Alex Anders came onto the music scene as a singer/guitarist in his teens. He has since went on to add harmonica, organ, and drums to his repertoire. While he prefers to perform county music he has also worked in rock, alternative, and acoustic genres. His debut release This Memory can be found at digital outlets everywhere from Potomac Records. The new single Those Were the Days can be found on iTunes and all digital media outlets Tuesday March 17, 2015
Since there isn’t much known about you yet, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am 22 years old, born and raised in Northern Virginia, and currently residing in Fairfax, VA. Since I can remember, music has always been my passion and what I’ve always gravitated toward – to escape from routine as well as to let my creative juices flow. Music has always provided a sense of belonging, and singing and writing is part of who I am – to put it in simpler terms, music simply defines me. I have been pursuing a musical career since my teenage years, with a clearer definition, goal, and a stronger determination now that I’m in my twenties. I love music, I just want to perform, write, and always make music.
What did you love most about growing up in Northern Virginia? What are some of your most fond memories from that time in your life?
The thing I definitely loved most about living in this area was the amount of family I had growing up here. My aunts, uncles, and cousins always seemed to be just down the street from one another. It was nice never having to travel more than 10 minutes to get to one another’s home. It always made for awesome holiday get togethers, birthday celebrations, cookouts, and many other family events. It was really nice knowing the people that meant the most, were always so close to me. This enhanced the fact that Northern Virginia has a very diverse culture, vast history, wonderful attractions, and activities that appeal to a worldwide audience. In addition there is its growing music scene which has contributed greatly to shaping me into the artist that I am today. Northern Virginia is also the home of Potomac Records, who are doing an amazing job in cultivating and supporting the local music scene, including myself. Putting all this together, Northern Virginia has been and will always be the best place in the world for me.
Can you recall what you very first favorite song was?
I have always loved music and how it made me feel, but it wasn’t until I heard Bruce Springsteen’s Rosalita ,The Dance by Garth Brooks, and Motorcycle Drive By by Third Eye Blind, who are admittedly one of my favorite bands, that I got more and more interested in the wonderful world of music.
When did you first become interested in guitar?
I first remember wanting to seriously pursue guitar after seeing my older cousin play her guitar. I was always going over to her place and seeing her strum along and sing to popular songs on the radio. I had always been infatuated with guitar and drums and wanting to learn how to play an instrument of my own from a pretty young age. But it was probably around 10 or 11 when I really decided that I would pick it up and start teaching myself. I haven’t put it down since.
How does your work now as a solo musician differ most from your past work in various bands?
Well, it has been quite some time since I’ve been part of a band, but if I can think back far enough, one of the main differences is not having to be crammed up in a small, smelly, spare bedroom with three other guys, a bunch of instruments, equipment, and no working air conditioner.
In all seriousness, working as a solo artist has given me flexibility and freedom to create. It gave my songs and work, a clearer identity. However,having experienced both now, my goal is to put together an awesome band with a wide variety of influences to make great music and entertain the masses, or the small crowd at a local bar. I feel that the time I’ve spent on my songwriting and recording, has been a better path for me to take and explore my boundaries, and take things to the next level.The time is here and the time is now.
Were you excited to be signed to Potomac Records? Do you enjoy working with the staff there?
I was super excited to be signed by Potomac Records. Potomac Records has been great. It really almost came out of nowhere. Literally, a year before I signed my first contract with them, I was working at a hole in the wall coffee shop in Clifton, VA 6 days a week, playing an acoustic gig on the patio every weekend for a few bucks and tips here and there. And a few months later, Mike Bailey, Potomac Records and my now close friend and Producer, Jeff Brasfield, came knocking on my door to let me know they had heard of me and were interested in working with me. They’ve been helping me get a career started in what I have loved doing my whole life and I’ve had a blast working with each and every one of them over there. I appreciate all they’ve done, and I can’t wait for all the plans and ideas we have in store for the future. This year is going to be great; I really feel it.
Is it true you prefer to perform country music? Why do you think that is? Do you think the country of today lacks some of the soul the legends possessed back in the early days of country music?
