Sitting down with Durham based Absence of Fear was the most refreshing conversation I’d had with a band in a while. Expecting a typical metal consensus from their interview, they surprised me by displaying a widely diverse viewpoint on music. There’s a great dynamic within their songs, the range and transition between the breakdowns and shreds are seemingly effortless, yet hold strength. As a band, they believe they have a progressive feel with the capability of producing a single that everyone could hear. They band plays mostly local shows in the Durham area, but recently played a set in Ottawa. With an eclectic taste in music, AOF is influenced by band such as Zeppelin, Avenged Sevenfold. Drummer Ariane Ganga brings a melodic metal feel to the plate. Absence of Fear is also composed of Ethan Storer on rhythm guitar/vocals, Jordan Turnbull on lead/vocals, Jake Devine on bass and Reshaun Page as lead vocalist. Talking to these guys (and girl!) was entertaining to say the least.
Any crazy band stories worth sharing?
AOF: How we named our first EP, We Lost our Captain in an Elevator Moshpit. We were partying at Durham College, Me [Ethan] and Jordan showed up at their current room mates dorm room. We’d bought a 60 of Captain Morgan… We got pretty drunk and the 17 of us decide to pile into an elevator, blast Suicide Silence, and the next thing you know, the seventeen of us are moshing in this elevator. By the time we reached the bottom floor, my Captain Morgan was gone!
Any close encounters with successful musicians?
AOF: Justin Bieber! We went to Stratford to see King Lear and saw this little kid singing his heart out and playing guitar, he was like twelve. Him and Jordan jammed out for a while; the kid is a marketable musician and shows how there is talent in every genre of music. We opened up for I hate Sally years ago. Dee offered a slice of pizza, it was awesome.
Is there a general sound that you are working towards?
AOF: Metal. We’re not concerned with sub genres. We want people to understand where we come from and what our music is saying. Long story short, music is music, and we appreciate all.
As the vocalist, can you tell me what you generally appreciate music-wise?
Reshaun: I appreciate the oldies, New Rock, Buckcherry, Top 40, Adam Lambert, Dub Step. I love music and my iPod will go from Lamb of God, to Girls Girls Girls, to Three Days Grace. I don’t limit myself and I’m proud to say I’m in a metal band.
Tell me about your single “Anatomy of Addiction”.
AOF: We recorded Anatomy with Bodan Mulholland, he plays in a band called The Envy. They’re the first band to be signed to Jean Simmons Canadian branch. They toured with Kiss. He did our song for us, just chillin’ in the basement. We are still in touch and talk about tech stuff and recording programs and what programs to download.
“Anatomy of Addiction” is a a song about a kid who has no addiction, but his friends start having addictions through pressure. You start feeling the pressure of knowing that one day you’re gonna end up following them and at the end of it, you’re doing it. You’re not staying true to yourself. Whats addicting is not the drug, or smoking, but the people who are doing it, the peers and social aspect. Having a smoke when you don’t really need one, but the people around you are having one. It’s all psychological.
I understand that most of you guys have been involved in a Music Management program at college, has that helped?
AOF: Yes, the program at Durham College taught us everything we need to know going into the music industry, we know what to look for. We have proffs who can give us opinions. We’re educated in almost every aspect of music, such as promoting and entertainment value.
Ariane, what’s it like being the girl in the band?
Ariane: To be the only girl, you have to get used to the humour and horsing around. They take care of me and treat me like a princess. I’ve been drumming for over seven years so I take my music very seriously, and I don’t let being a girl get in the way or change anything.
The Boys: Shes a cool girl, not a diva. She’s one of the guys. At the same time though, we treat her with a level of respect. No one fucks with her, that’s just something you do not do.
What would you say sets you apart in the local metal scene?
AOF: We support our local music scene, but there’s a lot of the same generic sound being produced, which we are trying to avoid. We’re our own scene. We like to sing and play guitar solos… we don’t chug, and we don’t limit our sound.
What’s your game plan?
AOF: We are currently in the writing process. By the end up July we’d like to see our best songs put on an EP and release something tentative by the end of August. From there we start working hard and playing as many shows as we can.
Any closing comments?
AOF: We’re not trying to be someone were not. We’re here and were gonna play and do what we love to do. Our journey is positive, we find good even in the negative aspects. We’re a pretty strong band. I don’t really see what’s gonna stop us. Once school and everything is through, there is not much that will hold us back. It’s just the beginning and you’ll hear more from us in the future, we’re not going anywhere.