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Arts and Entertainment

Interview with Shane Alexander

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Having just come back from touring in Europe, singer songwriter Shane Alexander, the former frontman of Los Angeles band Damone, will (heads up) play Tuesday night at Troubadour. Although he has been compared to the likes of Jack Johnson, James Blunt and Damien Rice, Alexander holds his own with a unique blend of raw melodies, soft vocals, haunting background harmonies and complex guitar parts.

After leaving Damone in 2003 Alexander immediately launched his solo career with his first album, the independently produced and distributed, The Middle Way (2005). Soon after, he released his second album, Stagazer, produced by Heroes and Villians, it is a Jeff Buckleyesque journey through lonely hotel rooms and lost love. Most notably, songs from Stargazer have been popping up all over the radar- the song “Little Woman” was featured on ABC’s hit TV series What About Brian, and the songs “Shipwrecked” and “Ride the Tides” can be heard by tuning into MTV’s The Real World and Laguna Beach series. XM Radio has even joined in on the fun by putting “The Open Road” into rotation.

Shane performs Tuesday night @ 9pm at Troubadour...Read on after the jump for my interview with him.

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Photo courtesy of Shane Alexander

How was Europe?
Great. I was in four countries in two and a half weeks. I toured with a fabulous Dutch songwriter named Dennis Kolen and his band backed me up also. The shows went really well and I was pleased to see my music still continuing to grow there - I had a national newspaper in Holland do a nice story on me and had a handful of national radio stations get behind my new record.

How did you get so big in Netherlands and Belgium?
Well, to be honest, I was lucky to meet the right people. When I put out my first record, The Middle Way, I sent it over to a few stations and webzines and it just caught on. I got some great press right away, which led to my distribution deal with Lucky Dice Music - who distribute my records in Holland and Belgium. My first tour to Holland
(I just finished my third) was a complete success and I was fortunate to play many of the best rooms in the country. I also got a good slot at the Roots of Heaven festival, which helped to raise my profile. Also, (Netherlands) Playboy magazine gave me really lovely four star reviews to both records - which was fantastic.

What is your song writing process like?
I need a quiet house and some free hours to really try to get the floodgates to open. I tour around the world and meet people and experience things and come home and wait for them to re-emerge in lyrical form. I usually have the music first, get some kind of an emotion from it, and the lyrics come last.

What is your favorite LA venue to play? Your favorite to see shows at?
I would have to say the Troubadour, although it's been a while since I've played there - I am playing there with my band plus strings on April 10th. I also like the Hotel Cafe and Largo. To see a show - The Greek, hands down. I WILL PLAY THE GREEK!!

Who are your biggest artistic inspirations?
The first few that come to mind - Neil Young for his honesty, longevity and creative integrity. U2 for their emotional impact on an audience...Ron Sexsmith for his beautiful songs and every-man demeanor.

How do you feel about Los Angeles, where do you find inspiration in this
I truly love LA and think of it as home. There is so much culture and there are so many colorful, artistic people all around me - I just need to walk down the street to become inspired.

What is it like to hear your songs on TV?
For the most part, I love it. Occasionally, I will feel like they missed the point of the lyric - but mostly I am just grateful to have my music reaching millions of people!

What is next for you?
Onward and upward. As an indie, I have to be very proactive - I will be touring in the states and abroad through the summer and I hope to have my next recorded this autumn. I set a goal to perform in at least three new countries this year. Belgium was the first - I hope to play in Wales, Japan and Germany by the end of the year. I just want to see my audience continue to grow - so next time we can do this from backstage at The Greek...