Over a decade ago in Buffalo, New York, two brothers started a band that would eventually go on to become one of the most successful metalcore groups of all time. They’ve released over five albums, toured extensively, and have had their music featured in major movie soundtracks and best-selling video games. Every Time I Die has been referred to as “the impossible interview,” but Synthesis got a chance to talk with founding member and guitarist, Jordan Buckley, and check in with the hardcore heroes.
You and your brother, Keith, started the band 12 years ago. What made you guys want to be musicians?
Well, I played guitar ever since I was like 12, ‘cause my dad played guitar. I remember going to see bands play. I found myself stumbling across the culture known as the hardcore scene. I was like 12 or 13 watching really cool things go on and I was watching bands from Buffalo make these small clubs just erupt. I looked at it and said, ‘I wanna do that.’ It was always the appeal of the live show that did it for me.
You guys seem to have found that perfect niche genre-wise where you have a lot of crossover appeal to a variety of fans. What would you say attracts people to Every Time I Die?
Just that. It’s the indefinable quality to the music and the performances. Personally I confuse bands when bands all look the same and sound the same even if they’re good. When you’re doing your own thing, and no one can really label you, it seems easier to stay in the eyesight and ear sight of people. As soon as you get stuck with a label you’re already limited to what you can do and accomplish.
What would you consider to be the highlight of the band’s career so far?
It’s hard to pick a single moment. Every once in awhile something really cool will happen. As a whole, I think what a more cliché answer would be is the longevity. It’s been 12 years and as far as we’re concerned, we’re stronger than ever. This year we did Warped Tour and all of sudden, when it’s like your third or fourth time, it’s like, ‘Holy shit, dude. We’re not the flavor of the month.’ We’ve lasted and people care about us. People still crowd around when we play. I just like the general success of getting to do this for a living.
I’m sure this has been brought up a lot but it’s always good for a laugh. In April of this year, a single-leg amputee was brought on stage and he and Keith chugged beer out of his prosthetic leg?
(Laughs) Yeah. The footage is actually on the new DVD. It was just one of those things where you get lost in the moment. Keith got him up on stage and took the leg and took a swig out of it and it was funny, you know? You never know what is gonna happen. It doesn’t matter how big the show is or how small the club is or where in the world you are, when you wake up, something could happen that will make the highlight reel.
What are you looking forward to on this upcoming tour?
We made sure that’s it all kind of smaller clubs with no barricades. We wanted to go back to the live craziness of kids knocking over our equipment and stage diving and going bonkers. I’m looking forward to playing those packed, out of control club shows. It’s been awhile. This kind of brings it full circle because it’s like the first question you asked me in this interview. That’s the reason that I started this band; because I saw small, packed clubs freakin’ the fuck out.
Have you guys started writing any new material since New Junk Aesthetic?
Yeah. Not together, but I was actually writing lyrics all week long. We don’t really write on tour. It’s kind of like a designated time. We tour and then when we’re not on tour, we write. Then when we’re done writing, we record and when we’re done recording we go and tour some more. It’s a pretty strict schedule we follow. We seem to write the same time every two years and our CD tends to come out the same time every two years.
Seems to be working. You guys are still strong after 12 years.
Yeah, that’s why I kind of like it. The goal this time around is to really go to places we haven’t been yet. I’m hungry still. I want bigger and better and cooler and newer. I’m not gonna get lazy just because we’ve worked hard and we like where we are. There’s no reason to stop now.