Interview with Alexz Johnson — MakeWavesYo.com

This is a short interview with Alexz conducted by makewavesyo.com:

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What are the best and worst things about touring and living on the road for long periods of time?
The best things are the family dynamic that happens really quickly between the bands and getting to perform every night. The worst things are lugging in and lugging out all your gear and merch and you never get down time by yourself.

Tell us the story of how you got started as a musician and how you got to where you are today.
It’s kind of a long story, I’ll keep it quick. I started singing really young, I started writing really young. I got on a TV show. I got to write music for a show called Instant Star and then I started to focus on music. I moved from Toronto to Brooklyn three years ago and this is my 5th tour since moving here. Music’s been…it’s my life. And I just did a record, I funded it on Pledge instead of going the major label route. So, yeah, I guess that’s the story so far.

What was the first concert you ever attended?
Celine Dion! In a box seat, I was 11, it was awesome.

Show us a hidden talent.
A hidden talent? I don’t know if I have any hidden talents. I can make a fish face.

Why did you choose Let ‘Em Eat Cake as the album name?
Because to me, it’s a reflection of where I am now in life and it’s my favorite song off the album. It kind of just encapsulates the last 2 years for me and my experiences.

Are you planning on doing any more music videos this year?
Yes, I am! After this tour I’m gonna do a music video and I’m real excited about it. I also have a video coming out soon that I’m releasing just in rehearsal, at my rehearsal space that I’m putting out just in the meantime. But yeah, music video after this tour.

What song do you enjoy performing the most?
“Heart Like That,” “Thank You For Breaking My Heart,” and “Let ‘Em Eat Cake.”

Describe your music in three words.
Honest. Soulful, I hope. Loud.

Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?
Check me out on tour! I’m on tour until December 7th. Probably in a town where you are!

For more on Alexz, check out:

alexzjohnson.com/

twitter.com/alexzjohnson

www.facebook.com/alexzjohnsonofficial

To purchase her new album, Let ‘Em Eat Cake, head to iTunes!

Speed Rocking @ CMJ — Punchland.com

This is an amusing review of Alexz’s Brooklyn show at CMJ. It’s hard to describe what it is, so just give it a read. Alexz is one of the many acts featured in this article so I’ve put the intro and her part for brevity.

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Praise the lords of rock.

This past week I had the privilege of attending the Big Picture Media’s 6th Annual Showcase at The Living Room as part of the CMJ Music Marathon in lovely Brooklyn, NY. The Living Room is a tiny place where one would think a fight club would make its home. It is complete with a bar upstairs that did not have its liquor license yet, c’mon now… However, they were offering up some samplings of whisky for the lucky guests. Oh, thank goodness! As one enters the music arena, speakers dangle from the ceiling by chains as the various rockers come on to do their thing. Drinks were free with special guest tickets and there was a GIF photo booth by the bar to keep things classy, courtesy of FoxTales! As luck would have it, yours truly had a chance to chat with not one, not two, but five different bands at the venue. Each group was as fascinating as the last. I had a real pleasure meeting with these awesome people. Below are some of the brief highlights from each, enjoy!

4.) Alexz Johnson:

Homebase:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Members:
Alexz Johnson (Singer/Songwriter)
Links:
Official
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Oh my God, you guys. Out of everyone at this CMJ gathering, Alexz was by far the most surprising. I had listened to this crooning seductress earlier in the week to prepare myself for this night. All I can say is that the studio recordings do not do her voice justice at all. As great as they are, her soulful and amazingly powerful voice blew me away as she began to sing on stage live. She had the entire crowd captivated and in awe. Ladies were whooping and hollering after each song and the gentlemen were all immediately in love. Now, I am a taken man, but my goodness, I may have gotten lost in her singing as she held the microphone stand close and made lovely motions that gave us the chills. Her band is an amazing compliment to her voice; all of the men were rocking away and were following her lead. At one point in the performance, there was an abrupt pause where she gave us all a dramatic lingering in which she then immediately graced us again with her voice. It was fascinating to see the band react as they held their gaze upon her in that moment to make sure they were completely in tune. Her bassist had a huge grin on his face as she sang that final note. It was almost as if she had succeeded in making music magic right then and there. I believe she did. As I walked to meet with her after the set, I noticed all the bands in the crowd were just marveling over the performance they had just witnessed. It was astoundingly awesome to see their jaws still dropped.

