I recently got the chance to interview Alexz Johnson. It was an amazing experience and she was a sweetheart. I hope I’ve done a good job transcribing this accurately. I can’t thank Stephen Stohn enough for giving me this opportunity and Alexz you were wonderful to talk to and I hope we’ll get a chance to do this again soon. Thanks for being so awesome Stephen and Alexz!
What do you like to cook?
I love to cook. I love making omelettes because I feel like you can do anything with an omelette. I feel like you can put anything in an omelette and it’s good. It’s kind of like the all encompassing healthy meal. So I would definitely say omelettes are my favorite thing to cook and I’m kind of known for it too, I can make a pretty mean omelette.
Asian, Greek, or Italian food, do you have any preference…
I love Japanese food and I love Greek food, those are my two favorites. I love making Greek salad, Greek food is just like the Mediterranean diet to me, it’s just really delicious. Like Olive oil and olives and feta cheese and fish, it’s all really good to me.
What are you kinds, brands, and types of wines?
I would love to one day have a vineyard and I think there’s a lot of really cool culture around wine and I find it interesting, just like the history of where wines come from. I’m no connoisseur when it comes to a lot of them, but I definitely love Sancerre, I love Vouvray, you know just a good Pinot Grigio. I usually like French white wines. Out of Okanagan there’s a white wine called Blue Mountain which is amazing, it’s a Pinot Blanc, but I stick more towards the French/Italian whites then the California ones.
JessicaHarton01: What’s your favorite brand of makeup?
I would say, that’s hard, I love really quality stuff like, it’s kind of all over, for foundation I love Smashbox and I love any kind of foundation that has SPF in it because I’m pretty fair. I think Chanel’s got some really great makeup and Mac’s got great lipsticks. I love Mac lipsticks and I’m not a fan of lip gloss, never been a fan of lip gloss. Josie Maran has really good stuff too.
You’ve taken martial arts as a kid with your family. Did you enjoy doing that and what style was it?
Doing karate? My Dad is retired now but he was a karate instructor when I was growing up and we all kind of had to do karate because he, well, told us to so we did (laughs). I enjoyed it, I think it’s cool. I think it’s good for kids to feel like they have self defense and I think it’s important to have something in your pocket, there’s some scary situations out there, I think that people should be able to defend themselves.
Do you still find time to do some today?
I do, yeah, once in awhile, I whip out my moves. It’s a good workout too, I find. I love a punching bag, if I’m ever at a gym I love just taking some hits and kicks at it and stuff. It gets a lot of my anger out so I definitely try to do it when I can.
You recently launched your blog, which is really awesome, so can you explain the direction and purpose and what you intend to do with that.
Well, thank you so much. That’s kind of been awhile coming for me. It’s just what it is, I have opinions, strong opinions about things and I like to share my experiences that I’ve had so far on this planet. People ask me a lot of the time what it’s like to do what I do and I wanted to just have a platform where people can go and get strength and laugh. I really like to make people laugh. I don’t ever want to get to a place where I’m taking myself so seriously that I shut myself off to my fans, because I’m really starting to feel connected to my fanbase and feel like I want to share parts of me that I never really wanted to before and I think it was just because I was insecure maybe, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to share, what I wanted to put out there, but at this point in my life I really kind of feel like I want to share the good, the bad, all of it and to me this blog is just basically a catharsis in that way. People seem to be connecting to it. As things and my journey progresses it’s going to build and I’ll become better with the technical aspects of it. It’s just like a catharsis for me.
Do you have any rituals you do to calm your nerves before you go out and perform?
No, because I think it’s good to be nervous. I think when you’re not nervous you lose something. I think it means that you care. I think it’s always positive to be nervous, so I kind of just get through it.
Redbaoonx: There are songs like Mary, Taker, or Mr. Jones, where you tell a story. Do you sometimes see yourself in these characters? Are they written about you or people you know?
I do actually. I pull from a lot of my own experience and sometimes I have a bit of an alter ego. I think it’s fun to take on different personas in songs too. They all come from very real experiences in my life or people I know, not always me, personally, but things in my life and things that I’m around, and people and experiences. I just like to write about it because I feel like if you can connect to one person that’s listening to it then I think it’s cool, I think it’s worth doing, open and honest, you know?
What’s your song writing process?
