To write about the entire genius of Harley Alexander is not possible in one short article. The best thing to do is introduce you to the great Harley Alexander, front man of The Universal Lovers, and allow you to revel in music opinion which makes sense, and the latest release Not New which makes even more sense. Harley Alexander of The Universal Lovers, take it away...
Harley Alexander and The Universal Lovers?
We're you're squad, Canadian-fellas, Halifax NS to be specific, here to bring a bit of joyfulness to your zone. In one sentence?...hope, forever, and love, thank you.
Teaching Mac a few things?
You must enjoy or relate or have some fascination with love, frustration, confusion, joy, despair, curiosity, and pain, and you probably have a sense of humour too. It's pretty flattering to say Mac-Daddy could learn a thing or two. He's definitely taught me a bunch already, so it'd be cool to share a bit the other way. If you're out that Mac, holler atcha boi, let's get learnt-together.
What Universal Lovers mean and the future?
We just played our final show together for the indefinite future. I'm going rogue for a while in order to tour to my hearts content. There was a moment at the end of our set in Sackville New Brunswick when we were getting cheered for an encore...I was looking for the chords of the song that felt right to close with and was pretty nervous...I landed on the Cosmic Latte riff and shyly told the crowd it was a song for my girlfriend and the room erupted with the biggest cheer of the night...moments like that where the room is totally together celebrating friendship, love, and acceptance is what I'm trying to foster every time I play.
Guitar the future?
Mainstream music is like Lady Gaga or like some Pop Country stuff right? I don't really know what it is but I know there will always be room for guitar. Though when I think more about mainstream I kinda get the sense that a lot of it is about detachment from yourself, like the suppression of unwanted feelings in exchange for some kind of immediately gratifying numbness and weird sexual arousal. And the guitar can definitely be a tool for those things so yeah, I think there will always be a place for guitar.
Who be singing?
Singing voice is funny, I'm always finding it in different ways. On Universal Love I really tried to chill-it-out. In my previous bands I've been a really full throttle singer, always projecting and going hard, and so that record was all about slowing down the tempo, playing with the dynamic, and having more fun with less 'in your face' intensity. I'm a pretty intense perfectionist and when it comes to songs I'll play with tons of different vibes and melodies until I've found the one that feels the most fun and true for me.
Harley Alexander and his band The Universal Lovers are achieving something very special in music right now. In a time where every band comes and goes in this great revolving Indie carousel, each as equally dependant upon the 'Indie Alternative' tag to gain hits and sign for independent 7" releases as the next, Alexander is one of the only artists who we can truly say has adopted his own style. It's a trademark sound which can survive in and around a scene and yet completely disassociate itself from it at the same time. I guess what we are trying to say, is that no comparisons are necessary here. There isn't a sound quite like it. No Alexander "sounds like this or that band".
Harley Alexander and The Universal Lovers have got the vital ability of song writing. Something which is sometimes overlooked even in this very magazine. Yeah we like what's cool, and we also like what energy and noises certain bands give off. Indies are forward thinking and Shoegazers reinvent the past. Even DIY holds so much importance in terms of creativity. But this is different; Not New is an example of true song writing and what's more song writing of the highest standard. I guess I can say it just makes sense.