Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: June 2009
wiL Francis: Hey Brian, itís wiL from AIDEN.
Brian Rademacher: Hey wiL, so tell me what it was like growing up in Seattle?
wiL Francis: I grew up with my Mom and my brother. I grew up in an apartment just south of the industrial district. My Mom worked in a bakery; I guess it was a pretty normal childhood.
Brian Rademacher: What kind of kid were you in high school?
wiL Francis: I actually didnít go to high school because by that time I was a serious drug attic and alcoholic. I got kicked out of school in eighth grade.
Brian Rademacher: Did you have any posters on your walls as a child?
wiL Francis: Totally! When I started listening to rock music at about nine years old, I started collecting Rolling Stone magazine and cutting pictures out of NIRVANA, GREEN DAY and REDHOT CHILI PEPPERS and putting them on my walls.
Brian Rademacher: Do you remember the first CD you ever bought?
wiL Francis: It was the SMASHING PUMKINS "Chinese Dream"; the first cassette was NIRVANA "Nevermind".
Brian Rademacher: On Wikipedia they have AIDEN listed as Horror Punk, what would you classify Horror Punk as?
wiL Francis: I think thatís just a thing people think because I write songs about the dead and tragedy; things that are a lot darker then holding hands with my girlfriend. I donít consider our band a horror punk band. I donít want to be pigeon-holed as something like that.
Brian Rademacher: In 2006 you won best newcomer by Metal Hammer and Kerrang magazines, yet you have changed your style. Why wouldnít you keep that flow going?
wiL Francis: Because I was tired of being categorized and seen as band that I was in. I was always hearing we are just like MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE or AFI. Those are not the bands that inspired me. Credit due, as they are good bands and good songwriters but I donít put on make-up and play on stage just for that; it runs a lot deeper. Even thou we had a good thing going I changed the style. It would have been simple to keep a good thing going but I wanted more and even more success. I was tired of fucking people saying that shit about the band.
Brian Rademacher: I photographed you on the 2006 Warped Tour and it seems like you guys got one of the best receptions. Do you consider that because of stage presence with the make-up or the power you guy posses on stage?
wiL Francis: I think it has to do with both, a combination of both things. We are not just four dudes that just rolled out of bed and jumped on stage; we put a lot of time and energy into creating a show and I think people can tell we play from the heart.
Brian Rademacher: Do you feel the band mellowed out from the video of "Die Romantic" to "One Love"?
wiL Francis: That was on my last record and that just marked the change of sound. The new record is a lot harder and more rocking compared to that record. This one is more upbeat.
Brian Rademacher: What would you say the wildest things a person did top meet you?
wiL Francis: Nothing really, itís pretty simple to meet us. We come out after the show and say hi all the time.
Brian Rademacher: Do you see yourself having an ego problem?
wiL Francis: No. No, not at allÖ
Brian Rademacher: You guys have a picture of Elvis as Jesus with a pentagram on his head. Do you feel you will have controversy over that?
wiL Francis: Thatís just a piece of artwork that I thought was intriguing and cool. I really donít care if people get pissed about it, but I donít think they will. Itís a cool design.
Brian Rademacher: Have you seen any of the HBO series True Blood?
wiL Francis: Yeah, I love that show. That show is fucking awesome. I would be in that shit. Sign me up!
Brian Rademacher: What does AIDEN have on their tour rider?
wiL Francis: Water and towels. Thatís it.
Brian Rademacher: Tell us a little about the new CD "Knives"?
wiL Francis: Itís a back-to-basics punk rock anthem sing-a-long record. Things that interest me I wrote about and the record that was least personal. Itís the least personal album lyrically. In the past I wrote about past experiences and life and love. This record I wanted to become a storyteller and write about things that intrigue me and I find interesting.
Brian Rademacher: With you dabbling in drugs in the past. Do you consider your achievement a great success story of stopping drug use? If you have, does it affect your stage presence?
wiL Francis: No, it donít affect my stage performance and I didnít dabbling in it, I was a full-blown junkie. Itís almost ten years since I got loaded. It doesnít affect me at all on stage.
Brian Rademacher: What do your parents think of your success?
wiL Francis: I think they think this is something I do for fun.
Brian Rademacher: So what was your first job?
wiL Francis: My Mom and stepdad owned a hardware store and I worked there when I was fifteen.
Brian Rademacher: It was great talking to you wiL. Would you like to say anything in conclusion?
wiL Francis: Thanks for taking the time to do this with me, See ya.