How quickly things can change over the course of 12 months. If you’d asked Finch guitarist and founding member Randy Strohmeyer a little over a year ago if he thought his band would reform, play a string of sold-out reunion shows across the US and the UK, and now be getting ready to jet on over to Australia for Soundwave, it’s quite likely he would have said, “Not a chance.” But that’s exactly what’s happened, with Finch enjoying a whirlwind existence over the past year and in many ways a second life.
“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 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, plus bassist since 2007 Daniel Wonacott, come together again. From there things happened quickly.
“Initially our manager Andy [Harris] 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 and see how it goes. But you have to talk to the other guys.’”
Released in 2002, the band’s debut album What It Is To Burn exploded into 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 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 second album Say Hello To Sunshine, Finch endured a tumultuous few years, with a number of lineup changes, record label splits and a hiatus. By 2010 the wheels had officially fallen off.
But life has a funny way of throwing up the unexpected, and in the case of Finch, one reunion show at California’s Glasshouse venue suddenly snowballed into many. “We booked the first show, we put it on sale and it sold out immediately,” remembers Strohmeyer. “Then we added another show and it sold out quicker. So we just added more shows at the Glasshouse, and then after that we were like, ‘Let’s go to London.’
“We booked a show at [O2 Academy] 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 retrospective, Strohmeyer 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”.