Back in January we reviewed the incredible rock track Chump by South Carolina duo After Alice. A lot has happened for the band since then, Chump V2 earned them July’s artist of the month over on The Mix, and they’re in regular rotation at Hit Radio – to mention just a few exciting developments. We caught up with the artists to find out a little more about their journey so far..
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Nice to catch up with you guys again. We’ll get straight to it.. Chump is a massively addictive song, really powerful, great music and vocals; how did this one come to be? What’s the writing process like?
Steven: We had a lot of back and forth on the backing vocals, but Jason did a great job; guitar sounds were perfect, the song was an easy feel grove for me, drum wise.
Jason: Chump was written in several different phases. When I started the initial writing, I knew what I wanted, as far as the story line, the vocal melody & the verse-chorus progressions, but the initial product didn’t have the dynamics the song demanded. I later brought in a co-songwriter to get a fresh perspective, and then during the recording phase Steve added production that brought the song to it’s full potential. Once the smoke cleared, I think we found we had a very strong song.
You’ve both got a pretty vast and varied musical background, how do you think the songs you write now have changed or developed from the ones you wrote, say, 20 years ago?
Steven: Like night and day, more vocal structure, more dynamics – that is the big key. Jason and I are on the same page to bring each song up gradually until it peaks. Backing vocals and dynamics seem to be a lost art, dynamics is harder to control digitally; I’m an analog guy, love that big live sound with the big bottom end, some songs just lose that edge that Jason and I like.
Jason: I think what we are writing now is far more advanced than anything I’ve worked on in the past; from layering guitars to vocal harmonies, the songs have much more depth & dynamics to them.
You’ve played around with various genres and styles in the past, do you feel you’re settled where you are, or is there more room for change?
Steven: Jason and I discussed that not too long ago, the songs will be in the same vein and structure as Yo Mama. There are songs coming down the pipe that are like that, we will keep experimenting with guitar sounds, but we definitely have a musical identity. The industry wants songs to cross into several genres and Jason and I are aware of this when working on songs. I network our songs and we have pop fans to metal fans, we’re different enough to attract fans from every genre.
Jason: There’s always room for change, but I think our direction is clear, for now, as to what we want for our sound.
Is there any particular genre you haven’t had a chance to create with yet, that you might like to?
Steven: It’s so hard to put a label on the style of song, we approach every song the same and head in the direction of where the song production has the best structure. Alternative rock, alternative pop, power pop, indie rock, indie pop, and we have a new one that is alternative metal pop. I network to a lot of metal sites and the songs I feel fit any genre, I promote.
Jason: I always thought it could be interesting to write & record R&B; I’m a big fan of soulful singing & great melodies.
Who have been some of your ongoing influences throughout your career?
Steven: For me, as far as arranging, it’s no one in particular, but strong vocals are a must for me, and there were several bands in each era that fit the style I molded after. I probably can’t even name any.
Jason: Way too many to name. From vocalists to guitarists, I have influences that come from very different styles & genres.
Are you listening to any new bands or artists lately? Who have you heard in the past couple of years that has grabbed your attention?
Steven: Arcaves, they are the same type of band that we are, they have some really good stuff and it takes a lot to impress me.
Jason: Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten heavy into one particular artist in a while, but that could change.
What can people expect from an After Alice live show?
Steven: Intensity, energy, emotion and dynamics.
Jason: High energy & intensity, maybe even a touch theatrics.
There’s a definite element of emotion in your song writing, it sounds very honest and real – do you think it’s important to put real feelings into music, and does it ever get a little overwhelming to perform songs that mean so much to you?
Steven: Emotion is everything in a song, dynamics is the emotion and that is what gives the band character.
Jason: I think that’s the art behind songwriting; painting a detailed picture about what you’re trying to convey, in a way that makes your audience feel your conviction. As far as performing, the more the song means to me, the easier it is to get across that emotion to the audience.
What’s been one of your all time favourite musical experiences so far?
Steven: Hands down, Afteralice. The chemistry, vision, goals. I have never worked with someone that is creative and flexible at the same time, and that is Jason.
Jason: Afteralice, for sure. In everything I’ve worked on, musically, I’ve never had the opportunity to create on a level that I have been able to with Steve. I have great expectations for the future of this project.
What’s coming up for you over the summer and throughout 2016 – what can listeners look out for?
Steven: We still have 4 songs that need to be finished, we will be releasing a single, CD, and more video’s in the very near future. We will continue to network and interact with fans, branding, radio shows and podcasts.
Jason: We plan to finish the CD & make it available as soon as possible. Also, I have about 10 new songs in pieces that I’ve been itching to work up. There is definitely much more to come in the near future.
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Make sure you don’t miss out. Show your support over on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Reverbnation. Visit their Website to find out more about the duo, but before you go – this is the legendary, Chump..