EMQ’s With Alienatör
Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Post-metal band, Alienatör. Huge thanks to Guitarist/ Vocalist, Brad King, for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Brad King and I play guitar and yell in a band called Alienatör. We’ve been around since about 2014. Started out as myself and a friend on drums, just a two piece. Now several years later I’ve been joined by Sean Skillen – bass, back-up vocals and Simon Paquette on drums and never sounded better.
How did you come up with your band name?
Alienatör means a disagreeable or unpleasant person according to the dictionary. That seemed to fit our music somehow.
What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?
We are from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, a small and relatively isolated city that actually has a lot of talented bands and musicians. Our audience and the amount of venues is limited compared to some of the larger cities but overall I’d say we have a thriving scene.
What is your latest release?
Our new album is called “Regrets.” It’s out Nov 25, 2022. There will be three accompanying music videos. We’re excited for the album to come out. It’s best thing we’re done and we’re anxious to come back after the pandemic and get in people’s faces again.
Who have been your greatest influences?
Noise rock, sludge metal, punk rock. Black Flag, Melvins, Neurosis, Unsane, Converge, Botch, Today is the Day, Cursed, Jesus Lizard, Nomeansno, Drive Like Jehu, Fugazi. I could go on.
What first got you into music?
I’ve always loved music and coming up with songs and melodies in my head. When I was young I got into Metallica and AC/DC, Black Sabbath etc. From there I got into punk and hardcore etc. etc and now here I am
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Kurt Ballou, King Buzzo, the guys in Neurosis. To make something dark and strange.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Probably Roadburn. They consistently have the best line-ups of underground, Avant-grade and aggressive bands that I’ve seen.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
A guy bought $50 of merch with a hundred-dollar bill and said to keep the change recently. That was a pretty nice gift.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
We appreciate the support of anyone who has ever checked out, downloaded or otherwise exposed themselves to our music. You’re awesome and we thank you very much.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Man, I don’t know if I have a great answer for this. Everybody is dead nowadays so there are lots to choose from. Jimi Hendrix back from the grave would be a fun show.
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I like the creative aspect. I like writing songs, coming up with the album art, and getting the whole package together. I like playing, both in the jam space and in front of crowds. I don’t know if hate is the right word but … yeah, I guess I kinda hate social media. I like doing interviews with nice folks like yourselves but I don’t really like the self-promotion aspect where you have to say “please like our band,” on whatever platform. That said, please follow us on all of our bullshit.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” – Hunter S. Thompson. Great quote but I’m not sure we’re really even in the music industry at this point. The commodification and commercialization of art sucks. It’s about how many units you move or how many clicks you get vs. the quality of your work it often seems.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
You’re going to do that to me? Ask me to name just one album? That’s brutal. I thought we were friends, man. I’d have to say “Wrong,” by NoMeansNo. The musicianship is second to none, it has brilliant lyrics, a wicked sense of humour, a million twists and turns, and it’s heavy but intelligent. In many ways, a perfect album. A vastly underrated band from our home country of Canada. It’s out of print so check it out on YouTube.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs or Downloads?
For me, at this point in my life, it’s streaming. It’s just convenience. I have a decent vinyl collection and I love the experience of physical media, but it would be damn expensive to be able to listen to the variety of music that I want if I had to buy it all on vinyl.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
The best one recently was our return after the pandemic. The bar was packed, and people were stoked. There was a whole new crop of kids who turned 19 (Canadian drinking age) during the pandemic and hadn’t gotten to go out to a show in 2 years. Everyone was super into it.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Well, music doesn’t pay the bills, so I’m doing what I would be doing. I’ve been a social service worker working in harm reduction, addictions, mental health and homelessness for many years.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
This is one I never know how to answer. I was somewhere in public and a group of people got asked this and I remember one person saying their family and everyone thinking they were just the sweetest person and then I felt like a dick for saying Kurt Vonnegut or something. So, I’m gonna say my wonderful family and pets. Sorry, Kurt,
What’s next for the band?
What indeed? We’re gonna promote this new album ‘til we’re blue in the face and play a bunch of shows. It would be nice if we could get out of the city to play some shows in the near future. I’ve got a bunch of material and am ready for the next album. We’re just gonna keep working and trying to make cool stuff we enjoy.
What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Well, as you know from my previous answer, social media is my very favourite thing in the whole wide world. You can reach out and touch us at Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp and we even have a YouTube now.
Music Video – The Priest – https://youtu.be/TJxF6Qs3Bws
Single – Blood Red Blood https://youtu.be/BQcdJyF9PtM
Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun, a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake
Well, this is intriguing. At first, I thought a humble sandwich was some UK dish I didn’t know about, like; bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie and humble sandwich. A bap and a barm sound made up. I’m pretty sure those are gibberish. A batch doesn’t make sense. I know what a tea cake and a muffin are. A cob is not bread. In Canada, we eat a hamburger or a hot dog or a sandwich or whatever on a bun. We’re also a British colony by the way. For us, a roll is like a dinner roll which is a type of bun you eat with butter, sometimes before they bring your food out at the restaurant. So I’m gonna go with “roll,” as my final answer.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Check out our album. Follow us on all the bullshit. We’ve got videos coming out. If you like what you hear, you can buy stuff on Bandcamp. Peace and love to everybody.
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