Spotlight Interview * Originally published by Ocean View Press in June 2004
by Rob Watts
Meet Alex Bach, an exceptionally gifted young solo artist from West Palm Beach, Florida. I actually started this interview back in October, but since that time Alex had travelled to the Middle East to perform for our troops and from there had been recording in the studio. We finally finished our interview last month. Here are a few facts on Alex. She was born on November 28th in Nice, France. Her full name is Alexandra Chantal Bach. She plays guitar, piano and is a songwriter. Alex had three #1 songs on the Billboard charts. With that said, here is my full interview with Alex Bach. Enjoy!
Rob- What style of music do you play?
Alex Bach- The songs I write range from pop rock to modern rock. Earlier work can be compared to Sheryl Crow; Newer songs can be compared to Evanescence and Nickelback.
Rob- Who are some of your Musical Influences?
Alex- For melodies, Johnny Mercer & Dianne Warren. For lyrics, Alana Davis & Chad Kroeger. For vocals and stage presence, Janis Joplin & Pat Benatar.
Rob- What got you started in music?
Alex- There were two factors which made me into who I am today: the courage to take risks and the support of my close friends. One day during my sophomore year of college, I wrote my first song. My friends encouraged me to keep writing and to learn an instrument. Even though I didn’t have faith in myself, they saw my potential to be a musician. Then one day, I woke up and realized that I had only one chance to pursue my musical dreams. So I dropped out of college, moved into my car, and financed my musical career with a couple of low-limit credit cards. It was a huge risk, but I felt that if I didn’t try, I would always regret it later.
Rob- How long have you been performing?
Alex- I have been writing songs since January 1998 and performing since September 1998. Sometimes when I think of all the monumental sacrifices I’ve had to make in order to be successful, I just get tired! But then sometimes it feels lke I’ve just started, when it’s full of promise and excitement.
Rob- Did you ever have career ambitions other than music?
Alex- I was always convinced that I was going to become an international business lawyer. In fact, while I was at college studying to become just that, I discovered my own hidden talent for songwriting and decided to change direction.
Rob- Do you think that the all-female band and female-lead singer group trend is about to make its way around again like it did in the mid 90’s?
Alex- I have definitely noticed that people view me as more of a novelty right now since there is a shortage of female artists in the market. That shortage is working to my advantage, though, and I’m excited about being a potential role model for the next wave of female artists.
Rob- You’ve had much success selling your albums independently and touring with your band. What approach do you take in doing this without having a major label behind you?
Alex- Doing it on your own is frustrating and much harder, but it can be done. My manager, Cary Reichbach, and I have used the internet as a great resource to put us in touch with music discussion boards, online music distributors, indie booking agents, internet radio stations, individual fans who want to help us with Street Team promotions, etc. The possibilities are endless if you’re willing to work as hard as we have.
Rob- What are your feelings on the recent lawsuits against music downloaders? Do you feel the RIAA is justified in doing this or are they out of line?
Alex- My favourite Tshirt says, “Sharing is Caring. Fuck the RIAA” It pretty much sums up how I feel about filesharing. I believe that if my music is good, then it’s only natural for people to want to share it. Go ahead. Burn a copy of my CD for all your friends. But just make sure you don’t miss the real prize: the live shows. I am so much better in front of an audience than I am recording in a little metal box! Artists who are really worried about filesharing are the ones who can’t reproduces live all the smoke and mirrors they used in the studio. Nuff said.
Rob- So many bands run off to California to get discovered. How do you feel about this and do you think that a musician can get discovered and achieve success in her hometown?
Alex- This issue resembles the question: Do I go away to a state school or do I attend the local college and stay at home? This depends on the type of person. If you are someone who needs nurturing and time to develop your potential, then stay home and do your homework. Work hard to constantly meet newer and better musicians so that your growth does not stagnate. If your image, stage presence, and music are ready to be signed, just add water, then go to LA or NY. But get ready to fight your way to the top. If you are extremely ambitious and thrive on competition, then you should definitely go to a big city. I personally needed time to develop my self-confidence and my songwriting style, so launching my career at home via the internet was much more appropriate for me. You can be successful either way, as long as you work your ass off.
Rob- What are your feelings on this war?
Alex- War is never pretty. But sometimes it is a necessary evil. Some people cannot be reasoned with. I support our troops, and I am glad I got to keep them from being homesick over the holidays. My band traveled to various military installation throughout Europe and the Middle East to play for the US troops in November and December of 2003. What an amazing experience! I had lived in the Middle East as a child, so there was no culture shock for me. But I did gain a renewed appreciation for the amenities we have here, like a grocery store on every corner, like restaurants and music stores that are open late, like steady and regular power supply. (Dirty power sources caused a lot of damage to our musical equipment!) And I do realize that to protect our ability to have these amenities and this quality of life, sometimes we have to fight for it.
Rob- What do you do for fun when you’re taking a break from music?
Alex- One of the precious things I had to sacrifice in order to become successful was my social life and free time. So that pretty much answers your question.
Rob- We are based in Boston. Have you ever been to Boston, and if yes, what are your best memories of being here?
Alex- I am very fond of Boston, because my parents met in Cambridge. I love the Harvard campus, and the tree-lined residential areas near Berklee College of Music. I spent a summer living on Wellesley College’s campus. That is a gorgeous area. And of course I’ve performed live in Boston as well. Very appreciative music fans.
Rob- Are you currently in the studio recording new material? If yes,when can fans expect to see it and are you planning to tour as well?
Alex- My new album will take 3-6 months to complete, so be patient, and you will be rewarded! I am looking forward to touring as soon as possible afterwards. I love being on the road. If you would like me to stop in your area, please go to my website and register so we can keep track of your zip code. When the promoters start planning the tour route, they will set up a show wherever there is a concentration of AB fans.
Rob- You speak a number off different languages fluently. Could you tell us what you speak and have you considered ever recording in a different language?
Alex- I speak French, German, English and some Spanish. I actually have recorded in different languages besides English but nothing has been released yet.
Rob- Are you endorsed by any companies?
Alex- The list is pretty long, the ones that come to mind right away are; Sennheiser Microphones, Tacoma Guitars, Hughes & Kettner Amplifiers, Pedal Pad Pedalboards, Carvin Guitars, Levy’s Guitar Straps, Ultimate Stands, GHS Strings, Rocktron Pedals, Auralex Acoustics, and I’m sure there are more that I’m forgetting and I apologize in advance. Oh, you can check out my endorser page on my website http://www.alex-bach.com for more details.
Rob- You have a street team as well. If our readers wanted to help the cause, what are some of the things they could do to help promote you?
Alex- The first step is joining the Alex Bach Ground Force, which you can do at http://www.Alex-bach.com. They’re a great group of people who put up posters for shows, call radio stations, carry equipment and just provide support all over the world.
Rob- Before we end our interview, do you have any final words?
Alex- I’d just like to say thanks so much for being open-minded and checking out my music. Hopefully you’ll hear something that you’ll like and in the future we’ll see each other at a show!