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INTERVIEW: Alexis and The Samurai

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thanks! We’ve been fantastic.

Can you talk to us more about your latest LP Move Into View?

Our latest album is a marriage of raw, acoustic instruments and warm, fuzzy, electronic textures.  It’s full of vocal harmonies and driving percussion, as well as lush orchestrations that we had a blast arranging with our engineer Rick Nelson of the Polyphonic Spree.

Did any event in particular inspire this LP?

We used to be a couple, then broke up, and this album is part of the bittersweet aftermath.  This is also, coincidentally, the first batch of songs that we’ve written as a duo in total collaboration.  We realized, in making this record, how important it is to stay musical collaborators and friends because, romantically involved or not, we mesh well together in the studio and on the road.

Any plans to release a video for one of the tracks?

The first track from the album, “Swamp Fire”, will be out in the next month or so with a video that’s going to be completely animated.

What’s the story behind the LP’s title?

The title, Move Into View, is a lyric from the album’s 8th track, “Peel Off the Wax”.  The lyrics of that song deal with being your honest self, no matter how weird or uncomfortable it is.  It’s a theme that pervades the album.

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a long, drawn-out process, but one for which we are incredibly grateful.  We got to take our time milking every moment for nuance and dynamism.  Our aforementioned engineer, Rick Nelson, is incredibly gifted and has a good ear for manipulating samples, as well as having a background in chamber and orchestral music.  We recorded every instrument ourselves, so it was very educational to work on an album from the ground up.

How has your classic background influenced your music?

Via classical training, we tend to think in counterpoint and like to make decisions based on how different parts “communicate with one another”, versus how they sound “on top of one another”.  Also, being a classical violinist and an agile singer, we have fun playing with textures and building dense harmonies.

What experiences get to inspire the lyrics on this album?

As mentioned before, we had been through a lot as a couple, transitioning from being two people who live, eat, and sleep together, to two people who collaborate musically. That inspired a lot of songwriting.  Another source of inspiration has been the journey into full-on adulthood: a period of discovery that keeps on offering new and confusing surprises all the time.

Any plans to hit the road? 

We’ve been making tracks all over the Midwest and Northeast, as well as our Gulf South region and we plan to continue to do so into the fall.

What else is happening next in Alexis & The Samurai’s world?

We just shot an episode of NCIS! We played two songs live on the show while somebody was getting murdered, apparently. It’s going to be interesting to see how it comes out. It’s supposed to air in the fall. We’ll be sure to blast it out, so stay tuned!

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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