The Alexander’s Band is the new solo project of local musician Alex Halsey, former member of Perth psych-rock act The Wheelers of Oz. On Friday, November 16 he will be launching his debut album Post-Love at The Bird with special support from Physical Release, Peppermint Showers and SOSS DJs. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Halsey to find out what compelled him to step out into his own solo work, the process behind making the album and what to look forward to as he celebrates the launch on Friday at The Bird.
Tell us a little bit about your background in music and let us know what made you want to go out on your own to make this album?
I was a late bloomer into the music realm. It wasn’t until I was 19 I started playing the guitar then slowly picked up and learnt other instruments. Over the years I have met and played with lots of wonderful people where I have learnt a lot. Being self taught can be a struggle at times although you have a different, more personal freedom when writing. I have always been recording songs on my own between projects so it felt natural and as far as the depth of the songs go, I think I had to do this one solo.
Were you considering playing it live at the time of writing this or piecing it together as you go?
I knew one day I would like to do it live. It took me a long time to piece together as the songs came to me over a fair amount of time. I did actually play a few solo sets about a year ago that featured some of the songs when I had first written them, really stripped back versions, the songs changed a lot as I recorded.
What kind of acts do you think influenced your style and are there any some people might not expect?
The bands I have been in since I started playing have always been shoegazey, psych rock acts with 60s vibes. The DIY thing was really what sparked me into playing. Bands like Spacemen 3, Brian Jonestown Massacre and White Fence were huge influences in the beginning although I have been influenced by all kinds of music. Norma Tenaga is a big hit!
And what was the writing and recording process like? What instruments and gear did you use and how much were you involved in playing and recording them?
This record went from one thing to another multiple times. It can be easy to do too much, especially when you’re the only one making the calls, you can get a bit lost out there. I recorded all of the instruments on the album so a lot of the time I’m trying to learn what’s in my head before it changes into something else. I have a fair collection of instruments at home where I record so I’m always playing around with sounds.
And lyrically, is there any overall theme tying it together the album as well?
As the title suggests, the album was written after a bad breakup I went through a few years ago. The songs all have this dark feeling over them although it’s not really all about being sad, the songs are more directed at being honest with yourself or the situation you’re in so you can get over it. I guess at the time of writing, it was to help me.
And how has it been playing these live? Who have you got on board and what can we look forward to at the launch?
I haven’t played guitar and sung in a band for a while so I’ve been loving it! Joining me on stage is Mason Fiasci (Keys), Alistair Fleming (Drums), Dougal McMullan (Bass), Owen DeMarchi (12 String) and Riley DeCamp (Acoustic). We will be playing Post-Love from the beginning to end and there will be experimental visual components unfolding as we go.