Alexz is lovely to chat with. Her smile made me feel welcome and we hit it off right away. She was most proud of her attire that evening which was a stunning black dress with an open back; fellas were turning their heads left and right as she walked on by. We chatted mostly about her performance and then moved onto how lucky she feels to have such a great band to support her. “These guys are just amazing, I can’t believe that I get to perform with not only amazing musicians, but great friends,” says Alexz, “its great to have a group a people that you can spend so much time with.” Examples included sharing the same beds, traveling on the road all the time and eating random foods wherever it could be found. Fair enough, that seems like quite an adventure in itself. We continued on chatting about her love for NYC and the thrills of finding new things all the time here. As our talk ended, she complimented me on my beard, in which I blushed and as cool as I possibly could, thanked her for the time. Man up, Myles!

“Let ‘Em Eat Cake” Music Video Premiere!

It’s here! The “Let ‘Em Eat Cake” music video has been released!

Alexz Johnson Interview — ConcertBlogger.com

Here is an audio interview conducted by ConcertBlogger.com at CMJ. It’s about 10 minutes long. Enjoy!

Alexz Johnson CMJ Interview — PancakesAndWhiskey.com

This is a great interview from one of the coolest website domains I’ve seen in awhile, pancakesandwhiskey.com. You’ll want to read this one all the way through.

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eaching the end of day two of CMJ, livers are already overworked, eardrums are rattled, and knees are stiff and sore. So far the shows and panels are living up to all expectations for what I was hoping for this year, and there’s always room for more. The end of day two saw me taking my first trip to the newly re-opened Living Room. The once staple in the Lower East Side music scene is having its ‘soft opening’ this week for CMJ events, and was looking pretty impressive in its newer, larger Williamsburg home.

Indie-pop/singer-songwriter Alexz Johnson was the reason for the trip over to the Living Room for Big Picture Media’s showcase on a dismal, rainy Tuesday. Some may recognize her from television shows, but she’s slowly and steadily built a following for her talented singing and songwriting abilities.

With her most recent album, Let ‘Em Eat Cake out since last week, the twenty-seven year old played one of her two CMJ shows this week and blew everyone at the Living Room away with her incredible vocal abilities and strong pop-friendly rock songs. Like all CMJ shows, the set was unfortunately shorter that one would hope, but Alexz made the most of her time on stage wowing the crowd with songs of the new album, and an amazing close out with the soulful ballad in “Thank You For Breaking My Heart” that left everyone covered in goosebumps.

With so much going on this week there are only a few interviews taking place. Carefully selected, the first one being with Alexz made to be well worth the tiresome trip through the rain.

P&W: Let ‘Em Eat Cake has been out for a week, how’s the reception been?

Alexz: It’s been really good

P&W: What has the process on this project been like?

Alexz: It’s been a two-year process. Some of the songs I wrote a while ago that I ended up bringing out from the vault, and some of them are brand new. I only wrote the songs title track about five months ago. I decided to pledge it instead of going with a label, which I’ve done a couple times and it hasn’t always worked out. Just due to some internal changes I’ve recorded for some major labels in the past and they were never released.

P&W: I’m sorry

Alexz: That’s okay

P&W: Fuck the man

Alexz: Fuck the man indeed. That’s what “Let ‘Em Eat Cake” is about. I mean the album is kind of representation of my experiences of a woman at twenty-seven and the whole journey of heartache, and rediscovery of myself. You know, finding what I really have to say and just growing some big hairy balls in this industry when you’re a female. So I funded the album, got David (Kahne) to produce it, got my brother to produce a couple tracks up in Toronto, and it’s become this real labor of love between two producers and the two different vibes going on sonically. It’s good to finally have it out and being on tour for two months. Right now I’m just going to keep going as independent. I’d rather be broke and have control over my words and songs and of course I just want to do whatever the fuck I want to do like get my outfits made for me.

P&W: How was it working with David on the album? For those who don’t know David Kahne is a well-known music producer throughout the industry who as worked on projects with artists including Paul McCartney, The Strokes, Regina Spektor, and produced Tony Bennett’s MTV Unplugged album which won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1995.

