Interview with Alexander Burnett by Kyle Pauletto
‘The Great Impression’ was the first album that was solely written and recorded by you as a solo artist, how did you find the process differed from when you had a band to work with?
Well the first record was essentially all my songs as well. The first record was a lot different, it was a live record and we made 12 songs in 12 days with a big name producer in London and it was the first time we had been there so it was all very exciting. That was two years ago and we were I guess much more young and wide eyed then when the band left. I was left with a bunch of demos on my computer that I loved and I think it just gave me the ticket to just be free and do whatever I wanted. It was just exhilarating to have that freedom of not having a band. Of course at the same time it was daunting, because there’s no safety net, no one to rely on and fall back on.
In your opinion do you think there is anything noticeably different in the finished product because you were alone and had that freedom?
Yeah totally, I think it would have a completely different record if it was with the band that did the first record. I don’t know if it would have been better or worse, I just know it would have been different. Something about the band leaving inspired me to be more selfish and to go further in myself, to write bigger bolder pop songs as well as more honest, quiet songs.
Do you think for future albums you will recruit more band members or remain a solo artist?
I don’t know, I have a band I tour with and they are great musicians and great live and we have a lot of fun but who knows what the next record entails. I do like just doing whatever feels right at the time so if we get really good at playing on the road and decide to release some demos then great and if not then the next record might be more acoustic or it might be more ridiculously pop, it depends what happens in life. I write songs based upon what’s going on in my life and how I feel, so I don’t want to plan too much.
Whose idea was it, and what was the reason behind letting your twitter and facebook followers listen to the album before its release?
I think that it was the record labels decision. We started touring directly after the record’s release and we would be playing songs from both the old and new album. It seems to be such a different world in terms of making records even from just the first record to the second.
Is your online popularity surreal at all?
Yeah it is, its really strange to be in a situation where its up to the world to either love it or hate it, some people will hate it because other people love it and people will have songs that they think are amazing other songs they think are ridiculous and terrible. I love the concept of music in the sense of just putting it into the world, and letting the world decide, and that’s just how it is, I don’t want to control it.
In only 3 years since the first album ‘Postcards’ was released you have toured to a large percentage of the major destinations, do you think with a second album at your disposal you could go places that you wouldn’t have been able to, limited to one album?
Yeah definitely more places, it seems to be going that way, especially Europe and the UK. I was looking forward to maybe having a week off and going somewhere exotic but its back to the road. I think we’re going to Iceland this year which is going to be amazing, who would have thought? We’ll probably spend more time in America which is exciting. Sometimes with music you never really know, I mean ‘Jealousy’ and ‘Kiss of Death’ were hits in Germany so we did quite a bit of touring there and that was very surprising. In the UK ‘Too Much To Do’ was played a lot which allowed us to do a the big festivals, so who knows what will happen with this one.
Being our environmental issues, are there any environmental issues you feel particularly strong about, and have environmental problems ever been a point of inspiration for your music?
Of recent times I’ve been pretty concerned about how the world is going, with so many natural disasters, especially with the 2012 prediction. I did actually write a song recently touching on those topics, and I think that’s something I will be writing about more in the future.
Originally published in METIOR issue 2, 2011.