After more than a decade, Michael Crafter is abdicating as king of Australian mosh. CONFESSION have released the dates for their final tour, with a marathon 19 shows beginning in Melbourne on the 2nd of January. I caught up with the man himself to have a chat about the touring life, making bank and life after music.
Hi, Crafter. Thanks for chatting with us. I guess it must be an odd prospect to be stepping away from music after all these years. Is this really the end? Do you think you’ll still jam and play music, or is that chapter of your life completely closed?
I might jam with some people, but touring probably isn’t going to happen. I’m getting so old and have been doing it for so long – I really don’t need to be back on the road, in a van and sleeping on floors in my late 30’s. Money isn’t massive, and I’d rather be home making money and spending time with my daughter. Music is a hobby, sometimes hobbies have to end for reality.
That it does. Have you always regarded music as just a hobby? Back when you were first getting into the scene, things were so much different. Has it gotten harder for bands to tour and make money? These days I see a lot of bands pursuing it as a career, but is seems like it’s not a viable opportunity as it once was.
Honestly, I think when we started prom queen we were just excited to be touring and seeing other states. Also the girls being into ya band was a huge thing ahahaha. But I think there’s just so many bands and tours now it’s harder to do well, especially when there’s shows on every weekend in every city. Personally, it’s never been about cash for me, it’s about meeting new people and seeing the world. My best mates are people I’ve met on tour. Bands don’t set small goals, they just wanna be huge now days.
Did it ever cross your mind when you got into the scene all those years ago that you would reach this level of success? And does it surprise you that heavy music in Australia has become so popular?
Na, it never surprised me at all. Punk was big, and metal was big, so it was only a matter of time before metalcore also had its time in the sun. It won’t last forever, but some bands will stand above the rest and will probably always be huge… but I’ve had a good run and have been able to see the world. I never thought I’d be lucky enough to do that, to be honest. I knew prom queen was doing something different, but I never expected us at the time to be a big band. It kinda just happened, and before we knew it we were playing all over the world.
Following on from that – what’s your opinion on the current state of the scene – are there any bands that you think might reach the IKTPQ and Parkway Drive level of fame outside of Australia?
Obviously bands like The Amity Affliction and Thy Art Is Murder have passed IKTPQ level outside of Australia – Deez nuts also have too. But As for Parkway level? I doubt it. They are pulling 5000+ people across Europe – that’s so massive. America goes through trends like underwear, but Europeans stay loyal for a very long time. Parkway Drive will be at the top till’ their 50, hahaha.
I can imagine there must be a sense of relief with retiring from music, you can devote more time to other things in your life – you mentioned spending more time with your daughter. Do you have anything in the pipeline for the future?
Just the printing business, and got a few other things on the go. Honestly, I’ve hardly toured in the last few years. So it’s not like much changes. The stress of a band goes away, and that’s going to help me be a bit more settled. But yeah, I’ll just work, and build on what I’ve got happening currently.
Right on. After all these years, and the hundreds of shows – where’s your favourite place to play in Australia, and around the world? And is there anything in particular about the lifestyle you’re going to miss?
Newcastle has always been sick for Confession, and I’ve always loved Perth (I moved here). As for over the world, my favourite place I’ve been in Thailand and Spain. Both were sick, and I loved being there to play shows.
MELBOURNE – January 3 – Arrow On Swanston AA
CANBERRA – January 4 – The Basement 18+
WOLLONGONG – January 5 – Towradgi Surf Club AA
NEWCASTLE – January 6 – Cambridge Hotel 18+
NEWCASTLE – January 7 – Drone AA
MOOLOOLABA – January 8 – The Helm – 18+
BRISBANE – January 9 – The Brightside 18+
BRISBANE – January 10 – The Lab AA
GOLD COAST – January 13 – Coolangatta Hotel 18+
CENTRAL COAST – January 14 – Woy Woy Leagues Club 18+
GEELONG – January 15 – Barwon Club 18+
GIPPSLAND – January 16 – Unify 18+
HOBART – January 17 – The Brisbane Hotel 18+
PERTH – January 20 – YMCA HQ AA
BUNBURY – January 21 – Prince Of Whales
PERTH – January 22 – Amplifier 18+
ADELAIDE – January 23 – Enigma Bar 18+
SYDNEY – January 30 – UTS Underground AA
Writer/Managing Editor for IPHYB
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