Alexisonfire guitarist Wade MacNeil was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program, on hand to chat about the group's new album Otherness, their first album since 2009.

Although the band temporarily broke up in the early 2010s, they got back together in 2015 and began releasing new singles in 2019, all of which ultimately led to the comeback record. The band worked on new music throughout the lockdown phase of the pandemic and as songs began to come together, Alexisonfire realized they had something fresh and exciting in front of them.

Read the full chat below.

Alexisonfire spent the pandemic creating Otherness, the followup to 2009's Old Crows / Young Cardinals. Since that last record, the band had only released standalone singles. Creatively, what's missing without the whole process of making an album?

All that time away helped make this record. A lot of things changed. The band tried to break up, it just wouldn't take and we found our way back to doing it.

All the other projects that we've been involved in since that last Alexisonfire record [has shown] the musical growth between all of us. Personally as well, it all just went into making this record and it turned out the way it did. I don't think we could have made this record 10 years ago. I don't know if I could say I'm happy it took this long, but it wouldn't be the record it is if we hadn't been through everything we've been through.

Making Otherness was a positive, encouraging and even fun experience. What aspects of the album are direct reflections of that mindset?

There's this guitar solo that I end the record on in "World Stops Turning" and it's a type of playing that only happens when you kind of forget that you're playing and you forget that you're recording and you're just so zoned in that you're just doing it. Somehow you manage to surpass your own ability and I think that's the direct result of what you're talking about.

Alexisonfire, "World Stops Turning"

The new album was almost an afterthought while the band was jamming together. How is the energy different when you don't really realize you are actually making an album?

When the world shut down with the pandemic, one of the things we wanted to do was get together and jam. It was at a time when I wasn't even really seeing any other people, so being able to get together and play music just felt so good. After a few rehearsals, these songs just started pouring out of us and maybe it was that attitude that led to it sounding the way it does.

There was a collective weariness when Alexisonfire disbanded 10 years ago. What safeguards were put in place to prevent that from happening again?

Like a lot of bands, we toured ourselves into the ground and we were just burnt, but we've managed to find our way back to it and in a really nice way. I think we already made all the mistakes, so hopefully we can avoid them this time around.

Dine Alone Records
Dine Alone Records

Wade, music serves different purposes during different stages of life to empower, motivate and heal. How is music serving you right now?

It's very healing.We're coming out of a very weird time for everybody and I think, collectively, everyone can can relate to struggle. It's always been music that's lifted me out of that. We wrote a lot about that in this record and I hope other people can find that in it and relate that way.

As an Alexisonfire fan myself, we — the fans — are so excited that you are back. Good luck with this record!

We are very much a happier group of dudes now that it's back in our lives. Thanks so much for listening.

Thanks to Wade MacNeil for the interview. Follow Alexisonfire on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify and get your copy of their new album, 'Otherness,' here. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show here.

Scene Albums That Went Platinum


More From KZCD-FM