Home ARTICLES Ian Abel on First Working with AEW, ‘Not Afraid to Die’

Ian Abel on First Working with AEW, ‘Not Afraid to Die’

by Spencer Love
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If you’re a fan of All Elite Wrestling, then there’s little doubt you’re a fan of the Ian Abel Band. Ian’s songs “Shoes” and “Not Afraid to Die” have been the soundtracks to some of All Elite’s most iconic moments, including the classic Cody vs. Dustin ‘Brother vs. Brother’ match at 2019’s Double or Nothing and the Full Gear tilt between Cody and Darby Allin that saw the latter win his first title with AEW.

Ironically, though Not Afraid to Die was the song selected for the Full Gear pay-per-view, the track was actually the one that Abel believed would be used at Double or Nothing. Though that didn’t turn out to be the case, Abel admitted as part of our upcoming chat for Love Wrestling that it was the right decision in the long run.

“Yeah, I think that it was used better at Full Gear,” he began with a laugh.

“I had been talking to Cody and Brandi, and Michael Cullari was in the conversation and then a few other emails, I have no idea who they are. They’re behind the scenes people. Here I am talking to these people, and I’m thinking we’re talking about the song Not Afraid to Die,” he said referencing the initial discussions for Double or Nothing. “I’d went in after – I sent them Shoes and I sent him a couple of others to show what kind of sound like. I went in that weekend with my friend John Graber and another buddy Reid. I’d written the chords, I’d written the melodies, I’d written the lyrics, everything was there. We just went in and said, ‘okay, let’s figure this out.'”

“We pretty much laid everything down and what you hear on Not Afraid to Die we did in one day, which is pretty cool,” Abel reminisced on the song’s recording. “To get in there, I mean, my friends are incredible engineers and mixers. I got lucky there. We just laid down the acoustic, sang a vocal that I thought was gonna be a scratch track to then re-cut and John was like, ‘nah, man, that’s it, dude,’ and I was like, ‘okay, cool.'”

“[It’s] the Georgia Satellites theory, right?'” I laughed, calling back to another excellent scratch vocal.

“Yeah!” Ian affirmed. “I was like, ‘oh, okay, crap, I wish I would have sang better, I don’t know.’ And so then we mixed it, and I sent it over Sunday. Monday we start talking more, and that’s when we were leading up to Double or Nothing. I’m thinking the whole time that we’re talking about Not Afraid to Die, and then actually, Cody [emailed] me in all-caps and said, ‘I want Shoes.’ And I said, ‘oh, okay, this is different. I’m not prepared. Brandi wants some shoes!'”

We both laughed. “Whatever you want, boss!” I commented.

“Yeah, that’s totally fine. That’s interesting,” Abel chuckled. “And, it worked out better. But, what was cool about it at Full Gear is that I think the song thematically, not only – because I wrote it with Cody in mind. I spent one evening, I was like ‘screw it, I’m gonna write this new song, I’m going to send it to them, show them what I’ve got right off the bat.’ And so I’m writing it thinking about Cody and the Rhodes family, and now you got Darby in it, too, in the promo, and in the match, and you’re like, it worked.”

“I think it worked better to me than it would have at the brother- versus-brother match.”

Please credit Spencer Love/Love Wrestling with any of the above quotations.

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