By paul

Andy spoke to George Pettit from Alexisonfire after their Main Stage set at Reading ‘09.

PT: This is your fourth time here now. What are your best memories of Reading?

George: I think the first time we came; it was really jaw-dropping because in North America we don’t have festivals like this at all. With V Fest in Toronto, there’s maybe eight thousand people, if it’s a good year! Like Bjork will come out and eight thousand people show up. Here, it’s like eighty thousand. It’s like some big huge monumental event. I remember seeing the New York Dolls play and Morrissey, and it was the first time I’ve ever seen Morrissey. I remember the second he stopped playing, it started raining. I thought that was the most perfect ending to a Morrissey set because he’s such a gloomy motherfucker, right! That was a good one.

PT: So you never had festivals to go to growing up?

George: You know I didn’t even really go to big concerts when I was young, I went to punk shows. What I saw when I was young was hall shows or clubs show and I never really went to anything like this size. The closest thing in Canada we have is called Festival d’ete, which is where you get like a ten dollar ticket, and then go all week. They’ve got like Kanye West will play a night, and then ZZ Top will play another. We played one of those one time, it was massive. But nobody outside of Quebec knows about it, not even the rest of Canada, it’s weird.

PT: You’re doing two sets today. There are only a handful of bands who’ve done that here before.

George: Yeah, you know we saw the Dropkick Murphys do it. The Main Stage is amazing, for the sheer volume of it, but you’re also like twenty five feet away from the crowd, and it’s kind of a sterile feeling. They impose a dB level as well, so you can’t turn it up fully. Our own sound guy is always livid at things like this – he’s always trying to push up the faders and they’re like ‘no, no, no’. They’ll save that for Kings Of Leon you know, which I think is a bullshit move! If we were to headline, no fucking dB limits! But that tent though man, that tent is gonna get hot! We’ll be able to feel the crowd a bit more.

PT: Right, ‘Old Crows/Young Cardinals’. It’s been a good three years since your previous album came out. What took you so long?

George: You know it wasn’t like it was hard, but I think we just took a lot more time doing it because we had the time to do it. With all of the rest of our records, we’d basically come home and write, then we’d go and record for a month, and then you’d go back on the road. This time we had something like a year off. We really just sat on the songs. It was nice to do that and think about them. I think there are songs that made it onto our first three records that would be very different if we had waited on them a bit more – ‘That Girl Possessed’ is one. There are some others that I think would have changed dramatically.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]