New York legends Life Of Agony return with a new album soon early 2017. Eager as they are to get the word out they set out to tour Europe. On their recent stop at De Mast, Torhout in Belgium (Strike vzw event) we caught up with Joey and Alan in the hope of catching a glimpse of the new album.
The number one reason for this tour is the upcoming album A Place Where There's No More Pain.
It will be released spring 2017. What may the fans expect?
It feels great, a lot of work. Months and months of work. It's going to be good. Really good.
I think this is the first time we made a records that we are all on the same page what kind of record we wanted to make. We all had a vision to move in a certain way.
It's it's own thing, i've you had it on a timeline it's the record that should have come out after Ugly.
Kind of has that kind of vibe.
Alan : Lyrically it's very reminiscent of Ugly period, emotionally. There's a lot in depth layers to it. With the meaning of the songs.
.Are there any of the new songs included in the setlist for this tour?
We are going to play a new song tonight. One of those tunes we've been messing around with live.
LOA always had a good connection with Belgium. Can you tell us why?
Defintely, the AB, that venue. We played here before, the Alcatraz festival.
We have a long history in Belgium
Alan : Biebob.
Joey: It was the second ever Belgian show we ever played. With Pro Pain and Spudmonsters.
Today your are playing with NYHC legends Madball, LOA was labeled NYHC in the past, but what would you define as the influence of NYHC on LOA?
We grow up in the same clubs. Playing the same places, knowing the same people.
When we were growing up me and Joey would take the bus to Brooklyn and see all the bands coming up. Bands i still love like Quicksand, Leeway,…
We would be in the pit for these bands and get excited.
Evan from Biohazard, i grew up literally across the street from him. He babysitted for me.
There's a lot of connections. We never consider ourselves hardcore but we always played on hardcore matinees. We opened up for Agnostic Front as kids, Cro Mags, Sheer Terror.
We also play with metal bands too. One of our biggest shows in New York was with Overkill.
Type O Negative. It just worked with a lot of bands. We were able to fit in.
There's more of a metal guitar sound on the records and lyrically it was very honest so we had that hardcore roots from the lyrical content.
There's threads in there. No one ever was able to label us.
We heard so many different names, like metal crossover alternative out of New York hardcore scene.
If you didn't have music, LOA, what would you do for a living?
I've always been interested in art, drawing, story telling. I do that stuff anyway. I don't know if you would get direclty into that if the band didn't start. I probably would be workng a regular job. It's hard to make a living doing anything in the arts.
We went to art school together in Manhattan. And then we wrote River Runs Red in his basement at 17-18 years old. We would make believe we'd go to school. Then we turned around and went to his house when his parents went to work and we go in the basement, plug in and start playing.
I don't know what i would have done. I like BMX and that freestyle stuff. I like golf, people think it's boring. And i did art like Alan.
Or roasting beans… LOA has his own coffee now as merch. How did you end up with coffee of all things?
We are all big coffee lovers. Through a friend of a friend back in New York that were producing some great flavors. So just the timing worked out. We were happy, we got our coffee.
I did this interview and this guy asked, why coffee, why no Life Of Agony beer. I was laughing.
We've been there, done that. Now we have families and we are responsible so coffee more normal.
Interview : David Marote
Photography : Erwin Poppe (Alstare.be)