Photo Credit: Dan Coronado
Riling up a full-blown blast of nostalgia, Speak The Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes is the Supergroup that has come together and is quickly becoming the band of our dreams that we never thought could happen. The band comprises of Buddy Nielsen of Senses Fail and Alex Pappas, Daniel Wonacott and Alex Linares of Finch, therefore, a glorious musical journey is bound to come about. I caught up with Alex Pappas to discuss what inspired the idea of Speak The Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes, the band’s debut album, growing up in Wine Country, tattoos and more.
First and foremost, tell us where the idea of bringing Speak The Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes to life came about and your past history that brought you all together as band.
There was supposed to be a Finch/Senses Fail tour at the beginning of 2016. But Senses Fail lost a few band members, and Buddy had to cancel the tour. Around the same time the writing for the 4th Finch album came to a complete halt. Daniel, Pappas, and I really didn’t want to give up and stop working together. So we kicked rocks for a bit, trying to figure out what to do. Then one day at the studio we had a lightbulb moment. “Let’s call Buddy and ask if he wants to start a band and record an album”. We emailed him, set up a day to meet for lunch. And a week or two later we were in a rehearsal studio writing the record.
You guys are gearing up for the release of your debut album, ‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away From You’. Tell us about the creative process behind the album and if the songwriting process was spearheaded by one individual or as a group.
The creative process was super fun and easy for the record. The three of us figured out fairly quickly what Buddy liked and didn’t like and what direction he wanted to go. The challenge came from trying to undo all the years of training ourselves away from writing catchy songs with choruses. We finally got to write the songs we wanted to write for a long time!
Now that you have a new lease on your musical life, are you incorporating elements of your musical pasts into the material throughout ‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away From You’. If so, how so?!
Yes and no. Of course my long history and experience in Finch informs everything I do musically. But with Speak The Truth there wasn’t any rules when we were writing. Nobody was afraid to write in a major key. And Buddy is a great collaborator. If Daniel and I had any ideas or input about his vocals he respected us enough to have a conversation about it.
Any upcoming tour plans that you can fill us in about?!
Yeah definitely. Nothing is set in stone. But we’re going to fit in some dates around the Senses Fail tour schedule.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the tattoo artists that you worked with to bring the pieces to life.
My favorite piece is the Virgin Mary tattoo on my left forearm. I’m not a religious man, but I grew up in an all female house (mother, grandmother, and great grandmother) and I went to Catholic school. So in some odd way, this tattoo always reminds me of being a kid and of my amazing grandmothers.
Let’s dig into your roots. If we were to take a trip to your hometown, where do we visit for the best music and food?
I’m from Temecula, California. Wine country! And the best restaurant to eat at is Sorrel Bistro. One of my best buds is the Chef/Owner. The food is amazing, and he has tons of great beers on tap. And on the weekends there’s always a mix of local and touring musicians. Super awesome place.
If you could get anything that you desire tattooed budget-free by any tattoo artist in the world, what would you get done and which artist would you choose?
I don’t have a particular piece or artist in mind. But with all the touring and traveling I’ve done, I’ve never gotten a tattoo abroad. In the future, I’d love to get a tattoo by a local artist in every country I visit of something that represents something special and unique about that country’s culture. My right arm can look like the stamped pages of my passport.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self when you first starting making music, what would you say?
Oh god! It’s more like what wouldn’t I say! First, I’d bring myself a sports almanac from the last 50 years. And then I’d tell younger me to start Speak The Truth a lot sooner!
A penguin wearing a sombrero walks through your door right now. What does he say and why is he here?!
The sombrero wearing penguin would burst in and say “Come with me if you want to live!!” and then we join forces to battle the evil P-1000 penguinator!
Photo Credit: Dan Coronado
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Just a big thank you to every Pledger that pre-ordered our record! I can’t put into words the appreciation I have for your support. I hope you all enjoy the record. Cheers!
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