Photo by Kelly Teacher
After Alex Vargas made an impression on most of us at Spot15, he returns to play a new gig at Train. Naturally we are stoked, (I definitely am), to see him at a bigger venue and curios as to what he will be playing. Remember you can win tickets to the Train concert right now on SoundOfAarhus.
It turns out we were lucky enough to have just a few words Alex Vargas in the middle of his touring. Get to know him just a little better before you go to the concert!
Now I’m a Norwegian who moved here 2,5 years ago, but I heard your name for the first time during Spot fest 2015. The way I heard your name was “this is going to be the next big Danish artist, a mix of Sam Smith and Jeff Buckley”. How can you explain that I go from knowing nothing, to hearing this rather flattering rumor?
I honestly have no idea. Internet? Yeah, probably internet.
But you lived in Denmark for a while, and then you moved to England? Why the move? When the move? How was it for a young kid to move to England, and how is the music scene there? (Many questions in one I know)
I fell in love with London during a weekend trip on my 14th birthday, so when I got the offer to move 3 years later I didn’t have to think about it for very long. I quit school and relocated immediately.
I was lucky to move in with a family with two boys my age – both of them musicians – at the end of their summer holiday. They’d drag me to parties every night. I had a social circle straight away. This made the move a lot easier.
My first impression of the music scene was my residency at the legendary 12Bar in Denmark Street. The owner understood that I needed the practice and sorted me out with a weekly slot with no pressure to bring a crowd. So some weeks I’d be screaming my head off in this little dive bar to almost no people. It was a great way to learn about performance. I’m not sure I’ve answered all your questions…
What was your “model” for reaching the stars, except for a good voice and excellent songwriting? I heard you played a lot at different universities etc.
I’ve seen what it does to people to be driven by fame. It’s too fucking bright up there. My attitude has changed a lot in the last few years. I work my ass off to get to where I want to be. My perfect schedule consists of the road and studio time either writing or recording.
How would you describe the difference between the music environment in England and Aarhus? And if Aarhus is going for cultural city 2017, what do you think they could do to make the music environment for up and coming bands better?
My only experience with Aarhus’ live scene is from when I’ve played there myself, and if I use Spot as an example, I think they are doing a terrific job.
Is it easy or hard to tour when you’re just two in the band? I mean, on your recorded songs you have a very special soundscape and it must be hard to recreate live? And does your band mate always wear stripes?
It’s a lot easier to get around. Our travel party consists of Tommy, myself and our tour manager, Maties. In terms of playing the songs it can sometimes be a challenge, but we’ve managed so far.
You’ll mostly see him in stripes, yes.
How does it feel to return to Denmark and play a gig at Train?
I’m really excited about it! It’s a great venue, so it should be a lot of fun.
As to your published songs, Solid Ground and Till Forever Runs Out have a similar feel and vibe to it, whilst your new single, Giving Up The Ghost is suddenly quite different? Is this due to the new producer you worked with or are you just exploring different modes and areas?
Tommy and I produced the upcoming EP and Giving Up the Ghost is just a more explosive side to what we do, and to be honest, if all the songs were like Solid Ground and Till Forever Runs Out, I think you’d get bored. I certainly would.
As a new and fresh artist, is it hard to be an artist in the digital age? With free online music, streaming services and people normally wanting as much as possible whilst giving as little as possible?
I think it’ll level itself out eventually. Whilst streaming is becoming more popular, so is vinyl. Music is not just a thing for your ears. It is visual and it is tangible, and as the way we listen to it changes, so will the way we see and grab on to it. We just need to keep up.
Lastly, do you have a really cool album you think the world should hear? And why?
Shitloads!!! HAHA! More recently though I’ve been listening to ‘Thin Walls’ Balthazar. Really cool album. The singer has a very captivating voice.
Remember the concert at Train, October 29 – You can win tickets to that concert right now on SoundOfAarhus! Until then, warm up with his new single ‘Giving Up The Ghost’ and check out his Mahogany sessions.