IMM: Welcome to Indian Music Mug Alex.
Alex: Thank you so much for having me! It is a pleasure to be speaking with you.
IMM: Whats the latest thats happening for you in the music scene?
Alex: Currently I am down in Austin, TX for SXSW ’13. I’m mainly here as a panelist for the film portion of the festival, but I put together a band with some friends from music colleges around the country. We’ll be playing throughout the upcoming week for the music portion of the festival.
IMM: What inspired you to take up guitar in the first place?
Alex: My father had an old nylon-string classical that I would pick at momentarily. It never truly interested me until my father bought me an electric guitar as an alternative to playing video games. I immediately fell in love with the power of the instrument and of the challenges it gave me.
IMM: When did you play your first show and how was the experience?
Alex: My first show was December 9, 2005 when my father hired my band at the time to play a Christmas party. I remember not really being nervous, but just being really excited to play in front of a crowd. I knew I wanted to do this for my life the moment I hit that stage.
IMM: You got inducted into the progressive rock hall of fame at the age of 17. Tell us about it.
Alex: I was playing with a group named Lynn Stokes and the Sol Surfers out of Bourne, TX back then. It was a Pink Floyd kind of group, so often very atmospheric and laid back. We released an album, Terra Nocturne, that ended up doing well via radio play. A few months after the release, Lynn got a letter welcoming us into the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame! We had to drive to some ridiculous location for the acceptance, but the team at the hall are lovely people that praise the limitless opportunities of music.
IMM: How did Warner Brothers Records happen to you?
Alex: I was in a band called Struck after I graduated high school. At one point, we were asked to release a song for an episode of CSI: NY. After doing so, I ended up getting a call from who would eventually be my boss a few months later. He asked me to come in and lay down guitar for a documentary he was finishing up. A few months after that project, I was called again to write and record the music for another documentary. Halfway through that session, I was asked to sign on with Warner Bros. and I have never looked back.
IMM: Tell us about the projects you have done for Warner bros. Records?
Alex: I have completed three projects with Warner so far. Chasing Hollywood was really heavy music centered around the turbulent life of people trying to make it in Hollywood. The next one is Beneath the Sands, which was a documentary over Egypt. The soundtrack was a ridiculous amount of fun with ethnic percussion, santors and sitars, and occasionaly a full orchestra! The most recent project was part of the soundtrack for the video game Crysis 3. I ended up writing and recording the action music, which feature heavy guitars and hopefully a feeling that makes the player really feel like they can take on anything.
IMM: You have worked with International stars like Lady Gaga and Seth Mcfarlane. How was the experience?
Alex: The experience is always hard to grasp. No matter how many times I meet up wth Stefani or Seth, I always get a little star struck. Needless to say, they are all wonderful people that are truly driven in everything they do. It is absolutely inspiring. I look forward to continuing work with Stefani after she recovers from surgery.
IMM: Austin Music Award in 2007. How did things take turn from there?
Alex: I won the award back when I was with Jenny Wolfe and the Pack, which was a 60s pop band. It was a very surreal moment to see myself in the papers and magazines, but even more so to actually attend the awards and hang out with people like Eric Johnson, Jimmy Vaughan, and Billy Idol. From there, the band eventually died out as we all focused on our own things. I became a hip hop guitarist and started work with Three 6 Mafia, Drake, and Gorilla Zoe. It wasn’t until Struck that I really came back to the music that I truly wanted to do.
IMM: Any upcoming projects?
Alex: Yes, I am currently signed on for two new projects with Warner Bros. Records. Unfortunately I can’t talk about those just yet. Apart from that, I am producing, recording, and engineering an album that features multiple Berklee College of Music students, as well as myself on a couple tracks. I am writing/recording music for bands based out of Sweden, France, and The Ukraine, as well as a few here in the States. Since finishing up SXSW, my band The Janus List is now recording an album, doing a DVD shoot in Chicago, IL, and we are in the works for a tour to New Zealand and Australia at the end of this year.
IMM: Tell us about your band more than Machine.
Alex: Well, I am more of just a session guitarist for them at the moment. I played rhythm/lead guitars on their new album coming out later this year. I have been asked to perform with them, so we will see where that goes. I would absolutely love to continue working with them, though!
IMM: Have you heard any Indian bands or Artists?
Alex: I have! One of my friends who went to Berklee runs a band named Lambada. There is also Aditya Balani’s group and of course, Fossils! I love all of them and I am constantly looking for music outdside of Western mainstream.
IMM: Any plans for touring India?
Alex: Absolutely! If a group I’m in ever has the pull needed to set something like that in motion, we will definitely come to India. Hopefully it will be in the near future!
IMM: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Alex: I suppose that I would like to have had music released for a major film and completed a world tour. More than that, I would like to think that I would still be doing what I love to do.
IMM: This is your space leave a message.
Alex: I want to thank everyone that has stuck by me and supported my career. It hasn’t been easy, but it will always be worth it. To my father, friends, and fans in India and elsewhere, thank you for everything you do! I’ll see you soon, India!