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Alex Henry Foster: A wide-open window on his flowing memories

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As published in Daily Rock

Read the original article here

Following the unexpected success in the charts of Alex Henry Foster’s new album “Windows in the Sky”, Daily Rock Québec is happy to introduce a very particular interview with the artist. Up in the air in between two big cities, creator Alex H Foster answered our questions about this album; intimate, expressive and very appreciated.

PS: Our interviewer Jérôme Go-dreault says that he has perceived and reconnected with a vibrant and compelling sound, just like Mr. L. Cohen knew how to make me feel. Congratulations, and thanks to Mr. Foster.

JG: Who is Alex Henry Foster? Where are you from?

AHF: We are starting the interview with the question for which the answer is the most difficult to me…! I will simply say that I’m a hardcore fan of music, poetry, skateboard, baseball, and video games, and that I am the father of 2 pups answering to the names of MacKaye and Leonard, which I have adopted in Austin, Texas, at the end of a North American tour with Your Favorite Enemies, a little over 3 years ago now…

I come from Montreal, but I moved too often during my childhood to be able to say exactly where I would consider having grown up…

I studied social work, worked with children victims of sexual abuse, and at the heart of the HLM (“rent-controlled housing”) community of the South Shore of Montreal before committing to my passion for music full time with Your Favorite Enemies some years ago…

JG: Since when and under which circumstances did you start creating music?

AHF: I think that as far as I can remember, I have always created music. Some cassettes hidden in the infamous family archives testify of the constant and uninterrupted way I had to make my parents go crazy while singing continuously… and to make noise with everything that could produce a sound and could be broken or strongly damaged while making said noise…

I logically integrated punk / hardcore / noise bands during my teenage years, thus increasing the circle of people I could render insane while playing Minor Threat, Ramones, Gang Green and other compositions, all of them equally disturbing for my friends’ parents, neighbors, school’s social workers and other people worrying about the fact that not being that good didn’t seem to have an impact on the passion with which I was turning to it so devotedly and… non-stop.

But it’s when I met Sef (Your Favorite Enemies’ guitarist), during his internship at the community organization where I was working – and through him his brother Ben (multi-instrumentalist and producer) – that my passion for music went from seriously dangerous to dangerously serious. We then founded Your Favorite Enemies and left school and any other form of normal type of social life potentially leading to a life made of promises… and of being good sons.

What would follow is in theory largely documented in dark places of the internet!

JG: What are your musical inspirations and your artistic process?

AHF: They are numerous, I’d say, but they must first and foremost be authentic and honest. My process is probably based on not having a pre-established process. I like to be surprised and capsized, which probably explains why I can listen to Japanese traditional chants, Nick Cave, Swans, Fugazi, Mats Gustafsson, traditional flamenco and The Cure in the same evening… it’s the emotions, whatever they might be, that inspire me.

JG: How and why, aside from the circumstances already mentioned in the media, producing a solo album?

AHF: It happened a little bit by accident. I was on an exile in North Africa as I was totally exhausted, both physically and psychologically, after 5 years of touring with Your Favorite Enemies. It must have been close to a year since I had last touched an instrument, but I was writing poetry so as to live and assume some emotions I had buried deep down inside in order not to have to face the reality and risk of losing myself even more than how I was feeling at that moment…

Ben came to find me in Tangier to work on a movie soundtrack, and following discussions, he encouraged me to put those feelings I couldn’t express in music, which slowly became a song, and another one, and finally a cohesive ensemble of what I like to call “moments”. I didn’t have the ambition of making it an album, as I didn’t want to have to face those words, those sounds, and those feelings after, even less have to talk about them publicly, like right now…! In the end, it’s the other members of Your Favorite Enemies who have encouraged me to do it, saying that it would set me free and allow me to assume its nature fully – and they were right to say so!

JG: Would this album have come to life if circumstances would have been different?

AHF: I don’t think it would have seen the light of day, it’s that simple… neither would have any of the music to come.

JG: Tell us more openly about your latest album; WINDOWS IN THE SKY:

AHF: It’s a personal and intimate album, but from which the honesty produces an invitation to share and commune. I’m discovering its true nature through the eyes of others and through how they make it theirs.

JG: Is this album a reflection of all your expectations and what are its qualities?