Country music is where my heart is. I can play and sing just about anything, but everything I write and everything I sing comes out with a country flare to it. It’s just who I am. However, it wasn’t really until I was going into my sophomore year of High School that I really got turned on to it. I remember Dierks Bentley’s Free and Easy being one of the first country songs I heard and I immediately got hooked from there. After that one song, I was constantly on iTunes or the radio trying to find the latest hit or previous songs that had come out before I got into it. And I can tell you the thing that made the genre stick with me was how real and vulnerable it could be. But, at the same time that it could go on and just not take itself seriously at all. From super intimate songs like Live Like You Were Dying, The Dance, and Whiskey Lullaby to just straight out goofy and fun songs to party and dance to like Friends in Low Places, Jack Daniels by Erich Church, and The Countriest by Adam Hood. It just always seems like there’s something for everybody here, and it doesn’t discriminate. To me, it’s the everyday person’s genre.
As far as the country of today lacking the soul that some of the legends possessed back in the day, It would be hard for me to argue that the artists, and what you hear on the radio now, are anything like what it was 40, 30 or even 15 years ago. It’s completely different. For better or for worse, it’s different. Nowadays when the vast majority of what you hear on radio, regardless of if it’s a Top 40, Hip-Hop, Rock, or Country station, is very injected and infused with pop influences, and almost seems formulaic, I feel like there’s going to be a sense of authenticity lost there, and along with that, I feel like you might lose a bit of soul also. Now that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with pop music, cause there isn’t. Pop is just short for popular and there’s a reason it’s popular; people like it. And it’s also not to say that the artists of today aren’t putting their soul into what they’re singing and writing, or that they’re any lesser than some of the artists from country’s early days, but it’s undeniably different. There are also so many artists now days in country,from Brad Paisley to Miranda Lambert and Garth Brooks, and even lesser known like Sturgill Simpson and Caitlyn Smith that have just so much talent and versatility and they all bring something different to the table, and with that, I think it’s hard to compare today’s country to the “good ‘ol days”. It’s like comparing Aaron Rodgers to Terry Bradshaw. They’re both winners, but the game has changed so much; you can’t just look at the stats and say one is better than the other.
Can you tell us a little more about your song This Memory? What inspired you to write that particular piece?
This Memory actually came about after my producer Jeff Brasfield and I first decided to meet up for a co-write. We got together and started throwing ideas out at one another, and he showed me this guitar riff and lyrics for a chorus that he had been sitting on for a while. It was pretty ironic that the first idea that he threw out to me were the lines for the chorus of This Memory, since right around that same time, I had been going through a breakup of my own. It couldn’t have been more perfect timing for me to be able to help finish this song and kind of get some of the stuff I was feeling off my chest. I can only hope that when some people hear it, they might feel the same way.
How do you hope to see your career as a performer evolve as the years go by?
There are so many different directions in which I could only hope and dream that my career ultimately goes. I’ve always maintained that as long as I’m making music, it makes me happy and I can make my fans happy, I must be doing something right. If I can make some new friends along the way, make enough to put some food on the table, and have enough energy to go on to the next show, then I’d be just fine by that.
Do you have a dream project you’d most like see become a reality?
I’d have to say cutting a track with either Deirks Bentley or recording a duet with someone like Kacey Musgraves or Miranda Lambert one day would be huge and a total dream come true for me. Touring with any one of them would be pretty insane. But hey; I met Jon Pardi a couple months ago, and told him that he could open for me in 2015 when I go on tour. I was joking, of course. I am a huge Jon Pardi fan, and it would be an honor to hit the road with him this year. I just want to play.
What projects are you working on these days?
For the past few months we’ve been busy on cutting a few new tracks that I’m really excited for everyone to hear. Those Were the Days is my second single being prepped to be released in the next coming weeks through Potomac Records, along with a music video to go along with it. Right after that will be Fill Up My Damn Mug, which has been going over great at the bars. Over the next few months, I’ll be putting together a full band. We’re talking about a possible tour this summer, with a trip through Nashville. I can’t wait.
Potomac Records just wrapped up a string endorsement with Aurora Strings for me, which I’m thrilled about. Shout out to everyone over at Aurora, be sure to go check out their strings(laughs). They’re definitely helping to lower the damage my wallet takes. There are also a few things in the works that I can’t tell you about just yet. But if they happen, it’s gonna be big stuff.
Anything you’d like to say before you go?
I’d like to say thank you, first and foremost. I really hope everyone reading this got to know me a little better and I invite you to stay tuned for what we have in store next. There’s nothing in this world that I would rather do than to make music and make other people happy by playing that music for them and I really hope that this is just the very beginning of bigger and better things to come.