Q&A with Alex – Your Favorite Enemies

Q&A with Alex (Lead Singer) of Canadian band Your Favorite Enemies.

Your Favorite Enemies toured in Australia for the very first time in September 2013 and also performed at BIGSOUND Live in Brisbane.

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:: What track changed your life ::
“One Hundred Years” from The Cure. Nothing like a first line such as “It doesn’t matter if we all die” to put your life in perspective!

:: What is your favourite Album ::
“No More Shall We Part” from Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. It shaped the world as I now see it… Truly uplifting.

:: Name a band or artist we should checkout ::
It would most definitely be the British noise rock band: Savages. Those guys will floor you with their sonic vibe and their direct approach to deliver what honesty should be about.

:: Favourite Quote ::
– Free man will always love the sea – Baudelaire (L’homme et La Mer)

– No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger – Rainer Maria Rilke (Letter To His Wife)

:: When on tour, you can’t live without ::
A pen and a notebook… Yes, I still believe in the obscure virtue of the non-digital expression of art…!

:: When you think of Australia, you think ::
A nation of people whose common dream is so vividly alive that it inspired an uplifting land to be filled with enough bright colors for everyone to “be” throughout the lights. A home where no one should ever need to hide in their own shadow in order to survive.

:: Worst thing to happen to music is ::
To have artists believe that an honest whisper and some noisy sound weren’t enough to change the world. As Baudelaire wrote, music fathoms the sky!!

:: Best thing about the current music industry ::
To have plastic neon type of artist being the impersonification of what the warmness of light should be. Their brightness might be blinding, but I believe that even the smallest of all vivid moments, if made of imperfection and honesty, has the ecliptic power to redefine the very own nature of what light is. The fear of “being” is more tragic than any whoring desire to be heard.

:: Biggest influence ::
Leonard Cohen, Robert Smith, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Rilke, Yeats and Baudelaire

:: Childhood hero ::
I never had a childhood hero. I learned pretty early that no one would ever come to save me from the darkness of my own fears and insecurities. I grew up bitter and in need of a safe place to fall on my knees. That’s is pretty far from Batman, Ganhdi and Mickey Mouse.

:: When you were younger you wanted to be ::
Quite strange to say, but I never wanted to be a anything else than a lawyer who would stand for the poor and abused. I guess it has some links with my childhood…! What I truly wanted always was to be free.

:: Last album bought ::
Bought those 4 albums:
DIIV – Oshin
Daughter – If You Leave
Ben Howard – Burgh Island
A second copy of Savages – Silence Yourself LP as a gift to a friend

:: First album you ever bought ::
The first album I ever paid with my own money was a second hand copy of The Cure’s “Standing On A Beach”. To this day, I offer that LP to people who are special to me. It’s as much of a blessing to give that singularly defining piece of life to a person I love than it is a wonderful blessing to envision that loved one closing their eyes while the needle slowly turns silence into a dream. Yes, for me it’s a poetic gesture to offer that album.

:: First concert you went to ::
It was a punk rock show of bands covering the Dead Kennedys, The Pistols and The Ramones. Even if that concert had a somehow greater impact on me than I initially thought it had, it’s nothing compared to the tremendous experience I had 2 years before that punk rock concert, when I saw my friend’s older brother rehearsing with his band. It was the first time I was actually seeing real people playing music all together right in front of my eyes. It was as if music suddenly became vividly alive for me and not only some distant sounds coming out of my parents’ radio transistors. It has somehow been an epiphany of some sorts. For me, it remains my very first true concert. I still shiver only to think about it. I heard The Cure for the very first time on that snowy afternoon… incredible!

:: Last concert you went to ::
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds who were rehearsing right next door to our rehearsing space in London. It was one of the most unreal and uplifting gift I could have ever received. How could it be more genuine, getting on a rehearsal facility in the middle of London, only to realize that the sound coming from next door is Nick Cave singing? Sorry Nick, but contrary to what you’re signing on “Into My Arms”, that morning, I felt like there was an interventionist God to believe in.

:: Favourite current band ::
Savage, Foals, Daughter and Houses

:: Favourite drink ::
Hard choice between red wine and coffee with Baileys. clearly depends on who I am with!

:: Favourite book ::
Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

:: Favourite actor ::
Daniel Day Lewis

:: Favourite website ::
I was about to say BrooklynVegan.com, which is my first daily music stop. But I realized it was totally outshone by my daily 250 stops on sfgiants.com – San Francisco Giants official website. Trust me, I’m probably one of the craziest baseball fan you can meet. I mean, I’ve been able to get the whole band into a sport that ain’t necessarily cool for long haired beardos. That’s true dedication!

:: The best boredom buster is ::
Without a doubt, looking at Sef, Ben, Jeff, Miss Isabel and Moose rehearsing together from my mic stand perspective. I mean, those guys are so good that it’s ridiculously insane! They tend to abuse the volumes level, so it’s kind of a call to let go and embrace the moment!

:: The best film you ever saw was ::
I hesitate between Copolla’s “The Godfather” and Justing Bieber’s “Believe”…

But seriously, I have to mention a very special fact regarding your very own Crocodile Dundee, as that’s really Sef’s favorite movie. See, it’s clear that Australia was part of our destiny! I do hope it’s not a major “faux-pas” to honestly associate Crocodile Dundee to Australia. If that’s the case, blame it on Sef!

:: Your ultimate snack is ::
Gummies in general and “Wine gums” in particular. I had to stop for a while, because it represented 95% of my alimentation at some point in my life. It was so hard to accept the reality of my abuses. How can something so small and so delightful be so bad for me? I mean, they kept asking me to eat them (oops, they asked me to keep the secret and to never mention they were able to talk) Well, forget it. My ultimate snack is a good banana in the morning… I know, I know, wine gums are a huge problem. I know…

:: The first thing you do when you wake up is ::
I thank God for having another opportunity to witness a little bit of my dream being unfolded. Then I realize I actually have to get out of my bed and get working. That part ain’t always my favorite one. Contemplation is always the most blissful moment of the early stage of my daily awakening.

:: Best piece of advice you’ve received ::
Status-quo is fear wrapped in our own self-illusionary pieces of comfort. When you’re ready to look at yourself for who you are truly, then you can “be”. You will realize that we all set our own limits by defining our own value. “Being” is the liberating confession, just as “assuming” is the evolving salvation. So “be” and “assume”, as the truth will set you free from any kind of status-quo and redefine what you thought were “limits”.

:: Your biggest aspirations ::
To “be” and “assume”, whatever it might means. Freedom creates honesty and honesty is a bright light shining at your feet, a light that will always lead you home. And when you find your people, you slowly allow your heart and soul to discover the different shades of your purpose. It’s through the invisible nature of your faith that your vision can give birth to everything you never had enough courage to even dream about… to be free, in a profound plenitude.

:: Best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received ::
Forgiveness. It allowed me to breathe away from the choking nature of guilt and to embrace the true essence of what it is to to love and be loved.