It’s always such a unique experience. There’s two ways I could write. I’ve always found it very fun to write to a beat, a melody. When I was younger and I would write it would usually in a production standpoint where there’d be a computer and beats and I’d freestyle over it, like a lot of the Chicago stuff and Running With The Devil. I was very rhythmic at that time in my life. Now with writing I find that I’m really loving writing songs to my acoustic and it’s bringing out different things in me. A little bit more structured, I definitely think it’s a different sound to the stuff I’m writing now and I think it’s cool to always change and try different things so the writing process is always different. If I’m writing with people sometimes they have a different way of doing things and that’s cool, if I’m writing by myself lately it’s been a lot of guitar driven songs.
Do you think being an actor and musician makes you more observant and sensitive to human nature in your songwriting?
I don’t know about that, I definitely think that being an actor and musician has been difficult, balancing both in my career, sometimes I wonder what it would have been like if I would have focused more on one specific thing. I feel like it’s a positive in some ways but I also think, I know this is the reversal of the question that you asked me but, I think it’s difficult balancing both. It was my own thing when I was younger but I had this saying I’d always say: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” because I always felt like the favorite musicians and artists that I loved like Rickie Lee Jones, Annie Lennox and the Police, I love Sting, and I looked at all these people and I thought, I always felt like I don’t want to be the girl with the perfume line, I don’t want to be the girl who’s in all the movies and who sings and who writes and who flies because I felt like it would just take away something from how important music is to me. To be honest with you I’ve wondered in my life, at my age, if doing both and focusing so much time on acting… and I think everything’s meant to be, and I think that making music is what it is in my life now, but it’s always a question in the back of my mind. It’s doing both I think does, I mean I have experience in a lot of different things, but acting is a job for me, for sure, I love acting, music is my passion. I’d be sad to take away from my music, ever, because my acting took off because my music is so in my heart I just can’t let it go.
Who would you like to do a duet with?
I think Bon Iver’s awesome. I would love to do a duet with Paolo Nutini. I think Paolo Nutini’s got an awesome voice and I’d love to do a duet with a guy just because I feel like vocally it’d be really cool and fun. Bon Iver, Paolo Nutini, maybe something with Landon Pigg would be awesome. I think Kings of Leon are an amazing band that writes amazing songs, very simple simple songs and I think that’s cool. I’d say those three to start.
What is it about string instruments that you love so much?
I love strings. I’m a huge Kate Bush fan. I love being taken away when I listen to songs. I love drama in music and to me strings represent all those things. You can make it sound really happy or you make it sound really dark, and I love the dark aspect of strings.
When/Where do you plan on touring? Internationally touring Brazil, France, UK, US, etc.
I very realistically plan on touring. I would love to tour all those places. The most difficult thing right now about the industry is that as an indie artist it’s difficult to find, things kind of unfold as they should and I feel like things are unfolding as they should. I would to tour all those places and I will do it in my life. I’m going to do it, it’s something that is where I’m heading and it’s what I think about every single day, but to get to that place there’s a couple more walls I need to break down as an indie artist because it’s not quite at my fingertips. As an indie artist you really got to work hard to get to that place and I’m going to do everything in my power to try to get to those fans and play those places and I’m confident that it’s going to happen.
Steverobert89: If you have the opportunity to play a show for an hour and a half or longer what songs would you choose to play if you need 3 covers and 5 Instant Star songs?
Hallelujah, I think “Basket Case” is awesome by Sara Bareilles, and “We Belong Together” by Rickie Lee Jones. I would say, well definitely “Where Does It Hurt”, I think is great. “How Strong Do You Think I Am?”, “Skin”, “Criminal”, “Don’t You Dare”.
Have you written any more songs for your next album?
I have, yeah, I’ve written a couple songs. There’s a couple that I like too, a lot. I’m going to be doing a lot more writing too while I’m kind of immersing into a bit of a music zone for the next couple weeks.
Will you release an album of new songs this year?
Yeah, I would definitely say I will, probably toward the end of summer. The thing is I’m not sure if I would do a full record but I definitely would like to get some EPs out. A project of four or five songs. I would definitely love to do that this year, that’s the plan.
Kstew_OwnsMe: Decribe your upcoming album in 3 words.
Voodoo Reloaded: Different. Eclectic. Bigger Sound.
What is the most important thing you hope to achieve with your music?
I want to just get it out and I want it to reach people who it reaches and I would love to be able to help change what’s happening in music. I would love to be able to get a chance to bring it back to what a lot of indie artists are doing, which is just music, real music. What I love is what I’m able to do, to be honest with you, the fact that I can do the music that I do and that it’s getting to such awesome people was really why I wanted to make music in the first place. If I can do that on a bigger level, that’s awesome, but if I can’t, I’m not ever going to stop. It’s never going to be the defining factor as to whether I continue doing music or not.
Heylinchevez: Regarding acting, do you have any new projects coming up?