AHF: I didn’t have any expectation. I never had any expectation for anything I produced with Your Favorite Enemies before. For me, art and creation have for only interest the honesty with which we abandon ourselves to it. And the more we expose ourselves, the more we accept that we have nothing more to give than what we have at the moment we are creating. It’s, in my opinion, the reason why all creations evolve naturally with time, if only for the way we give a new look at what once was, thus making it something that is in the present moment as well. Creation evolves to the measure we allow ourselves to evolve as a person. At least, that’s how I see it.

JG: How many stars on 10 would the album deserve?

AHF: I don’t believe in the gradation of art. Some artists hate that people evaluate their artwork. For me, it’s all a matter of perspective, to put it simply. People who let go to the journey that “Windows in the Sky” is have a perception that is as right as mine… I never feared critics, as when a work is shared, it no longer exclusively belongs to me.

JG: Who are the main people who collaborated on the album production and in which studio was it recorded?

AHF: Ben has been the maestro behind the creation of this project, but all the members of YFE participated in it and have all offered a piece of themselves to it. It was imperative to invite them to do it.

The production happened in 3 totally different places and in completely atypical conditions. Between a small fortune studio located in Tangier, up to the incredible YFE studio located in a transformed Catholic church, to a creation station in the highlands of Virginia…

JG: Could we hear some of the tracks on the album Windows in the Sky played with the band YFE?

AHF: I hope so! They all sent me their resume to be part of the potential backup band if I ever wanted to share the album in a live mode! I will therefore have them audition; it’s a serious and professional project!

JG: How will the future with the band YFE be seen following the success of this solo album?

AHF: For me, it’s all pretty simple, as I live music without cultivating the ambition of success and without any careerist perspective. Understand me well; I am incredibly happy that people took “Windows in the Sky” for themselves in such a personal and intimate way. But it influences in no way what is to come next. And knowing me, people for whom YFE is important understand this and support me in that sense. It is the same for the members of the band: we are, first and foremost, a family. What will follow will be determined by what we want or need to live, create and share.

JG: We heard that you were presently working on a movie project which could be a follow-up to this album. Would you like to tell us more?

AHF: I told myself that after the release of a surprise solo album while people were expecting a new YFE album, the most logical decision in terms of “career move” would be to offer a third project which would not be YFE nor Alex Henry Foster and to talk about it during interviews about my album “Windows in the Sky”…! I guess we understand a little bit better now why I wasn’t the one mandated for YFE interviews 😉

JG: Why choose Japan, is there a special link with this country, for this new album and/or with the band YFE?

AHF: It was important for me to host that type of event in Japan.

I have always had a very singular relationship with the people of this country, very intimate I would say, may it be through suicide prevention projects, the soundtrack for the Final Fantasy video game we did, or the privilege we have to be welcomed as family every time we go over there to share music or other projects.

And to have done that in Tokyo was on one hand the fulfilment of a promise I had made to the parents of a fan who tragically took his own life, and on the other hand a way for me to share emotions that are sometimes only expressible through music for people who, like me, don’t feel like they can express their nature.

JG: Is an international touring project something foreseeable for this album?

AHF: Yes, surely, but I must determine what I will want to share and the way I would like to do it. I’m still reflecting on all of this, but I have desires of “moments”, and not of another rock tour…

JG: On the album, the texts seem to have a big importance and we would like to know if those were written specifically for this album? Furthermore, if the musical compositions were inspired and crafted starting from each of the album’s texts, or the contrary?

AHF: The texts are always what comes first, which is pretty rare, as texts are often written to accompany the music. May it be for YFE or another project, for me, it all starts with the texts, which flow from the vision I wish to explore for the album that will carry them.

JG: After listening and discussing about the album with a few people (which liked it), two of them told me that in some moments, they thought the music was redundant. What do you think about it?

AHF: It’s probably due to the fact that it’s an 8-song album of over 60 minutes of orchestral noise music and spoken word…! But seriously, the nature of “Windows in the Sky” is meant to be, first and foremost, a voyage, and I believe it makes sense according to the measure with which you abandon yourself to it. We all have our way of consuming or living music. For me, it was my way of expressing myself, without having to ask myself too many questions on anything else than what I felt like sharing. But I totally understand as well why those people lived it this way. That’s the beauty of sharing and of letting the others define the experience.

JG: Does Alex Henry Foster have the idea of producing a second album of the same type and do you think it would have as much success?

