'Following his Calling across the globe'
Singer/Songwriter Alex Band sits at the helm of a music career that is not only noted, but is beginning to take shape in other ways as well. He fronted the band The Calling and from there decided to branch out as a solo artist.
After getting a slow start, he recently released his album, We’ve All Been There, and recently sat down with Exclusive Magazine to give insight to not only the record, but the difference between American music listeners, and music listeners overseas.
What made you want to be a musician in the first place? "I definitely come from a really artistic family, but honestly from about two-years-old, this is what I knew I wanted to do. I was always singing songs, and I started playing guitar at eight, and I just kept doing it, and it became my life and my job."
Who are your influences? "Growing up, it was definitely what my Dad played around the house, like classic rock. So people like Led Zepplin, David Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd…and as I sort of came into my own, I’ve been a huge fan of U2 and Coldplay. And even in the nineties, when I was younger, I was listening to Madonna, and Seal, but I think today, my biggest influences would be U2 and Coldplay."
Tell us about your experience as vocalist for The Calling "The Calling was never really a band, and that’s kind of why I ended up going solo. There’s this common misconception; we had a bunch of hits, and we were in the limelight, and my record label at the time wanted the image of a band, so they were hiring people to play with me live, and hiring me to play on the record, but none of them were signed. They were just paid weekly session players."
"But the band was basically just me and my partner at the time, Aaron. And I met him when I was about 15...he was dating my sister. My neighbor was the vice president at RCA records, and me and Aaron started writing more songs, and finally got that guy to take a listen, and he signed Aaron and me together. So The Calling was always just the two of us, and we would hire people, so it wasn’t really a band in that sense."
How did the name come about? Was that a decision you made, or was it a product of the record company? "We were talking about like I was just telling you, how I kind of always had it in me to be playing music and writing songs at such an early age, and someone said, “Sounds like it’s your calling.” I thought, “Hey, how about The Calling?” And it was really that simple. The funny thing is that my bandmate Aaron and I had gone through so many names up until the first Calling Album came out, right up until the time they were pressing the first copies. But it was just our calling."
I’ve noticed that you do a lot of touring worldwide. Is the dynamic any different overseas than it is in the US? "Yeah, it is for sure. Outside of America, people are a little more loyal…they’ll stick with an artist longer. We’re so lucky here to be saturated with so much of the entertainment industry that the rest of the world doesn’t get that much. And in these five years I was struggling to get this record out, a lot of my hardcore fans stuck with me, but I’m really starting over. Whereas in the rest of the world, my fan base was really big back between 2001 and 2005, and they’re still there."
Any plans in the works for another US tour? "Just a couple months ago, I just did a one-month american tour through some of the bigger cities. But my second single is on the radio here in America, and hopefully it breaks into the top twenty and becomes a hit. Right now I’m really focusing on radio to have a hit so I can tour America again."
You had mentioned that you started your own label…what’s it called? "It’s just my initials, AMB. My full name is Alex Max Band. AMB Records."
Now you’re a solo artist, tell us a bit about We‘ve All Been There "It’s a long time coming. Anyone who knows about it knows it’s a record that I wrote five years ago, recorded three years ago, and should have come out a bunch of years ago," he laughs. "In ‘05, after the second Calling record, I decided to go solo. I was with RCA, and then I signed with Interscope, and the people I worked with there, we didn’t get along. They were pushing me in one direction, and I wanted to go in another."
"So with this record, I went through a lot in the last few years, fighting for what I believed it, and following my dream, to the point where I had to leave that label and buy the whole album from them, and create my own label. The basis is that I’m talking about everything I went to in the last five years, and even though it’s personal in my experience, there’s something that everyone can relate to in the songs. That’s kind of where the title, We’ve All Been There, comes from. When you think, “This is ridiculous, why is this happening to me?” you’ve got to remember that we’ve all been there, and that you’re not alone in what you’re going through."
Your music is not only available on iTunes, but also on www.storenvy.com. Is there a difference, or maybe a preference between the two as to where your fans get their music? "On storenvy, that’s where I have my own little private store. It’s the only place you can buy a signed copy of my album, and there’s a lot of other merch. But the other cool thing is, every other week, I release a new song separate from the album."
Facebook and Twitter, for the fans who might be curious? "Both. I run both 24-7. If you go to www.alexband.net, I have links to both my Facebook and Twitter."
Anything you’d like the readers to know? "Go check out my site, www.alexband.net, learn more about me. And of course the album is called We’ve All Been There, and the whole album is really solid. I definitely recommend it."
Interviewed by: Ashley Trombley
'We've All Been There' CD Purchase Link
So, if you would like to win a SIGNED copy of Alex Band's new CD, 'We've All Been There,' and you think you know all there is to know about the man himself, just answer this easy question: The Alex Band track "Only One" has been used in which CW series?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before January 1st, 2011 with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: ALEX BAND SIGNED CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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