When I last interviewed Graham Alexander, he had just released his EP "Graham Alexander Volume 1" and was finishing his run in the Broadway show "Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles." Since that time, Graham released his debut full-length album, "Graham Alexander", and touring around the country promoting his album.
Now, Graham is making his New York stop in Brooklyn, on Tuesday, October 9, at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn. Come hear this rising singer as he enchants you with his original rock music. Showtime is 8pm. The Rock Shop is located at 249 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215. Click here for tickets!
1. Last time we spoke, you were just releasing your debut full-length album. Now that it is actually out, what has been the best part about having it released? Hi Adam!!!!!...let's see...best part has been the response of people that are digging it...it's really an insanely great feeling to know that your thousands of work hours going into pouring yourself into writing a song and then recording it finally pay off at some point....especially when you see someone cover one of your songs...or even just enjoy it or connect with it in anyway. Absolutely the best feeling.
2. What has the response from fans and industry folks been like? How does it make you feel to hear the feedback? It depends really...the dog food industry has really been clamoring for copies of the record while the music industry splits with it. No no no....A few observations have been that while it's critically done very well (not that critics have ever been a real concern of mine...let's face it....I do it because it's something I love to do regardless of whether or not anyone likes it....if it was really hated by everyone....I'd still do it....actually it might be funnier that way.) sidetracking....sorry.....hahahaha....so yea...while its doing well critically....and even very well in certain markets (it made spotifys top 100 tracks of 2011 by users.....the lead single "Biggest Fan" placed in the top 20) ....the response from the mainstream industry itself is kind of.....but...it dosent sound like anything else out there today....And that much is true....! and it's something I'm pretty proud of....so we've set about working harder in our own promotions...Lots of shows...we've done well in alternative music markets (namely "triple a" radio) where we are in rotation at 7 stations now...and we've done some shows for radio...all in all the response is excellent...we have to work for it..and build it.....but I wouldnt have it any other way.
3. You have been traveling around the country promoting the album. What do you enjoy most about touring? We have! Doing a number of things day in and day out..sometimes I have no idea where I'll be next actually...touring...I really just like playing and actually writing in new places. Different areas feel like they lend themselves to different melodies and chord changes.
4. One of the stops on your tour is October 9 at The Rock Shop in Brooklyn. What made you want to perform at The Rock Shop? What does this venue offer that another one does not? The Rock Shop is a great intimate rock venue...10 years ago this was a dying breed of rock club....but I don't think there is anything better and more intense than pretty much feeling the sweat of a packed room and an artist (whomever it may be) really putting on a show and pouring his (or her) heart into it. That's really something no turntable and iPod do combo can really do.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after attending this show? I'd hope they'd come away with a better understanding of who I am....and where these songs come from....it's hard to understand many artists via their albums a lot of times.
6. One of the songs on your album is called "Biggest Fan." In touring around the country you've gotten to meet many of your fans. What do you enjoy most about meeting your fans face to face? I LOVE meeting people because it really helps me understand that these songs that are so personal to me....are really not mine...the second they are released...and THAT is something you don't understand when you are writing them...or playing them...a song takes on new meaning and world for someone else and it has the power to help and heal...without me having done anything with the exception of producing said music....like for example...when I hear Michael Jackson's "Human Nature"...I have full memories and feelings and it changes me...but I once read in an interview that that song nearly didn't make it...it wasn't thought highly of enough or something.....WHAT???? I like to know that a song of mine has helped someone through a tough time...like say one of my favorite songs by another artist has helped ME....and meeting someone face to face and looking in their eyes can have such a profound effect on both people.
7. You have made music videos for several of your singles. What do you enjoy about creating a music video? Again I like being odd either in them or with the creation of them...all of our promo films for the songs are film...which is odd...99.9999% of music videos are digital....it's faster...easier...cheaper in many cases....but what's the fun in that??? I want something fresh and if that's a film format from the 60s like super 16mm...than so be it! I enjoy the aspect of conceptualizing a song....but not TOO much...I hate when artists take a song and make a movie out of the song so that my imagination fills in whom every character is....based on their portrayal in a music video. In otherwords....why not just show green day....the band...recording a song or performing a song....or even writing the song "21 guns"...instead of putting in an entire subplot in the video of a love story and a whole bunch of bullets in a room in slow motion....I want to know the band..who cares about all this other stuff??? And why change what the song means to ME by giving a story that's not in the song...a physical manifestation......it must be late...I'm ranting!
8. Your latest single is "Paralyzed." What made you want to have the "Making Of" the video be the actual video? In reality I'm not sure if that's the latest single...it's just odd footage we wanted to release to people that we'd thought would enjoy it....the idea of splicing the two concepts came very simply....it was a promo film that was underconceptualized...believe it or not...that area you see is my house....rather...a dairy factory that became my studio after the broadway show "rain" ended....and as much as I liked some of the super 16mm we had....there had been a huge argument that day on set between a cameraman and the director...which lead to a breakdown in shooting and left us with only a few takes of footage....It was then brought up to duart film editing in NYC.....but ultimately...the takes weren't interesting....to ME....so it sat...until I'd realized we'd done rehearsals the day before of all the shots with an iPad filming all the shots we wanted to get for the shoot the next day...we brought them together...and it seemed to hit the spot!
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter? I've learned that I know essentially nothing and everything at any given point in time....it's a swinging pendulum for sure....and also...to follow your heart about certain things....I think any writer has that sort of star wars like "force" that says.....YES or NO....to certain things. I guess the bottom line is that I've learned that one never ever stops learning.
10. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? Super power.....well of course besides being able to teleport at any given time to eat Thai food and judge our mutual friend Christina in NYC with my good friend Adam.....I'd say... the super power to...never have to sleep....I'd be able to do soooo much more. Hahahahahahah