Interview with Montreal multi-instrumentalist ALIAS

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Photo – Camille Gladu-Drouin

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, dilettante, polymath, Emmanuel Alias went through more than four paths before arriving at his eponymous psych-rock project, ALIAS.

After 9 years studying jazz at the Darius Milhaud Conservatory in Aix-en-Provence, he arrived in Quebec in 2014 and began working in music at XS Music with Jean-Phi Goncalves, where he participated in the composition of music for the series Big Little Lies, Sharp Objects (both broadcast on HBO), the feature film Jouliks by Mariloup Wolfe and for many Cirque du Soleil productions.

And, in parallel with all this, he maintains a small plethora of projects to accommodate his need to explore genres, releasing punk, hip-hop and ambient albums under different pseudonyms, before landing on ALIAS.

He tells us, “When I was younger it was rock and roll, blues music, But, during my teenage phase I was more into hip hop music and electro sometimes.

Emmanuel is a talented musician and plays everything on the new EP including drums, guitar, keys, bass, percussion and even “empty bottles.”

When I was younger I had a band and I was a bass player and lead singer. When I first came here, I was just like a composer doing soundtracks, movies and commercials, and I decided to go back on stage with my own project, so when I decided that I was just okay, I’m just going to do everything!”

This week sees the release of “I Won’t Go to Heaven And That’s Alright”, part two of an EP to be released this summer on Simone Records.

The recipe? The uninhibited spirit of garage rock, a pinch of pop and a good dose of melancholic heavy psyche.

The music video suggests a scenario imagined by Pierre François Sempere as well as an ingenious staging by Alias himself. After being interested in the terrible curse of the werewolf with the first extract “The Wolf Man” launched earlier this year, Emmanuel Alias finds himself in a crazy wedding where the protagonist realizes that he is alone. No bride, no guests. Between kitsch and fuzz, wisdom and madness, a cathartic delirium is born.

Check it out below:

“We have like a show the 3rd of June at l’Esco bar in Montreal, and it’s going to be my first time there, Iwent to a lot of shows there and I really wanted to play there but this is going to be my first time. And more shows are gonna come, maybe around this September, October and November but for now, I’m just going to work in studio for the whole summer.”

Montreal Rocks caught up with Emmanuel to talk about creating music in lockdown, his favourite Montreal venues, plans for the future and weird weddings.

Watch the interview below:

Get tickets for his l’Esco show on June 3 HERE

Interview – Steve Gerrard

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