When Kevin Bivona and Aimee Interrupter, the vocalist and songwriter for the band, speak with HollywoodLife, the band's long-awaited fourth studio album is in the final stages, the first since 2018's Fight The Good Fight.
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The conversation takes place in an increasingly rare period of free time for the group. The day before talking with HL, the group played Jimmy Kimmel Live!, fulfilling a bucket list entry by meeting guest host RuPaul. The group will then return to the West Coast in September to continue their North American tour of Flogging Molly.
Aimee and Justin are a dream team, where the album will be released, merchandise will be dropped, videos will be released, and songs will be streamed on repeat by fans who connect deeply to the energetic music.
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I think the feeling is absolute and total gratitude, she adds, because we know this is a tough business. And not everybody gets the chance to do these things that we get to do. We just feel so lucky. We take each day like we are not looking too far ahead.
Kevin: "We must remain in the moment." Sometimes to our detriment, because things will start to pile up, and Im like, Oh no. And then all of this stuff, it all seems to be last minute.
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Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the subsequent lockdowns, and the disruption of life as we know it, this philosophy of staying in the moment becomes even more applicable.
We didn't have a solid plan, Kevin says, because we've been touring so much. The next thing we did was, We're going to the studio to record. And then the epidemic happened, and we had time to make a decision about what kind of record we wanted to make.
Because concerts were gone, we were like, We need to have an Interrupters concert immortalized, so let's make a live album with a movie. And with that film, [This Is My Family], we had to go through our childhood tapes of us singing and playing music. But all of the effort we were doing and reflection we were doing really lit this creative fire, in Aimee.
According to Aimee, it was a very Dewey Cox moment, sparking the universe to make their own Walk Hard film. I had to think about my whole life and take inventory of my entire life to make that film. But while doing it, I realized, 'Oh my God, I haven't really been vulnerable.'
A lot of the songs I have written, she says, are about other people. Like I had a song called Jenny Drinks, because that's about Jenny. That's not about me. I had a song, Easy On You, that's about someone else.
Aimee says she wrote from the first person on this record. "This is my story." I'll tell my story." What we realized as we began composing songs during the epidemic, was that we didn't have time for reflection to spare.
Aimee has never been shy about revealing her struggles as a child in an abusive environment, and her years of self-medicating with alcohol, her music in The Interrupters has always had that fictional buffer. Even when making In The Wild, the group had songs left on the editing floor because they didnt fit in with the overall narrative.
Kevin explains that she and the twins feared that we might be in this vulnerable position with the rest of the world, but they were the ones that connected the most. And also, as we continued to recite, "If we dont do it now, what are we waiting for?" She addressed some very deep topics that she hadnt previously addressed. And it made it a beautiful experience.
Kevin explains that the group had the luxury of time. With everything locked down, he and Aimee converted their garage into a recording studio. This allowed them to compose and record on their own schedule. We were just making a record. We didnt know when we would embark on a tour. It happened. It was fantastic to be a part of.
Aimee, my favorite time to sing, in the middle of the night, really late, is when inspiration strikes me. Its like, it's in our backyard.
I'll just say, Hey, I'm 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. Why don't you make some night coffee? And he was like, All right. Let's do it.'
The Interrupters' best-ever, most resonating song to date is Burdens and Kiss The Ground, which celebrates never-yelling endurance and introversion when life punches you square in the face. The closer, Alien, will find purchase in any youth who feels out of place in their body, their city, or in this world.
Kevin says there is this through-line of gratitude for the wonderful things in life that she has experienced throughout her life. And always seeking out the best route through it all and always seeking the other side
Aimee is interrupted by the fact that she is stronger.
Kevin says, "I'm impressed by the urgency and just the emotion" in her performances. Every song has a sonically distinct identity to it. It erupts out of the speakers and speaks directly to me. "I hope that everyone else does."
The Interrupters have developed a loyal following over the years, which has been bolstered by the band's accessibility. Even though they sing about adult issues, the group avoids adult language in their music and stage banter, according to Aimee. We like that many generations are connected to it.
Im just like, when she explains that in my earlier music, I used to play the F-word and swear. It was just lazy songwriting. I could have used a metaphor, instead of just saying, "Yeah, throw the F-word in and call it edgy."
Anytime I am writing and have the creative desire to incorporate the F-word, I think long and hard about how I might accomplish it with some poetry, according to a friend. And if I cant beat it with poetry, I throw the whole thing out.
The Interrupters' uniqueness and flair have earned them lifelong fans, literally. One aspect of the band's history comes from a performance in DC, says Kevin. And as I am playing the show, Im two songs in, and im like, Oh my gosh, we played DC seven years ago. And there was a young in there, and he said, I love your shirt. And she took her shirt off and gave it to him.
Aimee Interrupter is the type of kindhearted performer who would graciously hand out her own shirt to one of her viewers. She admits to me that I used to have that shirt. It's so familiar. You think you used to have a shirt similar to that. That's my shirt. So funny.
Kevin says he has since worn the shirt, but he brought it to us. He's 17 now. And we're like, How old were you with that show? And we're like, Oh my goodness, this is so cool that we're all growing together.
If it weren't for music, I'd be completely in the ground long ago, according to Amiee. It's been my refuge, my healing light. It's comforted me in writing, and it comforts me when someone connects with it. And all of a sudden, neither of us are alone. I'm so grateful whenever someone says, I heard that song, that helped me through a dark period. Thank you.
Hellcat Records has released In The Wild on August 5th.