For a band like Afterlife, the only rule is that there are no rules. Their constant fan interaction brings in dedicated newcomers to their fiery rap-rock hybrid which fits well on just about any touring or festival lineup, leaving little doubt that the band is a fresh, popular face in the scene. But it wasn’t always this way – forming just 5 years ago from a few popular local bands, Afterlife took what they had learned in the biz and adapted it to a new scene.
Afterlife stopped by By The Barricade HQ to discuss the possibility of new music (the answer to that is an absolute YES), their recent tour with Cane Hill, and even more of what the band has coming up through the rest of the year. Enjoy.
The band was formed back in the middle of the last decade, can you tell us a little about how Afterlife was born during that summer?
I believe we formed in late 2017? But it was a great time for us. We all had this vision of what we wanted the band to be so we started working with our longtime friend and producer Zach Jones and after a few writing sessions between Florida and Virginia, Afterlife was born! The idea was to have the music/band feel fresh but also nostalgic and I really think we nailed that with our first body of work which was the “Vicious Cycle” EP.
How would you describe Afterlife’s sound and energy? Has it evolved in the several years since you formed?
I think we really do a great job blending a few musical worlds into our sound you know? We have the heavy electronics, the singing and the rapping, we have the crushingly heavy moments in our music as well and I think it all comes perfectly from our influences which we’ve tried to stay true to from the beginning. We’re all influenced by the bands Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Slipknot, Korn and the list goes on but we have a deep appreciation for Rock and Nu-Metal Giants. Over the last few releases the music have evolved for sure but in a natural way, we always wanted to feel as if the band was growing with the listener so we keep that in mind while writing but I think we are at a great spot and sound right now with our latest album “Part Of Me”.
You just finished up a tour supporting Cane Hill! What is the band’s favorite part of being on the road?
I think we all loved just being back out there, performing every night and meeting the fans. It’s been 2 years since we’ve been able to tour and I think we all went into the tour knowing how much we have missed the feeling of being on the road, we loved being able to hangout and interact with people other than ourselves over the last few months, it felt like our purpose was restored immediately after the first show.
What newer songs have you been the most excited to play to a new crowd?
We really loved playing Misfit Anthem, Part Of Me, Envy and Pure which are all new singles / tracks from the new album and the crowds absolutely lost their minds when we did which is a good feeling cause it’s the first time these songs have seen the light of day outside the album. The reception has been great and we couldn’t be happier.
You toured with a few other bands, namely Cane Hill, who you have toured with before. How would you describe the tour experience with them?
We absolutely love them, we did their first headlining tour back in 2018 and it felt like a full circle moment being back with them but this time being a direct support artist. They are some of the most talented musicians we know and being on the road with them was a great time.
Afterlife has been banging out music videos in the past year! Part of Me, Burn It Down, Miles Away and Envy all got their own music videos. What was shooting like for the videos, were there any that became your favorite to shoot?
The music videos that we shot for the new album have gone down as some of our favorite videos yet! The process is always a fun one because for this album we filmed everything with our friend Bobby Keegan of Afflux Studios so it was a fun, creative, and experimental adventure during the filming ha-ha. Over the last few releases the music has evolved for sure but in a natural way, we always wanted to feel as if the band was growing with the listener so we keep that in mind while writing but I think we are at a great spot and sound right now with our latest album “Part Of Me”. Personally, Burn It Down and Envy were my favorite to shoot because in BID we used an extreme amount of Pyro, and who doesn’t like fire? Ha-ha.
Envy was also a fun one cause we got to basically get covered in green slime for about 8 hours but I love the intensity of that song and the whole filming process was super unique.
In the past, you’ve described Burn It Down as a song that visualized change for the band, burning away fear and uncertainty. Did the other songs on the album hold such a personal message for you?
Our new album “Part Of Me” I think is the most personal I’ve been with our music. Songs like “Miles Away” – “Part Of Me” – “Wasting Time” really give a clear look at how I was feeling and what I was going through during the writing of the album and those songs.
Every song on the new album holds a personal message and I think it’s something we’ve really noticed since playing the songs live cause the connection just feels different than previous tours, our fans have been really receptive to the new songs and it’s a great thing to see.
What future themes or concepts do you want to explore in your music?
That’s a hard one ha-ha I think we are always going to try and be honest with ourselves on any body of work that we do, we want every album to feel genuine and to be a proper reflection of where we’re at while writing it. As of right now the door is open to so many different things we would like to explore.
Speaking of exploring music, what have been the biggest musical inspirations for you as a band when writing music, putting together a show, or creating a music video?
For our new album specifically we really took a hard look at what was going on around us, we wanted to be influenced by the real world around us on “Part Of Me” and I think we nailed it right on the head with the album. As for a music video and live show, we always try to make it feel over the top, the music is always fast and chaotic and aggressive so we really try to visually match that in a live setting and/or during a video shoot.
Can you tell us what the band’s plans are for after tour – can the fans expect new drops coming soon?
Yes, always new music! We’ve been demoing out some new stuff since POM was released so we can assure everyone that new music is on the horizon!
See Afterlife on tour this September for a jam-packed gathering that’s setting itself up to be arguably one of the best US rock festival experiences, dare I say, ever! Afterlife is in the mix for the 3-day Blue Ridge Rock Fest 2022, alongside artists like Alice Cooper, Siamese, 3 Doors Down, Lamb of God, Ice Nine Kills, A Day To Remember, Gojira, Seether, Tenacious D, Skillet, Anthrax, I Prevail, Killswitch Engage, In This Moment, Jinger, Nothing More, Hollywood Undead, Jelly Roll, Black Veil Brides, Thrice, Sleeping With Sirens, Candlebox, Starset, In Flames, We Came As Roman, Bad Wolves, Bad Omens, All That Remains, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Sevendust, Silverstein, Butcher Babies and many more! Get your tickets before they sell out!