AstralAliens in Music Connection
by Music ConnectionAstralAliens' article in LA's No.1 Music Source mag, Music Connection.
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Thanks very much to Bernaud Baur
CHAMPIONS OF 2009 'BATTLE 4 LOS ANGELES' by
Q MUSIC ARTICLE - CHAMPIONS OF 2009 'BATTLE 4 LOS ANGELES' BAND COMPETITION RETURN HOME
CHAMPIONS OF THE 2009 'BATTLE FOR LOS ANGELES' BAND COMPETITION RETURN HOME.
Brisbane-based Rock band, ASTRALALIENS, arrive back home after a triumphant year in America, which culminated in the band toppling 35 Los Angeles bands to win the Grand Final of the 2009 LA Rock Band Championship “The Battle for Los Angeles”.
Held in Hollywood, The Battle for Los Angeles had a pre-selected field of 36 top L.A. bands, that fought out 6 semi-finals on the way to the Grand Final, which the ASTRALALIENS won by a large margin in both the audience’s and judges’ voting.
The ASTRALALIENS have just concluded their second round of US dates, appearing at many of Hollywood’s renowned music venues, including appearances at The Viper Room, Key Club, Knitting Factory, The Mint, Whisky A Go-Go, The Derby and other prominent venues.
ASTRALALIENS’ members are no strangers to band competitions, having won several in Australia. Originally known at home as De Jah Dan Dah, they rose to local prominence by winning the “Bandfest” rock contest in Brisbane. Soon after, they won the "Best Radio-Friendly Band" title at the finals of "ROCKSTAR…The Real Deal!", the Brisbane rock band search held at Dreamworld and sponsored by Triple M, Coca-Cola and Wizard Records. As a result they were signed by Australian independent label, Wizard.
Thank You to the Q Music Newsdesk.
"RAVE meets ASTRALALIENS" by
RAVE MAGAZINE - "RAVE meets Brisbane/LA power pop quartet ASTRALALIENS
RAVE: What’s the scene in LA like for a young Australian band?
JAKE FEHRES: Eye opening. You are in the middle of it all. Playing the famous nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, having celebrities come to your shows, recording in the same studios as Metallica, Rage Against the Machine and Blink 182, it’s surreal. I highly recommend it to any young Aussie band wanting to make it internationally. You have to do it.
R: Being "Australia’s Hottest New Band" in LA, how would you recommend artists go about trying to make it there?
ERIC SLATER: Market, market, market, promote, promote, promote. Never neglect the music and the art form, and always work on refining the act, but make promotion a #1 priority.
R: I hear you guys incorporate Karate into you stage show. How did that come about, and what in particular do you do?
MABLO FEHRES: In the band’s early stages, before Jake and I met Eric and Chaz, we included a lot of mysticism, postures, and various katas, or karate forms, into the stage presentation as part of a larger concept. We adapted the moves to fit in time with the music so it ends up looking like a dance, and some of that naturally carried over into the live show as the band changed and evolved.
R: Similarly, where does didgeridoo come into things? It doesn’t have much of a history in pop music.
MF: Exactly, and that’s one of the reasons we brought it in, plus it gives the band another little touch of Australiana and yet another edge to our individuality. I play didg in several songs live and have featured it on some our recordings. The crowd loves it!
R: Episode 3 of AstralAliens TV seems a little misleading, or should we believe that you chanced upon scores of excited fans one night in Fortitude Valley, after being OS for a year?
ES: Though the clip may predispose some viewers to interpret the episode’s events chronologically, AA TV is more or less a weekly summary of our goings-on during that particular week, which may include fan interaction at performances, etc., edited and compiled into a short exposition, focusing on keeping our fans informed and more importantly, entertained. At no point did we intend to suggest that we "chanced" upon all of these fans during one night out in the Valley, after a year away. [For the record, the Episode is titled Night On The Town and Eric says at the beginning "...come along with us, and see what we get into, tonight!"]
