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Interview with The Animal Warfare Act
Hello there, nice to have you on Volatile Weekly! What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music, what would you be doing today?
Corndog (drums, piano): Hey thank you for having us! Me and my brother have been in music lessons since we were kids, so we’ve always been surrounded by it. If I hadn’t ever been introduced to music, I would probably be a gambling addict or maybe I would buy a zoo or shrink my kids.
Hopskotch (vocals, guitar): Great to be chatting with you! I got into music as a way of rebellion because I found church really boring, and I thought if I got into metal music, maybe the church would shun me, and I wouldn’t have to go anymore. Before this band, I was actually a janitor at a school. Sometimes I would see a really hard math equation left on a chalkboard and just go solve it. I’d probably still be doing that if not for music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music, and how does that influence your creativity?
Corndog: When I’m not playing music, I like to draw or paint which I sometimes do commissions for. Other than that, I love getting tattoos, going to shows, and acting like a degenerate. In terms of my art, we actually use a lot of it for merch and cover art for the band, our latest single being a great example. And obviously seeing shows inspires me to progress with my playing abilities.
Hopskotch: Right now, my friends and I are watching all the SAW movies in anticipation of the new one. I love horror movies and they’re a big inspiration behind the visual components in this band, but my love for certain movies and shows has started to creep its way into the lyrics of the new songs we’re working on.
How long has your band been around?
Hopskotch: We started in 2018 as kind of a fun little project in our mom’s garage, but for the past year and a bit, we’ve been really taking this band seriously. Nobody will hire us because of our tattoos and how bad we smell, so we really need this to take off.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Corndog: We are originally from the Yukon, but moved to Toronto about 2 years ago. In the Yukon there wasn’t much of a metal scene before us, but now there’s a lot of up-and-coming bands and the music scene is definitely continuing to grow like always. We play metal straight from the depths of the frigid north, which is where many of the emotional aspects of our sound come from.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Hopskotch: When I was conceptualizing this project, I had a list of potential names written down. Most of them were fucking terrible so I burned the list, but as it was burning, I saw the words “The Animal Welfare Act” on the bottom of the page. I’ve never been too good at reading, so I misread it and realized The Animal Warfare Act should be the name of this band.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Corndog: Every show we’ve played has a special place in my heart, but one that comes to mind currently is our Yukon goodbye show. We ended up getting kicked out of the venue we played in for throwing Kraft singles at the bouncer and almost enticing a riot. The bouncer was a total douche and he got fired a while later. We also shaved our buddies head to look like Dr. Phil that night
Hopskotch: We recently headlined one of my favourite bars ever, Sneaky Dee’s here in in Toronto. That one was epical because we totally killed it, the crowd was going wild, and it had just been a big bucket list venue for me ever since I first stepped foot in there.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Corndog: One of my favourite venues I have played so far is probably the Baby G in Toronto. But if I could play any venue that I haven’t yet, it would have to be Budweiser stage. Or Denny’s.
Hopskotch: I’ve always wanted to play Gathering of the Juggalos. That would be a dream for me. Whoop whoop!
If you could play any show with any line-up, who would be on the ticket?
Corndog: My dream line up would be Motionless in White, Spiritbox, Black Veil Brides, Slipknot.
Hopskotch: Yea I’d probably actually put us on the bill. Opening for Slipknot is another big dream. Or maybe them opening for us.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Hopskotch: Playing music and being in a band are totally different than each other. Make sure you can get along with the people you work with and be willing to collaborate and take in other ideas in addition to your own. You often make something stronger and more original that way.
Corndog: Man, that’s a hard question. I feel like my advice to beginners would be to juju on that beat.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Corndog: Advice for my younger self would be to drop out of school and pursue music full time cuz high school did nothing for me
Hopskotch: I would probably tell my younger self to find Jesus.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Hopskotch: Our new single, “Another Prayer,” which comes out September 15 showcases my strongest writing and I’m really psyched for it. The next songs we have coming out after it are even better, but this is a great one to kick off our new era.
Corndog: If I had to pick one song that means the most to me, I’d probably pick “Glory Be to the Bomb” cuz it’s a song about monkey which is hilarious.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Corndog: Everyone loves when we play “Animal Warfare” cuz there’s a sing along part. We’ve never played a set without it and never will. My favourite song to play is “Hecate’s Trance”, the drum parts I do when we play it live are super over the top and I do crazy fills the whole time.
Hopskotch: I always love the energy from the crowd when we rip “Animal Warfare” live. It’s the perfect song to get people jumping and screaming and storming the stage and breaking all our stuff.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Hopskotch: I write on my own a lot, and usually have a song fully written by the time I bring it to rehearsal. I always leave room for figuring out new things to do with it, because you never know what cool things other people might want to add in, and it always makes the song cooler. Often, I’ll hear a song and wish I had written it, so my songs start out with me trying to do something similar.
Corndog: Since we are brothers, I’ve always noticed we have a natural connection, it’s really cool. usually either Hopskotch or I come up with some cool riff and then we’re able to just build off of it with no problems
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Corndog: Our music targets a lot of issues like discrimination, mental health, stuff like that. We’re trying to get a point across but also sound epic at the same time.
Hopskotch: I’ve never been one for super personal lyrics. I like to write about issues that other can relate to, whether on a personal level, or just about something wrong in the world.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Corndog: We definitely disagree about shit all the time. Like for example, whose piss has more blood in it, stuff like that.
Hopskotch: We often argue about who has a bigger penis. Corndog says I do, but it’s literally only an inch and a half erect, so that’s impossible.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Hopskotch: Our new single, “Another Prayer” is going to be the first in a line of new tunes from us. Check that out and if you’re in Toronto this fall, we’ve got some shows you can find on our socials.
Corndog: I’m hoping for the future that I can make this a full-time job and career, we’ve got a lot of excellent bigger shows and opportunities coming up that I cannot wait to see happen.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?
Hopskotch: We’re just @theanimalwarfareact pretty much everywhere. Drop us a follow and leave some mean comments!