Halocene’s Addie Nicole Amick on, “Outsourcing our decision-making to our fans.” (6/5 at KFN)

“We don’t have a label.  It’s like our fans are our record label!” says Addie Nicole Amick, vocalist for metalcore trio Halocene, alongside husband and guitarist Bradley Amick and...

“We don’t have a label.  It’s like our fans are our record label!” says Addie Nicole Amick, vocalist for metalcore trio Halocene, alongside husband and guitarist Bradley Amick and drummer Joseph Polizzi.  The band, whose Maleficent EP drops this Friday, May 19th, have been making music since 2008, but have had a somewhat unusual history.  Starting out on a traditional path, the band transitioned to focusing solely on online content, gaining a reputation for their covers of artists as diverse as Taylor Swift, Foo Fighters, and recently profiled Against The Current (Their latest EP includes four originals – including recently released single “Maleficent” — in addition to their takes on Sam Smith’s “Unholy,” Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer,” and Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.”)  Addie tells me, during a phone chat this afternoon, that the band is more than happy to be, “Outsourcing our decision-making to our fans,” describing their relationship with their listeners as, “A living, breathing entity.”

“The way we do music is pretty different from the way most bands do it, I think.  We do singles one at a time, and let our audience guide us.  They tell us what they want to hear more of, what they want to hear less of, everything.  Our last release, Vita Nova, was not quite as heavy and, not quite symphonic, but had strings as a base.  This one is a lot more chugs, a lot more heavy breakdowns, a lot more screaming.”

I ask Addie if she and the band have any personal favorite trios, and she tells me that the big one that stands out for all of them is Blink-182, who they’ve opened for after winning a Battle of the Bands, and whose “Dammit” and “The Party Song” they’ve covered.  But she also asks, “Can I give you a non-serious answer?” before telling me that one particular major influence is actually a fictional band from a film, which “Glitter Power Pop” duo PONY also recently told me played a major role in their sound: “When I started, there were not a lot of females doing music, at least like this, and the movie Josie and the Pussycats was the first time I really saw girls holding guitars, and that was wildly influential to my decision to do this.”

Although Halocene have spent the majority of their career as an online entity (“We stream several times a week,” Addie tells me.), things have taken a bit of a new path after their cover of System of a Down’s “Chop Suey” really took off during the pandemic.  Since then, the band has returned to touring after their fans did everything short of demanding it, says Addie: “We started to grow a following at that time, but I think we had imposter syndrome.  People would tell us online, ‘We wanna see you live!  We wanna see you live!’ and we were like, ‘Yeah… Sure… [laughs].’”  And when I ask how those post-lockdown shows have been going, she tells me, “It’s gone mind-blowingly well!”

Addie also tells me that she’s been enjoying the eclectic variety of places Halocene has been able to play: “I love every venue differently.  I mean, at this level we’re at, it’s not like it’s going to be the same kind of venue every night.  Each night you don’t know if you’re showing up at a traditional bar, or a bowling alley… and I mean an amazing bowling alley [laughs].”  And, much to her surprise, it’s not just American fans that have been craving Halocene live: “In Europe like 50 tickets out of the whole tour weren’t sold!  To be able to sell out Europe is just mind-blowing.”

The end of this month Halocene kick off a little more than two weeks of dates throughout the eastern part of North America, including a stop at Kung Fu Necktie on Monday, June 5th.  When I ask Addie what can be expected of the live show, she tells me, “We try to keep our covers 50/50, which is kind of an ideal situation at our level, so fans can enjoy our original music, but also get to hear what we would sound like singing some of their favorite songs.”  She also tells me that this tour will feature a special guest: “We’re touring with our friend, Lauren Babic, who isn’t opening for us, but she comes out about halfway through our set and finishes the show with us.”

For this upcoming run of dates, Halocene are offering fans who are willing to spend a little extra money ($85 at KFN) a VIP package, which [for our date] includes a general admission ticket, pre-show meet & greet with the band, photo with the band, signed poster, exclusive VIP shirt, and early access to the venue.  “It was really obvious to us that we wanted to meet with people,” Addie explains of the experience, telling me that, in general, “They’ll show up about an hour before doors, and they get a shirt and a signed poster,” and that, “Every venue’s different, but ideally, we hop up onstage and have a Q&A session.”

Halocene is currently based in Nashville (home to PHILTHY favorites like Bully, Madi Diaz, Michaela Anne, GAYLE, Bella White, and close to literally a billion others…), although I found out during my recent chat with Addie that that is a very recent relocation: “We just moved here a month ago!  We’re brand new!  We noticed the rock and metal scene has been popping up a lot more in Nashville, and LA has gotten so expensive.”  She adds that she’s quite excited for Halocene’s upcoming show in their new home: “We’re definitely excited to play Nashville, especially because our show last year got cancelled, because we got COVID and had to cancel a handful of shows, and plus now we live there!”  But she also tells me that she and Bradley are equally excited about the time immediately following this tour: “When we moved here, we didn’t have this tour planned, and we have an unfinished basement that we plan to turn into a studio and also a video space, so I’m really excited to dive into that.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.