AHF: If we look at my discography, I believe I’m incapable of sticking to one specific genre, of building my decisions on what would make more sense in order to surf the same wave the longest or of doing what has to be done in order to reach success…! Considering the fact that I dream of making an album mixing old shigin chants (a traditional Japanese chant) and some avant-garde noise, I’m thinking this might be the last time you will want to ask me questions – which also explains why I wanted to beat a record of words written in this interview!

Jérôme Go-dreault
December 8, 2018

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5 things to know about Windows in the Sky by Alex Henry Foster

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As published in The Vancouver Sun

Read the original article here

Windows in the Sky | Hopeful Tragedy Records

Those who watched the Canadian music charts the week of Nov. 9 were scratching their heads when Alex Henry Foster’s debut album came in at #6 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart. SoundScan reporting for Quebec sales over the next two weeks showed the Montrealer hitting top spot in the charts and reaching #3 nationally just behind powerhouses Muse and Imagine Dragons.

So who is this guy?

Well, apparently his old band is big in Japan. Foster plays in the 2015 Juno Award nominees Your Favourite Enemies whose 2014 album Between Illness and Migration had a Rock Album of the Year nod. If you don’t remember it, don’t beat yourself up. That category has given us, among others, such memorable acts as Finger Eleven, Sum 41 and Slik Toxik. Your Favourite Enemies are still active with a new album in the works.

Windows in the Sky dropped without any advance hype or tours announcements although Foster has said that there are plans in 2019 to take it on the road with a multimedia project. YFE are likely back in the new year too. But right now the focus is on this suddenly successful solo album.

Here are five things to know about it:

1: Full-on Post-Rockin’ Roll. Huge cascading guitar chords, echoed spoken word vocals, distantly reverberating choruses and as much overlaid orchestration as you can fit on a track. Songs such as Winter is Coming in sound like Bullet the Blue Sky U2 channelling Loveless era My Bloody Valentine by way of a band on Fluttery Records. It’s a big sound.

2: Seasonal sounds. If there is one thing Canada needs more of, it’s expansive and atmospheric music that goes well with snuggling down in a warm room for a few months until the “beautiful shivers go goodbye.” That may mean Snowflakes in July in this nation, but it’s all good.

3: Cool entry/exit. The Pain that Bonds (The Beginning is the End) opens the eight song album. The Love that Moves (The End is Beginning) closes it. The two songs intertwine not just in titles, but in build. Slow moody chording becomes more urgent and smashing in the opening, more distant and evolving in the closer. If the views we are supposed to be seeing in our Windows in the Sky are akin to a cranial train ride through an imagined landscape; then this works like a sonic journey.

4: The Hunter (By the Seaside Window). Perhaps in homage to his Japanese fans — the album was launched in a series of live listening sessions in Japan — this nearly 15 minute-long workout has a secondary vocalist saying something in Japanese as Foster’s vocals grow more and more paranoid. Fans of serious guitar noise must check this out.

5: Yes, it’s about grief. Windows in the Sky was written in isolation as Foster worked through the passing of his father following a long battle with cancer. It’s exploration of devotion, loss, sorrow, grief and exhaustion will echo with many who have been through such a process. Perhaps that is why the album resonated with so many, as the population ages this story becomes more and more repeated.

Stuart Derdeyn
November 27, 2018

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A redemptive journey for Alex Henry Foster

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As published in L’Express

Read the original article here

He is the leader of the Drummondville band Your Favorite Enemies

What was supposed to be an exile in Morocco for Alex Henry Foster became a source of inspiration for his solo album “Windows in the Sky”, released only a few days ago. Already, his work is charting at the top, ahead of big acts like Marie-Mai, Muse and Imagine Dragons.

The unexpected success story began two years ago. As the band Your Favorite Enemies thought they had ended a musical cycle, Alex Henry Foster decided to withdraw himself and headed to Tangier, to get inspired and work on the band’s next album.

“The last ten years have been quite busy for the band and as we’re independent in all the spheres of an album production, we were exhausted. While exiling myself, I could dive into a calm universe after the YFE storm had hit. I felt inspired and I created my solo album”, said Mr. Foster.

Slowly, the texts appeared, without music. Alongside other collaborations, his bandmate Ben Lemelin joined him to create a melody that would accompany the words of the singer. He even set a studio in the heart of Tangier.

