Q&A: Wade MacNeil Discusses the Alexisonfire Reunion


On March 9, Alexisonfire confirmed that they would return for a series of festival dates this Alexisonfire-Happy-Promosummer, after initially disbanding following a December 30, 2012 gig in Hamilton, Ontario. For weeks, the details of how and why the Canadian hardcore heroes chose to return was largely shrouded in secrecy.

But not anymore.

This afternoon, Riffyou.com spoke with Alexisonfire guitarist/vocalist, and frontman of UK punk quartet Gallows, Wade MacNeil.

He kindly provided further insight into why Alexisonfire will be back on stage this summer; just how quick it all came to be; what it was like to have such an outpouring of fan enthusiasm; and if Alexisonfire will ever make new music together again.

RY: Firstly, how and why did the Alexisonfire reunion come about? 

Wade: “When a band breaks up, people have the tendency to pretend that you haven’t – you get show offers the next day,” laughs. “Even if your band decides that it’s done, people keep trying to book you and get you to do stuff. Obviously, the answer then is ‘no.’ I think when we called it a day – we needed to end it.

“We were lucky a year later to come back and do that final tour, which really put the band on good terms and was a positive experience. We’d all been hanging out tons , talking and [eventually] show offers came up. It’d really been the first time in everyone’s schedules where we actually could [reunite] – that was the first thing that changed. And, we really had no reason to say ‘no.’ We’re all really tight and we know that people wanted it.

“Who knows when that time in our lives is going to be again that we can all get on stage together. So, it felt like if we don’t do it now, who knows when it’s going to happen. It might not have – it’s as simple as that.”

RY: Were you surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reaction that came along with the Alexisonfire show announcements?

Wade: “Yeah, I was. As a musician, the positive reaction to your music is when you play live – when you share your music with people. People’s reactions online are usually an overwhelming cesspool of vile and hate, no matter what anybody does. So I was really surprised by how overwhelmingly positive it was. I guess it speaks to how much people love the band and how lucky we were to have fans that were so amazing…and we still have fans that are so amazing. It’s weird to talk about [the band] not in the past tense.

“Somebody came to me the other day and said, ‘Hey, your band is getting back together!’ And honestly, it took me a minute.”

RY: Have you thought about what you hope to get out of these performances with the guys?

Wade: “It is perfect thing for us to be headlining a hometown show, at a great festival (Riot Fest Toronto), with a ton of amazing bands. I know all of the shows are going to be absolutely amazing. I don’t know, I’m just excited to play. I think it’s going to be great. We definitely didn’t see this alexis-update-tourhappening. Two months ago, Alexisonfire was broken up, so who knows where this will take us.”

RY: Wow, so the reunion really came together that quick?

Wade: “Yeah, within the last month and a half. It was really fast. I wasn’t booked with Gallows; Dallas [Green] was off the road; [Chris] Steele is finally back in the country; and the other dudes (George Pettit and Jordan Hastings) have the time. You never know when there’s going to be another City and Colour record; and my touring schedule is going to pick up again; life gets in the way, right? Now is the time that we were able to say ‘yes’ and make this happen. We’re fucking excited and I’m glad everyone else is excited too.”

RY: I know it’s probably way too early to think about this considering how quick the reunion shows came about, but could you foresee a time where Alexisonfire makes new music together again?

Wade: “I mean, you never say never, but I think it’s pretty early…like I said, two months ago, the band was broken up.”

RY: Earlier we spoke about the positive reaction fans have had about the Alexisonfire return. For the fans that are reading this, what kind of message would you like to send them? 

Wade: “I don’t know, we were never the band who had a huge message. I think we always just let our music speak for us. So, we’ll continue to do that.”

-Adam Grant

Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Wade MacNeil. There, we’ll discuss Gallows great new album, Desolation Sounds.

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