If you needed more of a reason to believe that rock n’ roll isn’t dead, THE ALIVE gives it to you loud, proud and in your face. The set list from beginning to end was jam packed to the max with unique covers that showcase songs from a variety of bands such as KISS, The Rolling Stones, Yes, Dio and even Grand Funk Railroad. I was impressed with the lead singer’s ability to incorporate clean diction and still maintain the musk of 80s metal during their performance. The bassist’s adaptability on stage during technical difficulties in combination with the unfaltering on point tempo from the drummer truly makes THE ALIVE a force to be reckoned with. The overall coherence and energy that emerge from each member of this band is entertaining, but far from boring. Each cover song was not an exact duplicate, but a variation that made the audience think twice as to what they were listening to. Nomad’s Trailside may be a smaller venue, but THE ALIVE was able to rock it out all the same. I was fortunate to hear one of their original songs “Come Get Some”. This song started THE ALIVE on the path toward being noticed and then later signed with Sliptrick Records. Make sure to be on the lookout for their upcoming album in the future.
Let’s find out why this high-voltage band from Fort Smith, Arkansas craves rock n’ roll. This band may be dressed to kill, but they will make damn sure you feel ALIVE.
THE ALIVE consists of: Tracy Duty (TD) - Drums Wes Lee Scott (WS) - Vocals/Bass Tye Hall (TH) - Guitar
Do you mind talking about the journey it took to get the band to where it is now? TD: "Roughly, I started in 2016. It took me a while to find people to play music with and actually wanted to play in this genre of rock. Most people around here want to play really heavy stuff and I wasn't looking for a heavy band. I found some guys to play with [in the beginning and] we rehearsed for about a year. We started playing shows locally and then eventually went regional. It also attracted some attention to a record label. It was about 6 months into playing and we started negotiations for a contract with a record label Eternal Sound Records. We were opening up [for bands], headlining, playing regional and eventually recorded a debut album. Unfortunately, music can be like a marriage and not all marriages work. [They either had] different music tastes or [went] in a different direction. It had got to the point where I felt like it wasn't going to go any further with that version of the band. Unfortunately, I had to disband that. I thought about giving up, but I thought, 'No. I'm too stubborn to give up.' A little over a year ago, I found some other people, but that didn't quite work out. It was a slight revolving door for a while. Through a connection, I got a demo tape recording of Wes singing a Quiet Riot song. He pulled off Kevin DuBrow perfectly. I thought, 'Okay. That doesn't happen very often. If he looks halfway decent [then] he's got the job.' Wes didn't really audition like most people. [I told him,] 'I already heard the Kevin DuBrow. If you can pull that off right now, you've got the job if you want it.' I've known Tye for… How long have we actually known each other off and on?" TH: "About 8 or 9 years." TD: "We've kind of been in the same circle and in passing doing various bands. Tye and I actually talked before at one time about 6 years ago in trying to put something together, but it just didn't pan out. I contacted Tye again when I found out that he was no longer in the band that he was in. I [said,] 'Hey, I'm looking for a guitar player for the style of music [I want to play].' Tye came over, we started jammin' and it clicked. We all kind of got together, started doing some writing and learning songs. [Tye, Wes and I] have a lot of the same influences and it seemed like there was something there that was previously missing." What do you feel are your major musical influences and why? TD: "I was hooked with KISS from the beginning as a young child. I [was into] the imagery before I was even into the music. They were like a breathing comic book for me. My mom was really big into KISS and I was influenced that way too. KISS was my main one, but I'm [also] into Mötley Crüe, Cheap Trick, Van Halen, and bands of the mid-early 80s or late 70s. Bands like Ratt had a lot of showmanship to it. I do like some new bands, [but] I still find myself gravitating towards what is considered 'classic rock.' I remember buying the albums when [they] were brand new. Those styles of bands are my main influence." WS: "My musical influences are definitely KISS [and] Mötley Crüe. Def Leppard was a big one on me [and] oddly enough Fleetwood Mac. Frank Zappa was big for me too [as far as] creativity [goes.] Honestly on a musical standpoint, two of my biggest artists that really helped me find what I wanted and find my musical creativity were Jim Croce and George Thorogood. [Jim Croce] was probably one of the biggest influences to me. I really like that bluesy rock sound that [Thorogood] could bring. They were the ones that really drove me to [think,] 'I want that kind of life. I wanna be a rockstar.'" TH: "I've always been into older music and everything. When I was younger, my mom had a bunch of The Beatles, AC/DC, some of the pop-ier Judas Priest albums, Queen, Styx and all that. I wanted to play music, but I didn't really have a drive to what kind of music until I heard 'N.I.B.' by Black Sabbath on my way to school one day when I was in 7th grade. Yeah, [when] I heard Tony Iommi playing that riff and hearing those solos, [I thought,] 'That. That is what I want to do. I want to play like that.' Two or three months later, my cousin brought over a guitar he didn't play and a little six inch amp that I could plug into. He was a big KISS fan and he played a little bit while he was in high school. I started teaching myself how to play Black Sabbath songs. Eventually, I started moving into KISS and all that. As far as [my] influences, weirdly enough isn't any classic rock. My biggest influence other than Black Sabbath was Atreyu and Children of Bodom. Alexi Laiho was my idol for years until his passing at the end of last year. That's where I kind of came from. I have a lot of metal core background."
