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INTERVIEW: Alex Bayly

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

Really good. Thanks for having me!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Animal”?

Animal is track two off my latest album. The song is about lost memories, relationships and how they affect you moving forward. And it partly feels like a lament about simpler times – being young and carefree again. Instrumentally I was going for an atmospheric, dreamy mood. This is one of the first songs I’ve recorded with a nylon guitar, inspired by Jose Gonzalez and his Junip side project.

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

The line “boss level burden weight” came to me quite early on – conjuring up memories of reaching the end of a video game and being on that high pressure last level. I found it funny as this album had become my own “boss level”. Another inspiration for the song was how life can sometimes cause those carnal or animalistic instincts in us. 

Any plans to release a video for the single?

We are currently collating ideas for a more visuals-based video. I really love collaborating with others on video as they bring a new perspective. Most recently a filmographer called Peter Cadmen has worked with me. And I was fortunate that my last video for Lonely Michael featured one of my good friends, Hannah Johnson, who is a fantastic actress.

The single comes off your new album Ley Lines – what’s the story behind the title?

Ley Lines is a fake mythology theory that all ancient monuments, like Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids, are somehow aligned. This concept inspired a subplot for the album as a whole: how people can often look for meaning in the essentially meaningless. While I don’t believe in these kinds of mythologies, it’s fascinating how we as a civilisation are always seeking to detect patterns among chaos. And, ultimately, music is a product of this very human fascination with logic and patterns. 

How was the recording and writing process?

I demoed about 30 songs. I knew when I’d written some songs that would feature on the album. They seemed to fit in an order as well. Tracks near the end often came earlier in the writing process. Lyrically I’m talking about a transitional phase in my life; the move into adulthood and clearing the feelings from a life before. It felt like clearing the pipes of some sludge.  

Sometimes I’m talking a lot about situations that are very real and obvious, but in an abstract way. For example ‘Ley Lines’ the song is actually about being in a sweaty tent at glastonbury festival tent hungover and not being able to sleep. But had I sang it as matter of fact as that it would have lost its romanticism, perhaps.

What role does London play in your music?

Lyrically it’s the setting for all my songs. It’s the concrete jungle that my songs’ shadows walk among. 

It’s also where I live. I’ve tried to invest myself more in the local scene. I’m currently trying to put on some events including most recently my album launch. The next one is on 3rd December at the Green Note in Camden, where a lot of my heroes have played. I’ll be joined by an old friend Alex Munk who is an amazing Jazz guitarist. 

https://www.greennote.co.uk/production/alex-munk-alex-bayly/

How have Local Natives and Van Morrison influenced your writing?

Van Morrison’s Astral Week was introduced to me by a good friend Gerard & the Watchmen. The album has such an experimental flair for a folk album. That was something I really wanted to bring to the table with Ley Lines. Also there is a slight pagan element in it that has always been present in my music. 

As for Local Natives, they are the behemoths of the modern alternative folk scene. I was really into their album Gorilla Manor, which has a darker allure than some of their other work. They are great songwriters and guitarists. I’m a sucker for a delay guitar pedal part, too, as anyone who has listened to my music throughout various bands can probably attest to. A perfect example on Gorilla Manor is the the opening song, ‘Wide Eyes’. 

What aspect of relationships did you get to explore on this record?

If you’re talking about working relationships on the album I was grateful to be joined with some very special friends including LAISH, The Last Dinosaur, Rosie Jones of the Worry Dolls, while I produced the album with my good friend Elliott Richardson at Highfield Studios. 

As for the lyrical content of my album it is probably talking about lost loves and love triumphs. The song ‘Jamie’ is a song about friendship and wishing some of my close friends good luck in the sometimes-tricky-to-navigate world. 

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

That tent at glastonbury… 

I wrote ‘Sky Love Girl’ after a particularly heavy weekend and a party where everyone was feeling worse for wear. You always wonder the next morning: “why?” That’s exactly what the song’s about. 

Any plans to hit the road?

Hopefully in the new year I will do a UK tour, then possibly Europe. But I’m always open to invitations so anyone reading this please get in contact!

What else is happening next in Alex Bayly’s world?

Well, I’ve got 250 vinyl copies of the album to sell. So I’ll shift those first then see what happens. GO ORDER ONE NOW!!! x

https://alexbaylymusic.bandcamp.com/merch

Listen on Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/track/5cgwHE91GWGa3yKdOWJjAe

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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