Alexander Giannascoli, or better know as Alex G, has turned his bedroom singer/songwriter stylings, where he released DIY albums on Bandcamp, into a record deal with Domino records. His appeal primarily coincides with Alex’s pure musical talent, as he skillfully plays a variety of instruments on his records, and each song seems to have its own unique flavour, never repeating itself. Michael Unger was able to catch up with Alex and discovered a young man, who despite his success already, has not yet reached his peak. He effortlessly seems to make songwriting seem easy, even though he reveals each time he writes a song, he could be at the end of his creative rope.
Northern Transmissions: Hi Alex, where we speaking to you today?
Alex G: Havertown, Pennsylvania
Northern Transmissions: Is that where you live?
AG: Yeah it’s a suburb of West Philadelphia, I’m just staying at a friends house right now.
NT: You normally record out of your home do you not?
AG: Yeah, I have recorded in the basement of my home, but I’ve recently moved out of there.
NT: You started recording music when you were 13, now some ten years later, do you feel like a veteran, or do you still feel like you’re new to it?
AG: As far as the music business, I feel pretty new, but as far as playing music I feel like I know what I’m doing pretty much.
NT: Was there already a singer/songwriter scene that was established when you started playing, did you see yourself fitting into that community?
AG: There’s definitely a scene here, although I wouldn’t call it a singer/songwriter scene, mainly just a musician scene, although lately I’ve haven’t been as connected to it, because I’ve been touring for the past year or so.
NT: Now that you’ve taken the next level up in your career, do you see a correlation between the venues you’re playing in and the quality of the shows?
AG: The places we’re playing are getting bigger, I guess it’s not better, for me you can play a good show in a DIY spot, or in a place with a fancy sound system, it just depends on the show. We’re definitely playing more professional style venues lately though.
NT: Does playing more professional venues excite you? Or do you miss the DIY shows?
AG: I don’t really feel too much either way, I’m most happy if I can play a show, and make enough money so that I can pay my bills. The type of venue doesn’t matter to me, as long as the shows are good.
NT: You’ve recorded the new album which is about to come out, does that mean there’ll be lots of touring in the near future?
AG: There’ll be touring, but I’m constantly recording stuff in between and along the way. That’s how Beach Music got done, I toured on DSU and recorded songs from Beach Music in between tours. Whenever I come home, I usually have nothing better to do, so I just start recording.
NT: The level that you’ve attained now as a musician, is this something that you’ve been working towards or is it something that just happened?
AG: The success sort of just happened, I didn’t really think about it too much. I was just looking for a sense of security, and luckily I found that security doing something that I’m passionate about, I’m really lucky in that respect. It’s not something I was looking for. I don’t know what I was looking for, I would have been making music either way, I was just looking to make money.
NT: Since music has been such a big part of your life, are there any other things that inspire you?
AG: Right now, it’s pretty much anything related to art, whether it be writing or movies, that’s kind of what I’m into these days, there isn’t really any other interest or hobby besides music for me these days. Music is a hobby really. I don’t do that much. These days I just make music.
NT: Is that world still exciting for you?
AG: Yes, it’s more of a challenge now to make it exciting, it sounds like I’m masturbating or something, but it’s more challenging to find things to make it exciting.
NT: What are the next goals and/or challenges that you see yourself facing in the coming years?
AG: The only challenge is going to be making the next record. As soon as I finish a record I say “oh shit, I have nothing left to say”. Trying to figure what the next thing will be is always the biggest challenge. There’s always a fear, and now that I think of it, there’s always an intense feeling that’s present until I start making a song. When I start writing a song I feel like it’s the best song that’s ever been made, and then once it’s done I’m like “oh no, I’m never going to write another song again”. And then I make another one, and it’s the same cycle.
Interview by Micheal Unger