Alexz: David is amazing. It was a real tug-of-war sometimes too, because he’s so opinionated ya know? I feel like when you work with such established artists throughout his career it would be tough working with younger generation artists like myself, but he does it really well. He listens to me. It took a lot of humbling shutting up on my end, and trying new things, but at the same time a lot of standing up. A lot of it came down to tastes and sounds- he likes digital programs and I like live and off the floor. Everything we were doing strategy-wise was very current and now. David would keep saying to me that everything that Aretha Franklin would do in the studio was very current, new, and now for that era, even though now we see it as old. He brought that mentality and I really respected that. He was so great to work with throughout it all. I was really glad he was able to come out to the show tonight.

P&W: You touched on how you were able to fund the album yourself with the help of PledgeMusic. What’s it like getting that kind of support?

Alexz: Pressure. I mean it’s great and I love it, but it’s certainly a lot of work. I got a lot of slack for the album taking up to a year and a half to put out. When you open up the door to allow them to fund your project you’re also opening the door for some to say “I want this now”, “Fuck this, it’s taking over a year to get done”.

P&W: I mean in a way they’re shareholders, they’re investors

Alexz: Yeah kind of. I mean the whole entitlement thing happening in society is kind of a piss-off. It’s certainly a question of if I’ll do it again. I mean I still love it. The support has been so amazing. I can only do so much though. The vinyl’s taking a little long to get out so we sent out a signed hard copy of the album to those waiting on it. I feel like I just want to make sure everyone’s taken care of.

P&W: What’s more stressful, fans putting pressure on you to get the album out or label executives?

Alexz: I think it’s pretty equal, but with fans I really feel I owe them this. They’re human beings so it’s much more emotional. With a label it’s like ‘fuck you guys I’ll do it myself’, but with fans there’s just that pressure of not screwing up. At the same time you can’t make everyone happy, you just can’t. When you have thousands of people pledging to something you’re going to have some who are sitting at their computer every day saying mean things while there are some who are super positive towards you. I’m dealing with these people one-on-one every day. So what if you get someone who’s got issues and posting mean shit on your pledge wall? I have to look at that before I go up on stage ya know?

P&W: Where do you feel you get your sound?

Alexz: I dunno. I don’t listen to any stuff. I mean “Let ‘Em Eat Cake” was a just a riff. I was just vibing. I really don’t know, I don’t pull from anything. I write what I would want to hear and try not to overthink it.

P&W: Are you your music’s biggest fan

Alexz: No.

P&W: Are you your music’s biggest critic?

Alexz: Probably.

P&W: Do you ever get to the point where you think you’re being too critical of your music?

Alexz: I let it go. I’m just a human being. We all die. I put it down on paper, I record it, and put it out there. This is how I feel truly- fifty percent of people are going to like you, and fifty percent aren’t. I’m sorry, I know that’s harsh, but it’s true. It’s really true, and they’re not going to tell you to your face, but fifty percent of the people aren’t going to like you. They’re going to find a reason to not. So at the end of the day I just can’t please everybody, so I’ll just do what a do and then, great, ya know? I’ll live my life. I don’t overthink it, I just don’t care that much.

P&W: How’s your CMJ experience going?

Alexz: Good. Tomorrow I’m doing Webster Hall and that’s it. Today’s really my CMJ day. Then we’re going out west for some L.A. shows, hitting Arizona, and really doing the two-month tour. I want to see some other bands on this bill, but I’m already out doing that every night too, so I’m not really in a place to listen I’m in a place to play.

P&W: Do you like the band that you’re out on tour with right now?

Alexz: I fucking love the band I’m out on tour with. They’re so talented, truly amazing. The whole band is like a motley crew. It’s not really a band it’s like a bunch of people that are SO good at what they do and jamming on stage. I have to crack the whip here and there with rehearsals, but I’m learning how to do that.

P&W: Especially on the little bro? (Alexz’s seventeen-year old brother is her drummer)

Alexz: No he’s actually a really big fan of my music. Plus he’s young and has a lot to prove. He wants to come to South America and Europe with me so he’s got a lot to prove, but I’m blown away by him.

Article by: Tom Shackleford