Alesana Frontman on How a Classic Poem Inspired Their Upcoming Album
Alesana will release 'A Place Where The Sun Is Silent' this Oct. 18th on Epitaph Records. The album is a sonic interpretation of the 14th century poem 'Dante's Inferno,' a dramatic account of one man's decent into hell, retold utilizing the group's striking mixture of thunderous aggression and heartfelt melody. Alesana has just hit the road on Motel 6's Rock Yourself To Sleep: The Tour, where they're joined by A Skylit Drive, Sleeping With Sirens, Attila and Memphis May Fire. Before they left, vocalist-guitarist Shawn Milke spoke with Noisecreep about the new album.
The band is big on concept albums--first Greek mythology, then fairy tales, then Edgar Allan Poe. This time it's 'Dante's Inferno.' Why has drawn you to all of these classical influences?
It was just something we decided early on – to make music that wasn't like the usual stuff that was out there. There are plenty of love songs and breakup songs and all that – and that's fine. But we wanted to go deeper and onto different levels. That's also where we feel our fans want to go, too, so it works out.
Have you always had an appreciation for longer, sprawling concept albums?
I have. A lot of that comes from my dad. He taught me so much about music, about what was happening beyond just what we heard. He knew the stories and what things really meant and he just gave me a full appreciation of how powerful music can be when it reaches for things. Especially playing things like Beatles records. Those had so much going on and were so complex and remain really influential to me.
The new album is the band's longest ever. You had a lot to say, huh?
We did and we had the characters on the record to write to, so the story is what it is – we were not about to mess around with 'Dante's Inferno' [laughs]. As far as squeezing a lot of music onto an album, the eye opener for me was the album 'Colors' by Between the Buried and Me. It was more than an hour long, which was such a bold thing to do. I remember hearing that and thinking, don't ever compromise your music just because of length. Do what's right for the music. That's an amazing record that really changed how I look at things.
What can fans expect on this tour?
Lots of the new album. That's how it is with us. When we do something new we are proud of it and it's important to us to keep thing fresh on tour and play lots of new stuff.
Alesana's 'A Place Where The Sun Is Silent' will hit stores on Oct. 18th via Epitaph Records.
Motel 6's Rock Yourself To Sleep: The Tour:
10/14/11 Philadelphia, PA , Theatre of the Living Arts
10/15/11 New York, NY, Irving Plaza
10/16/11 Clifton Park, NY Northern Lights
10/17/11 Buffalo NY, Xtreme Wheels Skatepark
10/18/11 Millvale, PA. Mr. Smalls
10/19/11 Cleveland, OH. Peabody's Downunder
10/20/11 Pontiac, MI. The Crofoot
10/21/11 Chicago, IL. Metro
10/22/11 Sauget, IL. Pop's Denver . .
10/24/11 Denver, CO. The Summit Music Hall
10/25/11 Salt Lake City, UT. The Complex
10/27/11 Seattle, WA. El Corazon
10/28/11 Portland, OR. Hawthorne Theater
10/29/11 Sacramento, CA. Ace of Spades
10/30/11 San Francisco, CA. The Regency Ballroom
11/01/11 Lancaster, CA. Allied Arts Cedar Center
11/03/11 West Hollywood, CA. House of Blues
11/04/11 Pomona, CA. Glasshouse
11/05/11 San Diego, CA. Soma
11/06/11 Tempe, AZ. Marquee Theatre
11/07/11 Tucson, AZ. Rialto Theatre
11/08/11 Albuquerque, NM. Sunshine Theater
11/09/11 El Paso TX. Club 101
11/10/11 Dallas TX. The Door
11/11/11 Houston TX. Warehouse
11/12/11 San Antonio TX, White Rabbit
11/13/11 New Orleans, LA. House Of Blues
11/14/11 Birmingham. AL. Zydeco
11/16/11 St. Petersburg FL. State Theatre
11/17/11Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Revolution
11/18/11 Orlando, FL. The Club at Firestone
11/19/11 Atlanta, GA. The Masquerade
11/20/11 Raleigh, NC. Lincoln Theatre