The Audition

By paul

If you’ve ever been backstage at the Birmingham Academy, you’ll know exactly how much of a mindfuck it is trying to find a particular room that you’re looking for. It is, with no exaggeration, the most complicated building layout I’ve ever born witness to. Regardless, somewhere in this maze I find theAUDITION’s dressing room. Vocalist Danny Stevens is sitting casually on the room’s only piece of furniture – an extremely depressing-looking sofa, while guitarists Seth Johnson and Timmy Kleepek decide what to wear for their performance later on.

“It’s been really good fun so far. Even though a lot of people are definitely here for Biffy, a lot of the kids from the Aiden tour are coming back, and there’s definitely some faces I recognise. I think we’ve won some Biffy fans over too”.

Since their last jaunt around the UK supporting Aiden in late 2006, theAUDITION’s popularity has exploded at an alarming rate. With constant press coverage and now a slot on the Kerrang! Tour, things are definitely looking up for the Chicago fivesome. You’d imagine with a line-up of I am Ghost, The Bronx and Biffy themselves, there’d be some pretty heavy partying going on this time around.

“Actually, we haven’t been hitting it nearly as hard as last time. When we were with Aiden, we could go out, get fucked up and just pass out on the tourbus, but this time around we’re in a van so it’s not as easy.”

Since the release of their second full-length ‘Controversy loves company’ way back in 2005, theAUDITION have been touring constantly, mainly in the states, so you’d expect the magic to have worn off playing those tracks live.

“You know it’s really weird dude, when I was in local bands I got sick of playing songs after like two weeks, and go and write some new stuff, but with these songs, just playing them every night hasn’t gotten old for me yet. Now that we’ve got kids singing the words back to me every night, it makes them even more fun.

The band is signed to Victory Records, and the label itself hasn’t been hidden from controversy in the past year. From the endless lawsuits and counter-lawsuits between the label and Hawthorne Heights, to Victory founder Tony Brummel receiving coverage for criticising Apple’s iTunes – stating that it ‘steals the soul of music’ it’s definitely been an eventful year for the company. So how do theAUDITION feel about the situations, and how are they being treated as a band?

“You know what man, Victory have been absolutely great for us. Regardless of those situations, they’ve pushed our band so well and just thrown so much money at us, I wouldn’t want to be signed to any other label. As much shit as you hear about them, they want their bands to do well. We have friends on other labels who are like ‘fuck, we don’t get anything done for us’, and that really sucks to hear bands talk like that. We’re very happy with Victory, and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.”

If you’ve ever read the lyrics to the band’s track ‘La Rivalita’, you’d be forgiven for believing that the track is an obvious jibe at Fall Out Boy‘s success. Although the band have never commented on the subject matter of the track, they have stated before that the song is a sort of ‘fuck you’ to another Chicago band that blew up in lieu of them, and potentially taking some of the bands musical ideas. A few years down the line from writing the song, how bitter is Danny about the whole situation?

“The thing is man, it all happened a while ago with a band that won’t be named. When you’re writing songs, it’s all about the moment, that period of months or weeks or days that it’s in your head just because you’re inspired to write it. Shit blows over in time though. I’ve written songs about hating people who are now some close friends, so you need to look at it in that light.”

Clearly a band living in the moment them. With bitter song subjects behind them, and a fully-packed 2007 ahead, the band has very little down time at the minute. “Man we’re fucking busy. We’re doing this tour, then we head straight out in the states with Jack’s Mannequin and Head Automatica. After that we hit the studio to write and record a new album, then we’re back here for Give it a Name. After that we’ll be doing a headlining tour back home, then the Warped tour, and hopefully another tour back here before the year’s out.”

With that the band head out to grab food before the show begins. Birthday boy Seth makes us very aware that “there’ll be a few times during the show that we will not play until I have finished my drink – barring NOTHING”. Evidently the party had already begun for theAUDITION, and it doesn’t look to be stopping just yet.

Andy R

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]