Plus we catch up with vocalist Tyler Levenson and find out all about their new album 'Part Of Me'
We are absolutely delighted to present the video for 'Envy', the vicious new track from Afterlife.
Taken from the band's upcoming second album 'Part Of Me', which is set to drop on August 13 via Hopeless Records, the track dips its toes into the heavier side of their arena-ready sound. Bouncy breakdowns, guttural vocals and a searing atmosphere that carves its way under your skin and takes up residence, it's an absolute behemoth of a track. A track of this grandeur deserves a video of the same intensity, and by demonstrating the feeling of envy weighing heavy on your shoulders via gallons of green sludge, the band have provided the perfect accompaniment.
Here we go:
To find out a bit more about the song and 'Part Of Me', we jumped on the phone with vocalist Tyler Levenson...
When you were in the studio and working on this new record, where did this song fit into the process?
"This song came about in a really cool way. We would set a goal each day to either get a song finished or a specific part of a song finished. ‘Envy’ was made in the last hour in the studio every day that we had where we were just having fun. We pieced it out over a week, not stressing it at all. We were also playing a lot of DOOM at the time and listening to the soundtrack, which is heavy and full of these dark synths, we thought, ‘Let’s just make this a song that would fit in a video game’.
"When we had the whole instrumental fleshed out, it sounded like nothing else we had ever done before. It became essential to the entire record because if we were going to have a heavy song on there, we needed to do it in the coolest and most unique way we could for our band. I knew that I couldn’t write about something sad or empowering, it had to be a dark and evil sounding song. It’s ended up coming out really cool."
You’re so right that if you’re going to go all-in on a song, you shouldn’t hold back in any way. Otherwise, what’s the point in even trying?
"Exactly, and I feel like because of that, ‘Part Of Me’ is going to offer so much of what we are capable of as a band. With it being our second record, after the first one took us to 19 countries and allowed us to grow in such a way, there are a lot of expectations. But I feel like we crushed it."
What did the experience of making and putting out your first record teach you as you set about forming this new record?
"I think what I learned, especially touring it, was that it didn’t matter if the songs were heavy or soft or slow or melodic. As long as people could feel the honesty and sincerity within the performance and the lyrics, that’s what mattered. There were songs that we hadn’t released as singles that actually went over better live. Tracks like ‘Broken Home’ and ‘PSA’ ended up being the most fun and receptive.
"So carrying that feeling over into this new record, I wanted to be more direct within my writing. There are some really deep and personal lyrics on this album. Take the title track, which talks about everything that I went through over the years from a domestic household and now come to terms with and get closure as the person I am now. There’s another song on the record called ‘Miles Away which is about the most recent breakup that I went through, which was the most significant event in my adult life. I’ve been that direct because I’ve seen our fans be so receptive to that. I’ve been writing for myself in ways that I know they will be able to relate to."
To feel the confidence in yourself to put these very personal stories out there is something that doesn’t come along easily. You've got to work your way up to it…
"And we made the record in such unique circumstances as well. We were writing and making it right in the middle of the pandemic, doing things over FaceTime and Zoom. We flew to Florida for three weeks to record it and then finished it up in LA. All of this stuff was happening, so many things that could go wrong went wrong, we were all going through our own personal stuff in our lives. So the record is very much a product of the pandemic, but in a positive way because of how we persevered. I think it’s some of the best music we have made to date because of that."
Back to ‘Envy’ specifically, where did you pull from to put in such a savage vocal and lyrical performance?
"To me, the whole song is a cautionary tale about what envy is. I feel as a musician, and as a person who is striving to be better, you’re always going to look at somebody else’s life and think, ‘I wish I had that. I’ve been there many times, looking at peers and wishing it was me. Then you get to that point that you wanted to be, it’s not what you expected at all, and you’re unhappy and unsatisfied. So I wanted this to be a song that focuses on you living in the moment. Stop looking at the world through other people’s eyes and be careful what you wish for. Imagine going through your whole life aiming for something you thought you wanted, and you get there, and it’s such a waste. That happens all the time. I wanted the song to feel like a horror story in that sense."
The video does an incredible job of personifying that feeling as well. It’s dark, dense and literally dripping off you. You’re almost unrecognisable because of what you’re putting yourself through. What was that like to put together?
"It was so insane to shoot. We knew we wanted to do something different. First off, our guitarist said, ‘Why don’t we get matching white jumpsuits and pull a Slipknot?’ so that’s where we started. It became a uniform. Then we built this set all ourselves and made sure that we could get a load of different up-close shots to really present this environment. I think there are like 930 cuts in total throughout the video, which is crazy. We were also going to use paint at first, but then we all decided that slime would be even better. We wanted the slime to represent envy taking over you and your personality. By the end, we were covered in it.
“It felt like a wet blanket whilst it was on us. We made it out of glue, lime jello and food colouring. It made a really insane and disgusting concoction that was impossible to get off of us. It was in my eyebrows, my ears, my nose. We all took an hour-long shower each to get this stuff off of us. Our instruments were covered and ruined as well. It was just properly crazy.”
How does it feel to be looking forward to the future with songs and visuals like this under your belt and a part of your legacy?
“It feels good because, during the process of making this album, I thought it was never going to come out. Nobody knew what was happening last year and what would happen in the future. Now to have this coming out, it feels like there was a reason we got through what we did. We pushed through the adversity and made it out the other side. It feels great to know that people will get to hear these songs live and experience them, especially after what was pretty much the worst year for everybody.
“This band is a huge part of my life, you know? I’ve had this weird feeling of not being on the road and being away from my persona and the things I love. Right now, I’m ready to get back out there and feel alive again.”