Shawn Milke: Vocals, Guitar, Piano
Dennis Lee: Vocals
Adam Ferguson: Guitar, Vocals
Patrick Thompson: Guitar
Steven Tomany: Bass
Jeremy Bryan: Drums
The crowd is still screaming at a sold out show in Anaheim, California
as the sweetcore phenomenon known as Alesana exits the stage.
"I don't think I’ll ever get used to this," says frontman
Dennis Lee as he tips back the last swallow of his water bottle. "Seeing
kids go crazy like that thousands of miles away from home reminds me that
I have the best job in the world. Oh, and that wearing cowboy boots on
stage probably isn't the best idea in the world...but it simply must be
done." Crowd response like this is something that the six-piece from
Raleigh, North Carolina is quickly becoming accustomed to all over the
country and other parts of the world: and this is only the beginning.
The band's debut full length record On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax,
in stores nationwide on March 20th, 2007, is built around a dynamic, emotionally
charged, three guitar, three vocal attack. "We're all about dynamics,
both musically and vocally," says vocalist/guitarist Shawn Milke
about why the band elected to employ three guitarists and three vocalists.
"We don't try to be like anyone else or to be something we're not.
By having six members we are able to pull off the same guitar and vocal
harmonies in a live setting that we have on the record."
Forming in November of 2004, Alesana has always focused a great deal of
their attention on having an energetic and memorable live show. The raw,
honest intensity of the band's performance on stage has played a huge
role in their growing popularity over the last year. "Our music is
always fun," says drummer Jeremy Bryan. "There isn't a single
night on tour that I don't have a blast on stage. We give everything we
have each and every night and it is a great feeling to see that same energy
increasingly coming back from the crowd everywhere we go...and always
play 'til you puke." Having already completed tours with Drop Dead
Gorgeous and Greeley Estates in 2006, the band is ready to continue hitting
the road hard and strong. At the start of 2007, Alesana already has over
200 shows booked including their first headlining tour they’ve sold-out
shows in Detroit MI, Anaheim CA, New York, and Texas. Starting in March
’07 they will support Haste The Day and From Autumn to Ashes, and
then in June and July a spot on the first half of the 2007 Vans Warped
The Alesana love has even begun to spread down below the border. The band
did their first ever Mexican tour in October 2006 and played to the largest,
craziest crowds in the bands short history. "It felt like a dream
when we were there," says guitarist Patrick Thompson. "I was
in total disbelief of what was happening. The Mexican fans are so passionate
and truly excited that I found myself forgetting that it was even us they
were screaming for." Upon arriving at shows the band had to be escorted
by security to avoid being swarmed by the over 500 fans waiting in line
nearly six hours before the doors would even be open for the show. Even
more insanity is expected during their second Mexican tour scheduled to
kick off on February 20th, 2007.
In June of 2005, Alesana released their debut EP Try This With Your Eyes
Closed on Tragic Hero Records. After selling nearly 3,000 copies of the
EP at shows and online, the band hit the studio with producer Kit Walters
to record their first full length record On Frail Wings of Vanity and
Wax. After nearly two months of pre-production and two solid weeks in
the studio, the band felt that they had finally locked up the exact sound
that they were striving to achieve. The record did a soft release which
included being sold at smartpunk.com where it remained in the top 10 for
six months running. The success of the record prompted Fearless Records
to come check out the band live near their headquarters in California.
Less than one month later, the band was signed to their new label. "We
feel very at home with Fearless," says guitarist/vocalist Adam Ferguson.
"I feel like I can pick up the phone anytime and call anyone on the
entire staff. Plus, with a smaller roster of bands than some of the other
labels out there, it feels more like family." Bassist Steven Tomany
adds, "Our success is their success and vice versa. We don't feel
like all of the pressure is on us to do this by ourselves because Fearless
is working just as hard as we are with the record. Its a great feeling
to have such good people in your corner." Fearless is re-releasing
On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax as an enhanced disc with plenty of extras
including all new artwork, two bonus tracks, four live videos from a performance
in San Antonio, Texas, and a 20-minute interview with the band.
Alesana will be shooting their first music video with producer Jeremy
Jackson at the end of March. The debut single Ambrosia finds the band
at their lyrical best. "Shawn and I write all of our lyrics together,
completely 50/50," says Dennis. "We like to tell stories from
two different perspectives in every song, constantly intertwining both
points of view. It creates an almost 'stream of conscience' effect where
its hard to tell where one side ends and the other begins." Shawn
adds, "Writing with Dennis makes the songs that much more fun for
me because we are both writing the same story but from different conclusions.
In Ambrosia, for example, we are telling the story of a man who has been
given a sort of divine gift. Dennis is singing about his obsession with
the power his new gift has given him, while I sing about the simpler things
of life and love that he has left behind in spite of it." A complex
story-telling lyrical style is what listeners can expect to find all throughout
On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax.
2007 is shaping up to be the year that Alesana breaks completely into
the scene. With a vigorous touring schedule, a national record release,
and a rapidly growing and strongly dedicated fan base, the band is looking
to just keep working as hard as they've been accustomed to for the past
two years. "Touring and playing shows for the fans is what its all
about," says Shawn. "We've made some great friends and had the
privilege of sharing the stage with not only awesome bands, but good guys
as well. It is a really special thing when you can share your passion
and art with people everyday for a living. There isn't a minute that goes
by that we are not eternally grateful for the opportunities we've been
With the sincerity of their lyrics, the energy of their music, and the
passion of their live show, there is no doubt that Alesana will fight
its way into your stereos and into your hearts.
And when asked what kind of toast he would like with his breakfast, frontman
Dennis Lee simply states, "Buttered."