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A Dirty Dozen with JESSE BARTON from ALIVE IN BARCELONA – October 2022

| 3 October 2022 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “Today west coast active rockers Alive In Barcelona share their second single from their upcoming Flatline EP entitled “Asphyxiate.” The EP is set to release in full on November 4, 2022. Following the release of “Parasite,” this post-hardcore-tinged track sees the band eloquently layering urgent and yearning clean vocals with heavy instrumentals that mimic the lyrics’ emotional density. The single tackles themes such as the harsh realities of life, whatever that means to the listener at hand, and poses an open-ended question that we all ponder when the going gets tough. The five-piece from the Pacific Northwest have been to hell and back, suffering losses both personal and public. Persevering through the death of Jesse’s Father, a mentor and confidant for the band, AIB has set out to seek the lost, the broken, and the hurting. The group refocused their efforts in order to pursue a message of hope after losing many friends to depression, substance abuse, and consequently, suicide. These trials paved the way for AIB to develop their mission statement: “to inspire hope in those that have none.”  The band uses their own stories of personal hardship, struggle, and loss, to relate to their fans, in order to achieve this.” We get guitarist Jesse to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

“Asphyxiate” is a song that I consider ‘hidden gold.’ Meaning every time you listen to it, you hear elements you hadn’t heard the time before. Personally this song is my favorite of our newest EP because of this element. The other two make better singles because they grab listeners from the get go, but this one just has my heart.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Back in high school, I definitely didn’t fit in anywhere. I didn’t like team sports and I changed schools so much I barely had time to make friends before moving to a new place. Music was my solace. When I went to my first hardcore show, I finally felt like I had a place I belonged. That feeling is something I hope to bring to other kids who are like me.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Oh man, there are so many! At first it was Metallica. Once I started discovering relevant modern music, that changed to Saosin, As I Lay Dying, and All Time Low. Then further down the line and more recently, Architects, Invent/Animate, and The Plot In You.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Tough question. I bet each person in this band would have a different answer. I’d probably have to go with Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low because that was my very first FAVORITE band back in my emo days. Haha.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I actually love racing motorcycles! I have been riding dirt bikes since I was a kid and music took me away from that for almost a decade. While on tour in 2015, I connected with Nitro Circus riders Adam Jones, Beau Bamburg and Mike Mason. They reignited my love for the sport and I’m grateful for them to this day. During Covid we didn’t play a lot of music and riding became my great escape. Awesome thing about those nitro guys is they have a mutual respect among performers like us and they all rip on guitar themselves!

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I try to go broad at first then narrow my description because I never know what someone listens to. I usually describe us as an Active Rock band with 2 Top 100 singles on the radio. From there I’ll narrow it down by similar bands and see if they’re in the same ballpark. Once someone compared us to 5 Finger Death Punch and I think I’m still cringing.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’m definitely the first one to crack a drink, and usually I do the cooking too! In fact we have almost always cooked our own breakfast on tour with a camp stove. It’s a team effort but it’s usually myself and Matt who do the cooking.  Matt is always the first to bust out an acoustic. He writes some really fun joke songs.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Honestly I try my best to treat everyone as human. I’ve noticed we get a lot further in our careers by removing all the Fame from an individual when we approach them. My wife and I were golfing a few weeks ago and Backstreet Boys were in front of us the whole game. I finally convinced her to go say hi to her childhood heroes and she cried for like an hour afterward haha.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

The best part of being a musician is helping people realize they’re not alone in their struggles. We have always been advocates of mental health and helping the broken. Music is also our outlet to help us cope with our issues. If I couldn’t play music any longer, I’d probably do freestyle motocross full time or be full time music producer.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I think not knowing what we are going to be asked is half the fun. There’s always something new in each interview so I cant say there’s a question I wish I’ve been asked and haven’t. SO tired of answering the question “how did you come up with your name”. It’s not an interesting story and it’s a boring question.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

I don’t think so. Every step we have taken has led to where we are. I think mistakes are lessons learned and makes you a better person, us a better band.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I’d have to say Metallica’s Black Album. That record is so iconic and from what I’ve learned, it was a hell of a process. Metallica honestly made me want to play metal from day one of picking up a guitar. I owe a lot to that era of music.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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