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INTERVIEW: Ala.Ni

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Darkness At Noon”?

I CAN’T REMEMBER EXACTLY WHEN AND HOW I WROTE IT.

THE WHOLE ALBUM WRITING PROCESS IS ONE BIG 2 MONTH BLUR.

BUT I KNOW IT WAS HARD TO RECORD. I LEFT IT UNTIL LAST BECAUSE I WOULD CRY EVERY TIME WHEN I REHEARSED IT. I EVEN TRIED RECORDING IT DRUNK WHICH WAS A MASSIVE FAIL. THE SONG IS ABOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO SOMEONE YOU LOVE AND TRYING TO BE AMICABLE. TRYING TO REASON THE LOST, THE LONGING, THE MISSING. TRYING TO BE STRONG.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

IT WAS ALL MY PAST RELATIONSHIP FAREWELLS ROLLED INTO ONE, BUT HAD THE FACE OF ONE MAN IN PARTICULAR AND THE RAW EMOTIONS OF MY LAST RELATIONSHIP. MY LAST EX HAD JUST LOST A BROTHER TOO AT THE TIME THAT I WAS RECORDING IT, SO I USED HIS PAIN A LITTLE TO SING ABOUT HIS BROTHER’S SUDDEN DEATH. ALL QUITE DARK REALLY, BUT HEY, IT IS THE TITLE OF THE SONG….”DARKNESS AT NOON”…..WHICH ACTUALLY CAME FROM AN EPISODE OF MAD MEN, (I BINGED WATCHED THE WHOLE SERIES WHILST WRITING THE ALBUM). I LATER FOUND OUT IT WAS ALSO THE TITLE OF A BOOK. I FORGOT ABOUT THAT PART! HA!

How was the film experience?

I FILMED THE VIDEO MYSELF ON MY IPAD, AT A MATES HOUSE, UNDER AN OPAQUE TABLE WITH A CANDLE ON TOP….OH SHIT SHOULD I BE GIVING MY HOME VIDEO SECRETS AWAY! I HAD TO LAY DOWN ON THE FLOOR TO FILM MYSELF AND MY NECK ACHED FOR DAYS AFTER!

The single comes off your new album You & I – what’s the story behind the title?

THE ALBUM IS ABOUT A RELATIONSHIP THAT TRAVELS THE COURSE OF A YEAR AND LIKE THE SEASONS, LIKE NATURE, IT FLOURISHES AND BLOSSOMS, THEN DECAYS AND DIES.

How was the recording and writing process?

I WROTE AND PRODUCED EVERYTHING MYSELF, SO IT TOOK A LOT OF DIFFERENT HEADS.

PREPARATION, ORGANISATION WAS KEY. WE DID IT ALL IN LONDON AT OWL STUDIOS AND STUDIO 13.

THE ACTUALLY SESSIONS WERE PRETTY CHILLED. I JUST GOT STONED AND PRETENDED I WAS MAKING DEMOS.

NO STRESS. MY GUITARIST AND I RECORDED EVERYTHING TOGETHER, LIKE A LIVE SESSION, WHICH MADE EVERYTHING VERY MUCH IN THE MOMENT.

Recorded at two pretty iconic studios – how did the vibe from these venues get to influence this album?

OWL STUDIOS IS SO ZEN. ANDREW HALE IS AN OCD FREAK SO IT WAS A JOY FOR A FELLOW OCD SUFFERER TO MAKE MUSIC IN THERE. ALSO THE NATURAL ACOUSTICS ARE GREAT TO WORK WITH. I DIDN’T USE THE VOCAL BOOTH, INSTEAD I SET UP IN THE COMMUNAL AREA, WHICH OVERLOOKS A GRAVEYARD. I COULD HEAR THE BIRDS.

THE ENGINEER AT STUDIO 13 STEVEN SEDGWICK IS A FUCKING SOUND DON GENIUS. HE ALSO MIXED THE ALBUM. IT WAS ALWAYS A JOY TO DO THOSE SESSIONS WITH HIM.

How has your upbringing influence you as an artist?

BEING A LONDONER MEANT I HAD EXPOSURE TO SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF MUSIC AND SCENES.

IVE ALWAYS ENJOYED TAKING IT ALL IN, SUCKING IT ALL UP.

ON THE TECHNICAL SIDE, I WENT TO THEATRE SCHOOL FROM THE AGE OF 5-16, SO THAT VERY MUCH TRAINED MY VOCAL MUSCLES AND STYLE.

ON THE EMOTIONAL SIDE, I’M A CHILD OF DIVORCE, SO I HAVE LOTS OF AMMUNITION. PHILIP LARKIN SAID IT BEST.

“They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

I HAVE A BUILT IN PAIN CONVERTOR. AS A KID, I’D GET COMPLETELY LOST IN MY OVERACTIVE IMAGINATION. ITS BEEN MODIFIED OVER THE YEARS AS BEING AN ADULT DOESN’T PERMIT YOU SUCH FREEDOM. YOU GET BRANDED CRAZY IF YOU DO! SO NOW, ITS MORE….

TAKE WHAT EVER SHIT COMES YOUR WAY AND SEND IT BACK OUT WITH LOVE AND ONLY LOVE. NO HATE.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

THROUGH HEARTACHE AND PAIN AND THEN THE WISDOM AND GROWTH THAT COMES AFTER….PERSPECTIVE.

LIFE WAS MY INSPIRATION AND NATURE. I LIKE SINGING TO AND ABOUT NATURE…SOMETIMES WHILST NAKED AND IN A FOREST….ME…A HIPPY…NO!!!

Any plans to hit the road?

YES INDEED. ITS A BUSY YEAR THIS YEAR. SPREADING THE MUSIC AS FAR AS I CAN. WE JUST GOT BACK FROM JAPAN WHICH WAS A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE. HITTING THE US LATER THIS YEAR. WE HAVE DATES AROUND EUROPE THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER FESTIVAL TIME AND WE DO MONTREAL AGAIN IN JULY. VERY EXCITED.

What else is happening next in ALA.NI‘s world?

SOME SLEEP HOPEFULLY!

I’M STARTING TO WRITE FOR MY SECOND ALBUM, SO THIS IS MY CREATIVE FOCUS RIGHT NOW.

I WILL BE WRITING WITH ADRIAN YOUNGE IN LA THIS SUMMER AND FEEL SOMETHING VERY SPECIAL WILL HAPPEN WHEN WE CONNECT MUSICAL VIBES! NO PRESSURE!

I WILL BE SUPPORTING RUFUS WAINWRIGHT IN JUNE AND CAN’T WAIT. HE HAS BEEN ON MY WISH LIST SINCE I STARTED WRITING THE ALBUM 3 YEARS AGO. I LOVE HIS WORLD.

I TRY TO BE, AS MUCH AS I CAN, IN THE MOMENT. IN MY PERSONAL AND MUSICAL LIFE. I DEAL WITH EACH DAY AS IT COMES. HAVING TOO MUCH EXPECTATION CAN REALLY FUCK UP A GOOD PLAN. I LET THE MUSIC GUIDE ME.

BEING FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE IS KEY. I CURRENTLY MANAGE MYSELF SO OF COURSE THERE ARE PLANS AND STRUCTURES IN PLACE, BUT THIS ONLY MEANS I MUST REMAIN EVEN MORE PRESENT TO BALANCE IT ALL OUT. OTHERWISE I WOULD GO FUCKING INSANE.

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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