Alexisonfire t-shirts, CRISIS WHITE
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Alexisonfire (pronounced "Alexis on fire") was a five-piece, Juno-winning post-hardcore band that formed in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada in 2001. The band consisted of George Pettit (vocals), Dallas Green (guitar, piano, vocals), Wade MacNeil (guitar, vocals), Chris Steele (bass), and Jordan Hastings (drums).
They describe their music as "the sound of two Catholic high-school girls in mid-knife-fight" (a reference to their song "A Dagger Through the Heart of St. Angeles", also the inspiration for their debut album cover art). When the band came out of the underground like an "utterly captivating car-accident-in-progress" in late 2001, it was enough to impress critics as well as earning their self-titled debut album a gold certification in Canada.
The band has released three more very successful studio albums: Watch Out! in 2004, Crisis in 2006, and Old Crows/Young Cardinals in 2009, each achieving platinum certification in their native country.
In August 2011, George posted a message to fans on the band's official website stating that with the departure of two members, Alexisonfire would issue several special releases and complete a Canadian farewell tour before parting ways.
Alexisonfire were formed in late 2001 as the result of a three-band break up. Pettit was playing bass in a metal band called Condemning Salemn, Green was a lead singer and guitar player in Helicon Blue, and MacNeil and Steele played in a punk band called Plan 9. These bands broke up at more or less the same time, and Pettit, Steele, MacNeil and Green all still had the drive to play and succeed. They recruited drummer Jesse Ingelevics, and formed Alexisonfire. The band's name was derived from Alexis Fire, the world's only lactating contortionist stripper. This caused problems when she discovered that they were using her website name as their band name, and she threatened to sue the band for copyright infringement. However, it was discovered that the moniker was not registered, and no further action took place. The band released its first EP, Math Sheet Demos in 2002, so named because the CD was wrapped in former drummer Jesse Ingelevics' math homework. The group caught its first break when they caught the attention of recording engineer Greg Below and Montreal journalist Mitch Joel. The pair were setting up a record label called Distort Entertainment at the time, and coincidentally they were looking for artists. Below was working with EMI at the same time and he used this to record the band at the company's in-house studio and land them a co-publishing and distribution deal.
On September 9, 2002, Alexisonfire was released, the cover art featuring two Catholic school girls engaged in a knife fight, which was also the band's description of their music. Although there was a distribution deal with EMI, the album's success was mostly attributed to word-of-mouth. The band proceeded to tour support their album, crossing Canada twice, and began stepping into the United States and European scenes, playing with Billy Talent, GWAR, Juliana Theory, Godsmack, and Glassjaw. Alexisonfire was certified gold in Canada, marking 50,000 sales.
Alexisonfire had attracted considerable attention from major record labels, due to the success of their self-titled debut. However, when they started considering making a second album, the band felt that, for artistic reasons, they should remain independent, as it would give them better chances of developing and deciding their direction. They would remain with Distort Entertainment, and instead of using a famous producer, they recorded the album with Julius Butty at his studio near Hamilton, Ontario.
Watch Out! was released on June 29, 2004, and was immediately successful. It debuted at No. 6 on the Nielsen Soundscan Top 200, and received gold certification in Canada in twelve weeks. The good critical reception came from the fact that the band was more focused from the eighteen months of touring, helping them harness more aggression, release more emotion, and fine-tune all the tracks. This lay in comparison to their debut album, which was mostly first drafts.
On June 14, 2005 Alexisonfire posted a statement on their website revealing that founding drummer Jesse Ingelevics was leaving the band. The statement explained that the band and Ingelevics had slowly grown apart, and that he wanted to spend more time with his family and his fiance.
While touring in support of the album with Johnny Truant and The Blood Roses in Glasgow, Scotland in October 2005, each member of all three bands had the word "Yeti" tattooed on themselves. On an episode of the MuchMusic program The New Music, Pettit and Green revealed that the inspiration for their "Yeti" tattoos came from the 1988 Gary Oldman film The Firm.
On August 22, 2006 the band released their third studio album, Crisis, which Allmusic considers their best to date. The album was marked with a CD release party, where the band performed on a boat in London, England. In support of the album, the band toured across most of Canada with Every Time I Die, Cancer Bats and Attack in Black; the latter was signed to the band's independent label Distort Entertainment. Immediately following that was an American tour with Moneen, Cancer Bats, and A Change of Pace. They were one of the most popular bands in Canada.
In a recent interview, vocalist George Pettit states that he is unaware of the direction that the band will head in for their next album, but that "The next record, I think, is us pretty much wanting to put the knife in screamo. I don't want to be the band that saves it, I want to be the band that kills it."
Though they were usually on tour with Anti-Flag, Norma Jean was their replacement for a short while, however Anti-Flag returned, alongside the bands Saosin, and The Bled. On their UK tour in November 2007, the band was supported by Saosin, The Ghost of a Thousand and Your Rigamortus.