R: Winning the "Best Radio-Friendly Band" title at the finals of Triple M’s Rockstar competition seems a dubious honour. Or is it?
JF: It’s a band comp. They have all kinds of obscure categories, and they just happened to fit us into that one. We were happy to be selected for something, most bands weren’t.
Thanks to Jakeb Smith
"INDEPENDENCE DAY" by
TIMEOFF MAGAZINE - "INDEPENDENCE DAY" Article
BRISBANE’S ASTRALALIENS HAVE SPENT THE PAST YEAR WINNING ACCLAIM FROM LOS ANGELES AUDIENCES. MATT O’NEILL MANAGED TO CATCH UP WITH THE BAND BEFORE THEY RETURNED TO THE STATES.
Ambition has gradually acquired something of a negative stigma within the music industry’s recent years. The changes heralded by the arrival of file-sharing and music downloading have called into question the true value of music and musicians and artists have been forced to be quite circumspect about their thoughts on merit within music. An artist can be mocked and denigrated for even aspiring to widespread appeal and the vaguest assertion that music may perhaps be worth more than a point-and-click philosophy suggests is often greeted with consternation and derision. Australian/American hard rock outfit AstralAliens, however, are not intimidated by such a prevalent philosophy.
A hard-working quartet of dedicated musicians, AstralAliens are unrepentantly ambitious and determined to succeed at the highest level – regardless of people’s preconceptions. The band’s core creative partnership of Jake (bass/vocals) and Mablo Fehres (guitars/vocals) managed to secure a surfeit of plaudits throughout Australia under the De Jah Dan Dah moniker – including a victory at Triple M’s prestigious ‘Rockstar’ band search – and recent years have only found the Brisbane brothers further developing their musical ambitions.A temporary move to Los Angeles last year introduced the pair to kindred spirits Eric Slater (guitars/vocals) and Chaz Stockham (drums) and AstralAliens is the impressive result of the union.
“AstralAliens really started in Los Angeles. We went to America and met Eric and Chaz and pretty much once we formed the band, and established the name of the band, things really started to take off for us. It was a combination of luck and hard work,” Mablo Fehres explains before ceding to brother Jake. “We went to America not knowing what was going to happen. We could have ended up just joining the Circus but it went really well. We were the right band in the right place at the right time and we saw the right people. Luck has definitely helped us but, ultimately, I think our success has been a product of our promotion skills, networking and talent. I think this is a great band.”
“Our intention is to communicate,” Eric Slater elaborates. “There are so many different kinds of artists that, with the explosion of the Internet, I feel there’s almost this contrary mentality to almost display oneself as not wanting success and not wanting to succeed. As artists, we strive to communicate with the largest audience possible. If we can create music and have a performance that communicates across the board and around the world, I feel we’ve set out and achieved something grand. We love what we do and wish to succeed, obviously, but we also care very much about our art and how we relate to other artists.”
It’s AstralAliens’ intelligent combination of artistry and intellect that has seen the band gradually evolve into one of Australia’s most promising musical exports over the past year. The quartet’s market-savvy networking may have secured them gigs at respected LA venues like the Whiskey A Go-Go and the Viper Room, but the band’s true triumphs are localised to their explosive live shows and adventurous songwriting. It’s the AstralAliens’ electrifying performances of glam, grunge, punk, alt-rock and pop that has won the band international acclaim, managing to conquer the illustrious ‘Battle 4 Los Angeles’ band competition without a single release.
“In life, you can plan as much as you like, but it’s always a trial-and-error experience,” Slater explains. “The brothers came to America with a set plan of what they wanted to accomplish but, being over there, we were influenced by our environment and by each other. When you’re trying to communicate – you feel what’s working and what is ultimately connecting with an audience and when you start to tap into that feeling… that connection almost shapes what you’re trying to become as much as your own internal forces.”
Thank You to Matt O'Neill.
