Every Time I Die


Every Time I Die frontman Keith Buckley once felt he was paying for mistakes made in past lives. Bolting over personal hurdles, Buckley and his merchants of metalcore masala will blow the minds of us antipodean types, appearing on Aussie soil twice in the one year. TOM VALCANIS reports.

Buffalo, New York, screamer Keith Buckley feels optimistic. Buoyant, even.

It’s a complete 180 from last year. Personal obstacles and social media distractions felt like blows to Buckley’s vital spirit. Daily life felt layered over with a desire to curl into a ball and fade away. “At that period, I felt confronted by this thick wall. I was stuck,” he opens up. “I dealt with it very poorly back then. There was a lot of alcohol. There was a lot of self-deprecation. Complete fucking pessimism.”

Buckley eventually carried torches into the dark of his soul. He just can’t remember when or how it brightened his world. “I’ve tried to figure it out,” he says in disbelief. “I’ve tried to go back and think ‘what was it?’ I don’t know. It happened in my sleep one day. It was like, ‘today I’m gonna start differently’. I was just saying to myself, ‘I’m just gonna try to be in a good mood’. I tried it, it was fun. I guess you just gotta keep your head up. The only thing to do is not get caught up in all of it.”

Buckley’s renewed positivity steels him for this month’s second long-haul flight to Australia. “Oh yeah, we love it,” he confirms, sincerely. “The last thing we want to do is over-saturate it and ruin a good thing. But we have a good relationship and I really hope you want to see us.”

Buckley figures Australia is like one of his night-time friends, one really long distance night-time friend. “You have daytime friends and you have night-time friends,” he explains. “Some friends you don’t get along with during the day but at night, they’re perfect. They’re the ones you hang out with when the sun comes down.”

Who do you call when you’re eager for brunch then? “You call the guys in Blink-182 for that,” he says in all seriousness. He can’t help cracking up laughing. “They seem like brunch people to me.”

Across the pond in Buckley’s home, a liquid brunch before football games or music festivals apes the night-time spirit. Fans indulge in a ye olde American tradition of tailgating – camping in a stadium carpark and drinking until the event begins. “Some fans tailgate all morning,” Buckley says. “They’re up at eight o’clock in the morning, drinking. Some people won’t even go inside the venue.”

Those who managed to stagger into this year’s Big Day Out saw Buckley earnestly comforting non-metalheads, jostled and lost amongst veteran headbangers. He screamed, “If you don’t know what a moshpit is, I don’t have time to explain the formula.”

So then, what is the formula?

“Chaos. Complete chaos is the formula,” he chuckles. “I don’t think anyone who is gonna come to our shows will not know what it is. I’m sure that people are enlightened enough to know what to expect now.”

Not that it matters to some, treating music like an open tab on their web browser. “I really just hope when people come out they’re going to be involved,” he says. “My dream now is to play a club where nobody has a cameraphone. I just want them to be there, to be present, to enjoy themselves. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Hopefully it will happen.”