MP3 Alexander Seier - POP: Today´s Top 40
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11 MP3 Songs
POP: Today's Top 40, ROCK: Acoustic
Contagious, grab-you-by-the-lapels rock and roll can't be created in a vacuum. It has to poke up through the earth, from between the cracks -- urged along by folks who're willing to get their hands dirty while coaxing it along.
Alexander Seier, fomerly on Lava Atlantic Records, has plenty of experience doing just that. This disc, which draws on several years of experience playing the Eastern seaboard from his Pennsylvania home base, belies Seier's flair for both driving guitar anthems and intriguingly crafted ballads.
"I listen to everything from Tori Amos to Pantera to Oasis to Radiohead and I just happen to write pop rock and roll songs that fall somewhere in the middle of all that. If I were to go out there alone as a singer-songwriter, I think people would expect me to have an acoustic guitar and be all-sensitive. Some of what I write is sensitive, but that's not the whole story, and that's why I'm in a band."
Alexander Seier bears traces of many of the artists on his playlist, but none of the eleven songs can be pinned down with just one adjective. The soaring "Close," which is cleaved by a chorus that immediately implants itself in the gray matter, spotlights his mellifluous voice, which conveys a compelling mixture of regret and hopefulness. "Waste My Time," on the other hand, takes a more cinematic tack, its gradually unspooling melody recalling LA rockers Incubus or mid-period U2.
"I like to listen to music that gets you right off the bat, whether it's in a pop style or a rock style," proclaims Seier. The latter mode is the predominant force on the self-titled cd. This is clearly evident from the first notes on the album's powerful, up-tempo track "Take It Away," which was co-written by Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots, who also contributes the song's distinctive, arcing guitar line. "They asked if I'd be interested in writing with Dean DeLeo and I was like 'yeah, of course," he recalls. "I was surprised by how easy it was to do it. I was happy just to be in the room, but he encouraged my input on everything he was doing. I was like 'who am I to tell a guy from STP what to do?' It's a song that sounds like it belongs on the record, but it also sounds like his playing."
After playing drums in a series of local bands, Seier taught himself to play guitar shortly after graduating from high school. While attending art school, he put together a band called Project 67, which, in short order, went from playing tiny clubs to selling out thousand seat venues. After a pair of well-received releases, that band imploded, an occurrence Seier says wasn't all that shocking.
"I've always felt that, as long as you're taking a step forward and not stalling, then it's worth it to keep striving," he says. "But things have a way of weeding themselves out, and some people kind of lose interest if there's not a huge success overnight, so we started losing members and I started writing a different kind of music. It just had to happen, inevitably."
The singer-guitarist's next move was an impulsive one. He flew out to Los Angeles on his own dime, convinced he could jump-start his career more effectively on the Left Coast than back in the Keystone State. Seier holed up in a studio with producer Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Staind) and got ten songs down on tape -- enough ammunition to get him signed to Lava Records in a little over a month's time. This in itself is quite an accomplishment for any driven, developing young artist.
Alexander Seier's self-titled cd has a fair amount of introspective moments, from the hushed "Hear Me Now" (which addresses the death of Seier's grandfather) to the agitated-sounding love missive "My Loss." None of the disc's tunes get overly bogged down in confessional details, though, a product of his desire to communicate rather than simply pour out his heart. "I've always believed that people need to get what they need to get out of a song. I've never liked the idea of being force-fed the meaning."
"There are a lot of songs about relationships on the record, some good ones and some bad ones. That's just what everybody goes through. In a span of six months -- even a month -- of being with someone, you run through such a range of emotions. One day, it's like 'this is the person I want to spend my life with,' and the next it's like 'I don't even know why I'm with them.' You're always questioning how you feel, and the record has a lot of that going on."
Alexander Seier raises his fair share of question marks, but when it comes to hooks and melodies that stick with you for the long run, it's topped off with one big exclamation point.
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