Aliens Landing by
The band AstralAliens touches down at Ground Zero for the UnderGround Concert at 7 p.m.
by Jen Winston
Photo courtesy of the AstralAliens
What happens when you mix heavy guitars, the occasional didgeridoo and four leather jackets? You get the AstralAliens, the half-American, half-Australian rock band that was born ready to rock your world.
“Go crazy onstage, that’s our thing,” said bassist Jake Fehrés. “We’re a hard-hitting rock band; we bring it.”
Credit the intensity to the band’s personal chemistry. From the moment Australian brothers Jake and Mablo Fehrés met American musicians Chaz Stockham and Eric Slater, the foursome clicked.
“There’s just this electricity,” explained guitarist Eric Slater. “This band is electric and incredibly personal.”
The spark is a happy result of the way the group embraces one another’s musical styles. Since so many of today’s great artists are criticized for having songs that supposedly “all sound the same,” the band stands out: The AstralAliens utilize their diverse influences, backgrounds and skills to create tracks that sound distinctive and congruent at the same time.
The catchy “Spin” offers a “Dazed and Confused”-esque intro, the twist being that it also features the Australian instrument the didgeridoo, an Aborigine wind instrument. While it would be typical for an Australian band to overdo it when demonstrating its culture, the AstralAliens use the unique instrument just sparingly enough to keep it cool.
On “Tell Me That You Need It,” the band sticks to plain old ponderous guitars and heavy drums, channeling the seriousness of Tool and System Of A Down. The vocals turn the song into something that a teenage girl would crank up to drown out her parents, bringing an angry version of The Academy Is… to mind.
The track “American Face,” written by Jake Fehrés, demonstrates both glam-rock accessibility and heavy-metal influences, all while Fehrés croons lyrics encouraging American girls to show him some “culture.”
“I am making love to every girl in the audience when I sing that song,” the singer said of the track, which features lyrics such as Show me your boomerang and I’m the thunder from down under.
Thunder, maybe. Lightning, yes. “Both Ways,” a track about a bisexual girl, features an incredible solo and, along with “Tussen,” is one of the best displays of the band’s guitar talent. The lyrics, though lacking in depth, are sure to get stuck in your head even after all of the head-nodding subsides.
What makes these tracks so obviously different from other similar bands is not necessarily their instrumental styles but their vocal ones.
“The songs we sing are the songs we write ourselves,” Slater said. “Which kind of means we don’t really have a set frontman. Which is good.”
By taking ego out of the picture, the AstralAliens ensure that drama doesn’t short circuit their battery. They get along famously, supporting each other’s endeavors and ideas. This is necessary: Considering the idea of an Australian band is so appealing to accent-obsessed fans, it would have been very easy for the American members to get lost in the shadow.
This cultural discrepancy is also being remedied by the group’s upcoming two-month tour of Australia. Beginning on Monday, the tour will allow Slater and Stockham to get a feel for down under.
The tour will be new for the Fehrés as well, considering they have not performed in their homeland since the band formed.
“Brisbane is a great place to live, and we love it,” Fehrés said, “but in terms of music, you want to get out of the city because a lot of the gigs are cover music. There’s not much room for original stuff.”
This issue was what led the band to Los Angeles, a city that welcomes new music with open arms and stiff competition. The band, however, has successfully been able to distinguish itself in the City of Angels, which probably has a lot to do with its high levels of fan interaction.
Australia might be the most isolated continent, but the AstralAliens are uniquely within reach. They’ll stay after shows, interact with their fans, party with them. They love their supporters, and their supporters love them right back. This cycle of energy is a big reason the band’s shows are so powerful.
“I’ve played with loads of bands. I’ve been playing for many years,” said Slater, “and this is the most fan electricity I’ve ever experienced.”
Performing their final shows in Los Angeles at Ground Zero today and the Viper Room on Friday, the AstralAliens will be going out with a bang, harnessing their high-voltage sound like the States have seldom seen. Bring your outlet adapters, mate, and get ready to plug in.
Thank You to Jen Winston for this superb article :)