Alexisonfire was a Canadian post-hardcore band from St. Catharines, Ontario that formed in 2001 and were signed to Dine Alone Records. During the bands twelve years together the band has released four studio albums, two extended plays and two split albums; one with Moneen and one with The Bled. The band released their self-titled studio album on September 9, 2002 followed by their sophomore album, Watch Out!, on June 29, 2004. The band released their third studio album, Crisis, on August 22, 2006 and their fourth and final studio album, Old Crows/Young Cardinals, released on June 23, 2009. The band describes their sound 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" from their debut album.
On August 5, 2011 the band announced their intent to break-up and in December 2012 they announced their fifteen stop farewell tour along with the accompanying of their last release, Death Letter EP.
Formation and Self-Titled Debut Album (2001 - 2003)Edit
Alexisonfire was formed in late 2001 as the result of a three-band break up: George Pettit was playing bass in metal band, Condemning Salem, Dallas Green was vocalist and guitarist in Helicon Blue, and Wade MacNeil and Chris Steele played in a punk band, Plan 9. With the collapse of these bands Petit, Steele, MacNeil and Green came together and recruited drummer Jesse Ingelevics. The band's name was derived from the world's only lactating contortionist stripper, Alexis Fire, though she threatened to sue the band for copyright infringement because they were using her website name as their band name. However, it was discovered that their bands name was not registered, and no further action took place. The band released their first demo, Math Sheet Demos in 2002, named because the CD was wrapped in 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, the band released their self-titled studio album, 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. The self-titled was certified gold in Canada, marking 50,000+ sales.
Watch Out! (2004 - 2005)Edit
The band attracted considerable attention from major record labels with the success of their self-titled debut album. However they decided to remain independent for artistic reeasons as it would give them a better chance of developing and deciding their musical direction. The band 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.
Alexisonfire released their sophomore album, Watch Out! on June 29, 2004 with immediate success. The album 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. The band released a statement about finding their sound, "I think if you do it long enough, then you get better at it. You're on the road a lot and you just get better. Also, we had a great producer, Julius Butty. We learned what we like to play. We're no longer virgins to the studio. We're just not quite the band we were a long time ago.".
On June 14, 2005 the band 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 fiancée.
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.
Crisis (2006 - 2007)EditOn August 22, 2006 the band released their third studio album, Crisis, which AllMusic considers the album their best release to date. The album was marked with a CD release party, where the band performed on a boat in London, England. They also completed three live special edition albums while in England from Manchester Academy, Birmingham Academy and Brixton Academy Distributed after each show. 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.
Old Crows/Young Cardinals and Dog's Blood (2008 - 2010)EditIn 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: "Since Dallas moved to Los Angeles we don't really talk anymore. So I don't know. We'll just have to wait and see. I don't want to say Alexisonfire is breaking up on your radio show. But ahhh..... I'm just going to say Alexisonfire is definitely breaking up."
MacNeil's joke was later explained in a press release from Distort Entertainment and the band: "What started as a couple of jokes to the media has definitely escalated into something bigger. We thought it would be time to send out a little press release to set the record straight. Alexisonfire IS NOT breaking up. We are currently writing new material for our next record and we are all deeply in love with each other."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 and was called Young Cardinals at that point in time. The band discussed the musical direction of the new album in an article: "Fans have a chance to hear Alexisonfire on the boundary of a "new, weird" stuff. ... Alexisonfire is really heavy and that's what we love about it. But I've got a bunch of new ideas that I think will fit with us that are a lot different. I kind of want to try and make these slower songs I've written seem really heavy atmospherically. ... On our last album, I never would have thought to try that because the record was so aggressive, but I'm going to try and take us into some new, weird territories."
Alexisonfire began recording Old Crows/Young Cardinals with a 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 extended play 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. Alexisonfire would return to Vancouver later that year on November 27 in the PNE forum. 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.
Proposed Fifth Album and Break-Up (2010 - 2012)EditDallas Green informed the rest of the band of his intention to leave Alexisonfire in 2010. 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 had planned 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. Death Letter was released, featuring new interpretations of songs spanning the band's previous four albums.
The band played their last show on December 30, 2012 at Hamilton's Copps Coliseum.
- George Pettit - unclean vocals (2001 - 2012)
- Wade MacNeil - lead guitar and backing vocals (2001 - 2012)
- Chris Steele - bass guitar (2001 - 2012)
- Dallas Green - rhythm guitar, piano and clean vocals (2001 - 2010 and 2012)
- Jordan Hastings - drums and percussion (2005 - 2012)
- Jesse Ingelevics - drums and percussion (2001 - 2005)
- Kenny Bridges - bass guitar (2008)
- Alexisonfire (Distort Entertainment, September 10, 2002)
- Watch Out! (Distort Entertainment, June 29, 2004)
- Crisis (Distort Entertainment, August 22, 2006)
- Old Crows/Young Cardinals (Dine Alone Records, June 23, 2009)
- Dogs Blood (Dine Alone Records, November 2, 2010)
- Death Letter (Dine Alone Records, December 4, 2012)
- The Switcheroo Series: Alexisonfire vs. Moneen (Dine Alone Records, October 31, 2005)
- The Bled/Alexisonfire (Sore Point Records, September 4, 2006)