Melbourne indie-creative Alexander Biggs has a beautiful new EP Still You Sharpen Your Teeth out right now and he couldn’t be more excited. Speaking to him shortly before the release of the lush, lovingly crafted and beautifully textured acoustic folk collection, highly recommended to lovers of The Paper Kites, Alexander proves himself to be a thoughtful, dedicated and honest artist who is quite simply a pleasure to chat with.
WF: Hey! How you are post BIGSOUND
AB: Tired, but think I’m okay, it was just really cool and fun to hang out with my friends there.
WF: Tell me about this beautiful EP Still You Sharpen Your Teeth!
AB: Haha, what do you want to know?!
WF: Explain this to me – “ With the release of Figure It Out, the 23-year old singer-songwriter emerges from a place of fear and uncertainty with hope and self-acceptance.”
AB: It came about during a time when a lot of changing were happening with my music, especially in how I was going about playing shows and I kinda got scared I guess.
AB: Yes! I mean, it got a bit real.
WF: That’s such an honest thing to say, and I doubt you’d be the first person to feel that way.
AB: Yes, I think so too. I think most people go through that, that’s the creative life where you have doubts about your art, and it’s about time people started talking about it more, because as an artist I would have found it helpful if I’d had someone sharing that.
WF: Yes, I feel that way as a writer sometimes, and I think that’s the beauty of being real about where you’re at, as it opens up honest conversations that can support people.
AB: Yes, I think with anything, you need to be talking about the stuff that happens, I’m sure as a writer you have that fear of failure, or thinking ‘What if people don’t like it, what if I don’t like it’, that kind of thing.
WF: Yes, totally! I’ve watched your career evolve, and you’ve really hit a point where you’ve started to take off. Did that ‘taking off’ generate some of the ‘oh shit’ feeling?
AB: Yes, and it was equal parts exciting to be moving to the places I wanted to be, but at the same time it was also, “Oh shit’, I have to think about the future! Fuck, now I have to do it!” But, you can keep thinking about and worrying about the future, but I’m staying focused on the now, and making more and more music there.
WF: You make a really interesting and relevant comment on the video for Figure It Out. You say, “The concept of the video explores an artist’s experiences of the music industry, one that rang very true to me when I conceived the idea a few years ago. It explores the pleasure and the struggle in pursuing our passion, the constant devaluing of our craft (both by others and ourselves), our reactions to the critics and the big dogs, and the ease of making music yourself these days and the subsequent struggle in trying to be heard in the oversaturated market.” Wow.
AB: I had the video concept in the back of my head, and after meeting with the director for the clip, I remembered it over coffee and thought it was so relevant to explore, since even someone like me can devalue what I do.
WF: Tell me more about how you write your songs, how the process went, who you worked with?
AB: John Castle and I made the EP together out of his new studio, we got hooked up and thought we’d make something cool together. He’s such a lovely guy. I’d already demoed the songs pretty extensively in my bedroom, but with the EP it was exciting to step it up a notch and John helped with that. I’ve very much a one man band, I’m such a control freak I need to have my hands on everything, so it was testing for me to let John in and let him take control in parts, he really taught me a lot, and I was thankfully not too stubborn in blocking him out!
WF: Well you’ve come up with a strong bunch of songs, so the results speak for themselves. Do you do a lot of production work yourself?
AB: Yes, I produced my first stuff, and producing is integral to how I see myself as a creative, I like to see myself of not just writing the songs, but keeping the songs in context with the production. I have a clear idea of how I want them to come across, so it’s important for me to demo to a ridiculous degree, even though I know in the back of my head its just a demo!
WF: Tell me how you’re feeling about the EP coming out if you’ve struggled with fear and uncertainty before, is this a challenging time?!
AB: It’s been challenging waiting for it to come out! I understand you have to have all your resources right first, but I’m so happy and inpatient now to release it, so it’s done, and I can do the next thing!
WF: You’ve got a couple of shows coming up! Melbourne and Sydney -are you excited or nervous? You’re playing at The Toff?
AB: Nah I’m really excited! I love performing, I just like to have fun, bring the band up and have fun and hang out! I love The Toff In Town, it’s such a great place, it sounds awesome and has a great vibe to it.
So does the EP! Enjoy all the rugged acoustic texture of Still You Sharpen Your Teeth, and Melbourne and Sydney, check Alexander out live on the dates below.
Still You Sharpen Your Teeth EP Launch
Sat 7 October – The Toff, Melbourne
Sat 21 October – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney