Tuesday 24 April 2012

Interview Time with Alissa White Gluz

For those that don't know the names behind the music Alissa is the lead vocalist for the Agonist, a melodic death metal band from Montreal, Canada. Capable of death growl vocals and beautiful clean ones Alissa is one of the few female faces that can dish it out harder than most male dominated bands, plus shes smokin hot!

It turns out Alissa is much more than looks, strong willed, determined and smart there is so much more to her than most would expect. Sadly the vast majority of society still associates "Metal" with a lower, lesser class. Read on through to see how wrong that thought can be...

Check out the latest single "Ideometer" off of their new album "Prisoners",

1. Who are you?
I'm Alissa White-Gluz, vocalist for The Agonist.

2. Where are you from?
I'm from Montreal, Quebec.

3. What do you do?
I am a touring vocalist in a metal band and an animal rights activist.

4. Why do you do this?
I do music because it is a powerful form of expression and I am active for causes I believe in because it hurts me to know how much suffering human beings inflict on one another and the planet.

5. Formed in 2004 as the Tempest you changed the band name to the Agonist in 07. Whats the inspiration behind the two names?  
The Tempest was just a name we picked out of convenience. The Agonist means a lot more, the definitions and connotations really fit with our music and message.

6. Your style is quite unique with neon hair, gothic even steampunk inspired attire. Why the attraction to this? (definitely not saying its a bad thing!)
I like looking like I just escaped from a mental institution.

7. You have been listed as one of the "Hottest Chicks in Metal" by Revolver mag a couple times. Is  this really an honor? 
Sure, what woman doesn't want to feel attractive? I don't know why women are made to feel guilty if they look attractive, it's like people don't want women to be pretty AND smart – that would be too threatening to males, knowing women can do everything they can do and look way better doing it.

8. On the topic of being a 'chick' do you find it tough being the front of  a band? Sadly metal still isn't known for the ladies.
It is tricky being the only girl in a boys club, for sure. Honestly though, it has been a while since I've done a tour without at least a few other girls in the other bands, so it's getting easier and easier.

9. Although the Agonist just wouldn't be the same with out your distinctive voice. What made you decide on such dark raspy vocals when your clean ones are so amazing?
 I just like using my voice as an instrument – if a drummer is really great at blast beats does that mean he should only ever do blast beats and never play other rhythms? I am able to do a lot of different things vocally and I think they all have a place in our music.

10. On that note what was the inspiration or gateway into the metal scene?
I'm not sure about the other guys in the band, but for me it was just convenience, again. Wasn't planning on having things go this far.

11. On your facebook page, you state that you are "A Total Fuckin Bitch"a little harsh no?
It's easier to call yourself a bitch and have people be pleasantly surprised when you're not, than to have everyone expect you to be their best friend and then be disappointed when you're not. If someone disrespects me or my beliefs or someone I care about, you better believe they will feel my wrath.

12. You're also a huge supporter of animal rights, and are a straight edge vegan. Very powerful ideologies there, what made you decide they were for you?
Since birth I was never into torture and murder, most kids aren't. The difference is that I was educated at a young age as to how most people actually do enjoy murder on a daily basis in the form of food. I was always vegetarian and vegan was the next logical step. And as far as being straight edge, well if I care enough about my life and life in general, why would I want to poison the very vehicle that allows me to live – my body?

13. A new album coming out later this year, what should fans be anticipating? When I saw you live (on the Kamelot tour) you said not all new material will be for fans of Thank you, Pain.
The new album, Prisoners, coming out June 5th, 2012, is still so new to me that I don't know how to describe it. It was not an enjoyable recording process at all, unlike the other albums. Luckily though, we are in a genre of music where sadness and pain kind of contribute to the songs' authenticity. I think the album is pretty good but I honestly can't tell yet. It's just plain weird music, I think.

14. A question I like to ask, what is your stance on the world of downloading music? Judging by a quote on your facebook page I assume your very against it.
Well, put it to you this way. Let's say you are an architect, for example. You stop your schooling, you work shitty part-time jobs just because you need the extra time to work on this great, new, innovative building design you thought of. You lose your relationships and hobbies because you are devoting so much of yourself to these blueprints. For years, decades, you work on these blueprints because you know that they will be so fantastic, you will definitely have all your hard work pay off in the end. Then someone breaks into your house and photocopies the blueprints, and now your great design idea that you just sacrificed half your life for is already put into use by other architects with no compensation to you. That's what music downloading is.

Musicians, contrary to what most people believe, are dirt poor, live in horrible conditions and sacrifice most of their lives to just try to get their music out there because there is still a glimmer of hope that people will support them. Downloading my album is walking up to me and stealing right out of my pocket and spitting in my face. If you don't want me to come visit you on your shift at work and steal your hard earn wages, don't do it to me. That being said – people who admittedly download our music but then do put in the effort to come watch us live and buy merch from us at shows are cool in my books.

15. Another question is if you were stranded on an island with just an ipod, capable of holding only 3 albums. What 3 would you choose?
Jeff Buckley's Grace, Deftones' White Pony, Strapping Young Lad's Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing

I would love to keep this going but I have yet to know how much is too much, Any final words?
Thanks for the interview and please pick up and enjoy Prisoners!

Want more Alissa and the Agonist?


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