EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ELIJAH WITT OF CANE HILL @ TUNNEL CLUB, MILAN, ITALY.
THE AMITY AFFLICTION Europe Summer Tour 2019 with CRYSTAL LAKE, CANE HILL, POLAR
Live @ TUNNEL CLUB, Milan
on June 24th, 2019
Hailing from the New Orleans, Louisiana nu metal Juggernauts CANE HILL return to the scene with the release of KILL THE SUN EP out on January 18th, 2019 via Rise Records. The semi-acoustic collection of tracks is following up debut self-titled album dating back to 2015, sophomore album Smile released in 2016 and Too Far Gone out in 2018. The band has been knocking around since 2014 and features vocalist Elijah Witt, guitarist James Barnett, bassist Ryan Henriquez and drummer Devin Clark.
Our editor-in-chief Alex had a fabulous opportunity to have a phoner with vocalist ELIJAH WITT of Cane Hill just before their live show at Tunnel, in Milan, Italy on June 24th, 2019 as part of THE AMITY AFFLICTION Europe Summer Tour 2019 with CRYSTAL LAKE, CANE HILL and POLAR.
For our track by track review (Italian review) for KILL THE SUN EP please check out: www.sickandsound.it/laltro-lato-dei-cane-hill-kill-the-sun-ep-una-dinamica-sessione-semi-acustica-rivisitata-in-synth.
Photo credit ©Jennas Photoworlds. Right to use permitted by courtesy of Jennifer Ehlers photographer.
- Hello, how you doin’?
- Hello Elijah, it’s Alex. I’m doing good, thank you. It’s very nice to speak to you.
It’s very nice to speak to you too.
- So let’s start with your current run of shows as part of The Amity Affliction Europe Summer Tour. So how does it feel like and what kind of response have you received across Europe?
We actually are on our first date with The Amity Affliction tonight in Milan, we’ve been playing so far in Germany with Crystal Lake and it was amazing, last date was in Dortmund and it’s been crazy.
- Aside from US being probably your best market, Europe is kinda warming up to you.
Yeah. United Kingdom has always very open and appreciative towards us. We’ve been many times in Europe and it’s always good to be back.
- So what’s typically different during this tour across Europe as opposed to your tours in the States? In terms of fan base, venues, welcome, setup..
Venues with no air conditioning and no toilet seats.
Oh, that’s bad.
And in US we shout, we’re kind of loud and aggressive and here people are not so loud, they are very respectful and that’s very admirable for an angry motherfuc*er as me.
- What songs have your fans been digging the most along this tour so far?
Too Far Gone, cause it’s a wacky monster.
- Let’s discuss your last EP KILL THE SUN. First of all congratulations, this was a pleasant surprise to me and I found it beautifully crafted.
Aw, thank you very much.
- Yeah, that’s very amazing. I would love to talk about the mindset behind releasing a semi-acoustic album?
We wanted to try something different. Show what we can do, buckle down, get rid of the distortion, sing and show we have the ability to be a very well rounded band that kind of do anything we put our minds to. It was scary because a lot of bands that put out all sorts of stuff, when they’re normally heavy, get a pretty negative response from the fan base but I think we’ve been blessed with a really open minded fan base who wants that kind of stuff from us and doesn’t want us to pigeonhole ourselves.
- There seems to be a grungy – post grunge influence behind Kill the Sun EP, reminiscent of Alice In Chains for example.
- How true is that and what main influences have you brought into it?
Alice In Chains was a huge influence behind it because of their Jar Of Flies EP and Sap EP and their unplugged and how they showcase their ability to strip everything back and still make beautiful soundscapes, but other influences honestly came from a lot of modern r ‘n b and even like 90s r ‘n b like Usher was a huge influence on it, The Weekend was a huge influence on it and even Michael Jackson popped his little head into it. So we kinda just took from the grunge era and tried to mold it with 90s/2000s r ‘n b and that’s where the electronic sounds came from mixed with the very Layne Staley-esque vocals.
- What main lyrical themes were important for you to discuss in the record?
Distress, depression, being stuck in whatever kind of negative headspace you are, whether you’re in an abusive relationship or with someone else in an abusive relationship with drugs or even in an abusive relationship with yourself. That’s pretty much the overarching message behind it. You can be in an abusive relationship with anything in the world and it’s kind of up to you to realize and get yourself out of it.
- How long have you been working on the EP and how have you actually approached the writing process?
We’re were working on it for probably 6 months before we tracked it and the writing process was a little bit different, but mostly the same as writing the heavy stuff. We were just kind of saw where James and Devin wanted to go with it, whether they lay some drums over, whatever guitar parts or production James decided to create and just let whatever felt right flow out of all of us. It was different because we’ve never really, well, we’ve written softer songs but we’ve never written such stripped back things. So it was a lot of exploration and a lot of just kind of wingin’ it and seeing if it works. And it turns out we’re pretty good at it.
- What’s the message and vision that Cane Hill are ultimately trying to get across with this EP or your music in general, if any?
We’re tryna show people how fuc*ing good we are.
There you go.
And also, lyrically it’s mostly usually about death, whether we’re chasing it, running from it or just letting it happen, fearing it, accepting it. But death, death is a big part of the lyrical content because I’m obsessed with it and I’m afraid of it and I used to want to die and now I don’t and it’s got a lot of confliction in my brain how I feel about it, and the afterlife. So those are the big things to me.
- What else can we expect from Cane Hill after this tour is gonna draw to a close?
We’re going home, we’re tracking a song MAYBE as soon as we get home. But we’re taking a few months off from touring to focus our next album and work out some really, good really weird songs that we’re really excited for.
That’s cool we’re done, thank you so much Elijah, it was really nice to speak to you.
Thank you, my pleasure.
And good luck for your show in Milan!
Thank you very much.
SICK AND SOUND is thankful to KINDA Agency for the opportunity to have an exclusive personal interview with Elijah Witt of CANE HILL.
Many thanks to Jennas Photoworlds for providing an amazing shot of Elijah during current European Tour.
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