I just finished coming back from pilot season, which was interesting, because at this point in my career it’s always kind of a juggle and a struggle and a balance between what I want to take on and musically what I want to take on as well. I would love to–If I had a dream come true I would love to be able to be in a Woody Allen film or every time I see the Oscars go by another year I think a little part inside of me thinks I would love to have an opportunity to do an Oscar feature film. On the smaller stuff or all the TV stuff that I’ve seen stuff just doesn’t make you jump to the feeling of joy and I feel like I just don’t want to have to sell myself out as an artist because I would rather pick strawberries and make money that way than ever do something I don’t believe in as an actress because I feel like that the important thing is your integrity. At this point I’m still sifting through, there’s been some really close calls for me this year, really close calls on the acting end, but I’m excited because doors seem to be opening and leading me into certain directions and different places. I’m in New York right now and I had an opportunity to meet the directors of a new Musical, like a Broadway Musical, happening in New York, and it’s nothing that I haven’t really ever thought of doing theatre, and it’s interesting, just kind of opening doors and trying different things and experimenting. I’m just growing every day. Life’s just kind of taking me where it’s taking me, and I think that there’s a reason for that, and I just feel lucky that I’m still able to continue to do what I’m doing with my life and I’m going to keep on doing it until I can’t as an actor because this is a really tough business and you never know, really, when you’re going to be working on something again. It’s not really up to you, you know? There’s such a process involved with the acting industry, and I know too that when I come into the room, I think that as a musician I carry a lot on the music end, I’ve taken a lot of hits as a musician as well, and I carry that. I read this book Just Kids by Patti Smith and she has this line about acting when she was a kid, she was asked to act in a play and Patti Smith started out as a poet and she said that she always had a really hard time auditioning and the reason why is because she could never give up enough of herself in the room, and what I’m finding in my life now as a musician and as an actress is that I have a really hard time hiding my experiences that I’ve had in the industry as a musician. I think I come in there a little bit, I’m carrying the history in me, my heart and the love of music, and I know that I probably really don’t across probably the happiest girl in the world, but I’m genuine, you know, I’m not—I have a hard time not being me. So I think that life is just taking me where I’m meant to be.
Insideofus: When reading a script for a show or movie what’s one thing the script must have to catch your attention?
It’s just got to be cool. It’s got to have something about it that’s different. Usually if it’s a really cool director attached to it or great writers, I think that’s cool. It’s more the character, I find that I have a really good time playing something, sometimes darker. I would definitely say I like playing darker roles, it’s just I don’t know why, I gravitate towards those, again, I don’t know where that comes from. A good script is a good script, for sure.
Is there a director or actor that you’d like to with? Would would it be?
Woody Allen’s great, I think he’s awesome, I love his films. I would love to work with Daniel Day-Lewis, I would love to work with, oh my goodness, obviously there’s the Steven Speilberg’s of the world, which are amazing. I’m not sure what Steven Speilberg’s done recently but the stuff that he’s done is just incredible, I think he’d be so much fun to work with just because it’s so nostalgic to me. Clint Eastwood, I feel like I could do an amazing job in a Clint Eastwood film, I don’t know why, I just feel like I would understand the way that he directs. I would love to work with Clint Eastwood. I would even like to work with Sarah Polley, she’s Canadian, I think she’s amazing. She directed a movie called “Away From Her”. She’s an actress and I’ve thought she was really cool and I would love to work with her.
Insideofus: Have you ever been starstruck and if so by who?
Yeah, I met Annie Lennox in London. I remember all of the sudden my knees started shaking, and I was fine, I could talk to her and I could make eye contact and it was fine, but I remember thinking “Oh my gosh!” She’s just, her voice is so Scottish, so she’s on the phone and she’s like, fighting with somebody, and she’s just , you know, it was just so cool. I remember thinking “Wow, she’s awesome.” So that was a starstruck moment. No one else has really starstruck me like that before so I’d say Annie Lennox.
I’ve learned it really has to be the right person.
It does, yeah, because some people, I don’t know what it is, a mystery. I find that celebrities that have a lot of mystery to them usually end up having that, they have that power over people. I think it’s such a gem.
Do you have any rituals before you start to act?
I do. I make sure that I’m completely off-book. Which means I make sure I have the lines down completely. I don’t want to have to worry about stuff like that. It’s not the words to me that matter, it’s the intention behind the words so once the words are there, in stone, then I can feel confident to go on set and rock it.
Mariferabrego: Would you act again with Tim Rozon in something not related to Instant Star?
For sure, Tim’s great, yeah.
