“The band had been broken up since 2010 when we called it a day and I don’t think any of us thought that we were going to play again,” Strohmeyer says candidly down the phone line from sunny California. But call it fate, luck or something else entirely, the stars did align and saw the original lineup, together with bassist since 2007 Daniel Wonacott, reunite and from there things happened quickly.
“Initially our manager Andy called us all individually and was like, ‘Guys what do you think about getting back together and doing some What It Is To Burn shows?’ I was like, ‘I don’t know, maybe we should do one (show), and see how it goes. But you have to talk to the other guys’,” recounts Strohmeyer.
Released in 2002, the band’s debut album What It Is To Burn, exploded onto the mainstream on the back of singles Letters to You and What It Is To Burn as well as riding the early 2000s emo explosion. It was a time when punk rock officially crossed over to the mainstream masses and bands such as Finch seemed to be in the right place at the right time. But after their initial success and the subsequent release of their second album Say Hello to Sunshine, Finch endured a tumultuous few years, with a number of lineup changes, record label splits, a hiatus and by 2010, the wheels had officially fallen off with the band calling it quits.
But life has a funny way of throwing up the unexpected and in the case of Finch; one reunion show suddenly snowballed into many. “We booked the first show, we put it on sale and it sold out immediately,” remembers Strohmeyer of the initial show in California. “Then we added another show and it sold out quicker. So we just added more shows at the Glasshouse (the venue in California) and then after that we were like, ‘Let’s go to London.
“We booked a show at Brixton which is like the biggest place we had ever played. We put it on sale and went over there and it sold out and it was crazy. So we made a year of shows out of What It Is To Burn which has led us to where we are now. It’s just been amazing and super surprising and we’re so grateful.”
Just a month out from returning to Soundwave to treat their Australian fans to the What It Is To Burn reunion show, Stroymeyer insists that he and his bandmates are going to savour every last moment of their trip down under.
“When we broke up before doing these reunion shows, not knowing what was going to happen really, I thought, ‘There’s so much cool shit we could be doing like Soundwave, that would be awesome if we could do it again’. We’re lucky enough that we can have that opportunity so we’re not taking it for granted, we’re just going to enjoy it, we love the people down there and the environment.”
BY JAMES NICOLI