interview with Alia Lorae

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What´s the name of your band? Alia Lorae, the Electro Empress. Alia Lorae is the performer and the Electro Empress is the music producer. But, they are both me.

Can you tell about your band? It’s not so much a band as a solo project. I am a singer, songwriter and electronic music producer. I’m a bit of a control freak when it comes to my creative endeavors. 

Could you explain your music to someone that hasn't heard you? My first album, “The Mad and the Beautiful” was described as ’Nine Inch Nails meets Lady Gaga,” but I think my recent work is more reminiscent of Die Antwoord or A-Track, with vocals similar to those of Kate Bush or Amy Lee.  

What genre do you feel you are? That’s a complicated question. My music is definitely EDM, leaning towards Trap, but with a dark theatricality and attention to lyrics that I feel is unique in the EDM scene. 

Why did you pick that particular style?/What are your songs about? It’s just the style that appeals to me most. I like to create music that makes you dance and think at the same time. Every song is about something different. Some are more personal, and some are about completely fictional characters. One moment I’ll be singing about the struggles of being a starving artist (“One Slip, No Money,”) and the next I’ll be singing a jaunty tune about a serial killer (“No Apologies.”) Rarely do I write love songs, unless there’s something really twisted about the love affair in question.

Have you made any albums?/If yes what are they? Three. My first, “The Mad and the Beautiful,” is my only full-length album so far. Last year I released an EP called “Powertripper,” and within the next month or two I’ll be releasing my latest EP, “Rumors.”

Do you have any clips on YouTube? A whole bunch, as well as my official music video, “Modern Monsters,” and my online reality show, “Alia Lorae; Just the Right Amount of Wrong”:

What are the plans for the rest of the year? I’m planning to release my new EP “Rumors” in the next month or so - the album is finished, and now I’m just getting my finances together for the videos. I plan to release each of the five songs with a music video. I see a lot of artists doing that these days, and it seems to be a very effective marketing strategy. I also have a licensing deal in the works, so hopefully soon you’ll be hearing my music in commercials, movies and TV.

Where do you usually play? I usually play gigs around the New York area, but I can’t wait to start touring. I am a regular performer at the Macabre Faire Events; the largest horror/goth/steampunk convention in Long Island. My music has a macabre edge, and I’ve acted in horror movies as well, so I fit right in. 

What are your goals with your music? I want to make a long, successful career of it, not only producing and performing music myself, but producing for other people. I want to build an empire, honestly - a whole empire of dark, pulsing electronic awesomeness, visual artwork, and theatrical extravagance. Those are my long term goals - never hurts to be ambitious.

What are your sources of inspiration? I love going to shows, both raves and more intimate performances. It inspires me not only to hear what other artists in my genre are doing, but to take in their live shows. Everyone has a unique way of performing, a different energy on stage - things you can’t pick up simply from listening to a song online. I recently saw Die Antwoord perform, and will be going to see Bassnectar soon. I like to take tips from the pros.

What's the first step when making a new song? Usually it begins with a melody, accompanied by a few lyrics. A full song evolves from there. Sometimes the melody and lyrics come after I’ve started producing a new track, but other times I’ve produced tracks around fully formed songs. For example, one of the songs off “Rumors” was written about five years ago over a simple drum loop. I structured the beats and chords you’ll hear in the finished song only recently. Something I’ve consistently noticed, however, is that lyrics seem to come all at once, like brain vomit, usually at highly inconvenient times. That’s why it’s good to always carry a notepad. 

How do you feel about the downloading of music instead of buying albums? Blasphemous as it sounds, it’s actually a really effective way to gauge which songs people respond to the most. Once, people would buy a whole album to listen to one or two songs. Now, fans will buy the songs they like and leave the ones they don’t, and that way an artist can really see what fans react to.

Have you been part of any other projects? In addition to being a singer and producer, I am an actress and visual artist. I’ve acted in several indie films, mostly horror. The one that got the most press was a slasher film called “The Turnpike Killer,” in which I played a girl-next-door type who got brutally murdered. I won a best actress award at the 2012 Macabre Faire Film Festival for it, which absolutely made up for the hours I spent drenched in real pig’s blood on set. I’ve also recently released a series of greeting cards featuring my original artwork. Check them out on Etsy - they are perfect for Halloween:

What would you do if there was no music? I can’t even imagine how empty that would leave the world.

What drives a band that isn't all that famous and renowned to try to make a living on their music and to keep playing? A naturally creative person is going to find outlets for their creativity no matter who is or isn’t watching. Besides, the only way to fail is to stop. If you stop, you spend the rest of your life wondering what could have happened.

Do you have any webpages? I am currently reworking my official website, but in the meantime you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Soundcloud and Beatport. 

Describe your show, visually and musically. I am a very dynamic performer on stage - I rarely dance, but I love to move. Often I take on personas for different songs - I have a whole repertoire of kooky characters. Depending on the venue, I will sometimes incorporate artistic video projections in the background, and a DJ spins my tracks while I sing.

What is your favorite crappy instrument? My favorite crappy instrument is the kazoo. My favorite quirky instrument(not that you asked)is the musical saw, followed closely by the theremin. I really want one of those instruments featured in a future track, but I’ll have to find a musician who knows how to play them. There’s an acoustic eeriness to them that can’t be reproduced digitally.

Whats your Pre-show ritual? Stressing out about getting to the venue on time, and trying not to drop my keyboard while setting up on stage.

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