Profile: Another Green World
The first time I heard Another Green World, my mind was reeling with questions: What does this remind me of? How is he pulling this amazing thing off? What the hell did he just do there? In short, I was enthralled with nearly every aspect of it. While I instantly wanted to tell the world about what I had been repeating over and over on my iPod, it still took me a while to form the adequate words to do it justice… even now it seems slightly underwritten. After listening to In Dreams nearly 20 times, I’m still finding things to get excited about. In effect, it’s a new experience every time. The genius behind Another Green World is one Alec West. After hours of discussing the hidden existentialism behind what nothing was and how one does nothing, our conversation eventually steered towards him…
Violent Success: Are there lyrical themes that define In Dreams? Is there a concept behind it?
AGW: For the most part, yes. The lyrical themes are mostly about dreams, but it was about the dreams you have about real life, things that could really happen, like love and life rather than the fantasy side of dreams. You could say it’s a concept album, because as I was writing it I was imagining it as the soundtrack to a fictional 80s John Hughes film. So the lyrical themes, are closely related but there is no fluid story.
VS: I think your name really suits the music you play. Is it meant to embody specific ideals?
AGW: Thanks! Actually, a couple people have told me that. I can’t take credit for the name, because It’s the name of probably my all time favorite album by Brian Eno. Interestingly enough, Bryan from Soft Lighting showed me that record a few years ago and it helped me grow a lot as a musician because I hadn’t thought of music in the ways I was hearing it on that record. So I thought it was a fitting title when I was thinking of possible names. Although I did like the idea behind the actual words too, because you could think of it as meaning “Another Green World” where Green means environmentally productive/friendly.
VS: Tell us a little bit about your musical background…
AGW: Well, I’ll try to keep it short but I started playing bass when I was 11, then I picked up guitar and synth at the same time when I was about 16. I’ve played in a lot of different bands (almost always influenced by older music) and have since 2007 always created music alone on the side. I owe my guitar playing to learning Led Zeppelin‘s, and The Cure‘s songs. I’ve played in numerous bands and I’ve played guitar, bass, synth in different bands. Playing music alone is different, I get to do all of those whenever I want and do whatever I want with it. It’s my baby.
VS: How has your music evolved since it’s inception?
AGW: When I first started creating music by myself it was with Garageband, a cheap interface and a microkorg. At the time, it had all the same instruments as it does now. I’ve recorded probably 300-400 songs by myself since 2007 and maybe 50 were heard by someone other than me. Last November, I recorded my first album under Another Green World called Shapes. When I started recording that, I said to myself, “OK, whatever you track needs the be good and roll with it all the way to the end.” I thought of it as an art piece really; like a surreal painting. Then I started work on In Dreams and the new direction for me was pretty clear, so I’ve stuck with it while still retaining the art side.
VS: When I listen to your music, I can hear all sorts of influences, but I can’t ever nail down a specific one that’s patently obvious… What do you classify your music as?
AGW: Essentially It’s synth-pop/shoegaze/Chillwave rolled together. I wanted the songs to be crafted like 80′s synth pop, but to be produced like Chillwave and have the presence and big sounds of shoegaze. So if I had to call it one thing I guess I’d call it Glo-wave or Glo-pop. I’d say my biggest influences are New Order, OMD, My Bloody Valentine, Gary Numan and 80′s films and their soundtracks.
VS: Was there a song, album or artist that really pushed you to synth music?
AGW: Most of my early teen years I listened to nothing but aggressive punk music and I eventually grew tired of most contemporary music and stopped listening to new music almost entirely with a few exceptions. Then I started listening to The Cure as a suggestion from a friend and my obsession with 80′s music began from there. Some bands that hit me hard were New Order, Durutti Column, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk. After hearing some of my at the time recent songs, someone said, “Hey you kind of sound like this band Wild Nothing.” So I gave them a listen and I was blown away since I hadn’t been listening to anything but old music, I hadn’t realized other people were doing exactly what I had been wanting to do. So I started pushing my music a little harder and taking it more seriously.
VS: I have to say that I really like all your videos thus far. They’re fun to watch and they suit the music perfectly. Do you produce them yourself or are you working with someone?
AGW: Thanks! Actually I’ve done them myself at home. The first one I did was for ‘In Dreams’ and I got into my mom’s attic and got out a VCR and some home movies from the 80′s. That video is full of my older brother, older sister, parents and more relatives. ‘Submission’ was next and I followed the same direction, following the positive responses from the first video and this one was mostly home movies from 91-95, with me and my other sister appearing the most. With ‘Sunny Skies’ I wanted to do an old sci-fi movie. I have a ton of favorites, but a lot of videos have already been done with most of favorites. Since THX-1138 wasn’t as popular and I loved the movie, I decided to use clips from it and it worked out nicely. I plan to continue to push out videos for my songs over time.
VS: Do you ever see Another Green World becoming a full band for recording, performances or otherwise?
AGW: A question I ask myself all the time. I see it staying just me for writing and recording, forever honestly. As far as performances go, it would be nice to have extra musicians, but it isn’t realistic at this point yet, but hopefully in the near future it will be. I’d love to tour with a full band backing me up, completing the sound.
VS: Thank you so much for talking with us today. Is there a message that you’d like to send your current and future fans?
AGW: Thank you very much for having me! Well, I guess I can say to all the fans, thanks for the support because that’s what makes it all possible! Also, I’ve been working hard in the studio on some new tunes for some sort of future release. Who knows maybe an EP or a full length? Only time will tell, but I can’t wait for everyone to hear them.