“This album is my identity. I didn’t want for the other members of the band to carry my stories. The passing of my father inspired me and this is a personal feeling. It’s some kind of a therapy, an album to deliver myself. But with time, they kindly wanted to get involved musically”, added Alex Henry Foster who is presently in Virginia to work on other projects.

It’s without much fanfare that, on November 9, he released “Windows in the Sky”, consisting of eight songs. Rapidly, the album made it to the top of the Quebec charts.

“I didn’t do any promotion around this album. I first unveiled it in Canada to thank people from here and went to Japan for a listening session. It was a gift to myself to share my songs this way, added Mr. Foster. I didn’t expect this success at all, as I didn’t do it in this perspective, it was rather a more artistic approach. It’s not the type of music that plays on the radio, especially not with tracks going up to 14 minutes.”

Projects for Your Favorite Enemies

Despite Alex Henry Foster’s solo project and, among others, his collaborations to movie soundtracks, YFE is not dead. The main one concerned absolutely wanted to add precision to the orientation of the band, which resides in the former Saint-Simon church in Drummondville.

“We’re all exploring other things presently. We’ll get back together and be able to share our emotions. The band’s unity is always there, and I’m sure we’ll be able to feel the excitement of everyone in due time” concluded Mr. Foster.

Ghyslain Bergeron
Friday November 23, 2018

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Alex Henry Foster Breaks Big With Solo Debut

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As published in FYI Music News

Read the original article here

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Canadian music industry chart watchers may well have registered surprise at spotting the high placings for Montrealer Alex Henry Foster’s debut solo album Windows in the Sky.

It came in at No. 6 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart, while SoundScan reports showed in hit #1 in sales in Quebec in its first week of release (it came out on Nov. 9) and No. 3 nationally behind Muse and Imagine Dragons. The album stayed at the #1 position in the iTunes charts for five consecutive days last week, in front of The Beatles, Queen, and Lady Gaga, while the first video, “Summertime Departures,” has quickly earned 100K YouTube views. Released on Hopeful Tragedy Records, the album is distributed by Sony Music / The Orchard.

Foster’s name may be unfamiliar to many, but he has enjoyed prior international success (in Japan, especially) as the singer and principal songwriter in adventurous rock band Your Favorite Enemies, 2015 Juno nominees for Rock Album of the Year for their 2014 release, Between Illness and Migration.

Making the chart success of Windows in the Sky even more impressive is the fact that it arrived without any advance hype. Contacted by FYI, Foster explains that “the whole idea of releasing the record without any form of promotion was based on the fact that I wanted the music and its emotions to bloom on their own rights, and to only do what I want and love.”

“The last record we released with Your Favorite Enemies, the one that was nominated for a Juno, kept us on the road for almost five years. It burned me out completely.”

No tour dates have been announced to support the new record, but Foster advices patience. “Windows in the Sky is a multi-media project involving projections and conceptual lights, so I want to play the album in a different set up from our usual rock n roll format, and share a different type of moment and experience. That’s a long answer to say I will play the record live and will let you know the ‘when,’ the ‘where’ and the ho” at the beginning of 2019.”

To its creator, “Windows in the Sky was already a success the moment I decided to release an 8-song LP with a 15-minute song standing midway on an hour-long album! Success is truly a matter of perspective.”

As for the future of YFE, Foster explains that “everything is pretty open right now. We have a lot of never-released material from the productions of previous albums, and we recently gathered all together in Tangier to work on new songs.

“It’s important for me to say that Your Favorite Enemies are still alive and well. It’s only that with Windows in the Sky and some OST projects that I have going on with Ben (YFE’s guitar player and producer), it’s more difficult for us to define the ‘when’ from the ‘what’ we want to share with people. YFE has never been known for following the logical and well-travelled career path that’s supposed to lead to success or God knows where. So I guess that this alternative way to operate will be even more eclectic now that we have different projects blooming alongside one another. ‘We’ll see’ is all I can say for now.”

To spot future YFE shows, fans will need to be vigilant. “After the last concert we did in New York a little over two years ago, we all agreed we wouldn’t go back on a stage until we either had a new album to share with the people or festivals to check off our bucket list,” says Foster.

“We’ve been playing under different names once in while, though. Look out for “Burroughs Was a 2-Step Ballet Dancer” or “We Are Not a Death Metal Band, We Just Look Cool” in a town near you… This might become an intimate evening with Your Favorite Enemies!”

