Cincinnati based indie-pop duo, Alíco, composed of actor/guitarist Spencer Anthony and professional drummer Joe Nasser have just released their debut single 'Monica'.
We had the chance to chat with Spencer on the release and more...
Introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about the band!
"I’m Spencer, I play guitar and sing in Alíco! We both have a diverse mix of musical influence, honestly I think it’s a product of growing up in the 21st century midwest, music just became an individualised melting pot. Having that background really inspired us to shed the boundaries and be free with our approach to our songs. 'Monica' is a cool introductory song for our band because it shows our love of pop music, while also equally incorporating the punchy, guitar driven sound Joe and I have always played together."
How did you meet each other and start making music together?
"Joe and I have been playing together for about 4 and a half years in various different projects, touring a few times, and there were some key moments that inspired the band. We played SummerFest 2018 in Wisconsin in a band we were both playing in, and after our set we walked around the festival, we caught Jeremy Zucker’s set, and it blew our minds! We thought it was so cool how he was playing guitar and singing while his drummer was rocking out right there with him, and that was it. They were just a duo. We looked at each other like, “That’s us. We gotta do that!” Joe and I have always clicked remarkably well, so when the pandemic hit and I abruptly moved home from Los Angeles, Joe was the first call I made. I’m actually sitting in the same room I made that call in right now. We brainstormed initial ways to collaborate, and then my dad suggested to me that Joe and I became a band. A lightswitch went off at that moment, it just felt like lightning in a bottle. So I pitched him the idea, and then we both blinked, and now we’re here."
Is there a story behind the band name?
"Yes! Honestly, in the process, Alíco just flew out. We both kinda knew that it was the one. I had always pictured the band name being the name of a fictional heroic character, so, to me, Alíco is a visualised version of myself, he’s someone I’m becoming. That’s true for both of us. The band's origins have a lot to do with belief in yourself and faith in your dreams, so the name really inspires us in that way. It’s also inspired by our respective heritages and cultural backgrounds, we’ve always been super proud of our ancestry."
Who are your biggest inspirations, musically?
"For me, the list is endless, but it always comes back to All Time Low, Linkin Park, Coheed and Cambria. Their songs made me dream of being in a band when I was younger, and I still find myself listening to both of them nearly every day. Joe and I are incredibly inspired by Twenty One Pilots as well, they are home state heroes for us, the way they conduct themselves with humility and humor really speak to us as friends and as bandmates. Collaborating with Shawn Mendes would be amazing! We would definitely love to work with one of our more progressive influences, like Periphery, that would be a crazy experience!"
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with?
"To work with Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria would be an absolute dream. He’s just my hero. I identify with him and his interests a whole lot as well. We’re both super geeky and interested in fiction, and his music has such imagination and creativity to it. We have always dreamed of touring with Twenty One Pilots and All Time Low, so we’re currently manifesting that, haha."
You recently released your debut single ‘Monica’! How has the reaction been so far?
"The response to 'Monica' has been amazing! We’ve had the song on our phones for a while now, and it's so crazy to hear other people having it on theirs, and loving it like we do. We were so encouraged by all the people who were telling their friends about the song and sharing it on social media. That was one of the coolest parts, to see it in action like that."
Tell us a little about it!
"That song was super conceptual when it was written, I wrote the lyrics with a friend based on a loose concept we developed about someone who is starting to come out of the heartbreak of an ending relationship, and then suddenly meets the right person. That's who Monica is. She’s a beacon of hope that feels too good to be true. Things are going too well and he starts to doubt himself, and worries that the relationship will eventually meet the same painful conclusion as the last. This song is that person pouring their heart to Monica. The song’s recording process was so exciting, playing guitars on this was a big highlight for me. We used guitars in the song as dynamic building blocks. Joe’s drums sound massive, our producer, Mike Pepe did an incredible job! This song was largely inspired by artists like the 1975, LANY, Jeremy Zucker, and Jon Bellion."
Do you have a favourite lyric from the release?
"My favourite lyric from the song is “Monica, Monica, I’m standing on your stage.” I love how specific that phrase is. It feels so vulnerable to tell someone that."
What does the rest of 2021 have in store for you guys?
"2021 has been such an awesome year for us, and we’re sitting on a few songs that we are just ecstatic about. 'Monica' is just the beginning. We’re so excited to see this song grow in it’s relationship with our fans! It’s cool to think that people have this on their playlist, and will carry it with them and make new memories along with it.. Our schedule is packing up for the rest of the year. We’re so excited to be playing shows! ! I’m also stoked for the music videos! To see how these songs come together visually is going to be so exciting!"
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