What is your name?
My name is Alex Wesley, my middle name is Francis, so there’s the link to how this all came about!
What is your genre of music?
Well this EP is predominantly rock but I write and enjoy a whole manner of different sounds.
All being well you will hear those in the not too distant future!
Give us a little bio about you.
Well, I was born in Milton Keynes, I dotted about a bit and have played with a bunch of different bands over the years. I’ve been a guitarist, a keys player, a hired hand, studio engineer, worked in guitar marketing, sold musical instruments, played more gigs than I’ve eaten hot dinners and now I guess through this release I’m now a solo artist?
What made you go in to music?
Music was always around me from a very early age. My mum played piano and I took lessons as a child. I played a lot of different instruments growing up but it took until I was about 15 before I had the light bulb moment that kind of showed me that I would be taking it all a lot more seriously moving forward.
Are you signed?
Yes, this EP came out under Universal Music which was a great personal achievement. I’m very thankful for their decision to get involved and hopefully we can build our relationship from here – I’ve got a lot more music to come and now feel I have the platform to put it out there.
Your released your new EP ‘ The Long Way Back Around ‘ tell us more about that.
The EP itself has been on a bit
What was the recording process like?
We worked with a guy named Dave Draper who has a studio based out of Pershore, just south of Birmingham. For want of a better word: He is ‘the legend’. He really knows how to make a rock band sound monstrous so that came in handy and the often simple and subtle suggestions he made really fleshed out the record.
What is the message you want listeners to take from the single?
‘Take You Out’ is just meant to be a really energetic track. I think lyrically it’s about being yourself and not allowing external voices to alter who you are – because, whoever you are, you’re pretty awesome!
Where can we buy the single from?
The EP is available on all digital media platforms.
Do you have any shows coming up or a tour in planning?
We’ve got quite a unique gig coming up at the Apple Store in Dubai Mall on the 16th February which I think will be very interesting. I’m looking forward to this show as it gives an opportunity for people to hear some of what’s on the EP live but more importantly a chunk of music that they won’t have heard yet – there’s something for everyone. In terms of a tour I
think my time is dedicated to recording right now, which is not a sentence I often say! I think there is a distinct likelihood of some UK shows later this year but as of any details they are
If so where will you be heading?
Your favourite local venue
What can we expect in 2019?
A lot more music! There is another 3 EP’s in my head which I’m currently working on which each take on a slightly different sound so I am excited to be working on them and present the different sides to Francis.
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
Not currently however I’m not closed off to the idea of doing something in the future.
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? and who would they have to contact?
If musicians wanted to do some work with me then Instagram or Facebook is always the best way to get in touch.
Do you play any instruments?
I play guitar, piano and I’ve been known to sing a bit…
Who are your influences?
The influences of this EP are definitely bands like Nirvana, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Audioslave. I have a lot of other influences though which you’ll hear as we move forwards. The track ‘I Feel So’ begins to hint at the next step in the journey, I’m looking forward to seeing how people react to everything as we go.
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
I read an interview with Keith Richards once where he was talking about inspiration and just
“having your antenna up” and I feel like that best explains how I get inspiration to write songs. They’re all in the air and you grab them as they come – when they say jump, you have to catch them before they slip away.
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
That’s a good question. To which I don’t really have a fully fleshed answer. I’m 31 and I can say hand on heart that if you had told me where I would be now 5 years ago then I wouldn’t have believed it. The same again going back another 5 years. Things I know for sure, I’ll be playing, I’ll be writing and with a bit of luck, I’ll be living.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
Play more music? I’m working with a band in Dubai currently around ‘Francis’ which is a lot of fun. I’m stood at the back of the stage playing keyboards which is an amusingly different discipline than I have always found myself doing. I’m looking forward to doing some more shows with Francis if just to get back to the front of the stage! Otherwise I enjoy a video
game or two – Red Dead Redemption 2, if you know then you know!
What was the song you listened to most that influenced you to go more in to the music scene?
On first thought it was probably just a matter of time and I was always going to go in that direction but if I really think about it there was a band at school I went to see do a show and I’m not even sure I was playing a guitar properly at this point but I distinctly remember thinking ‘I should be doing that’. So perhaps that was a light bulb moment as well?
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
Don’t ever name drop – Paul McCartney told me that.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry and just as an artist?
You have to be happy to be stood outside, cold, in the pouring rain, 200 miles away from home, with no money, loading amplifiers and PA kits into a car and still want to be there. Just get out there and play with everyone you can, what ever the gig – you’re not too good for it, especially if they’re going to pay you to be there!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
It depends what movie I’ve seen recently but for the purpose of this question I’ll stick with
“what a time to be alive”.
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
If you’re a musician and you’re in Milton Keynes, head to the Sunset Lounge which is located out the back of the Cannon in Newport Pagnell. Maybe the best open mic night in the world? Every Thursday until the end of time. Music starts at 8.
Your coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first?
2/ Who do you see first?
I would say my family. Housemates otherwise.
3/What do you eat first?
I’ve gone veggie recently, in a technical sense I’m on tour right now so haven’t come off of one vegetarian yet so I will stick with my traditional answer of a Dominos Pizza.
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
The lyrics to the songs you’re performing, or the ability to make them up.
A phono to mini jack cable is under valued as to it’s importance.
If a problem can’t be solved with gaffe tape then you have not used enough gaffe tape.
Your instrument. It happens. It helps to have everything that you could possibly need. Mics, leads, batteries, strings, have a backup for almost every conceivable situation. I used to drive around with a 5 watt amp head under my seat in case I blew up an amplifier – which I did. Many times.