From Wrexham in the industrial borders of North Wales come Alien Feelings. Armed with choruses that prove there’s only one thing better than a singalong: a shoutalong! Here’s the lowdown on the band from vocalist Josh…
What are the origins of the band, how long have you been playing together?
I (Josh) have been a singer-songwriter for the last ten years, performing up and down various local pubs and clubs. Recording my music from my phone and posting homemade music videos online. I knew I wanted to take it a step further, so I decided to get in touch with Dale seeing as we’re both musicians and he has a keen interest in recording and had recorded me a couple of times before. The plan was we were going to make my EP together, with Dale on various instruments and mixing. I went over to his home studio and we lay down a demo of “Good Looking.” We loved it that much that we pretty much formed Alien Feelings then and there. From there we recruited Ryan on lead guitar after he blew us away when we invited him over to play on another track called “Waiting For
Better Days.” Tim followed shortly afterward, never having played an instrument before. He’s a really quick learner, so we knew he’d catch on and he did. We’ve been playing together for just a little over a year.
How did you feel performing your first gig? And how was it?!
Our first gig as Alien Feelings was in our local, The Red Lion (Bents) In Coedpoeth. It was a charity day that we hosted in aid of Hope House on behalf of the landlord at the time. We were buzzing, pissed, and surrounded by friends and family. So, it was easy really. We had a laugh. Probably played a little sloppily though.
What should people expect when they check the band out?
They should expect loud and aggressive guitars, pulsating bass, and thundering drums, topped off with poetic screams about the realities and fantasies of everyday life. Top-notch songwriting that delivers belting tunes from a belting band. Also, we’re a bit weird. You’ll love us.
How would you describe yourself?
We think it’s indie rock fused with punk and grunge. But there are a lot of different nods to different styles in our music because we simply love it. We don’t really like to confine ourselves to a single genre because there’s so much we want to do. We draw inspiration from all kinds of music. Saying that, we’re a rock band at heart and always will be. We won’t be ditching the guitars anytime soon but expect the unexpected.
The new music scene is bursting at the seams with fresh talent, in what ways do you feel that a band has to stand out from the others trying to build a name?
It’s just doing your own thing really, you know like what’s the point in doing something that’s been done before. We know that nothing is truly original, but you should definitely try and put your own spin on whatever it is that you’re doing. Being an active part of your own social media and building friendships with other bands and really connecting with fans makes all the difference these days too. But also, it depends on what you’re trying to do as a band. If all you’re looking for is fame and fortune, then my advice would be to ditch the guitars for synthesizers and switch your lyrics for paid advertisements. But if what you’re doing is organic and pure, then don’t feel the need to change…The right people will get it.
What are you working on at the minute that people can check out?
Our debut EP “Bondage and Lipstick” came out on the 4th of September so we’re currently promoting that. We have a music video for one of the tracks “Scream” which is available to watch on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. But more than anything we’re just looking forward to getting back out there and playing live again as soon as possible. But until then, just check us out on social media, we’re always up to something.
What band out there at the minute do you feel that you would be best suited to open for?
We’d love to open for The Jesus and Mary Chain, Fontaines DC, Stereophonics, NOFX, or The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. We feel we’d work well with their sounds and we’re massive fans of their work. But if we had to pick just one, it’d have to be the Phonics because they’re our fellow countrymen. Cymru am byth.
Who do you feel is the next band to break out?
That’s a tough call, the music industry is constantly evolving and devolving. What’s relevant one week is no longer relevant the next. What we’ve got at the moment is an endless supply of soulless, lifeless, depressing pop shit that’s manufactured for the sole purpose of mass consumption. Music is an art form, not a fast-food chain, and needs to stop being treated as such. That being said, there are a lot of class acts out there currently and if they were to be given the opportunity to achieve the recognition that they deserve then I think that mainstream music could be saved from the clutches of mediocrity. Ultimately it lands in the hands of the DJs and the Playlist curators to decide whether or not they’re willing to risk pushing something new and exciting or if they’d prefer to keep playing it safe. But even rock bands aren’t rock bands anymore. Nobody’s got the balls to be loud these days, that’s where we come in. If it’s going to be anyone, then it might as well be us. Music needs to be turned on its head and bands need to be heard again!
What are your first musical memories? And what was the light bulb moment that made you go “I want to do that”?
Josh: I have to be honest here and say that if it wasn’t for seven-year-old me completely falling in love with Busted, then I may not have been here now. Instantly, I knew it’s what I wanted to do. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Tim: The earliest song’s I can remember that stuck with me was by Chris de Burgh, it was the Spanish Train. This was the first I realised that you can tell a meaningful story with music.
Ryan: My mam and Dad have told me that I loved The Specials as a kid, and I’ve always liked SKA and punk ever since.
Dale: First memory of music was probably listening to an Eric Clapton tape in the car with my Dad, I fell in love with his music and his guitar playing instantly, this got me listening to more of my dad’s tapes, be it in the car or on his stereo that’s where I discovered Pink Floyd and The Who. After watching The Who perform on a VHS my Dad bought me from the Wrexham beast market, I fell in love with Keith Moon and drumming. His energy, passion his unpredictability when he was playing had me mesmerised. That year my parents bought me a Micky Mouse kids drum kit for Christmas. I was around 5 then.
What was the last gig that you attended as a fan?
The only gig we have attended together was to see (Reel Big Fish) in Manchester, for Ryan’s birthday which was amazing. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to see any others before the Covid-19 restrictions. But we’re hoping this ends soon so we can continue supporting live music.
The album that you have in your album collection/Spotify playlist that would surprise most people?
We’re going to pick one each for this question.
Josh: N.W.A., “Straight out of Compton” on vinyl.
Dale: Rammstein, “Mutter.” on CD. I don’t come across as liking heavy music, the truth be told I have a little dark side. Also, I love the production of this album.
Ryan: Toy Dolls, “We’re Mad.” I found them on Spotify when I came across “Nellie the Elephant” and “Deirdre’s a slag.” They’re fucking nuts.
Tim: L.P, ‘Lost on You’. Being a metalhead, it’s just not normally something I’d listen to. I just like the song.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2020?
Surviving mostly. With things as they are, we have no idea when our next gig will be. It’s been such a long time and we’ve missed out on some amazing gigs already due to this bloody virus. It would be great to play live again in 2020, but realistically I think we’re looking at 2021 to be the year where we hit the live circuit hard. In the meantime, we’re practicing religiously, recording demos, and writing new material. We’ll be promoting the “Bondage and Lipstick.” EP and making a couple more music videos.
How active are you on social media and where can people connect with you?