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“I’m obviously the type that’s up for a challenge,” he laughs. “It’s going to be a huge tour for us and just to make it worse, I’m doing Dry July. It’s going to be absolutely worth it, though. Unfortunately, it’s a cause that’s been all too close in my life so far, so I’m very much down to support it. Having said that, obviously it’s going to be really hard. I’m worried about our guitarist, Jimmy, because it’s like he turns into some kind of vampire if he doesn’t have a drink. Actually, I shouldn’t start any rumours about addiction, I’m just joking. But yes, it will be very hard to tour and have a good time without having a drink, but I’m sure we can do it.”

With the release of Syndicate’s much-anticipated first album, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep Agar’s mind off beer at the moment. Featuring a stellar cast of guest appearances – including Jeff Blue [Linkin Park], Brandon Friesen [Nickelback], Matt Sorum [Guns N’Roses] and Mike Fraser [AC/DC] – Syndicate’s self-titled album is sure to rank as one of the biggest rock releases of 2011.

“We’ve been super lucky to have the kind of freedom of creativity that we’d had, as well as the time to get this album exactly how we wanted to,” says the singer. “We definitely obsessed over all the details and we’re very much emotionally invested into it. We’ve become perfectionists; that’s for sure. It’s hard, through, because we’ve spent all this time on the album and now it just kind of gets snatched out of your hands and this is how it’s going to sound forever, there’s no going back, and it’s out there for everyone to form opinions. In retrospect, I believe it came out the best that it could have.”

According to Agar, the album also showcases Syndicate’s versatility as band – though, accidentally. “All My Life was a fairly easy choice for a second single,” he begins. “There are two versions of it on the record – one electric version which was exactly the one we intended to have, but then there’s also a piano version, which kind of came about last minute. We were just in the studio mucking around and I got on the piano, almost just taking the piss, really, and I played a slower version of that song. It sounded like a ballad everyone was like, ‘Dude, you’ve got to record that!’ At that point we’d already had 23 songs ready and we only needed 14, but we went with it anyway. In hindsight, it’s good that we made the decision to release that track as a single because with two versions of it, we’re able to show the two sides of us. You get the Jekyll and the Hyde of the band.”

And it’s dedicated to the nay-sayers who actually provided extra fuel for the fire to keep Syndicate going on their journey to stardom. As Agar explains, it’s a “thank you,” which makes All My Life all the more special.


“It’s for the people that tried to pull us down and tell us ‘no’. This song is us thanking them for giving us the determination to go ahead and do it. But the song is just applicable in so many different areas of life. It’s about going for it no matter what other people say and no matter what challenges might present themselves on the way to where you want to get to.”

As long as the passion’s there, you can’t go wrong, either, as Agar adds. And, contrary to popular belief, in-group arguments can actually be good for a band in the bigger scheme of things.

“Working with people like Brandon [Friesen] and Matt [Sorum] really opens your eyes,” he insists. “We probably learned the most from Brandon in the sense that his approach was unique. He was kind of like a coach pulling us aside from time to time, rather than standing there telling us what to do. After a while I noticed that it was actually me who became the guy that would go, ‘No, do that drum take again,’ instead of the producer. The biggest thing I learned came after we all had a massive yelling match at each other one night. We almost killed each other. Brandon came in and said, ‘Look, it’s fine that you’re arguing because it means you’re all passionate about what you’re doing.’ His only advice was to invest it all into using the passion creatively.”

If they managed not kill each other within the confines of their L.A. studio during the making of the album, Agar reckons the band will be just fine bundled up in just a single car as they take off on their upcoming tour. That’s right – in just one car.

“We’ll be flying from Adelaide to Perth because it’s just too far away, but we’re driving the rest of the way,” he laughs. “We’ve proven it to ourselves in L.A. that we can live together and that we can survive being in a confined space without murdering one another – even though we’ve had some close calls. Everything is about the ‘next step’ for us. We couldn’t wait to get on the road, and now we’re doing it. At the same time, now that we’re about to tour, we’re already ready for something new and exciting again. We’ve been writing songs – well, Chris has been doing some crazy shit at home. He’s already written 30 songs – and really good songs. So it’s all about quantity as well as quality.”