Kerry Doole
Friday November 23, 2018

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“Windows in the Sky” on “Salut Bonjour”, TVA

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As seen on episode 6423 of “Salut Bonjour”

As seen on Quebec morning show “Salut Bonjour” on TVA on November 21, 2018, Alex Henry Foster’s first solo album, “Windows in the Sky”, reached the top of the Canadian charts within the first days of its release and left no one indifferent.

Hear how the album became the talk of the town in this excerpt.

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Alex Henry Foster: An Unexpected Success!

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As published in the Journal de Montréal

Read the original article here

The Quebecer, Alex Henry Foster sold more albums than Marie-Mai

With its 4,504 copies, “Windows in the Sky”, from Alex Henry Foster, ended the week of November 15 at the top of the Quebec album sales, ahead of Muse’s “Simulation Theory” (4,211), “À jamais” from Ginette Reno (4,172), “Elle et moi” from Marie-Mai (3,044) and “Origins”, from Imagine Dragons (2,492).

Muse, Imagine Dragons and Marie-Mai released their new album on November 9. Who sold the most copies after one week of release in Quebec? None of the three. All the honors go to Alex Henry Foster, a Drummondville rocker.

“Windows in the Sky”, solo project of Quebec band Your Favorite Enemies’ lead singer, shook everyone, according to the weekly Nielsen SoundScan reports. He got ahead of Muse, Ginette Reno, Marie-Mai and Imagine Dragons. Nothing less.”I’m speechless. This is beyond me!”, confides Foster to the newspaper.

In Canada, “Windows in the Sky”, ended its first week in third position, behind Muse and Imagine Dragons.

To say that Alex Henry Foster is surprised is an understatement. He had such low expectations, to the point that he barely announced the release of his album, about one week prior to its release. His promotional campaign was that minimalist that Le Journal has been the first media to interview him.

A surprise

Yet, on Tuesday, Alex Henry Foster’s album was still in full swing. It landed a 4th position in the top sellers on the Canadian iTunes online store, behind the newly-released albums of Fred Pellerin, Michael Bublé, and Mumford and Sons.

The astonishment is even more surprising as “Windows in the Sky” is to the opposite of what a commercial success in 2018 should be made of. Its long tracks are an average of five minutes – The Hunter (By the Seaside Window) culminates at 14 minutes 18 seconds – and leads towards a post-rock that recalls the most exploratory movements of progressive rock.

Therefore, when we ask Foster to explain his album’s success, he can only throw hypothesis. “People probably need to hear this type of music, to live something else, to hear other sounds. Maybe it feels good to hear a 15-minute song that makes no sense on a commercial level.”

Adventure

Despite this unexpected success, Your Favorite Enemies’ future, a band that sure knew how to build a solid network of admirers all around the globe, notably in Japan, is not jeopardized.

“It’s far from being the end of the adventure. To the contrary, what I’m living on my end will allow us to explore other things when we’ll be getting back together”, assures Alex Henry Foster.

For now, Foster, who’s already working on other musical projects, hasn’t planned a series of concerts. But he admits that this unexpected success “gives me this desire to push further and see where this adventure will lead me”.

Cédric Bélanger
Tuesday November 20, 2018

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Going Back into the Light

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As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST

My stay in Paris and in Tangier, although always too short a stay, has once again been magnificent, reminding me the great privilege that I have not to travel, although this is a privilege, but to have people who are precious to me, who are very dear to my heart, who are the bright colors of the soft breeze and the warmth that allow me to live my coming back to the light with so much joy and peace, and who, above everything else, remind me, or even allow me, to gaze upon the nature of the soul shadows that have been my companions for so long that they have become confidents, faithful journey buddies, the strange images of a life made with paradoxes we do not comprehend but that shape the very essence of our existence, at least for the one which I have often, if any, the less perspective of, the less grasp, the less distance to, the less understanding of; my life. So these last days did me a lot of good.

In fact, I have loved Paris since the day it was nothing but a distant dream, the illusion of a future I couldn’t even consider being mine, a long, long time ago now. I love to sway without a precise destination, join the dances of strangers on the run, who jostle, in a hurry, insistently living life on what seems to be the countdown of a lifetime, being carried by the perfumes of the neighborhoods that go by to the rhythm of my aimless steps, spying on time that goes by over and over again, never stopping. Here, a word. There, a smile on the horizon of a generous look. An indescribable happiness made of horns, arguments between passersby on a sidewalk never wide enough for the short breath of one and the panting of the other… life. These few moments, stolen from the life of strangers, inspire me shivers that I want to make mine.