In July 2008, rumors were circulating about Alexisonfire on the verge of a breakup. Comments jokingly made by Wade MacNeil in an Australian interview on Triple J's short.fast.loud caused a stir with fans of the band:
MacNeil's joke was later explained in a press release from Distort Entertainment and the band:
Alexisonfire revealed the title to their new album at a show in Hamilton, Ontario on December 20, 2008. The album, due for release in 2009, was called Young Cardinals at that point in time. The band discussed the musical direction of the new album in an article:
Alexisonfire began recording Old Crows / Young Cardinals (with slightly altered title) on February 1, 2009 and by March 1, 2009 the recording process was near completion; Only leads, overdubs, and vocals were left before mixing and mastering. As of March 11, 2009 the studio blog confirmed 2 track titles: "Midnight Regulations" and "Emerald St." On March 31, 2009 it was confirmed that Alexisonfire signed to Dine Alone Records. The band was confirmed to play Warped Tour 2009. During the Warped Tour, the band did signings for the non-profit organization Music Saves Lives where they met with fans who gained special access to the band by donating blood.
On April 20, 2009, Alexisonfire released their first song "Young Cardinals" from their forthcoming album for radio airplay, though the official single was not released until May 12, 2009. The music video premiered on MuchOnDemand on May 15, 2009. It was further announced that the album would be released on June 23, 2009. On September 22, 2009, at the XM Verge Music Awards, Dallas Green announced that Alexisonfire will be releasing an EP titled Dog's Blood in the Fall of 2010. During the Autumn of 2009 the band embarked on the Eastpak Antidote Tour in Europe along with Anti-Flag, Four Year Strong and The Ghost of a Thousand, and in October it was announced that they would be supporting Billy Talent on their Billy Talent III Tour in Canada in March 2010, along with Against Me!.
On February 16, 2010, the band was set to play a free all-ages show at the 2010 Winter Olympics venue Live City Yaletown, though the band was forced to cancel their show 10 seconds into the first song after the rush of the audience broke a barricade and people were trampled. 19 concert-goers suffered injuries including broken bones. On September 28, 2010, the band released a collection of songs available exclusively through iTunes as a digital download. The album, entitled iTunes Originals, contains previously recorded material from throughout the group's discography, versions of some of their previously released songs performed slightly differently and interviews with the band. On November 2, 2010, the band's previously announced experimental EP Dog's Blood was released worldwide and then on November 22, 2010, a digital version of their Aussie Tour 7" was released on iTunes. It contains two cover songs, originally by Midnight Oil and The Saints.
Dallas Green informed the rest of the band of his intention to leave Alexisonfire in 2010, and has not been an active member of the band since their tour ended in that year. Green agreed not to announce his departure until the rest of the band decided on their future plans. On February 14, 2011, on their official Twitter page, Alexisonfire announced they had been writing new music for their fifth studio album, describing it as "so heavy it's going to make Dog's Blood look like a ska record". However, on August 5, 2011, Alexisonfire announced their intent to break up. In the statement, George Pettit cited Dallas Green's departure from the band to focus solely on City and Colour, Wade MacNeil's departure to join another band, later revealed to be as the new vocalist for Gallows, and other personal issues among the remaining members as reasons for breaking up. Pettit also described the break up as not being "amicable". Alexisonfire are planning on celebrating their tenth anniversary with one last headlining Canadian tour and "a series of releases", although Green had initially expressed reluctance to take part in any further shows with the band at the time.
It was announced on Alexisonfire's facebook page that they are re-issuing their first release, Math Sheet Demos, on vinyl for Record Store Day 2012. The Math Sheet Demos were the demo recordings of songs prepared in the pre-production of their self-titled debut album. On July 6, 2012 Green stated he had been in contact with other ex-Alexisonfire members, and that he and Macneil have been "starting to talk about doing some final Alexis shows, because when we did play our last show nobody knew it was our last show." Macneil later that day posted on his Twitter account that the band would indeed be doing a final tour together.
The members of the band have many side projects:
City and Colour is Dallas Green's highly successful folk side project, under which he has released two EPs Missing EP and The Death of Me; three studio albums, Sometimes, Bring Me Your Love and Little Hell; and a live album, Live; all under the label Dine Alone Records. The Alexisonfire song, "Where No One Knows", was originally (in part) a song by Dallas Green (as City and Colour), where lyrics from the song feature on the track "Sam Malone". Similarly, Dallas Green is said to have written "Side Walk When She Walks" as City and Colour before it was recorded by Alexisonfire. The name derives from Dallas Green's name, Dallas being a city, and Green being a colour. With this project, he has recorded collaborations with The Tragically Hip's Gordon Downie and Attack in Black. It has also won Dallas three Juno Awards for "New Artist of the Year" in 2007 and "Songwriter of the Year" in 2009 and 2012.
Black Lungs is a band formed by Wade MacNeil. Originally its members were George Pettit, Jordan "Ratbeard" Hastings and Sean McNab of the band the Creepshow and the now dissolved band Jersey. After playing a few shows the band dissolved leaving only Wade MacNeil, after which it essentially became MacNeil's solo project. Sammi Bogdanski, Wade's ex-girlfriend's sister, contributed piano to his debut album Send Flowers, which was released on May 20, 2008 by Dine Alone Records.
In early 2008, Wade announced he would be touring with Cancer Bats and A Textbook Tragedy. The Black Lungs live band for this tour was made up of Liam from Cancer Bats on drums, George from Alexisonfire on bass, and Haris from Moneen on keyboard. The tour took in eastern Canada, focusing mostly on Ontario and Quebec with a few stops in PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
Afterwards Black Lungs also toured the way across Canada with Cancer Bats and Johnny Truant. Pat Pengelly, formerly of Bedouin Soundclash, replaced Liam on drums.
Black Lungs is currently composed of Wade on Guitar/Vocals, Phil Waring on Bass, George Clark on Drums and Scott Savarie on Guitar.
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