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Alexa Leroux (Shear)

Interview with Alexa Leroux from Shear
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 06 May 2012, 7:37 PM

Power Metal today is certainly not the Power Metal of the past, however, for all of you old schoolers out there, the modern version has a few things up its sleeve that you would actually like. SHEAR, hailing from Finland, is one of those bands that were able to prepare a good modern Power Metal setting. Steinmetal talked with the band's vocalist, Alexa Leroux, about the band, their debut "Breaking The Stillness" via Lifeforce Records, and the future.

Greetings Alexa and thanks for taking the time to answer this interview for Metal-Temple Magazine. How are things coming along?

Everything’s ok now. The album is out everywhere and we are playing our first gig since the release in a week.

What can you tell about your band SHEAR as it is a relatively new band? What are your influences as band?

We have many people involved in the song writing process so it’s almost impossible to name any single bands or artists that influence us as a band. Every member has their own favorite bands that inspire them in their song writing. This versatility is definitely one factor that distinguishes us from many other bands.

Just a few days ago the band released its debut album, “Breaking The Stillness”. How do you feel about it? Were there other great responses prior and after it was released?

It’s of course nice that the album has now been released worldwide and that everyone can listen to it! Quite a few reviews have stated that prior to listening to the album they thought that SHEAR was going to be another symphonic/gothic metal band, but as they started listening to the album they quickly realized that it’s definitely not. SHEAR was never intended to be one of those numerous bands, we have taken a completely different approach in our music and it’s good to hear that people listening to the album agree with this.

I have to be honest that when I checked out the album it wasn’t the Power Metal style I expected as it more or less in the range of the cold Finnish Metal style. Do you agree about that or did you try to find a different niche for yourselves?

I don’t think that we were trying to achieve any genre or style in particular. Our songs are just the combination of people with different musical backgrounds making music together. It just happens to sound the way it does and because people like to put everything in genres nowadays we ended up with the “power metal” stamp. If you listen to our album you’ll probably realize pretty soon that it’s not that easy to categorize Shear into something specific. I don’t see it as a bad thing.
While listening to the album I felt as if it was pretty deep in its concepts. Can you elaborate on the themes you guys were focusing on when were composing the album?

Lyric wise we didn’t have a single major theme for the album, every song tells its own story. The lyrics are written by me and Lari. We have a slightly different approach in our writing but I still think that it works as a package. We don’t want to go to exact details regarding the lyrics, it’s more rewarding when every listener can make their own interpretation of the lyrics.

Were you clear on a sort of message to pass on with your songs?

We hadn’t decided beforehand what the “message” of the album would be. The album pretty much reflects our lives and views on it in this moment, or particularly during the writing process. There are some songs that are about victory and conquering your fears, some parts are about pure confusion on why people choose to do the things they do, there’s some revenge and judgement day at some point and yes, there might be something about heartache. It’s a reflection on life and It’s all honest. I think that’s the message I, at least, as a songwriter wanted to express, honesty.

How did you pick up the interest of Lifeforce Records?

We played at last year’s edition of Summer Breeze Open Air in the New Blood Awards competition. After the festival we were approached by Lifeforce because they had liked our show at the festival. At this point we had already finished recording our album and the guys at Lifeforce gave it a listen. They liked the album and this is how our collaboration started.

What can you tell me about yourself the band’s lead singer? What are your personal influences? Who do you look up too? How did you get to SHEAR?

Some of my biggest influences are of course Freddie, Steven Tyler and Robert Plant. Quite obvious, but hey, they were and still ARE the best. There’s a depth to them that not just any singer can achieve. Freddie’s range from a delicate nearly whisper to a complete balls-to-the-wall flamboyant shriek. Steven’s intensity and articulation, and of course Plant’s versatility and perfect ear for melodies. They just have everything I look up to.
How did I end up in Shear? I saw an add on the Internet and applied for the part. We played a couple of songs together and that was basically it. I was in.

Has SHEAR already started composing new material for its second release?

Yes we have. Lauri, Mike, Lari and I have all started writing separately and we’ll probably bring our work for the rest of the band to listen to when we each feel ready to do so. Might take a while for me, because I feel like I’m heading in another direction than what we had on Breaking the Stillness and we’ll have to see what everyone else has come up with.

What are your future goals when it comes to live performances?

Play live as much as possible. That’s the main goal. I also wish we had the possibility to play proper full-length gigs on bigger stages more often, instead of 35 minutes on a stage where we all six have to fit like sardines In a can. I need to be able run around more!

Have you got something interesting planned for the coming months?

Right now we have our album release party coming in a week. After that we hope to book as many gigs for this summer as possible. Still looking into it!

Thank you Alexa for answering this interview. May the light shine on SHEAR’s path. Good luck to you all!!

Thank you very much!


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Edited 27 February 2020

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