What do you hope people will remember your band most for? TH: "I wear a lot of purple, so that's a thing." TD: "I want the younger crowd to get a hold of what I did when I was young, [which] is the classic rock style of music. Maybe they can hear something and think, 'Man, that's some solid music.' The one thing about rock and roll compared to a lot of other genres of music is [it] has a lot of peaks and valleys. People say, 'It's dead.' or 'It's not dead.' Rock and roll is a full circle. There are songs from artists that literally will never ever not be played. I think that rock and roll is the only genre of music where you'll have [a song] that will be turned into [something] timeless. I hope that we can get a hold of something like that. [To] have, write or do something where it has that endless timeless feel and that will never escape." WS: "Something that fills a gap that will eventually be gone." TH: "A lot of modern bands like Shinedown or Foo Fighters are [considered] good, [but] are very much a product of their time. Could I say in 30 years people are still [going to be] listening to Foo Fighters? Probably not, unless they grew up with it. At the same time, I'm only 26 and I love all this old music. I have talked to people that are younger than me and they think it's cool that I play in an 'old school' rock band like this. We may not sound exactly like Mötley Crüe, Poison or White Snake, but we have that attitude and that feel to us. We add a little bit of modernity to it. I think it would be cool to get the younger people back into the music that we grew up listening to." WS: "You're going to have people that like you and you're going to have people that don't like you. It's about the impression you leave on both of them, really. It's one of those situations. When somebody didn't like KISS, it wasn't the ones that liked them so much as the ones that disliked them. It becomes a motivator. You have that kind of ambition there. Bringing that real rock n' roll vibe back is the most important thing that I would want to last. [It's] not necessarily a specific song or thing, but [to] get that feel back." TD: "Keep carrying the torch. Don't let the torch die. Hand it to us and we'll carry it for the next X amount of years until someone that just plays good rock and roll and wants to keep the spirit alive can handle the torch." What inspires you to continue to work in the music industry? TD: "To be honest, that's a funny question in the sense because the way the business is right now is not even remotely close to how it was 30 years ago. It's not the bands themselves, but it's the back industry side of things that changed so much. [Due to] streaming services, album sales are not as big anymore. Now kids can download music [and] they miss out on some of the excitement of going to a record store, getting an album and putting it on. There's a lot that we have to learn and adjust to. For me to keep going, I am just that damn stubborn. I've been playing music off and on my whole life. I just don't see myself doing a lot of other things than playing music. I may never reach the pinnacle that everyone goes for as far as being a musician, but I'm not entirely sad about that. If I can still do this and do it for a living, I'm not going to complain. It's in my soul to play music and I don't think I would ever be completely happy if I never was to play. The way the industry is set up, it's not getting any easier. We're just stubborn and crazy." TH: "I also don't have skills. This is pretty much [what I can do]. I don't have marketable skills. I like playing music and I think I am decent at playing music. I like to think I am." TD: "You got hired for this job." TH: "That's right." WS: "You got a million bands out there at any given time. A very small percentage of those will actually play live shows locally. A smaller percentage will take that state-wide and it just keeps narrowing down until you get to that handful that will go on a tour. Out of that handful, you have one last little handful that will actually make that final push. It's more to me about the curiosity of seeing what that final push will be like." TH: "That's beautiful. You should put that on a Hallmark card." Discuss any plans, goals and dreams that the band foresees for the future? TD: "World domination. That's probably the easiest question you've asked. [Obvious] future plans are [to] play as many shows, meet as many people and get our music and the band out in front of people. That's what we love to do: get on stage and entertain. We want to take this little bundle of crazy to a much bigger market. We wanna hit the road, get a [vehicle] and get ourselves out in front of people in markets we've never even touched. [We] want to play every little dive bar that will hire us, open up for people that need an opening band, headline shows [and] whatever it takes. We want to take The Alive out to the people because that's where we're the best. We're working with a booking agent that will book the shows for the remainder of this year because of COVID-19. Some [places] are opening up and some [places] aren't opening up. We want to get back into the regional market. Next year, we have plans to actually hit the road. Do it like the 'big boys' do." WS: "We want to give people something to talk about when they leave our shows."
Video Link on Instagram: 5/15/21 at Nomad's Trailside https://www.instagram.com/p/CO9WCAQhOda/
If you love what you do so much, then try your hardest to preserve it! What you love is the essence of who you are as an artist. Don't give up and don't stop. Be the one to carry on the type of art you love and enjoy!