Rounding off the week’s Tech Yourself theme, we talk to Aliases, the headliners of the forthcoming Heavy Blog Is Heavy-sponsored Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself Tour (which starts next week). A thousand thank-yous to the super-awesome people at Basick Records. We spoke to guitarists Graham Pinney (better known as ‘Pin’) and Leah Woodward.

Pin was famously a member of British tech-metal pioneers SikTh, and if you were wondering where he’s been, what he’s been doing, and who he’s been doing it with, well…read on.

Hey guys, thanks very much for taking the time to answer some questions. For those who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?

We’re a collection of like-minded menaces, who express our views and messed up personalities in song form. Some people appear to enjoy it. You may too.

Inevitably with Pin’s involvement, comparisons will be drawn between you guys and SikTh. Do you want to distance yourselves from that era, or use it as a springboard for Aliases?

Our view is impartial. The connection is inevitable and with us being big fans of SikTh and it being Pin’s previous work, we’re not out to distance ourselves from it. However, this is something new and a completely different collective of people, therefore we will sound different. Hopefully the people who enjoyed Pin’s playing will continue to appreciate his new creations!

Your profile on the Basick Records website says as a band you’re only interested in taking metal on a ‘new and limitless path’. Do you find yourselves very focussed maintaining strict control over the process and the direction your music takes, or is it more of an organic feeling?

Our writing process is very organic and non-formatted. Sometimes we may write in a conventional manner, maybe riffs will lead to other riffs and a song is rapidly constructed, and other times a beat or rhythm may be the inspiration and the rest of it will follow. Once the bones are down, we do tend to spend a lot of time refining and trying other avenues etc. The statement you refer to is accurate, though, in terms of our need to progress heavy music, and as such we do not restrict anything in our writing and will take whatever direction we feel or is most beneficial to a song. Our music will never have a formula but there will be traditional structures and far from traditional structures. It’s always a journey.

We recently ran a competition to win tickets to the tour, asking people what their aliases would be. Aliases are obviously there to protect peoples’ identities. What would yours be and why? (WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?!)

Joe is hiding a lot of them – he has several aliases: Crazy Frog (the horrific pop ring ding ding thing, that is), the main alien dude in Men In Black [Edgar – Ed.] post erm…. ‘surgery’, and Team America dude. Darren has been mistaken for the ‘Bo Selecta bear a few times.

People are already pretty excited about the tour and the forthcoming album, despite the fact that most people have only heard “We Never Should Have Met”. How does it feel to have such anticipation despite this relatively minor exposure?

The reaction to WNSHM has been crazy and really started the ball rolling for us! We’re really glad the song has sparked off the amount of excitement it has; we are massively looking forward to showing everyone more material and representing it on stage. We’re lucky to have a really loyal fan base made up of some crazy, awesome people!

It will be quite strange touring having only one known song, but those with some private investigator type skills will recognise some more parts and tunes that we have made available in rough forms on the net. Fortunately I think the set we have planned will come across extremely well and there is a good balance of chaos, groove and melody to capture people and make them want more. There is something awesome about not knowing what is coming next. This will be the last time that this will be the case with these songs, so we are going to enjoy it!

Speaking of which, what about meeting a fan or follower would cause you to think “we never should have met”?

Speaking from experience, it’s the extremely sweaty guy who has nothing to say but wants to hug you. He does, and then wont let go. It’s really not the one.

Are you allowed to give us any juicy bits of information or sneak previews of the album? A title, perhaps, or a song name or two?!

Song name? Well, there’s “We Never Should Have Met“, five other tracks and two interludes – that’s as much as you’re getting at the moment!!

I can tell you the set list though. It goes: Tune 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6. There are a few little surprises thrown in, as well as doubtless some on stage violence!

What plans for the future, beyond this tour and album release?

Well, its such early days for the band but in reality we just wanna do it right: tour our socks off, write awesome music, take it to a new level and hopefully have an influence on others to really push themselves not just latch onto the current scene and be another replica.

Even now we are ready to push ahead with the writing of the next CD, and hopefully bring out some other stuff in between to keep everything rolling. We have a video out shortly as well for the opening track of the CD (its not“We Never Should Have Met“), so you should all keep your eyes peeled for that.

We’re asking this one to everyone on the tour: You’re all fairly friendly with each other. In a ‘battle royale’ between the three bands on the tour, how would you ‘tech yourselves’ out, and how would you use your knowledge of your opponents against each of them?

Aliases have a number of special weapons and finishing moves. First off, Leah is a point and shoot killing machine (Olly from Cyclamen already knows this and is probably still scarred). In reality though, we are all a bunch of nutters and its quite likely we would kill ourselves/each other before the other bands needed to worry. Joe has already glassed Jay on a quick visit to the pub with our label boss; in fact that night was one big catalogue of pain.

You’re a fairly recent signing to Basick Records as far as the rest of the roster goes. What path led you to the Basick family? What’s it been like since you joined?

Basick are quality folk, and the path to them was kind of short. I have known Nathan for a long time; he liked what we are doing and I like his attitude towards the scene and bands, so it all came together quickly and we seem to agree on the vast majority of points which makes life peaceful. In terms of what its been like, they have been in touch, partied and survived (just about) with us and now they just need the CD out so they can do their thing. As a final note, I would like to publicly sack our label rep Lisa (its not been done for at least a week).

Thanks again for your time guys! Any poetry or jewels of wisdom you wish to impart on those less wordly than yourselves?

If you think you are good at sea travel, you will be the green sick one…Joe can expand on this if you get the chance to speak to/laugh at him.

The Heavy Blog Is Heavy-sponsored Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself Tour starts this very Monday 18th at the appropriately-named Satan’s Hollow in Manchester. Be sure to catch it somewhere along the way – it’s going to be awesome!

Make you check out the other industry wizards at the helm of this rampaging invasion of your earholes: the ever-sexual Demise Management and the magnificently-hung Realising Media, as well as the aforementioned Basick Records.

– CG


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