Hardcore/Punk

Authors of Fate’s Elan Mlagenovich and DRI’s Spike Cassidy Talk Playing Live

Authors of Fate’s Elan Mlagenovich and DRI’s Spike Cassidy discuss playing live and the interesting experiences that come with it.

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Authors of Fate, photo by Kennedy Brown

With May well underway, that means summer tours are again upon us, with D.R.I. and Authors of Fate representing one of the season’s more exciting treks. The punk and metal tandem will begin with a set of dates later this month through the southeastern United States. Based on their shared values, the bands represent an ideal match for hitting the road together. They both share a legacy of rebellion, intensity, and raw power. This is a legacy that D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) has been chiselling out for over 40 years now. It presents quite an opportunity for Authors of Fate to stand tall with one of the forefathers of metal and punk. Their unique blend of metalcore, heavy metal, and punk rock spirit illustrates that the movement started by D.R.I. four decades ago is still alive and strong.

Authors of Fate is composed of talented veterans of various heavy metal bands. It includes members of Kaustik, The Slow Forward, Killix, and Ruach. Individually, they have toured extensively worldwide and played with some of metal’s top acts. Their mission as a band is to create aggressive, genuine and professional music. Technical ability is very important to their M.O., as is lyrical depth. Their songs explore the darker parts of the human condition and social toxicity. They write music that appeals to them and is in line with the traditions and values that have been carrying heavy music forward for decades.

To help promote their upcoming tour, we are joined today by D.R.I. guitarist Spike Cassidy and Authors of Fate’s Elan Mlagenovich. They discuss playing live and the interesting experiences that come along with it.

Which act would you want to tour with?

Spike Cassidy:Slayer.”

What’s your favourite city or venue to play?

Cassidy: “Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles.”

What was the highlight of the last tour you went on?

Cassidy: “The length of our 40th Anniversary Tour. Over two years, over 200 shows.”

What’s the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?

Cassidy: “People died.”

Do you ever get stage fright? What’s your solution for it?

Cassidy: “Time. Experience. I used to drink a beer before we played to calm the nerves. That went on for over a decade before, one time, there wasn’t any beer, and it was a huge crowd. I played the show and realized I didn’t have stage fright.”

How does it make you feel when that power and energy you channelled in the studio come to life in front of a crowd?

Cassidy: “There is nothing like the energy of a crowd. It makes or breaks a show. We feed off it. If it’s not there, you can get the false impression that you’re not liked. That the crowd is bored. When usually that’s not the case. Um, I don’t think I answered that question right.”

What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows or on tour?

Elan Mlagenovich: “One time, our van died in New York, so we had to live out of a U-Haul truck while it got fixed for about three days. It was crazy hot, so we’d just open the back door a bit and see the cars behind us. Then we got pulled over going through a tunnel (back door closed) because we also had a trailer, and when the cop opened the back, she just said, ‘Ahh hell nah! Everyone in here has to be ticketed and get a court summons. I’m not doing all that work. Turn this thing around and get the hell out of here. And don’t try to go through any more tunnels.’

“Then we got honked at for blocking traffic for 20 minutes trying to turn around a truck with a trailer at a tunnel entrance. Could have been worse.”

Who would you be most amazed to see front row at one of your shows?

Mlagenovich: “My mom. She’s never seen me play in 20+ years. Not once.”

When you write, do you do so with the live setting in mind, or do you write a song just for the song’s sake?

Mlagenovich: “I write songs as the coolest thing I can come up with at that time. I always have the live setting in mind, because that’s my favourite part about playing. But I often write things that are not that easy to play while headbanging or moving around, so that comes back to bite me sometimes.”

Do you have any rituals before you hit the stage?

Mlagenovich: “I have the lamest pre-show ritual. I stretch so I don’t pull something or get hurt, because I’ve done that multiple times. Then I warm up by running the set, or whatever parts are extra difficult, for about 20 to 30 minutes. The older I get, the more I have to do these stretches and warm-ups. I used to just drink a beer and start rocking. It really sucks (laughs).”

Authors of Fate ‘Seats Taken’ album artwork

What are some of the lesser-known fun facts about the group that people might be surprised to hear?

Mlagenovich: “This isn’t some secret that only we know about, but we fucking love Waffle House. We don’t have it at home, so when we see it, it means we’re on tour. I think a lot of bands feel that way. I have a Waffle House Wu-Tang tattoo that says, ‘Waffle House ain’t nuthing ta fork wit.’ It’s gotten me several free cups of coffee.”

Tour Dates:

05/21 – Gallup NM, Juggernaut Music
05/22 – Albuquerque NM, Launch Pad
05/23 – Elpaso TX, Rockhouse
05/24 – Tucson AZ, The Rock
05/25 – Mesa AZ, The Nile
05/26 – Las Vegas NV, Sin Wave

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