Would you do a series like Instant Star again?
Yeah, I think Instant Star was a really cool show. I think it was a cool concept for a show. I think it’d be cool to do another series. I would love to do another series that definitely involves music and to be able to write music for it would be awesome.
What’s your favorite Musical?
My favorite Musical growing up, the songs I loved, was from “Les Miserables” but I haven’t seen that yet. I saw “The Lion King”, I loved that. I saw “Memphis”, I thought that was great. When it comes to songs I’d say “Les Miserables”.
Any character that you love to play that would exercise your acting abilities and singing abilities in a Musical?
Probably something like “Chicago” would be awesome. I don’t know, I always thought it would be really cool to play Oliver Twist. I don’t know if that’s weird. I know that I’m a girl but I still think I could nail it. That’d be a challenge I’d take on.
NatyoO: What do you think about the Musical comedy Glee?
Interesting, I think it’s representative of the music industry completely. I think that there was a time a couple of years ago where you couldn’t make an artist license their songs to another actor to sing and now that’s pretty much the only way that an artist can survive is getting their songs licensed and I think that Glee represents, I think that it’s rejuvenated and reinvigorated careers of old artists we all love, which is cool, and it’s bringing back all those older songs from our parents era to the tweens of this generation and I think that that’s great. I think it’s like anything, I think it’s a very awesome marketing money move and I think it’s a machine. I haven’t seen Glee, I’ve seen bits of it and I kind of see what it’s doing and I hear the songs and I get it, it’s not really something I watch. It’s not really up my alley, as I find that most big machine things aren’t. I don’t know why that is, maybe because I just don’t watch a lot of TV, but I think it’s very smart though. I think it’s like anything else in the industry that makes money.
NatyoO: Would you guest star if you were asked or let them cover one of your songs?
I would definitely let them cover one of my songs, of course, yeah, it would be awesome. And it’d be fun and it would be a great experience. I’m sure the cast is awesome and super fun to work with, so I wouldn’t say no to that. I don’t know why I would ever say no to something like that. I’d be honored if they asked me.
Sometimes I feel a little bit of a veil has put over my music sometimes, you know, like it’s just not my time or something, but when it is it’s gonna be, that’s how I feel, kind of interesting because I would love—it would be so awesome, but again, you know it’s not up to me, so I got to just keep playing the game.
You often take roles in films and TV shows that cover paranormal topics so what draws you to that area?
I like it, I think it’s cool. I love magic and all that stuff. I think it’s really cool. You can kind of play around with that and growing up I used to love that stuff. It’s just fun and also a lot of the stuff is under that being “darker” which I like, of course, and it’s cool. I think it’s funny how it’s kind of followed me.
Has anything paranormal ever happened to you?
I can sometimes I call things before they happen very easily. I have intuition, really strong intuition, and that’s kind of paranormal in a way, for example, the number 11:11 is very important to me for personal reasons. I was getting my hair trimmed the other day and I was helping a friend with their multi-media project and a guy walked in and just won a million dollars and he was flipping out, like “I just won a million dollars!” And 11:11 came to my mind, really quickly, and he showed me his ticket that he won and it was 11:11 that he won. He scratched 11 and if he matched 11 to that number he was going to win a million bucks and that was a complete stranger. That number follows me around in my life, so that’s kind of paranormal.
If you could win one award between an Oscar, a Grammy, or a Tony which one would it be?
If you could talk to you of 10 years ago what would you tell yourself?
I would tell myself to just be a little more gentle on myself and I would tell myself to love myself more. And I would tell myself to just trust and have faith, have stronger faith. I would just try to just love myself a little bit more in those times in my life.
You’re writing for Cliché Magazine, can you tell us what you’re doing and what capacity you’ll be working with the site?
I’m interested in writing, it’s cool, this is a position that came my way and I thought it was kind of fun to write for the Entertainment section, and I know so many cool musicians, I think it’s a cool way to get people in my life out there. Just kind of a fun side project I like doing, and you’re probably going to see more coming from me on the writing end in my life. It’s something I’ve always loved to do. I would love to be able to write an article for Rolling Stone one day. Baby steps, you know, I think it’s cool to just be creative and try different things and have fun doing it.
Would you do it all over again, knowing what you know now, knowing what you knew then?
Yeah, I would do it all. I have amazing, amazing people in my life. I have amazing fans. I am so blessed and so lucky, I wouldn’t change one thing. All I would do is go back in time and be a bit more gentle on myself, that’s it. Just through the journey I wouldn’t be so hard on myself and that’s the only thing that I’d change, but my experiences and everything, I’d do it all over again, for sure.