September 2004 - ALIX
Italy's ALIX are my personal hot discovery in 2004. When I saw their energetic live show this year as support of The Hidden Hand, I was totally overwhelmed by their heavy groove-laden psyched out rock. And they have the ability to write songs, that stuck in your brain for weeks. With the new album "Ground" ALIX will truly stand their ground, because it offers tons of hooks and clever ideas what is something I miss mostly today. This group creates an uplifting atmosphere and forces the listener to open his mind and ears. To be honest, I won't live without "Ground". To discover the mystery of this magic band, I contacted bassplayer Franco some weeks after their show, and he was kind enough to answer my questions. Do yourself a favour, check out the interview and make sure to discover some new "ground"!
Hey folks! A few months ago you finished your European tour with The Hidden Hand. Has it been your first bigger tour outside of Italy and give us some impression's of this experience! Which shows did you enjoyed the most?
Hello to everybody!... the tour with The Hidden Hand has been the second time for us outside of Italy. Last year we played in Germany with Dozer and Pawnshop. It's always beautiful to play here because people are more interested in stoner music, but this time it's been special thanks to Wino... he is a true musician and a real "gentleman"... the same for Bruce and Dave, very good feeling between us.Seeing these guys on stage every night was just wonderful, they never did the same show! We enjoyed very much the shows in Amburg, Dortmund, Tilburg and in Leuven at Sojo, very cool club..
At first, German doomsters Shepherd should be on board with the Hand, but due to the reason that they decided to break up you got the chance to do this tour. I remember that B. Falkinburgh (Hidden Hand bassplayer) had worn an Alix shirt when the Hand visited Europe for the first time in 2003. Have you been in contact for a longer period with the band and how did you get the possibility to make this tour?
We played one show last year with The Hidden Hand in Switzerland because they needed a support band for that gig and VIBRA, the booking agency, asked us to do the job because we just had worked together for the tour with Pawnshop and Dozer. for the same reason when Sheperd brocke up they asked us.
When I watched your show at the FZW in Dortmund I was totally overwhelmed from your heavy psychedelic sonic power and your passionate playing combined with a well-working chemistry between all members. It seems as if you were tripping yourself into another state of mind, just because of your playing.Do you remember this day and are you always giving 100% on stage?
We try to give always 100% on stage, sometimes I think that is the difference between a true musician and a "worker" of music.... propably if you felt those emotions during our show, it means we are on the good way..
Let's switch over to "Ground", your new album! I know that you've recorded a MCD, entitled "Nessun Brivido" that you've sent me some weeks ago. Are there any other Alix recordings?
Yeah there are other two Alix recordings, but we have no more copies,we are planning to re-record on vinyl two songs that we play live: "Polvere" and "Bianco e Nero".
Although the MCD is very entertaining, "Ground" is a real heavy masterpiece and simply wonderful. You've created a thick and heart-warming psychedelic sound that lifts up every listener who doesn't own a heart of stone. Please tell us something about the album. How long have you worked on it and are you satisfied with the complete result?
We are totally satisfied of this album, this is the first time we have no regrets about the whole project!! We recorded it in ten days but it needed more than a year to do the songs. After After "Nessun Brivido" we changed the drumplayer so.. you know for us is very important the human aspect of music and you need time to know a person and begin to create a certain interplayin.Now we feel that the famous "circle" is closed. Of course I have to say that we found a really special sound engineer, his name is David Lenci of Red House Recordings, we worked in this beautiful country house with all analogic equipment, very relaxed without stress... with very good red wine.
"Ground" is a very uplifting and moody album, and whenever I listen to it (what happens very often!) I feel how my negative vibes are melting away and will be transformed into something more positive. Do you have a strong spiritual approach to your sound and is there anything you like to give to the listener?
Thanks, this is the best thing someone said about our music! We think music is energy....and we always need good energy! So.. we think that who listen needs good energy too.
In opposite to the MCD, you decided to sing now in English and not in your native language. What's the reason for this desicion?
This is not the final decision, during our show you can hear songs both in english and italian.. we began to work on the songs of "Ground" after our first european tour... maybe that's the reason.
Are you still playing in the line-up of your early days, and tell us something about the birth of Alix. When was the band formed and have you played in other groups before? And...what the hell is the meaning of the name Alix ?
Ok.. Alix comes from the singer name Alice, she is the founder of the project, in the very beginning there was only this girl with his guitar and few songs played in the streets or small restaurants.. then she decided to make a band and here in Bologna is full of very good musicians coming from all Italy; I'm in from the beginning in 1995 but we changed three drummers and one guirarist.. for two years we played even with a percussion player. We all come from different experiences but we knew each other and i think we liked too, we really wanted to play together.
The female vocals are the extra plus in your psyched-out rock. Was it planned right from the start to form a band with a frontwoman ?
I think i just answered before..
You released "Ground" on Go Down Records, a brandnew label. How did you come together with GDR and why haven't you signed with Beard Of Stars?
We sent the material to Beard Of Stars but they weren' t interested. Go Down Records is a new label from the drummer of OJM a really good Italian rock band, so we are friends and we would like to create a reference point for people who like this music in Italy.
Scott 'Wino' Weinrich is one of your fans, but how was the worldwide reaction to the album? I hope that you've earned a lot of positive reviews for it!
Really the new album "Ground" will be released at the end of September, during the tour with The Hidden Hand we had only few copies in preview because we did not want to loose the occasion of doing some promotion,so we'll see the reaction to the album!
When you don't rock out with the band, what is everybody of you doing with the rest of your time. Any regular jobs and/or other interests beside playing music?
We all have regular jobs because you know.. we are not rich... but it's ok.. two of us work in different ways with music, the other two do what they find.We all work on everything about Alix.
What are your further plans for the second half of 2004? Please, give us an insight in your plans!
We will play around to promote the album that will be released on:20th September in Italy, distributed by AUDIOGLOBE and 27th September in Europe, distributed by Sonic Rendevouz and Cargo. We are on tour in Europe from the six of October with Place Of Skulls, you can find the dates of the tour on our website www.alix.bo.it
I really like to thank you for your time and once again my biggest praises for "Ground". Hope that we meet soon again...maybe here in Germany or in Italy. At least...is there anything you like to add?
It's a pleasure to talk with you.. Thanks! LOVE AND PEACE..See you soon Franco ALIX