I must admit, this has been a long time coming. Sergio Amalfitano(Lead singer for ACxDC/Founding Member) and I have been discussing doing this interview for over a year. Things happen, people get busy. Below you will find an interview with someone I consider a friend. All subjects are covered. Dig it!
ACxDC(Anti-Christ, Demon Crew) play short, fast, and loud music. Some call them “powerviolence” others say “hardcore”, whatever you label them as, one thing is for certain, they don’t fuck around when they perform live. It can be very overwhelming to those not a part of the “scene”. (Trust me, I’ve attended plenty of their shows to testify).
The band has had a few lineup changes since its inception in 2003. They have broken up and reunited twice and now it seems the band has finally caught its stride and are developing new material constantly. The group has a mixed bag of exposure. Some people love them, others hate them.
All in all, ACxDC has paved a way for new bands and for D.I.Y., grassroots promoting and touring as well.
Here’s our chat with Sergio about the bands past, present, and future.
TD: For those that don’t know, how did ACxDC get started and would you say your sound has matured over the years?
SA: My buddy Pablo (original ACxDC guitarist) and I had known each other since Jr High. We basically got into all the same music at the same time. One day he asked me to join a band he was starting with his friend JC (original drummer). I brought in our bassist Jeff because he was in another band with me at the time. We’ve definitely changed our sound a bit. Matured I guess is a good word since we started the band ten years ago. We also had lineup changes so that always affects how you write music with other people. We just ended up using all the different influences we’ve gathered since starting the band.
TD:Is ACxDC’s music for everyone?
SA: Everyone that cares to listen. We get plenty of hardcore kids, punks, crusties, women, men, queers, people of color, non core civilians, metal heads, thrash kids, debate guys, etc. If you want to listen to us I don’t care how “cool” or aware or underground or whatever you are. Music should be for everyone.
TD:There has been a few lineup changes over the years since the bands inception in 2003. Do you still keep in contact with past members?
SA:Occasionally. Its hard for me to keep in touch with anyone that isn’t in the band or in my family especially with twin girls and my own business. Basically Im an introvert now and use the band as a social outlet ha. If people want to see me they have to come to my house! I just cant manage time with the girls and business so even when I have time I’m an old man and like to relax at home. Ive lost touch with a lot of people but I hear that happens when you have kids. I also moved about 45 minutes away from where I used to live so its hard when I grew up in another side of LA County.
TD: You have a lot of fans and supporters, yet you have a lot of negativity to deal with to. What keeps your focus strong and how do you over come all that negative talk?
SA: I retweet a lot of the people who hate on us haha. It helps to know that most of the people who hate us come from really sketchy places in their lives. Theres a band that wrote a song against us and turns out its because some of them are Christians. Another band is racist and homophobic. Yet others believe what they see/ hear on the internet and spread rumors. Honestly its comes with the territory. As soon as anyone likes your band someone has to hate it. The numbers make sense. The more supporters the more detractors. But as long as the supporters are there and they’re making its a positive experience the negative people will disappear in the background. Most of it is weird jealousy or bitterness or misconceptions. Also who cared ultimately? If they really didn’t care they would be indifferent to us. But they still keep us in their mouths. Albeit they’re crickets in the sense that they chirp away at a safe distance but as soon as were in the vicinity they shut up. We push forward how WE decide we want to. DIY.
SA:People don’t have a sense of humor. They also don’t like to delve into anything deeper than whats in front of them. Our first ep had a picture of Jesus getting shot and the title was ‘He Had It Coming”. People get very upset with that or think its cool because its offensive but in reality it isn’t. The whole concept of Christianity was that he DID have it coming. He was supposed to die. But at face value its seen as some wild image. Not everything is black and white. If both Christians and non Christians opened up to dialogue the world would be a better place. The most backlash we’ve gotten was for a shirt we made in support of Dorner. We made the acronym stand for Anti Cop Dorner Crew. A lot of people were upset. Sorry I’m not sorry.
(Chris Dorner went on a rampage and killed at least two police officers and wounded more on a suicidal campaign to reveal the corruption and dishonesty of the L.A.P.D. he was considered a maniac by some but a hero to others.)
TD: Care to elaborate on the whole Chris Dorner issue?