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I Could Have Been A Brain Surgeon… But Sonic Youth Happened

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Excerpt from Alex’s SFCC exclusive blog. Read the full version here

In memory of Glenn Branca, one of the most incredible musical geniuses of all time. His loss will be greatly felt forever

There are moments in your existence that you can easily point out as the beginning of what would become a succession of very bad life decisions. And trust me, it can start earlier than we think or would like to admit. With a little bit of perspective, you can identify those moments so clearly that it’s quite difficult to see anything else when you look back for answers or clues to explain what went wrong, what could have possibility derailed the course of your already so brilliant journey. Well, if I think as my 13-year-old self was thinking back in the days… So let’s go back down memory lane, which seems to have become the mantra for “Out For a Spin” – and somehow a cheaper kind of therapy for me…! Anyway, here’s the story:

I was 13 going on 14. I was already creating trouble (and troubled). I was dealing with high school life like my friends were dealing their time in juvenile facilities. For me, school was pretty boring on the good days and awfully depressing the rest of the time. But somehow, I have always managed to be a A-grade student, which is strange by all accounts considering that I’ve had to deal with a light form of dyslexia from as far as I can remember and that I have never attended the same school for 2 years in a row until high school, sometimes having to change schools 2 or 3 times within the same year due to my folks’ financial instability. Different cities, different schools, different bullies, different worlds… Tough times for a kid trying to fit in, to blend in.

Anyhow, I always found myself being integrated into those “special” classes supposedly assembled to offer a more advanced academic program to the students who had a little more learning abilities (or more time to do their homework!) than the others. This became utterly weird for me in high school, as I was not only the sole student in those groups who didn’t understand the concept of being dressed cool, of having European summer vacations, or even what it meant for a family to have 2 cars (every car my parents owned were as different as the clothes I was wearing compared to the others… trust me!). So that was my so-called life; elementary school was being beaten up every time the last bell rang, no matter which new school I was attending, and high school was… well, complicated to say the least 😉

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A Life Motion Worth Celebrating

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Dear brothers, sisters, friends, fans and loved ones,

I hope you are doing wonderful, as we just let go of 2017’s fair share of emotions and presently dwell on the already full-motion stream of the utterly promising 2018. And with the invitation to redefine ourselves that comes with all the passion of such new beginnings, we can envision to unfold life with a renewed faith in the most hopeful of all dreams, one color at the time, one discovery after another, breathing with exaltation and excitement, living in the present tense, knowing that tomorrow will somehow take care of itself, as it always does.

I can say that the last 12 months have made of 2017 quite a mesmerizing and deeply significant year for us all. Us, as a band. Us, as friends. Us, as a family. It has been a seasonal period rich in moments, generous in fulfillments. Both collectively and personally, we discovered, as much as we rediscovered, the meaning of having a joyful “togetherness”, took the time for a simple smile, lost ourselves in communing laughter, contemplated the beautiful grace we have to grow alongside each other still, even when separated for some time – and we’ve been for quite some time.

In fact, maybe that’s why 2017 has been such a significant year for us. Me being away, drifting for a while in order to find a little of what was left of myself, realizing that even if the truth may reside in places we can’t fully comprehend, freedom always blooms from the honesty we have towards ourselves and those we dearly love. We tend to fight our personal shadows with so much alienation that we inevitably become darker than the shadowy companion lights create around us. Our personal pilgrimage might lead us to the end of the world, but it rarely finds us settling down where we initially saw ourselves kneeling at dawn, enlightened in let go, in acknowledgment, in acceptance, maybe… Something far from the fatalism of our covenants, our personal dogmas, evolving certainties and other make-believes.

Therefore, I guess it’s no wonder that I’m presently seated at the very same table where the journey began for me, almost 2 years ago, in Tangier. The very same place where I worked on the band’s latest book project “A Journey Beyond Ourselves”, where I wrote so many songs, but most importantly, where I’ve been able to find peace gazing at the sea from early morning to dusk, from my ever-growing fear of abandonment to the liberating grace of silent introspection, of personal reflection and retrospection. Some talk about emotional cycles, a rebirth of sorts, while others talk about getting back to where your soul belongs, where you’ve been in another life… I don’t know… Maybe it’s as simple as finding a place where you can look at the reflection in the mirror without having to bear the burden of being yourself, the deception of what you became… A place you can call home, be received as whoever you may be in that particular moment in time. I don’t know… Tangier is all that to me… Elusive as honesty, as love, as death and everything in between… The sum of all, or the sum of nothing at all.

