Posted on May 19. 2017
Questionnaire by Jason Houston on behalf of METAL TO INFINITY WEBZINE BELGIUM
Jason: Hello Alex and welcome To Metal To Infinity. Thanks for taking time out of your very, busy schedule to do this, I really do appreciate it.
Alex, while I know in addition to your duties with QUIET RIOT that you are quite busy also with several other projects these days which we will be discussing in this interview. The first of those many projects is a new band you have with Ex American idol Contestant: James Durbin called Hollywood Scars, which recently released its Debut release called “Maps To The Hollywood Scars – Volume 1”. Could you share with us how you and James first got together and how you came to form The Hollywood Scars?
Alex: I met James in 2011 via a mutual acquaintance. I remember being taken back, not only by his obvious vocal prowess but by his knowledge and love for real rock n’ roll. Then, last year I went to a Vegas show he was doing, and we ended up jamming together at the after-party… I ended up sending him some demos and he really “got it” and turned in some GREAT stuff – After about 3 or 4 more exchanges, we decided that this stuff was too good to keep private and share it with out collective fans…
James: Talk a little bit about the album: “Maps To The Hollywood Scars…” How many songs are on it? Who produced it? And while people can currently only purchase it digitally I’d like to ask if there are any plans to release physical copies of it?
Alex: The EP is simply 5 songs released digitally for now, we have a TON of more material, and are also writing material for a couple of major motion pictures, so If there IS a physical release, it will be a collection of the entire thing. It was produced by AJ St. James, who is one of the most talented people I have ever worked with – The only other musician that contributed musically is DIZZY REED of GUNS N’ ROSES who took our first single “Till Death” to a whole new level by adding strings, piano and organ to it – YAHOO Music Debuted it, and we have been getting an amazing response so far….
Jason: I’m sure you must of seen James Durbin during his time on American Idol. Talk a little bit about what you remember from seeing him perform on American Idol to what it’s been like to go in the studio and create original music with the guy?
Alex: I met James during that time, and it’s been a true pleasure to work and create with someone who understands both the old AND new school of writing, producing and recording REAL rock – Most millennials are concerned about tweeting a photo of what they are eating for lunch or whining about basically anything they can – this kid gets it – and I truly enjoy working with him.
Jason: Talk a little bit about the writing process for The Hollywood Scars? Did you and James write all the music, did you work with any additional writers as well on the project?
Alex: No, It was all James and I – so we are totally on the hook GOOD and BAD……
Jason: Do you and James play all the instruments on The Hollywood Scars album or are there other Musicians who play on the album with you guys?
Alex: We played it all, the drums were all programmed, but everything else was all us. We wanted to keep it very “in house” – I don’t like to deal with too many cooks in the kitchen unless I love their cooking….
Jason: Being that the album is titled “Volume One” and I’m sure there will be a “Volume II”? Are there plans to take Hollywood Scars on the road or is this strictly a recording project?
Alex: Time will Tell on that one…..
Jason: How happy are you Alex with the way your fans have responded to the Hollywood Scars?
Alex: Very, much so. Anytime ANY artist or band puts their art “Out There” there is going to be criticism, especially with all the online forums that give anyone and everyone a forum to voice what they think about what you are doing…. I personally don’t care – As, musicians (especially wanna-be or failed ones) are a very petty and jealous lot – But for the most part it’s all been very positive – And THAT is what makes it all worth doing – especially when a song you wrote affects them or helps them in a positive way – That makes all the other BS worth it……
Jason: Being that many of your fans know you from Quiet Riot I have to ask did you ever worry about how those Quiet Riot fans would react to you doing Hollywood Scars or were you confident the fans would want to give you the opportunity to do something outside of Quiet riot and accept it?
Alex: Not at all – We all do things outside of QUIET RIOT, and that is what I think makes Frankie, Chuck and I so tight, both as friends and as a band – Is that we support each other in our outside endeavours – I think if more bands did that there would be less “fall out” , but who knows – All I know is when we hit the stage w/ QUIET RIOT, no matter what the circumstances are, we always come out swinging and give it our all – and THAT is what the fans react to – I see it EVERY time we play. Every time.
Jason: Originally Quiet Riot had planned to release the “Road Rage” album with Seann Nichols but then it was announced that Seann was out and James was in. My question to you Alex is how big of a role did you play in getting James into Quiet Riot, or was it more or less Frankie had heard the Hollywood Scars album and was impressed enough with James’s performance on the Hollywood Scars album that he then thought he’d be a perfect fit for Quiet Riot?
Alex: James was always the first choice for QUIET RIOT, however schedules didn’t line up, but as the universe would have it, around the same time it became clear the Seann wasn’t going to work, James became available – Simple as that.
Jason: In regards to the new Quiet Riot CD do you have a projected release date for that right now?
Alex: TBA ….. ; )
Jason: I know Quiet Riot has played a number of shows with James. Talk a little bit about that first Quiet Riot show with James Durbin. What memories do you have Alex of that very first show with James Durbin and how do you feel the Quiet Riot fan base has accepted James as the new Quiet Riot Singer?
Alex: It was great, James is a natural and I felt that there was a re-energized feeling onstage – He has a great energy and is fun to be around.
Jason: It’s hard to believe this November will be 10 years since Kevin Dubrow passed away… can you believe it’s been that long already?
Alex: No, it seems like just yesterday – But I also feel in a way, he never really left…..
Jason: While I know that Dizzy Reed is quite busy these days touring with Guns N Roses you and he also have the band Hookers & Blow and released a great debut CD…Any hope that fans might get another Hookers & Blow CD down the line?
Alex: Dizzy and I only released ONE song, time will tell if we do more, GUNS N’ ROSES have a massive summer’s worth of dates coming up, as does QUIET RIOT – So HOOKERS & BLOW shows will happen if and when we all have time.
Jason: Another band you’re in Beautiful Creatures recently -re-released the band’s last CD: DEUCE DELUXE edition on March 31st of this year. Talk a little bit about the band’s decision to release that and what exactly fans get in this deluxe edition?
Alex: There is A LOT to that – I would check out – https://www.facebook.com/Beaut ifulCreaturesMusic/ – and ALL BC answers will be answered
Jason: Like I mentioned at the top of the interview you’re quite busy with Quiet Riot these days Alex but any chance that Beautiful Creatures might do any live dates as well to promote the re-issue of Deuce and any chance that Beautiful Creatures will record any new music?
Alex: SEE ABOVE
Jason: I was curious Alex who were the Guitar Players who had the greatest influence on you when you were growing up?
Alex: Slash, Dimebag, Randy Rhoads, Eric Johnson, Joe Perry, Eddie Van Halen …… all the good ones……; )
Jason: What is the one album in your record collection that really stands out to you Alex that you feel has had such a major impact on you?
Alex: “Appetite For Destruction”
Jason: Anything else you’d like to say to all the Alex Grossi fans out there?
Alex: Just THANK YOU and stay in touch – LOTS of cool stuff coming up !!
HERE IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME:
QUIET RIOT: https://quietriot.band/
HOLLYWOOD SCARS: https://www.facebook.com/hollywoodscars/
HOOKERS & BLOW: https://www.facebook.com/HNBMerch/