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EXIT 451

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Interview Questions for Afresh Entertainment Magazine

Afresh: What is your name, and name your group/band/act?

I’m JP Alepins, lead singer of Exit 451.

Afresh: Where are the artists from?  What is their talent in the group?

We’re a trio from Montreal (Canada). We’re a pop-rock band with a hypnotic twist.

Afresh: How did the artist/band get their name?

In 2005, we re-opened a famous recording facility and re-named it ‘The Bank Studio 451’ because it was originally built in an old bank. The 451 digits are simply the address of the studio. When we thought of a band name, it instantly came up as ‘Exit 451’. See it as our artistic exit…

Afresh: What instrument do you play now? (If applicable)

Band members are Alain Avon (Guitars & keyboards), his brother Martin Avon (Bass) and JP Alepins (Vox/lyrics) a close friend.

Afresh: What (who) does your act/art consist of?

We like any kind of ‘real’ music and that’s what we’re trying to reproduce in our albums; the fresh and original feeling of a real recording session.

Afresh: How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for the public audience if they have never seen you before?

We’re trying to create special atmospheres in our songs as well as on stage. We hope that our music will make your imagination steer.

Afresh:  What can people expect to see at your live performance?

A true band linked together by many years of friendship playing with all their hearts and all their guts.

Afresh:  If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?

Pop-rock with a hypnotic twist

Afresh: How long have you been performing live or making art?

From 10 to 15 years

Afresh: Where did you meet your group and how long have you been together now?

10 years with a break of a few years dedicated to re-build the studio.

Afresh:  Before you perform live for an audience, is there anything special you like to do first, right before the show to prepare you for the event?

Do not think and go on stage even when stage fright is at its peak!

Afresh: What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?

To overcome situations like bad management, lack of funds, bad luck… all these things that are making you a better musician after all…!

Afresh: You’ve heard of the term “starving artists” before, how do you cope with major obstacles?

Stand together as a band and ask yourself what you can learn out of this situation.

Afresh:  Do you feel the economic crunch has hurt the industry, or do you have some other promotional tips to help support your music?

It has hurt the industry, especially at the beginning of the last decade. Even if the situation is still not ideal, it seems to me that the industry is currently adapting itself more and more. Internet is a revolution similar to radio or television revolutions. Labels and musicians must adapt…

Afresh:  If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry what would it be?

An interesting proposition would be to ask the internet providers to contribute with royalties and compensate for the fall-off revenues for musicians… A little bit like performing rights royalties. After all, the main reason why people get an internet connection is to download or stream music & videos contents…

Afresh:  Do you have any fan comments of how your music has affected or changed them?

A fan with a very rare hearing problem said to me that he normally can’t listen to a lot of different kinds of music because it hurts his ears. He then added that listening to our album (The Sea Above the Sky) was soothing for his ears… an unusual but touching compliment…

Afresh:  Where is your favorite place to play? Do you have a favorite city/venue?

We like to play in any kind of venue, as long as there is some public…!

Afresh:  Other than a t-shirt, sticker, or CD, what do you hope people leave with from one of your shows?

With our songs in their heads…?

Afresh: Art & Music has an impact on both young and old.  Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?

Don’t act like a rock star but do not underestimate yourself either.

Afresh: What does your family think of your performance and do they support you?

Personally, it took time before they really got into it. The Avons brothers had more support from their parents in the long run.

Afresh: What is your stance on how to get the public to support “live music” and see the shows?  Any ideas???

To have a buzz around your music… and to give great performances live!

Afresh: Thinking back, did your family carry on the same musical/artistic interests?

Not personally, but maybe a little more so for the Avons brothers.

Afresh: Do you have your own favorite type of music and is it any different from what you play now?

I listen to all types of music, it really depends on who the artist is… I even attend to classical concerts! But I’d say that, generally speaking, I’m more into alternative pop-rock with interesting ambiances…

Afresh:  If you weren’t doing music, what do you think you would be doing instead?

Running a label, or a studio? Anyway, I’d be in an artistic business.

Afresh: Who does most of the song writing/art/literature? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)

A new song always comes out of a as jam session. Slowly, when it begins to become a song, I come in with some vocal melodies and I try to find lyrics that may fit with the ambiance. Or I sometimes write lyrics on the spot! We take the time to work on the arrangements right away and record a ‘ghost track’ to keep the idea. We leave the studio and the next day, we listen to it with fresh ears and seriously start working on the song, recording solid demo tracks and adding other instruments like piano, synths, percussion, etc. It is a very natural process for us…

Afresh: Tell us about your most embarrassing moment if you care to share it with us?

Singing with the most terrible cold I’ve ever had, it was awful !!!

Afresh: What has been the most bizarre thing (thrown) on the stage with you?  How did you react?

It’s not something actually ‘thrown’ on stage but I admit that when someone drunk tries to get up on stage, it can be very awkward and embarrassing… but the show must go on.

Afresh: What is your wildest story with the group?

Still being together…?

Afresh: If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead, alive, or broke-up who would it be? Why? (Name up to three)

David Bowie, Nick Cave, Radiohead

Afresh:  If you had only five minutes on earth to perform one song that could leave a great impact on the world today, what song would you perform and why did you choose this particular piece?

If you’re talking about one of our songs, it would be ‘You Exist’, a simple but very challenging song. This song is about anxiety and depression, meditation, recovery. Naked truths are always feared.

Afresh:  What did you do before you got into the music industry?

Everything from telemarketing to advertising, renovation and karaoke animation (just kidding!)…

Afresh:  What do you attribute to your “drive as an artist”?

We humbly believe that we have something to say, musically.

Afresh:  What do you think makes you and your type of music unique from other artists?

It’s not unique but it’s getting very rare: To really record as a band; it gives so much more depth & dynamics to a record I find, without mentioning the honesty that comes out of it.

Afresh:  As an artist, how would you define SUCCESS?

Being able to live off of your music and to always evolve as an artist.

Afresh:  Do you have much time to check out other artists’ music? What are you listening to right now?

Among others, I listen to Arcade Fire, Gorillaz… and I’m currently re-discovering Pink Floyd!

Afresh:  Have you performed outside the USA before, and if so how did the live shows differ?

We mostly played in Canada.

Afresh:  For on-line purposes, what is your favorite place for your fans to find your music for purchase and/or downloads?

Itunes, Amazon, Believe Digital and… obviously!

Just for fun…..simply fill in the blanks!

Without music, I would be deaf.

Music is the expression of a society.

My music makes me feel closer to who I am.

I write the songs because I know it’s the only way to really understand who I am.

Support music because it would be silly not to ???

If I wasn’t doing music, I would be signing artists.

If I had to share a dream with you, it would be astral.

If I could be anywhere right now, I would want to be in Scotland.

I love to perform in front of a live audience because I feel I really exist.

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