Words and interview Jackyboy.
Confession are a Metalcore outfit from Australia who are set to play Soundwave Festival in a couple of weeks. Jackyboy caught up with frontman Michael Crafter on the old days, the band changes, the new record and the tour.
Jackyboy: Since the early 2000s you’ve been playing in bands such as I Killed The Prom Queen, Carpathian, Bury Your Dead and your current band Confession; have you noticed any big changes in the Australian Metalcore scene over the years?
Michael Crafter: It went from being no-one at shows to being massive. I think as bands got bigger more people came looking to make a quick buck. Record labels started signing what was cool whether it was pop punk or screamo or metalcore or whatever. Labels came fishing, trying to catch that shark that was going to make them heaps of cash. I saw some promoters who were just looking to rip bands off.
Jackyboy: When you were getting started as a screamer, who did you look up to?
Michael Crafter: One of my best mates, who plays bass in I Killed The Prom Queen now was in this band called Day Of Contempt. He was the person, I’d look at and say ‘I want to be in a band’. Another band was Force Fed 9, an old Adelaide hardcore band; I looked at Matt and thought the same thing. So when I started I had no fucking idea what I was doing. I posted something on my Facebook page the other day. When someone gives a vocal lesson, what the fuck do they explain? I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this for so long and I still don’t know how it comes out.
Jackyboy: Since you’ve started screaming Michael, you’ve had a few band changes, was this something you expected to be par for the course?
Michael Crafter: When you start having sex with girls, you don’t expect to have sex with the same vagina for the whole entire duration of your life. I feel like it’s the same with a band, it’s like every band’s a fucking girlfriend. You’re dealing with four or five other people, it’s seriously like dealing with four or five girlfriends, everyone’s got problems and they’re all having a bad day. It’s not the easiest thing to fucking do. I’m pretty like, oh whatever, and have a not-give-a-fuck attitude. I thought from day one, I could come and go from bands and because I get sick of being in things too long. I like doing other things, I like trying other styles of music, not that I’ve drifted too far away from what I’ve always done. I definitely never thought I’d still be in a band now. I probably should’ve got a job or something like most humans.
Jackyboy: I did some research, and I found that the past member lists in your previous outfits can get very long, amounting up to 10 people per band that have either quit or been fired. Did you experience repeating issues with individuals, or were the reasons people left more random?
Michael Crafter: Well, I Killed The Prom Queen had gone through endless amounts of dudes before we even got going, and over the years there was multiple singers in Prom Queen. When I was out I joined Carpathian who had gone through a lot of members, and then when I left Carpathian they went through a whole line-up change again. When I started Confession, me and Dan Brown, people would come and go. We thought ‘We’ll get this mate to do this tour’, a lot of the time we wouldn’t let people in the band, we’d just get them in to do a tour. Last year Marshy from Thy Art is Murder filled in. Parkway’s guitar tech was filling in. I always just had mates help me out.
Jackyboy: Are you saying band members in Hardcore and Metalcore are often temporary?
Michael Crafter: Well look at The Amity Affliction, they’ve gone through the same thing. Ahren (Stringer – vocals, bass) is the only original member. In Thy Art Is Murder they’ve only got two of the original members. Lots of bands go through lots of people, but some don’t, look at Parkway Drive. They’ve only lost one person in the whole bands career. It’s because they go surfing and they’re a lot more relaxed, I think they do yoga.
Jackyboy: Confession’s fourth release came out last winter, what was your experience like recording:
Michael Crafter: It was pretty miserable to be honest. I found out my Dad had cancer two or three days before I left, so I was real sad and stuff, real up and down in the studio. Jake (Dargaville) and Russ (Holland) who were there with me, they’re trying their best to keep me level headed. A lot of the time I’d go out and go to the gym for half the day just to get myself out of the studio. The first few weeks were pretty shitty. But then things picked up. We started getting more stuff down, hiring cars and went out to some Parkway (Drive) shows, and went and hung out with all the boys a lot; that picked me up. The recording process was good, pretty smooth sailing process. I had nothing to really do for the first week, apart from song changes, and didn’t have to sing for a fair bit so it just gave me more time to think and stress about my fucking life back home.
Jackyboy: You’re playing four dates with Confession for Soundwave Festival, are there any bands on the tour you’re looking forward to meeting?
Michael Crafter: Yeah, Slipknot. I love the new Slipknot album. One of my old friends plays bass for Slipknot, so hopefully I’ll get to see him. He might be too big time now to see me. Hopefully I’ll see some old faces and old friends.