And it’s quite significant for me that, adding to the amazement of how unbelievable of a voyage our common life story has been over the past 10 years – and what a crazy decade it was, made of numerous collective miracles, witnessed within ourselves and into others – I had the great privilege of inviting my brothers, my sisters, my friends and fellow life partners to my place, Tangier, where we have the incredible blessing of establishing a recording studio in order to work on sounds, on words, on colors, on images, that we’re all opting to turn into songs, lyrics, paintings and movies in order to discover and rediscover who we are as a band, as friends, as a family… Uplifting pieces of hope we are impatient to share with you all.

So, in that refreshing creative new space of ours, Ben and I, with Sef’s collaboration, gave life to a new musical project that should be released this upcoming spring. It’s something very different from everything we have given life to before, an artistic landscape made of blissful and galvanizing emotions, a conceptual project inspired by the resilience of those who seek, by the solidarity of those who stand with those who kneel, by the triumph of an idea greater than oneself, of pure love born out of desperation. We are very proud of that project and can’t wait for you all to discover its nature.

As for Your Favorite Enemies’ next endeavors, the upcoming few months should be rich in communion, as the 6 of us are now assembled in Tangier until April to explore and experiment together, which has always been our way to firmly resist the temptation of creative convenience and comfort. The only perspective of being reunited here is already magnificently inspiring, to say the least, so we can’t wait to see what will emerge from the blooming sea of our artistic heartfelt revivification.

Impatiently awaiting the moment we will be with you all, we want to wish you a fulfilling and exhilarating new year, knowing we will see you very soon, may it be for a cherishing hug, a mutual smiling instant shared, a concert or a musical type of communal ceremony, or someplace on the road somewhere.

Much love to you all,

Alex, alongside Jeff, Miss Isabel, Ben, Sef and Moose

PS: Make sure to join the band’s fan club (SFCC) for more info on the upcoming projects and our current North African adventure.

Time Doesn’t Heal… Only Forgiveness Does.

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As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST

I stood in front of my bedroom door with probably more excitement than my 2 little furry boys MacKaye and Leonard, who were crying and barking for me to quickly open up. That pure loving moment is what has kept me coming back home on a regular basis in the year that has gone by, separating me from actually being able to say: “Alright, I’m back home.” I never thought the last year would go as it did, even if I didn’t have any plans. Days became weeks. Weeks turned into months. And without further notice, I found myself wondering if I would ever come back at all, which I believe wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for writing the book “A Journey Beyond Ourselves”. I was that emotionally damaged, but realized I wasn’t that definitely broken after all. You can run as far and as long as you want, for all the good or wrong reasons. Time doesn’t heal… Only forgiveness does.  

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It was somehow special for me to be back in the studio last night, after what felt like an eternity. It was special to stand in a place with so much history, with so much of our tears, laughter, mourning dreams and exulting success. I didn’t expect the place to be anything else. Again, it’s what we decide to make out of all those moments that determines their nature and therefore their emotional implication. Last night, without any other reason than feeling it, all through the freedom by which I live my life now, I was even able to share with the others. I used to keep any personal emotion to myself, so this reminded me how something as simple as being in the same place as the others had never been quite that simple for me before. Sharing some song ideas and revealing a little of the emotions that came with them was good to me… it was simple.

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Some of the things I shared were about the fact that, in the midst of the world’s present chaos and its everlasting new grieving morning after, I felt it was time for me to give life to the words of compassion, grace and mercy I kept on writing about in order to purge the intolerance and fatalism that roams around, following every unbearable and crushing act of revolting terror we are either part of, may it be as victims of anger or powerless survivors, or disconnected from, may it be to protect ourselves from hate or as an acknowledged denial to live without fear, whatever it may be or not. As I told a dear friend who asked me to write a text for an important newspaper after a recent act of abominable and revolting horror, I wasn’t able, as shameful and disheartened as it may sound, to keep on writing eulogies anymore.

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