Interview by Ary R.
Some of you know this band thanks to Ryan Folden’s work, After Midnight, some other got in touch with these guys on the occasion of the Dark Adrenaline tour by Italian act Lacuna Coil. Who are we talking about? The answer is here: American band THIS IS SHE, that in this 2012 enter the music scene with a well-respected EP, “Nobody Is Ok”. As soon as the tour came to an end, I had the pleasure to exchange some chats with the sweet Alana Grace, that revealed something about this European tour and about the new goals of the band. This week Femme Metal hosts an interview with This Is She and we have the pleasure to talk with the singer Alana Grace. Hi Alana, welcome on our website. How are you doing?
I’m doing great! I’m happy to be back from tour and relax into the holiday season. It’s my favorite time of the year, and I’ll get to see my family soon so it’s a good time.This Is She is an American music reality that slowly tries to introduce itself in Europe in the proper way. Would you like to share something about the band biography or about your musical careeer?
I met Christian and Ryan back in 2009 when I toured with the Vans Warped Tour. They were out with their band After Midnight Project at the time, and we all bonded together throughout the summer. Both bands had their ups and downs and in 2011 I think we were all ready to try something new for a change. I had an idea for an electronic rock band, and I was looking for players right as After Midnight Project decided to take a hiatus. So we hopped in the studio together and wrote for a few months before starting to play live. Finally we released our first EP in July of this year and have been trying to promote it ever since.You’ve ended up the European tour recently, This is She was chosen as the support act for the Italian band Lacuna Coil. How would you describe this experience?
It was an incredible experience for us to go on tour with Lacuna Coil. They are so good live it was a little intimidating at first, but they were very nice to us and we became easy friends. I would say the crowds were awesome for us. They have a really dedicated fanbase who generally had checked us out before coming to the shows. It was so much fun to see some people were already familiar with our songs, and it really made us feel at home with their fans.
What did you like the most in having started a full European tour and to make yourselves a name in the European metal scene?
Obviously as Americans just getting to tour Europe is an exciting opportunity. Small acts like us that are just starting out rarely get to tour the states let alone the world. So my favorite part was getting a small taste of the cities everywhere we went. The crowds have their own vibe to them and we really to got to get a sense of where our music could fit into the rock scene in Europe.While you were touring with Lacuna Coil, Ryan Folden, your drummer, has been chosen as the replacement for LC’s drummer, Cristiano ‘CriZ’ Mozzati, absent for some European dates because of some personal reasons. How have you been asked for this replacement? How have you managed to “split” your own commitments with the 2 bands?
Ryan has worked for Lacuna Coil as their drum tech for about 4 years now on and off. Because of this he had played shows with them before when there were personal conflicts. I think the band just wanted to have someone they trusted play for them for the tour, and he worked it so that we could all tour together so he wouldn’t be gone so long for our band. It hasn’t been too bad for us to share Ryan as we tend to go on the road for shorter periods of time. It’s all about scheduling things way in advance so that none of us miss out on opportunities.As I was saying, you’ve had the chance to share the stage with the great Cristina Scabbia. Have you got the chance to know her better? What is your opinion about this fantastic and charismatic woman?
Cristina was really amazing to watch every night. I couldn’t believe she could keep up doing two hours of singing the entire length of the tour without ever seeming to get hoarse! But yes I got to know her on the tour. We shared the bus together so in a way we were living together for a few weeks! I would say she’s pretty fascinating. Every day off she would find some weird shop with trinkets I couldn’t find anywhere and she had a great way of thinking appreciating her fans. She is a very genuine person who just wants to affect people’s lives with music. She really just has an eye for the details and makes those stand out.Everybody knows that Cristina is a woman that is very close to people’s problems. A few months ago, she filmed a videoclip speaking about bullying, that is a topic she feels close to, she also realized a mold made for breast cancer awareness month. What do you think about these initiatives?
