and he was talking about the music that we made in my mum’s basement. It’s really mind-blowing to have something like that happen. Something like that has such an effect, especially globally. I emailed the guys back and told them about that, and it kind of got the ball rolling and got us talking about doing these re-union shows. Not a re-union show, but a final show. I think we started talking about doing one show, which turned into a bunch of Canadian shows, which turned into an Australian tour, a South American tour and an English tour. I’m happy that it’s happened that way. It’s going to be great. We’ve got a lot of people everywhere, we’ve had some amazing shows over the years and I’m so glad that we can get out there and play some more.

I remember hearing that initially that you were going to be playing 8 shows globally, and didn’t have much hope of getting to see you one last time. Instead, Aussies have been given two final chances this December – in Sydney and Melbourne… and I’ll be going to both! Australia was one of the first places outside of Canada of course to really latched onto you guys from the first tour. Did that play a part in deciding to play two final shows here?
Yeah, absolutely! That first tour that we did really blew us away. It was crazier than a lot of shows that we’d done up till that point. It was just so cool to be so far away from home and to see that kind of response. Australia is a very beautiful country and I think that a lot of things remind us about Canada when we’re there. It’s nice to be so far away from home and to have that familiarity. We always loved playing there and I’m glad that it’s on the list of dates.

Those initial eight dates turned into quite a few more. You’ve had to upgrade to bigger venues, hold extra shows in certain countries and most of the shows if not all of them have sold out. Did you expect that kind of reaction to these farewell shows?
It really took us by surprise! Obviously we were really excited about it, but it was incredible. Some really crazy stuff happened like that show in Brixton; when it went on presale something like 40,000 or 50,000 people tried to buy tickets. There were so many people on the site that it crashed the server and everything. We added another show right away. It was so crazy to think that we’re doing two shows at Brixton now, but with the amount of people that tried to buy tickets we could have filled Wembley Arena! Which is mental! That kind of enthusiasm for us as a band really took us a-back. It’s really unbelievable. I think the shows are going to be great and they’re going to be really cool. It’s going to get a little emotional at times, but I think more than anything it’s going to be a really great time.

Is there a particular show that you’re looking forward to playing the most? The final one in your hometown perhaps?
Well, I’m actually really excited to be playing Sao Paulo for the first and last time! We never made it over there as a band. We’ve had so many offers to go to Brazil over the years. We get so many emails from people around the world but more from Brazil than anywhere else. I really think that’s going to be really, really really nuts when we go over there.

The last tour that you did down here in Australia was around two years ago; just as you’d released the Dog’s Blood EP. There was a lot of hype around the title track in particular as a pretty aggressive sound that people were expecting to lead onto a new record, which for obvious reasons never happened. Was there an intention at the time to follow-up that EP with a new album?
I think at that point that we were still pushing full steam ahead and that was going to happen. I think that time just got the best of us though. We kind of moved further and further away from the band, and focused on our personal lives and things that couldn’t really be ignored anymore Unfortunately it just got to a point where it was time to call it a day.

Do you think that there would be a point in time somewhere in the future where you might get together and write music again? Or in your mind is it done and dusted?
In my mind this is definitely closing that final chapter.

On a personal note, you get to come back to Australia again only a couple of months after the Alexis tour as part of Gallows for Soundwave 2013. You’ve played Soundwave a couple of times before, but how are you looking forward to coming down this time?
This one should be really interesting because when I come back for Soundwave 2013 will be married!
Thanks very much! We’re pretty much doing these tours and then five days after the final show I’m getting hitched.

Is there anything that the five of you are going to be doing at the end of the farewell shows to celebrate the music that you’ve created and the legacy that you’re leaving behind?
I think the shows will do that. I think that we’ve always tried to have the shows and the music speak for the band. We’re not particularly outspoken and I think that we all have the same ideas for a lot of things. We kind of always just let the music speak for what we do in the shows. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen but we’re all really excited about it.

Just on another personal note; in 2008 you released an incredible record; “Send Flowers” under the Black Lungs name. Do you have any intentions to write more music for that project?
Yeah, I actually have a Black Lungs record that’s completely done from right before I joined Gallows! I was thinking about touring Black Lungs full-time, and I went in and recorded a record! It’s just done but I don’t know if it’ll see the light of day, it’s just sitting there finished.

Just finally today, do you have a moment in time over the past ten or so years that really represents what it meant to you to be in Alexisonfire?
Yeah, it’s tough. I think that the things that I feel strongly about are those moments when the band was playing together when no one believed in the band but the five of us. No one was coming to ours shows, but we cared so much about the music. I think that it was those days early on that gave us drive and made us so strong as a band. It’s hard to imagine that one quintessential moment, but that’s pretty close to it.



11th – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney [Lic/AA] SOLD OUT
12th – Festival Hall, Melbourne [Lic/AA] LIMITED TICKETS REMAIN [HERE]
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Alexisonfire releases available online [Here].

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