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Viva Phx Q&A: Alyeska

*THE SPEC, COURTESY OF STATESIDE PRESENTS, IS GIVING AWAY A PAIR OF TICKETS TO VIVA PHOENIX. ENTER TO WIN AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.*

Alaska Reid, Alyeska interview

Alyeska is the brainchild of Alaska Reid, a Montana-raised musician who now lives in Los Angeles. Also part of the band is Ben Spear, Nico Grossfeld and Kimberly McConnell. The indie-rock band is influenced by notable artists of recent decades, including Nick Drake, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana. See the up-and-coming band perform live on March 14 at Viva PhxFilmBar (21+) at 8 P.M..

Read our interview with Reid below and purchase Viva Phx tickets here
*For more interviews with Viva Phx 2015 performers, visit here.*

Very first concert you attended and a memory from it.
I grew up in Montana, so I saw a lot of community shows or friends performing when I was younger. The first official concert I remember attending was a Dinosaur Jr show. I love Dinosaur Jr in general, and was completely over the moon to go see them at the House of Blues when I first came to LA. My sister, to this day, makes fun of my middle-school fashion. I was the queen of unbrushed hair, no makeup, cowboy boots and band t-shirts.

I went to the Dinosaur Jr concert with my dad, aunt and uncle. I went up towards the mosh pit with my aunt, and what you must understand is that no one should fuck with Aunt Sasha. We had this guy with long, smelly blonde dreads crash into us and she probably tore a hole in his ribs with how hard she elbowed him. I also remember at the end wishing J would play “Start Choppin’” and then someone spilled beer on me.

If you could have any musician (dead or alive) as a mentor, who would it be?
I’m so torn between Keith Richards or Lou Reed. Keith Richards, to me, is the ultimate cool. First off, he is an amazing guitar player, and most importantly songwriter. I like the way he approaches a song, because I feel like it is similar to the way I do. I also happen to think that he is super hot. However, Reed’s Transformer album and Coney Island Baby kill me. I look to Reed when I need inspiration for my writing.

Very first concert you played and a memory from it.
I think I played at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles, if I don’t count small town Montana singing recitals. Halfway through middle school, I graduated from band t-shirts to vintage gunnysack/old lady dresses. I picked out a good one for that show.

Artist you would most like to collaborate with or have produce your music?
The late Lou Reed.

Personal truth that fans would be surprised to know about you.
I like having really clean hair and I fall asleep at 8 P.M., if I am not busy or gigging – things that do not necessarily complement the musician lifestyle. People also call me the rabbit because I am also always walking around with lettuce leaves or carrots hanging out of my mouth.

How do you spend a typical day when you’re not touring or busy recording?
Writing, practicing, rehearsing, taking photos with a film camera, hanging out with my crazy friends at Canters Deli in LA or wandering around Asian grocery stores with Ben [Spear] who plays drums in the band.

One artist or album you could never get tired of listening to?
Rolling Stones’ album Goats Head Soup. “Winter” may be my favorite song ever.

Earliest music-related memory you have?
Driving around in this shitty SUV my dad used to have that we named “The Exploder.” We had CD cases covering the floor, and every day when we would drive to the one-room schoolhouse I went to in Montana, I would look at the mountains and listen to music. One song I particularly remember is “Gigantic” by the Pixies, although I also remember my 3-year-old sister shouting the lyrics to the Sex Pistols, “Anarchy in The UK” from her carseat.

Nicest thing a fan has ever said, or given, to you?
“You have something magnetic.”

Interesting fact about your newest release.
Lose My Place was tracked live to tape.

Xperience you will never forget.
Hard to choose between two. Playing my music in my hometown bar The Murray in Livingston, Mont. with family and friends watching. We packed the bar, and had to play every song I ever wrote for three hours and finally ended up just jamming.

Or an equally as memorable experience was opening for Lyle Lovett, one of the kindest and most talented people I know.


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*Winner will be contacted the morning of Thursday, March 12 and must respond promptly with a valid mailing address where physical tickets can be mailed.

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