Being the project Pin started after Sikth there were always going to be high hopes regarding the quality of Aliases' music as well as the live performance. I'm glad to say that I feel they've managed to live up to those hopes, even for a huge Sikth fan like myself. Playing quite a few new songs with new vocalist Joe Rosser the crowd couldn't quite sing along but as soon as older tracks like What's left for us were played people just sang twice as loud. All members were unsurprisingly at the top of their game and all stringed instruments with an equal amount of strings which was a rare sight at the festival. Joe fills the vocalist spot admirably and while I was a fan of their original vocalist I'm sure Rosser is the right one for the band and I can't wait to hear what he does on the new album when that comes out.
Speaking of the new album, you have pledged already right? If not do it now and do it quickly before they find out:
And also to segue into the interview part of this blog:
1. So you've got a new vocalist now and not for the first time, when you found Joe did you have open auditions, did you know him before or how did it happen?
Pin: Our sound guy knew we were looking for someone and he suggested Joe. We went through a pretty thorough audition process. We sent him three tracks to begin with.
Were those new tracks or older?
Leah: They were from Safer than Reality
Pin: Then we did a live rehearsal and moved on to the new stuff.
2. You've got a Pledgemusic campaign going on, is there a reason you chose to go down this path?
Pin: It's the only way we could fund it to do it like we want to do it.
Leah: That way we can also give some exclusive stuff to the people who really care.
Yeah, I really enjoyed the tabs for Exasperated.
Leah: Trust me, there's a lot more on the way.
3. Pretty much everyone we've asked why they think the tech scene in the UK is so strong have answered "Sikth", how does it feel to know you were part of something had such a lasting influence?
Pin: Sikth grew really quickly, at first people didn't seem to care that much but then it just exploded. It feels amazing to be relevant though.
4. I know you guys live together (Leah and Pin) but how did you start playing together?
Pin: We were both writing music and looking for members for separate projects.
Leah: Both looking for drummers and vocalists. We realized that what we were looking for was pretty much the same thing so we started writing together.
Pin: That went really well and soon these guys (points to Joe Heaton and Darren Pugh) joined soon enough.
What was the first song you wrote together?
Pin: Reality of Beliefs
Leah: No it was We Never Should Have Met
Pin: Was it?
Joe H.: Yeah, Reality of Beliefs was number two.
That was also the first one you released a demo of. I got so into the demo version that I found it difficult to get into the song on the album until I had listened to the whole thing a few times without going back to the demo.
Leah: That's actually why I don't want to release too many demos from the new album.
Don't get me wrong, it was a great sounding demo.
Leah: We did the best we could with what we had.
5. Leah, a quick question for you: I am pretty sure I'm not telling you any groundbreaking news when I say that you are in fact female
Leah: WHAT? (she looks at her crotch)
and playing in such a male-centric music scene (metal in general) has unfortunately forced some stereotypes upon women. Do you feel like you get treated differently in the scene because of your gender?
Leah: Well I guess I don't get it as much as some others because I'm not really a girly girl, I love the gym, bikes and guitars. I don't really understand girls.
I do get it every once in a while and I just love making people think I can't actually play all that shit. Like "yeah, Pin writes the music, I just play a few chords" then I play on stage and people never act that way again.
6. I know this is one of the worst questions but here it goes:
Do you feel like the new album goes in a specific direction compared to the first one?
Pin: I guess this answer is about as bad as the question but it goes in all direction, it's heavier, lighter, jazzier.
Leah: It's more diverse.
Joe R.: It's still insane but it's all in pop song format, verse chorus verse and all that.
Leah: Yeah, the thing is that we don't say no. If an idea is good and fits it's going in, doesn't matter if it's jazzy, poppy or techy. Taking time has helped because we've dropped older songs as the newer ones were so much better.
7. I know I promised I wouldn't badger you about Sikth so Pin, this is the second of three Sikth related questions, I hope you're OK with it.
How did it feel to play the Sikth songs again?
Pin: I enjoyed playing the songs.
Leah: That's a simple answer.
Sometimes complex music brings simple answers.
8. So I'll just finish the last Sikth related question but it has a lot to do with Aliases too so it should be fine. Was there ever a time where you thought about having two vocalists in Aliases as that's what you were used to working with in Sikth?
Pin: It's a different band altogether so I approached it with that in mind.
Oh yeah, don't get me wrong. I'm actually really glad that you didn't try to make that your gimmick. A lot of people will try to hold on to something like that as if it's their only identifier.
Pin: Yeah, the bands have similarities, I play guitar in both so that's bound to happen, but it's different. Everyone contributes to the writing process so it's not just me.
We have a couple of questions we ask everyone, not related to the band but more to the festival, do you have time for a couple of them?
9. Have you discovered any new bands or artists at this festival that you didn't know before?
Joe R.: I've been checking all of it out, at least 5 or 10 minutes, kinda just walking around.
10. If you could choose one technical/progressive metal band to add to the festival, what would it be?
Joe H.: Textures.
11. What about someone outside the tech scene? This year we've got Jon Gomm and while it's not within the genre it certainly appeals to the same crowd.
Leah: Antoine Dufour.
Oh yeah, love him. Saw him live with Andy McKee and Stephen Bennett back in 2011, amazing show. That, along with electronic stuff like Venetian Snares, has been the most common answer.
Joe R.: That's my answer, yes to more electronic acts.
Well, thanks for the interview and good luck on stage tonight.
Like I said earlier Aliases have a pledge campaign going which, again, can be found here:
And their EP can be found on Bandcamp.