Alex Highton: “There’s Only Two Types Of Music Right? Good & Bad.”
Alex Highton is back again. He’s funding his upcoming album Welcome To Happiness on Pledgemusic. I talked to him about the campaign and what kind of album we can expect …
50K MUSIC: It’s been a while since we’ve talked. How has the world been treating you in the meantime?
Alex: Life is good. Nothing much changes in sleepy Woodditton. Musically the critical reaction to the last album (Nobody Knows Anything) was beyond all my expectations and the response spurred me on into starting work on the new songs pretty much full time since then.
50K MUSIC: You’re about to record your third album. When I listen to the demos on Pledgemusic I’d expect an album with quite a few Jazz and Electronic influences. Am I right?
Alex: Well you know, I like to try and just open my head up to whatever takes my fancy. My personal taste in music is pretty wide ranging, there’s only two types of music right? Good & bad. So yes there are jazz & electronic influences but I’ve also been listening to a lof of Krautrock, Beach Boys, Nilsson, Bowie, Beck, Here We Go Magic, Serge Gainsbourg, Brazilian music, Stan Getz, loads more & I suppose it all goes into my ears and comes out of my mouth.
50K MUSIC: You’ve chosen Pledgemusic again to raise funds for your album. Is it a conventional crowdfunding campaign again?
Alex: Yes. I’m not someone who has access to much money, certainly not spare funds to make an album and give it a proper release. So the only way I can make albums in any conventional sense of the word is via pre-sales. I use Pledge because it’s the best & easiest to use of all the crowd funding sites. Certainly for music. So I’ve just got to hope that people like what I’ve done in the past to trust that the new album will be something worth becoming part of.
50K MUSIC: … and are you happy with how it’s going so far?
Alex: Absolutely, we’re at 75% of target after just a couple of weeks but you never know how it’s going to go. I just try and do my best to make it a worthwhile experience for anyone who gets involved. So I try and update the page as much as I can right through the process, ask people’s opinions about stuff, show them stuff early, post up demos & songs as we record them. I tend to carry on right through the release, so anyone who Pledges gets some kind of idea of how it all works. It’s scary sometimes because you do wonder, certainly if you’re trying something completely different to the stuff you’ve done before, whether people are going to come with you.
50K MUSIC: Have your old fans and friends already joined the campaign with pledges?
Alex: I’m really lucky in that I have a very small but dedicated bunch of supporters who really seem to believe in what I’m trying to do and if they’re in position to support me they will. There’s lots of familiar faces and names who have pledged already. I end up corresponding with a lot of the people who Pledge because…..well I don’t know…..it’s polite. If someone does something nice, when they absolutely don’t have to, I feel the need to say thanks and this invariably leads onto all kinds of interesting conversations with people I wouldn’t normally come into contact with. I’ve made all sorts of friends all over the world through crowdfunding, something I didn’t see coming when I got into this.
50K MUSIC: When can we expect the new album to be out?
Alex: I’m aiming to have the record ready for release by September/October which is when Pledgers should get their hands on it. I’ve a feeling that the official release won’t be until next spring though. We’re trying our best to get everything finished but i think this could be the best work I’ve ever done and I want to get it right. So we’ll see. One thing I can promise is that I’m pouring my heart and soul into this album.
50K MUSIC: Are you planning to promote the album with a tour again? Can we expect to see you on stages soon?
Alex: Maybe. I’m sort of semi-retired from playing live. Although saying that I’m getting offers through to play shows, so we’ll see.
50K MUSIC: And last one: anything you want your fans, friends and pledgers to know?
Alex: Yep there is and it’s something very important. Thanks. Massive, genuine thanks. Without the pledgers, pre-orders, people sharing the campaign, people sharing songs and all the general goodwill I wouldn’t be making records at all. Thanks. That’s it.