For many in the Southeast, if you say “AFN” they (if they’re lucky) know you’re referring to the Greenville, S.C trinity known as Alias For Now. These young rockers have been working tirelessly to make a name for themselves and standout amongst their more established peers. Combining classic rock 'n' roll, a little thrash and a little soul, AFN has created a sound that many are comparing to the likes of Motörhead. 2013 has proven to be a great year for this enterprising rock ‘n’ roll outfit, as they have had the chance to play with not only other stellar locals, but impressive nationals as well. Recently, Examiner.com got a chance to get a little background on these guys and find out what their plans are for the year ahead!
Let’s get a little background…How did you guys get started?
AFN: Me (Michael) and Ryan started AFN in high school. I was a freshman and Ryan was a junior. We had a different bass player (also named Blake) and we just jammed and had a good time, once we got Blake Webb in the band that’s when we got serious. But really, none of us really fit in and we loved the same sort of music and now we’re out to conquer the world.
How long have you been playing music?
AFN: Michaels been playing for 6 years, Ryan has been on drums for 3 years, and Blake picked up the bass 4 years ago.
What kind of music inspires you?
AFN: All kinds, Michael is super into folk music and the blues, as well as classic country, and of course, rock and metal. Blake is the straight up rock guy; he worships Kiss. Ryan tends to lean more progressive and metal; he’s the dude at the Lamb of God concerts.
What is your favorite part of performing?
AFN: Getting the crowd pumped up and just cutting loose. The crazier the crowd, the better the show.
Do you have a favorite song to perform (original or cover)?
AFN: It varies a lot. We all have different favorite songs I suppose. I think everyone loves "Dead at Hello" because it’s just a goofy song and we jam a lot during it.
What has been one of the biggest/ or best things to happen to you guys in 2013?
AFN: 2013 had a LOT of crazy things happen, we did a lot. I would say when we opened for Soulfly and the crowd encored us when Soulfly had us cut. When they wouldn’t let us back on people started leaving and that was a great knowing they wanted more of our music.
What did you learn from your tour experience earlier this year?
AFN: Don’t drop the soap, and QT’s (Quik Trip gas stations) are not a well balanced breakfast.
You’ve been working on a new album to follow up your EP “First Take,” what can fans expect from the new material?
AFN: The new Album sounds awesome! It’s still straight up, balls to the wall, rock music, but it’s more well rounded. We’re better musicians now, more experienced and have much better song writing skills.
What’s your songwriting process? How do you develop new material?
AFN: A lot of new material mainly comes from just jamming, rarely do we sit down and say, lets work on this or that. Its almost always spur of the moment riffage.
What’s in store for AFN in 2014?
AFN: A lot more touring with a side of more touring. We’re going to be doing as many shows as we can, we did almost 60 this year and we’d like to break 100 in 2014. We’re releasing “Dead at Hello” and we want to get it out to as many people as we can.
If you haven’t experienced AFN yet, waste no more time! They have already won over the hearts and ears of many this year and have no plans of stopping. You can check them out on Facebook, Reverbnation, and you can buy their EP “First Take” here. These guys definitely make the “Ones To Watch” list for 2014, because we have only just begun to see what they’re capable of. Check out the groovy, thrashy, riff-tastic-ness of AFN and discover what may become your new favorite band.