I think it’s really important for people to try and help spread awareness about bullying and breast cancer. My personal causes are the children’s hospitals and research centers so I tend to do benefits for St. Jude’s and The Children’s Miracle Network. It’s a big deal when musicians give back to the community that has given them so much and part of that is speaking out against what is wrong and helping to inspire others to do the same.
Let’s talk about your debut EP. It’s called “Nobody is OK”, it includes 5 tracks and it’s your first record. Let’s explain the album-title: how did the title come to life? Is there any hidden message behind?
It’s a pretty literal title! I’m not big on writing secretive meanings in my songs, I tend to be pretty straightforward. This song was written towards the end of the record when we realized that all the songs were about bad relationships or learning from our mistakes! It’s also a way of explaining why the dubstep genre is making it’s way into mainstream music. Nobody is happy all the time, and everyone has a dark side. I think that title just fit the feeling of the record as a whole more than any of the other titles.Your music is electro, even if you call yourselves as an “electronic rock” band. Which is the right definition that suits you the most?
I say we are an “electronic rock” band because we put on a rock style show and we have real instruments on our tracks. While we are electronically based, we are most certainly not considered an electronic band. Our music just isn’t written for that genre; it’s written for the rock fan who likes electronics not the other way around.In order to introduce better to the audience, you’ve filmed a clip for your first single, “Grow Up”. Would you like to share something about this track? If I’m correct, it deals with men adulthood. Does it deal with some particular episode of your personal life?
“Grow Up” is actually the only song on the album not about a relationship! The director of the video just wanted to run with that idea so we let him. The song is more about questioning my reality and why I keep making the same choices over and over looking for a different result. It’s called “Grow Up” because the goal of the song is get a person to listen to their heart and change their ways.Although composed of only five tracks, this record looks like an appetizer for a future complete album. Are you currently working on something new or is it too early to speak about a full length album?
We are writing all the time and certainly would like to create a full length album. There are just a lot of logistics to deal with before that happens. As a new band the writing process is just the beginning of making a record. Finding a producer and paying for the record to get done are definitely things we have to figure out before hitting the studio for more music!Is there any song from this EP that you like the most or that you feel connected to?
My personal favorite song off of the EP is called “Misery”. It is a very personal song about a particular relationship I was dealing with when writing this EP. I really like how it has a sensual feel while being so honest about my up and down feelings about a person. Any song that makes me feel sexy tends to be a favorite of mine. I really feel like I can wail on that song live, and it makes it so much fun to perform.Getting some infos about the band, I discovered that you were already the singer of The After Midnight project, that, more or less, has the same band members. How did the idea of founding a new band, which then resulted in This Is She, come to birth?
I was never a part of After Midnight Project only Ryan and Christian were. I have my own solo project that is just called Alana Grace that I’ve worked on since 2005. After Midnight Project was going on hiatus at a time when I wanted to start a new group. I had met the guys in 2009 when we were all on the Vans Warped Tour and always felt that we would collaborate well together. When it came time for me to try something new they were a natural group of people to ask to join the team. I guess you could say timing is everything!Despite being the lead singer for This Is She, you also have a solo career. You’ve released two solo albums, “Break the Silence” (2007) e “With One Word” (2009). Are you currently working on another album?
At the moment I am not working on another solo record, but I wouldn’t rule it out for the future. I think it’s important to focus on one project at a time at the beginning of a career, and that would only be a distraction at the moment. I get my fill of performing and writing from the band at the moment!Since the tour is already over, what will be your future goals with This Is She? And what about your personal goals?
The first thing that needs to happen is that we get a full length record finished and released. Then I would love to start getting some radio air play to expand our audience before hitting the road again with a bigger band. We have a lot of work to do in order to make this band last, and I think we’re up to the challenge!Well. That’s all! Thanks for your time Alana. You have the chance to greet your fans!
I just want to thank all the people that came out to the shows and then found us and follow us online. We want to have more personal relationships with our fans just liked Lacuna Coil so find us online and say hi! Happy New Year everyone!