‘Sassy, Gooey, Sentimental’ | Interview with Alex Exists

Love and hate, are both the same..
Alex Exists is showcasing Never Christmas Without You, an euphoric, glam but also sentimental take on a Christmas song we are planning to put on repeat during this festive period. Read our discussion with the artist below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Sassy, Gooey, Sentimental

Tell us a few things about Never Christmas Without You. What is the main idea behind it?

In it’s rawest sense, it’s an ode to my Grandmother (Wanda) who died on Christmas. I was devastated. It was the first deep childhood loss I had ever experienced. It was extra surreal having to experience everyone else’s “joy” and “togetherness” over the holidays when we were grieving. The “Idea” behind crafting the song was to take all that pain and make something beautiful and uplifting with it. Though some of the lyrics were inspired by things other than Wanda. Things like shitty exes, friends, humorously pathetic situations and overall bitterness about people you sometimes waste your holiday (ie. important time) with. It’s a sentimental song that bites back with some sass. It’s not about wallowing in sadness. It’s about rising out of the depths of despair and taking back control of your life.

Never Christmas Without You has a strong dose of melancholia indeed. Why does melancholy feel so good?

It’s a really interesting and complex emotion to grasp. The comfort in being sad is it oddly acts like a drug. It gives you a reason to wallow. It interesting because it can be a healing experience, but also abused. Being gloomy feels great. Though the danger is making it your whole identity. People will actually refuse to heal because they will no longer want to lose that comfort in sadness being a large part of their identity. If they are no longer “sad”, then can no longer use the coping mechanism. It can be a slippery slope. I’ve wasted so much time being depressed. That’s why I’m so passionate about it. Thankfully now I can put it into my work and not allow it to consume me. Everyone has this power if they want it.

Which is your number one tip for Coping with loneliness at Christmas?

Just go easy on yourself. The days are shorter, life is colder, people are more distant, yet family is thrusted on you while the media pushes you to consume and sing a long to their manufactured Christmas culture. Focus on the things (and people) you love. Hunker down and keep an eye on yourself. Tell people you love how you feel about them. GUSH. Plan your next chapter. It’ll be okay. We’re gonna to make it.

How does the music of the solo project Alex Exists differ from the previous bands/projects you were involved in?

This project is the most personal, I’ve ever written. It’s my extraverted alter ego, from my otherwise introverted self. I’m turning myself inside out and holding up a mirror to what I see out there. Putting all my vibe and soul out there and sharing the deepest parts of me through music and visual art. I still collaborate with other people, but everything created is done specifically to be part of Alex Exists World. Everything that makes us laugh, scares us, arouses us and drives us crazy melts into songs, and eventually my performance. Honestly, once I get going it’s hard to stop without going over the top.

My two albums with The Nursery, “Life After Wartime” and “Digital Ashes”, were much more electronic/dance/synth driven. I was still there with my twangy distorted surf guitars ranting on about ego, death, lust and madness. If you dig what I do with Alex Exists you should totally check out those albums! I co-wrote a bunch of those songs with my bandmates over the years. It’s different, but just another side musical side of me.

Favourite Christmas song (if any) you wish you had composed yourself?

I don’t wish I composed any Xmas song that I’ve heard, but If I had to pick my favourite it would be either The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping” or The Raveonettes “Christmas EP”. It’s honestly impossible to choose though cuz there are so many I had to make a whole mixtape about it. You can listen to it here, it’s called Dark Winter

Artists and people that have influenced you?

You get a pretty good sense of that by listening to my DNA playlist

I have personal mentors and artists who I’m just as influenced by in my life such as Tony Malone and Gary Topp. Same with the hometown artists like Monowhales, Aiko Tomi and Marlon Chaplin. In terms of big mainstream artists I love…Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Yoko Ono, Eminem, Kate Bush, No Doubt, Captain Beefheart, Rammstein, Sparks, Michael Jackson, Tom Waits, Lennon, lol I can go on…but I think u get the picture. I like the new stuff too…but I’m not inspired by it. I love it for different reasons.

What is the story behind your name?

Thanks for giving me this platform to talk about my music. I really appreciate it! It was something me and my friends came up one weekend when we went on a psychedelic mushroom trip in the woods. We got lost for two days. I was followed by some kind of tree demon that would constantly taunt and heckle me saying Alex Exists….Alex Exists…Alex Exists… It’s something we talked about all weekend and thought that, as a name, it actually sounded pretty funny and irreverent.

Thank you!

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