INTERVIEW: SENSES FAIL

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Senses Fail have a long, established history. From helping to shape the post-hardcore scene at the start of the millennium to now defining their own place within the scene via new album, Renancer. In the lead up to their string of Australian tour dates, we sat down with frontman Buddy Nielsen to chat about sound evolution, playing Slam Dunk and punk rock cookbooks. 

By Hannah Sebestjanowicz

The band have come a long way since Let It Enfold You and the evolution in sound –  especially on the new record Renacer – seems very natural. That record has been out 2 months. Now that its had time to sink in, do you think peoples initial reactions have changed to it?
No, I think the initial reaction was pretty much cemented in stone, you either liked the change or not.In previous interviews it has been mentioned that touring is no longer a priority for you. I saw you guys play Slam Dunk Midlands and you showed off some of your acrobatic skills when you jumped on to the candelabra much to the horror of security – do you still enjoy playing shows?
Yes I like playing shows now more than ever. Where we are right now we have no pressure. We don’t have to push ourselves to compete or try to make it, we can just choose to come and go as we please.

Do you have any particular favourites from the new record and are there any particular songs that seem to go down better live?
I really like Closure/Rebirth, Glass and Frost Flower

Senses Fail have such an extensive back catalogue and fan favourites and it is probably getting harder and harder to please fans when you play live – is that something you consider when writing set lists?
Yes absolutely. We need to find a nice balance between what we want to play off the new record and what people want to hear. I feel like we have a pretty good idea of what are the mainstay songs. I would like to think that most people are happy with the set list, not that many people seem to complain.

It seems that pretty much every member of the band has dabbled in side projects or playing for other bands, is that something you would like to concentrate more on in the future or will Senses Fail always be the first priority?
I would like to try other things. I really like heavier music. I would really like to try some things that might be too aggressive for Senses Fail, but I have no exact plans the moment.

So when Senses Fail aren’t writing, recording or playing shows what do you like to do to relax?
I like doing Brazilian jujitsu, hanging out with my two dogs and going to shows.

You’ve done ‘Cooking With Buddy’, how did that come about and do you think there is room in the market for a punk rock cookbook?
[Laughs] I just like to cook and we usually pair it up as publicity when we have a new release. I am always making stuff so it is easy for me to document it and just turn it into something that can help promote a release. I actually think there are a couple of punk rock cookbooks out there already.

Over the years you have played with countless bands, have there been any particular tours that have stood out as being the most fun or any particular stand out shows?
I’d say our tour with Bayside was pretty stand out, the Drive Thru tour, Brand New’s first headline on Deja Entendu. Our co-headline with Saves The Day was great as well.

Finally are there any new bands that are exciting you right now, local or otherwise?
I really love the new Deafheaven record.

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Many thanks to Buddy for taking the time to chat to us. You can check out details for Senses Fail and their upcoming Australian tour at: http://sensesfail.com/

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