Ok, not so tough, but I sat down with Alassane to discuss our upcoming show - Monday, October 22 at the Valley Bar in Phoenix. To get to know each other, we asked each other 5 questions, and now I feel I know him a little more, and it turns out, we’ll be a really great musical match at the show!
Rachel: “Ok, here are my questions, I don’t know if they are cool, but let’s find out.”
Alassane: “Alright, this is really funny and kind of embarrassing. I’m glad were doing this.”
R: “What’s your dream keyboard?”
A: “Right now, probably a Moog One. Though I've been watching, somewhat voraciously, Paul Simon's Live In Central Park Concert and Richard Tee on the CP-70 is pretty serious. Im finding those quite appealing right now as well. But Moog is about to drop what might be the most advanced synth ever made. I'm scared. They've been working on it for like 8 years. A friend just recently showed me some demo videos Moog put out and I felt like i was watching the moon landing or something. the mooG landing. ZING”
R: “Who taught you your first song?”
A: “I sat in with my Dad on one of his gigs in Montreal when I was really young. This was before I had started playing and teaching myself. He had taught me some traditional music from Mali, where he's from, and I sang with him during his set. I was probably around 6 or 7.”
R: “What job would you do if you weren’t a musician?”
A: “Hmmm.. I don't really know. I have grandiose ideas about eventually being able to integrate different lines of work and fields of interest but it all seems to be rooted in work as a musician. If I had to choose though, probably a writer. Some things just got to be written down.”
R: “What/where was the best meal that you ever had?”
A: “That is tough. I had some pretty monumental home cooked meals when I visited family in Bamako as a young squire. Also toured Europe with a singer/songwriter this year and we ate at this restaurant in Copenhagen that may have served the finest vegan meal I ever did have, let me tell ya. There's also this gourmet Jamaican food restaurant in Phoenix called The Breadfruit that is pure fire. Fire for days.”
R: “Name a non-musical artist of any genre or medium that inspires you.”
A: “Kahlil Gibran. Kahlil Gibran. Kahlil Gibran.”
Ok, now I’m in the hot seat.
A: “Are their any unorthodox/world instruments that have inspired you?”
R: “Over the past 10 years or so, I’ve been highly influenced by noise/sound. I was introduced to the world of pots and pans and typewriters, mic-ing up random things, and when I started using synthesis, it only made sense to put these things together to create new sounds. Right now I am immersed in Pedals and Effects.”
A: “What was your main source of inspiration while making your album?”
R: “I think the idea of creating a comfortable sonic space to sing in was one of my main thoughts. Like, can this music exist on its’ own without any words? So, I was trying to ‘feel good’ within the music.”
A: “I feel we've both been indelibly inspired by Bowie. Which Bowie record has meant the most to you?”
R: “Well, the main answer to that question would be the fact that the When It Falls producer, Tim Lefebvre worked with Bowie towards the end. When I started writing this album, my father was passing, he actually died the day Blackstar came out, with Bowie passing two days later. So that part is pretty intense. So Blackstar is one and The Next Day is another - we did a cover of Love Is Lost from that album. I think the other part to my answer is Bowie’s theatrical take on his music, visually and the way he sings his lyrics. I’m working on creating that world in my performances and visual offerings.”
A: “What is currently your favorite pedal?”
R: “Right now it’s the Earthquaker Devices Transmisser. It’s shows up a bunch on the album, it’s a modulated reverb with extra-long decay fed to a highly resonant filter. I like to call it ‘makeup’ for any sound you’re using - it blows it out and creates a very lovely, colorful, pad.
A: “Have you ever been moved to tears at a show?”
R: “Yes, it was a Dave Matthews concert, but that’s only because I tried E”
AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!