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Alien Ant Farm: On Old Favourites And New Challenges

Dryden Mitchell shares how the industry has changed since they formed in 1996.

24 Oct 2017 / Interview / written by Stian Maritz

After all these years, alternative rock stalwarts Alien Ant Farm are finally headed to South Africa for the first time. They’ll be promoting their latest album “Always And Forever” which they got off the ground thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign.

As an additional extra they also recently released a collaborative single between frontman Dryden Mitchell and South Africa’s own Esjay Jones (ex-Stealing Love Jones) called ‘Bonfire’.

In light of all these ongoings I spoke to vocalist Dryden Mitchell to find out more about the new record and the campaign that made it happen.

Stian Maritz: Alien Ant Farm has managed to endure throughout the years in an industry that’s changed dramatically. Looking back, what do you miss most about the music industry in those days? Also, what’s your favourite thing about the modern music industry?

Dryden Mitchell: The total and complete backing of a record company like Dreamworks is a tough thing to beat. I suppose the nice thing nowadays is making decisions solely within the band and seeing the results more quickly.

SM: Your band struck out doing something unique even by modern alternative rock standards. Are there any bands that you look at now that remind you of yourselves when you started out?

DM: That’s tough to answer considering I only listen to Howard Stern. I’m certain great bands are out there, but you’d have to ask a DJ about them.

SM: When recording “Anthology”, which track was your personal favourite?

DM: Oh lordy. It seemed like every week my favorite song was changing to something different. A song called ‘Attitude’ sticks out most to me. It’s more on the sophisticated side. At least for our standards.

SM: Same for “Always And Forever”, which one did you enjoy most even before the album was released?

DM: “Always And Forever” was not a fun record for me. Took way too long and the songs don’t reflect what I was going through at the time. But I’d have to say maybe a song called ‘Homage’ was the sore thumb in that bunch.

SM: I read in an interview that James Hetfield took you and your parents to dinner one time. How did that play out?

DM: Well… he was sober and I was fucked up. He ordered a Spider Roll and I ordered a Vodka Gimlet.

SM: “Always and Forever” was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign. Did it feel like a milestone for you to achieve that? Do you think you’ll do the next album this way as well?

DM: Damn, I feel like a negative creep on all these answers. I swear I’m cooler than this, but our experience via crowdfunding was a disaster. We fucked it up pretty good. The fans were great, but we dropped the ball on that one. It took forever and we were in some weird legalities with someone that began to hinder the process. In the end, the fans were understanding and completely cool about it, but it was embarrassing. For that, I doubt we’d do it again.

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Catch Esjay Jones live in South Africa with Alien Ant Farm on the following dates:

27 October – GoodLuck Bar, Johannesburg

28 October – Arcade Empire Halloween Party, Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria

31 October – Virgina Airfield, Durban

 Alien Ant Farm live in Cape Town

03 November – Mercury Live, Cape Town

04 November – Mercury Live, Cape Town