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Four Year Strong at Soundwave Festival 2012

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by Rod Whitfield (subscribe)
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The bill of the almighty Soundwave Festival is so overwhelming, that it may be possible for some bands to get a little lost amid the onslaught of heavy music's biggest heavy hitters such as System of a Down, Slipknot, Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Machine Head, and the list just goes on. Taking their name from a lyric from punk band The Get Up Kids, Massachusetts based punk/hardcore act Four Year Strong who strangely enough have actually been around for ten years now, may not be the absolute biggest name on the bill, but they are definitely a band you should check out if you're lucky enough to have a ticket to the sold out Melbourne version of the festival. Vocalist and guitarist Dan O'Connor tells us they are busting out of their skin to play Soundwave, and that they promise a ridiculously energetic, over the top live set for the Aussie punters heading to the festival.

Oh definitely, we're super-stoked on that," Dan enthuses, "I mean last time we were there it was so much fun. We're just super excited to get back over there and play some shows. This will be our third trip (to Australia).

We basically just try to have the most high energy and craziest show of the day, that's basically our goal," he describes, "when we play a show we wanna make sure that everyone leaves a little more tired than when they showed up. If you want to watch a super high energy set of people jumping around, and just intense music the whole time, then we're your guys, that's for sure."

Ten years on, the band recently released their fourth full length album, entitled In Some Way, Shape or Form, and so are excited to coincide the release of a brand new record with an appearance on one of the biggest bills that a heavy band can possibly play. "Yeah, it's pretty great," he agrees, "it just came out less than a month ago, and we're stoked to be able to go over to Australia, right at the beginning of a record cycle, when everything's really exciting, and we get to play a bunch of new songs.

It's pretty crazy," he states, regarding the size and illustrious nature of the bill, "the 13 year old me is going off inside! It's like these are bands that I listened to a lot when I was younger, and stuff like that. Some of the bands playing are some of the first songs I learned to play on guitar, so it's pretty cool to be able to play a huge festival with all of these bands."

And as for the band's burgeoning longevity in one of the toughest industries to survive in on the planet, Dan has a little difficultly conceiving of the fact that it has been a decade in existence for them as a band.

Yeah, we played the ten year anniversary of our first ever show on this tour," he informs us, "It doesn't seem like ten years, it's definitely gone by really fast. It's kinda crazy to think it's been that long. Thinking back to some of our first tours and stuff like like that, when I think about it it sorta seems like it was a long time ago, but at the same time I can remember it like it was yesterday. So it's definitely crazy that we've done that entire 10 year cycle already.

So much so that it barely entered their heads back in 2001 that they would still be playing together as a band in 2011: "Obviously there was hope that we'd be around for a while," he recalls, " but even what we did on our first record came as a surprise to us. I mean, we never thought we'd be where we are, I never thought that we'd be playing Australia, let alone going there for our third time, on the tenth year of my band being around. I think it's definitely been a lot more than we expected. But we're super excited about it all."

After the Soundwave tour, the rest of 2012 looks to be pretty insanely busy for Four Year Strong, with much touring internationally to all four corners of the globe, and hopefully a return to Australia for a tour of their own, as opposed to as part of a massive festival jaunt.

Yeah, we're doing a lot of international touring," he states, "we're hitting Europe and the UK, and Asia, Japan and Australia, obviously, and South America too. We're going all over the place, we're definitely going to be touring a lot in the next year.

That's something that we definitely want to do," he says, regarding a possible Aussie tour of their own, "the first tour of Australia that we ever did was our own tour. We did that, and it was awesome, we did Soundwave, this'll be our second Soundwave. We're hoping that the next time we come down there we can do our own proper tour. That'd be awesome."

Beyond 2012, Dan is hopeful that the band can stick around for another 10 years, despite the increasingly difficult musical climate: "I hope so, as long as kids keep liking our band," he says, "we'll keep playing shows. We're a pretty easy band to keep happy, if you come to our shows and go crazy, we'll keep playing them. That's basically it.

"Basically we're super excited to come over and play for you guys again," he states in conclusion, "hopefully everyone comes out with a couple of Red Bulls before you come!" he laughs, "And get ready for a party, for sure!"

Soundwave Dates:

Saturday 25 February - Brisbane - RNA Showgrounds
Sunday 26 February - Sydney - Showground
Friday 2 March - Melbourne - Showgrounds
Saturday 3 March - Adelaide - Bonython Park
Monday 5 March - Perth - Claremont Showgrounds
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