SA:The main person that got mad at that had some serious conservative issues. We didn’t see eye to eye. He said we made merch for “hipsters” and “niggers”. So there you go haha. I’m a punk rock guy that doesn’t like cops. Not a big surprise!
TD: You have two daughters, did having them change your outlook on life and perhaps the band as well?
SA:Yes! Absolutely. I don’t live for me anymore. I live for them. Which means I have to think about everything I do as it relates to them. I make sure I plan everything around the girls. Practice, shows, tour, work, etc. It also made me hate the things I hated even more haha. Because it wont just affect me anymore. It will affect my kids.
TD: As a family man yourself, is it hard to juggle your band and family time?
SA:Definitely. But you do what you love regardless of the difficulty. I try my best to balance it all. Sometimes I fail. But in the grand scheme of things my family comes first and band second. Its why we take so long to release material. I have to plan tours and shows and all this stuff keeping my family and the guys and their schedules in mind. So its difficult with age and being an “adult”. But its worth it. Punk will be a part of me forever. Already has been for half my life. Hell it even started being a part of my girls lives. Most of the people that surround them are hardcore folk. So they’ll definitely be a part of the lifestyle and ethos.
TD: What does the term “Hardcore” mean to you in terms of music. Is there a certain formula one must follow to play this type of music?
SA:Not necessarily. Its pretty broad. Especially if you relate it to punk which I do. I prefer fast, short and loud. But I love slow and groovy. Its really a mentality. Extreme music in general tends to support itself via DIY circles and means. I think as long as you’re doing what you love and there’s something you’re screaming out against its hardcore.
SA:I tend to choose a lyrical theme. Fit a basic framework to the song structure. Then really think about how I can tell an interesting point of view without it being overbearing. I don’t like being super preachy. I have beliefs but I like to write lyrics where you can enjoy singing along to something fun but If you want to think about it you can. Usually I use themes from something I am watching on TV at the time or going through or thinking about.
TD: Many older acts are reuniting in the punk scene, do you think this is good or are you of the mindset that once a band is over it should stay dead?
SA: I think as long as people do what they want and how they want they should be free to do it. Some bands never got to tour. Some want to release new records. Some just miss playing and couldn’t for a long time for personal reasons. I’m no one to judge. If people want to see them then more power to them. If people don’t care to see you, who cares play anyways. Hell we’ve reunited twice!
TD: Do you believe in Satan? Or is it just a scapegoat for religious fanatics?
SA: I believe in Satan as a tool. As a metaphor for human nature. I believe in Mikhail Bakunin’s Satan from God and the State. A rebel rouser. A non conformist. A polar opposite to bullshit religiosity. I believe in La Vey’s Satan. To the degree that I believe in individualism, epicurean-ism, max stirrers egoism, anarchism, humanism, etc. I use it liminally. I use it t push buttons and piss people off. To make people question why they are pissed or upset or intrigued or excited. I’m an atheist. No gods. No devils.
TD: What’s the most Satanic thing you’ve ever witnessed on the road touring?
SA: People threatening to burn down a house we were supposed to play at in the name of Christianity. That was pretty “Satanic” haha.
TD: What can we expect from ACxDC this year as far as releases go and tours.
SA:Were cutting back. A couple shows each month. A record release in September in LA for our friends in Death March. Three day tour with Theories in October where well hit Tucson and SD. Tijuana for the first time in November and Florida for the first time in December! Were going to release a few records this year I’m hoping. I want to try and do unique and cool things we’ve never done so a couple odd records and an LP by next year.
TD: Where do you see ACxDC in the next 5 years?
SA: I want to keep pushing. I want to push us as far as we can go. I want to play festivals and release records and tour. I know we plan on doing our first real out of country tours. Europe, Australia, Japan, South America, Mexico, SE Asia, etc. Focus more on touring rather than playing locally. I just want to do things we’ve never done before.
A big thanks to Sergio for taking the time to chat with us and clear a few things up about the group.
Here are ACxDC’s releases to date.
He Had It Coming (2003)
The Second Coming(2011)
Live TBFH tape(2012)
Three way split 10″ with Magnum Force and Sex Prisoner(2012)
Split ep with To The Point(2012)
Aldo, Jeff, Jose, Jorge and Sergio
To keep up with band and all their satanic exploits, check out these links:
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