Fans of Lifetime's show Dance Moms are probably already familiar with this accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist. Alexx Calise's hit single "Cry" was featured on the show, and the track has no doubt gained her a lot of attention. (Click here to check out the video)
Late last year, Calise released her 3rd project, an EP entitled AC3. I'm fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak with her about the album.
Front Paige Metal News: How do you describe your music?
Alexx: It's been a little bit different throughout every album, but on the whole I would say that it can be best described as rock alternative. A lot of people have been saying that it's a cross between Alanis, Weezer, and the Foo Fighters, especially for this particular EP because it's really raw sounding and ultra 90s, which is my favorite. I'm kind of a grunge girl. That's what we were trying to achieve with this record.
FPMN: What inspires you as a performer and a musician? When did you first realize that music was a passion for you?
Alexx: First and foremost, I've always been a writer. I've been writing stories and poems and all kinds of stuff like that ever since I was in kindergarten. I went to a Catholic school since like 6th grade or so, and we would go to mass every Wednesday and obviously there would be singing. I really enjoyed that. I used to look forward to that part of mass. We always had a chance to sing and everything. That's where I discovered that I was able to sing, but I come from a pretty musical family. My father is a guitar player. He's a really, really good musician. My great grandfather played about 13 instruments, and I had a great aunt who was a classically trained violinist. It's kind of in the Calise genetic makeup. It's in our DNA. So, it's not entirely surprising that I went down this road.
FPMN: One of the things that I really like about you is that it seems like you wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to your music. How do you feel other people relate to your songs?
Alexx: I'm Italian and by nature we tend to do that. We tend to wear our heart on our sleeve. We're hopeless romantics and very passionate. I think that that's what people grab onto. Not to say that everyone in the industry is in it for the money and the fame and all these different things, but often times you hear a lot of the same thing. I don't see and hear a lot of people that sing with a ton of heart anymore. I see a few bands that I think really do have that. Lzzy Hale from Halestorm is a badass bitch. You can feel it when she sings. I'm not too familiar with all of their albums or anything but I know from what I've seen of her, for example, live she really sings with a lot of heart. I really grab onto that. I think that when people listen to my stuff they kind of see that same thing that you told me. That it's full of passion and that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I think that a lot of people can relate to the things that I have to say. I like to write about human emotions. The things that I'm writing about are based on my life. They're my life experiences. I think that we tend to experience the same things as human beings, and I like to write about it.
FPMN: What mark do you hope to leave on the music industry?
Alexx: It's not to say that I'm out to change the world or anything like that or that I'm reinventing the wheel with what I do, but I like to think that the kind of music that I produce is a different approach or a different take on what does exist already. What I hope to do is inspire people. I think that's what we all aim to do as musicians. In so many words, I hope that I can be some kind of a comfort to people. For example, when my song "Cry" came out, it really started doing well, and a lot of people reached out to me saying "Thank you for making a song like this, for making a song that I can relate to so much." If I can do that for people, especially on a grand level, that would make me extraordinarily happy. That would be amazing. That's all we can really ask for and hope for as a musician, I think.
FPMN: What was the recording process of the EP like?
Alexx: It was kind of an interesting process. We did everything entirely at home except for the drums. We worked on it for about 6 months or so. We camped out at my apartment, and we just hashed everything out. It was very experimental. In terms of tones and everything we just kinda sat there and fucked with knobs and did all kinds of crazy stuff. One of the songs "Survive", which is the ballad on the EP, went through about four different incarnations, and the final incarnation was entirely different than when we first started messing with it. Now it kinda has this crazy, acoustic Pink Floyd thing going on. It was very experimental. I thought it really broadened my scope as a musician, as a vocalist and a guitar player. It made me a way better everything.
FPMN: What is something that you would like my readers to know about your music?
Alexx: I try to write with passion and heart and soul, and I think that's the most important element when you're writing. If you do it for any other reason, you're an idiot. (Laughs) Just write with your heart, and do everything in life with heart. That's all you can do. It's what's going to make you happy at the end of the day.
"Break My Heart"
You can also check out a documentary on the making of AC3 here! What do you think of Alexx's music? Comment below! You can buy AC3 here.Be sure to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.