Every Time I Die choose not to dwell on their 20-year legacy

They’ve been delivering rip-snorting, slobber-knocking, southern-fried hardcore for 20 years now, and Buffalo-natives Every Time I Die have zero intention of stopping any time soon. 

Their most recent tour through North America was billed as “Celebrating 20 Years Of Bullshit,” although it wasn’t quite the nostalgia-fest that many bands of that particular vintage tend to go for. According to Keith Buckley, the band’s lead vocalist, it was a celebration of how far they’ve come as opposed to how much they dwell on the past.

“We just want to look forward,” he says. “Twenty years is no time to stop and reflect. It’s a milestone that not many bands reach, so when you get there you don’t treat it as the finish line. You turn it up. You go harder.” 

Indeed, Every Time I Die have simply not stopped since the release of 2016’s Low Teens. The album has been their most successful to date, charting in a half-dozen countries and taking them the world over in support of it. Two-and-a-half years after its release, Buckley hasn’t even entertained the idea of the ninth ETID record.

Low Teens is still too full of life to even think about putting it on the shelf,” says Buckley. “Imagine if your grandfather just walked out of the doctor’s office and he’s like, ‘Well, I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been and I have a long, fulfilling life to look forward to. As a matter of fact, I think I’m going to take up playing chess considering how sharp my mind is.’ If you were like, ‘Whatever you say, old man. Time to get you to the old folks’ home,’ that would be insane. Low Teens has so much strength left.”

This isn’t to say, however, that Buckley hasn’t been keeping his creative juices flowing – it’s just been channelled elsewhere. 2019 will see Buckley releasing brand new material with his supergroup The Damned Things, which also features members of Anthrax (the legendary Scott Ian) and Fall Out Boy (guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley). Buckley is excited to revive the project after almost seven years in hiatus. “We’ve been ‘secretly’ writing for about four years now,” he says. “I’m excited for it to blossom again – the band is so much different, and so much better.”

For the meantime, Buckley’s focus is on Every Time I Die – and this month, it’s been the focus of a lot of people’s attention. The band recently held a massive hometown shindig entitled Tid The Season, which brought a myriad of different bands, artists and performers to Buffalo and brought fans of the band not only from interstate, but from overseas. Buckley is the first to admit the whole thing was a blur – “I have no idea how it went,” he quips. “I was too nervous the entire day and don’t remember anything.” 

It’s safe to say, however, that the event was a major success. The show even featured matches from Blackcraft Wrestling, an independent pro-wrestling promotion for which guitarist Andy Williams often competes. Not that Buckley would ever get in the ring himself, though: “I would be the guy they find at the concessions stand dipping a soft pretzel into his beer for some reason and have kicked out of the event,” he says.

Buckley has a home on-stage rather than in-ring. Australia has served as almost a second home for the band for years, and this month will see the band return for a unique one-off performance at UNIFY Gathering in Gippsland. Needless to say, it’s going to involve a lot of travel – but Buckley’s already got long-haul flights all figured out. 

“Bring a lot of painkillers and at least two books,” he advises. “Chances are there will be at least three Marvel movies showing, but even if you watch all of them you still have 11 hours left.” 

Catch Every Time I Die at UNIFY Gathering, going down at Tarwin Meadows, Gippsland from Friday January 11 until Sunday January 13. Tickets via  the festival website.