Artist Of The Week // ALISTA
Presenting his debut EP Home Alone to the world, Alista begins his newest journey on a note of honesty and integrity.
Julien Jourdan is no newcomer to the music world, having previously been the drummer for Cherry Bloom and Captain Americano, but he begins a new chapter in his life as he embarks on his solo project Alista. Born out of a desire to keep living, persevering and chasing your passions despite the difficult curveballs that life throws at you, it comes as no surprise then that his debut EP is packed with raw emotion and a fire that refuses to be stomped out. Drawing inspiration from 90s rock, it’s a gritty piece of work that is not afraid to get in your face and challenge you. From the battering rhythms of Mr. Harvey to the deft guitar work on Crazy Sad Plank, the EP presents a coherent sonic journey and a style that is unmistakably driven by a deep-seated passion for this type of rock music. Entirely written, composed and recorded by Julien himself, the EP showcases Julien’s creativity and identifies him as a master of his craft. Feeling inspired by the message to push on in the face of adversity, we spoke with Julien a bit more about his musical process and the way his experiences have shaped him into the musician he is.
What’s a motto you live by?
Always put everything off until tomorrow. Most things work out by themselves. Why? Because that’s what I do all the time and it’s true!
If your sound had a colour, what colour would it be?
I had never thought of that… I would say black because it is a colour that works everywhere!
You mentioned that you wrote the songs in English as opposed to French, are there any parts of your songwriting process that isn’t in English?
English is a bit like black, it works everywhere! It’s a very fluid language and easy to integrate into rock music I think. But I write first in French when I want to tell something, then I adapt everything in English, trying to make it follow the initial idea.
What is the most important part of the musical process for you? And where do you draw inspiration for your lyrics?
I’ll be honest with you, I hate writing lyrics! This is the most difficult phase of composition for me, because in reality, the lyrics are always something secondary. The priority is music. These are songs that were composed voluntarily leaving room for singing, because I love when there are lots of harmonies with the voices. Maybe it’s because of guys like Elliott Smith that I’m doing this haha!
But basically, I have nothing special to say, it’s just that if I want there to be voices, I have to say something… then I take inspiration from a thing that goes through my head and that’s it! I have no more life experience than someone else at my age per se. I would never be a super poet haha!
How have you gotten through the challenges that life has presented to you?
For me there are no problems in life, there are only solutions! As long as we are alive and in good health!
What advice would you give to someone facing feelings of being challenged?
I am not in a position to give advice to anyone. I am not a martyr who has endured hard life experiences! I don’t know much about life in fact, I’m only 34 years old, I’m still a baby! On the other hand I can share my way of seeing things, but that does not mean that I am right… I tell myself that there is always worse elsewhere to be able to move forward when I’m a bit down!
What made you choose the track names that you did for your EP?
Honestly, it would take me hours to try to explain the why and how so that you could understand barely ten percent of what I meant haha! It is much too personal, so much so that sometimes I wonder if I understand myself!
If fans could only take away one message from the EP, what message would you want it to be?
Unfortunately, I have no fans at the moment, except my mom maybe! I have absolutely no message to convey. I made this record because I couldn’t find any project that I liked after Captain Americano, and I have a vital need to make music. So I told myself that I was going to manage on my own. If people want to drink beer and dance while listening to Alista, then it will already be a big victory for me!
What are your fondest memories of recording the EP, aside from having the finished product to share with the world?
I have several, these are the moments when I had the impression that what I was recording was like real songs and not just bits of riffs!
And finally, what does music mean to you?