ALLISON – Interview with Janet LaRose
Interview by Tony Cannella
From Switzerland, Allison released the debut album “One” way back in 1993. The band, followed that up with “Wonderland” in 1995. Since then, the band has remained silent for many years, until that silence was broken 25-years later with album number 3 “They Never Come Back”.
The band has returned stronger and more rockin’ than ever and the proof is all right there within the walls of “They Never Come Back”. Recently, I was happy to conduct an interview (via email) with Allison’s powerhouse vocalist Janet La Rose. Sometimes the band DOES come back…. Here’s what she had to say.
Hello Janet. You’ve recently released your new album (and first since 1995). What can you tell us about it?
Hey – thanks for having us here for the interview.
After the reunion of Allison it was quickly clear that a new album has to be recorded. My voice has clearly changed a bit due to age. Pierce, our songwriter, tailored the new songs to my vocal chords. It’s unfortunate when singers don’t feel comfortable vocally. We took on this challenge and the result can be seen on our new album “They Never Come Back”.
Tell us a little about the current Allison line-up. I saw that it changed quite a bit over the years.
Over 50% are original members – that’s great. Pierce (bass player), Jonny (guitarist) and I are part of the current formation. Robi – our 2nd guitar player and long-time friend joined 3 years ago. Sean Evans supports us on drums since 2 years.
You took a lengthy hiatus following your second album (“Wonderland”, released in 1995). Why such a long break?
Following up on our first album “One” was not easy. That showed – I say now – first signs of fatigue. Our guitarist Jonny left the band and we tried to replace him – but we didn’t succeed. The chemistry was not right anymore. So we put Allison on ice. For Pierce‘s 50th birthday in 2017, we rehearsed some Allison songs behind his back as a surprise. We had so much fun together again and it was clear to everyone, here we go again.
Did you feel like Allison was pretty much done at that point, or was the goal to always do a 3rd album, and it just took longer than you thought?
As I explained, Allison was down in 1998. And then everything turned out differently – fortunately. I am so happy about this reunion – to make music with my best friends again and to be involved in the music scene.
Why did you feel that now was the time?
That’s exactly how it was. The right feeling at the right moment.
Are you currently working on new material?
Yes, we are working on new songs. But at the same time we are super happy that we can play live gigs again. So we go forward step by step.
When can we expect the album number 4?
I cannot answer this specifically. But I think I can tell you that we can expect 1-2 new songs from Allison towards the end of the year. Thanks to digital marketing, it doesn’t have to be a whole new album right away. It’s also important for us to catch up on the gigs we couldn’t realize in the last 2 years.
What does the new music sound like?
The new material definitely sounds like Allison. We stay true to what we do – we do what we do best and with a lot of heart and soul. We would never bend. That’s what we did in the 90s as well.
You are currently signed to Massacre Records. How did that deal come to birth?
A good friend of ours, Philipp Klauser from Requiem, introduced us to Thomas from Massacre. Massacre liked our work and so the whole thing started rolling. It’s always very good when you have such great friends. Thanks Phil!
Now that the world seems to be opening up again, are you planning touring in support of the record?
We are already playing live concerts. Also first gigs in Germany are in planning. On our website www.allison.ch you can always find the current tour list.
What did you do to keep yourself busy during the pandemic?
We’ve always kept Allison going. We looked for a new rehearsal room and set it up. Now it’s also possible for us to make professional recordings. We also rehearsed – not always all at the same time, to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. We managed to bridge this lockdown time and strengthened and motivated each other. That was not always easy for everyone. Even in these moments it shows very clearly how important best friends are.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Janet. Do you have anything you would like to say to the fans to wrap this up?
Many thanks from my side too! Dear music listeners and fans: without you nothing would work – thank you for supporting us musicians in whatever way! We are very happy when we can make your life a little more beautiful with our songs.