Issue 778 (September, 2016) is out today, available via the usual stockists and our online store.
The cover-story subject is The Amity Affliction. Frontman Joel Birch, in his only Australian interview, discusses how he hit rock bottom during the creation of the band's new album This Could Be Heartbreak.
Editor, Rod Yates:
Four months ago yesterday, Birch faced up to the fact he was an alcoholic – "I had to admit everything to myself when I got home from recording. It's not easy to look in the mirror and be like, 'You are a piece of shit. Sort it out'" – and chose his family. And now, when he screams "I can't believe how my past always comes back to haunt me" in the title-track of This Could Be Heartbreak, he does so determined to break that cycle forever.
Joel Birch's past, however, is something he's only now facing up to. He was born on December 24th, 1981, in Brisbane to parents Christine, a housewife, and Daintry. He can't recall his father's occupation because he split when Birch, the eldest of three kids, was two. "He chose drinking," alleges the frontman.
We also catch up with former Killing Heidi singer, Ella Hooper, to discuss her recently launched solo career, hit the road with Glass Animals as they tour across Australia and feature an exclusive extract from Grant & I, the new memoir from the Go-Betweens' Robert Forster.
The few remaining pounds in my pocket went on concerts, and here we got lucky. Cult English groups didn’t tour Australia with any regularity until the early nineties, and in these winter months Grant and I saw what would have taken us years to see back home. Amidst many concerts there were Gang of Four, The Raincoats, and Scritti Politti at the Electric Ballroom, The Cramps and The Fall there too. The Cure and later The Pretenders – 'Brass In Pocket' was number one that week – were at the Marquee. And we saw Echo and the Bunnymen, Teardrop Explodes, and A Certain Ratio on one bill at the Lyceum. It was an impressive run of groups and although we were being tossed about on the choppy waters of post-punk London, there wasn’t a band that looked or sounded like us. In our insecurity we didn’t know if this was a good or a bad thing.
Further afield, Jeff Goodell reports on the future of New York city in the era of global warming.
Almost every coastal city in the world is vulnerable to sea-level rise, but nowhere is there more at stake than in New York. In purely economic terms, the New York metropolitan area is responsible for almost 10 per cent of the U.S. gross domestic product and is the largest financial hub in the world. The city has a symbolic value that is hard to quantify, with 8.5 million people from all over the world who live there, and millions more who are connected to it by work or family or by their dreams to come here and make it big. "To deal with climate change, we need inspiration," says Henk Ovink, the special envoy for international water affairs for the Netherlands who was deeply involved in rebuilding New York after Sandy. "New York City is the heart of the developed world. If it does things right, it can radiate inspiration to other places."
Alongside new interviews with Neil Young, Bernard Fanning and Eastbound & Down star Danny McBride, there's our regular features — The Last Page interview with Gang of Youths frontman, David Le'aupepe, Chino Moreno from The Deftones lists the songs that have defined his life and we profile celebrated singer, Kate Ceberano, for the latest instalment of our 'Living Legend' series.