Finch: "We've come back rejuvenated and refreshed."

The return of Finch has delighted post-hardcore fans, many of whom were still learning to write their own name when the band's thrilling debut album What It Is To Burn was released in 2002. On the afternoon following their sold-out show at the Underworld in Camden, North London, TeamRock caught up with the quintet - vocalist Nate Barcalow, guitarists Randy Strohmeyer and Alex Linares, bassist Daniel Wonacott and drummer Alex Pappas - to talk about their reunion, their forthcoming third album Back To Oblivion and their expectations ahead of their Hevy festival appearance.

So, this is the third time around for you guys, following two previous breaks from Finch: when you disbanded in 2010, you revealed that your disparate musical influences made writing a third studio album impossible, so what’s changed?

Randy: “Well, there were a few different variables back then, and that was just one of them. We had a lot going on at the time we were trying to do that record, and I think it just ground us down, and tore at us a little bit, to the point where we lost a little sight of things and it got too intense and we just thought ‘Fuck it man.’ But we’ve come back rejuvenated and refereshed, and older and more mature, and we feel very happy with where we are now. We didn’t plan upon making a third album, necessarily, but we’re really happy that we did.”

Was the impetus for getting back together again simply the idea of playing 10th anniversary shows for What It Is To Burn?

Alex Pappas: “That was definitely the start of it, that was the catalyst. Going back and playing those shows and having it go so well and seeing the fans appreciate what we were doing was a real reminder of the importance of the band to us, and to others. There are no guarantees in the music industry anymore, but that seeing people react so well really hit home, like ‘Wow, people really love this.‘”

Ahead of last night’s Underworld show you played a string of dates in Asia: how did that go for you?

Alex Pappas: “That was great. We were playing some places that we hadn’t really played before, and so seeing people come out to the shows and embrace us was pretty amazing.”

Going to the other side of then world and selling out shows must be pretty gratifying at this point?

Randy: “Yeah, it’s great. I mean, the reception we got last night – and always got in London – makes it feel like a second home for us, so we’re lucky to have that kind of connection.”

Daniel: “I think since the 10th anniversary tour started we’ve been consistently surprised at every show: it’s a pretty amazing feeling to travel around the world and always be excited about what’s going on. We’re pretty lucky.”

And now you finally have a third album to tour. Was it important to you when you regrouped again that Finch wouldn’t just be a ‘legacy’ band?

Alex Linares: “As musicians and creative people I think you always want to create, and I don’t think we’d all have been satisfied just being a legacy band. I think we always felt that we could write good songs together. And when we wrote the first song on the album, the track Back To Oblivion, we felt like we had a clear direction for the record, and it all seemed to fall together nicely, and we felt like we could do anything. I think it’s the best record we’ve ever done, and I’m proud of us for all the hard work we put into it. It’s something new and it’s something that genuinely reflects where we are now.”

You’re playing Hevy festival this weekend: what should people expect from the re-born Finch?

Alex Linares: “Well, you’ll get to hear some of the new material, and I think we’re on great form right now, so it’ll be a really good show.”

Alex Pappas: “I think it’ll be a good rock n’ roll experience. But I hear that our biggest competition might be the animal park beside us! But those wild animals will still be there next week, and we won’t, so come see these wild animals instead!”


Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.