His Name Is Alive

By the time you’re finished reading this, Warn Defever of His Name Is Alive will have probably recorded a new album.  The experimental rock band from Michigan have been around since 1990, landed on a handful of different labels (Silver Mountain Media, 4AD, Ryko, Sony, High Two, Kill Rock Stars, Warner Bros) and have released ten albums, including two in 2007 – Xmmer and High Two; the later is the band’s tribute to free jazz saxophonist Marion Brown.

Throughout the band’s history, Defever has been the one constant member, with a variety of different singers and contributors.  While 2006’s Detrola was met with critical acclaim, and earned success on college rock radio and modern rock charts,  Xmmer is also both organic and mysterious.  This chapter features the vocals of Andrea Francesa Morici, providing who provides the band’s "ghostly" finish.  His Name is Alive is one of those artists that you probably haven’t heard of, but should. In fact it was David Bowie who put Detrola in his top ten recommendations for 2006 and said it has “an early 70’s singer/songwriter vibe plus it comes on like Karen Carpenter.” Glide recently had a chance to toss a few questions Defever’s way.

His Name is Alive has been around for close to twenty years but is still relatively mysterious.  What do you attribute your longevity to?

Being unpopular has kept us strong, there’s none of the usual pressures that more commercially successful bands suffer from.

As the only constant member of His Name is Alive, how do you go about choosing your collaborators and which particular musicians/singers in the past have you most enjoyed working with?

With regards to collaboration I usually meet locals online….myspace, facebook, craigslist have been suprisingly helpful!!!  I would hate to single out any one band member as being more enjoyable than another but I am comfortable admitting that small gifts, backrubs, and homemade snacks have kept some  musicians around longer than perhaps their musical ability would have suggested.

His Name is Alive is renown for their “ethereal, late night meditations,” what do you feel properly defines the band’s sound?

Sometimes I say we play "sad songs and waltzes" other times I describe it as "just a bunch of noise".  Our sound does vary quite
a bit from time to time so whatever’s cool….

 Xmmer, has been out for a couple months now, are you pleased with the response its been getting and was their a particular theme set when composing the album?

I believe this one is our most popular album yet!!!  The only real theme that we had going into the studio was "super percussion"
or was it "super natural"…I can’t remember

If someone was just being introduced to His Name is Alive, what album would you have them to listen to first and why?

It would depend on the person, we have a lot of really cool unreleased albums and if your getting in my car then I might play you "People’s Prayers" or "Liadin" .   Those are good ones for driving – if you were a movie director I might play you "Livonia Strings" because I think someone should really use those songs in a movie.  I actually probably wouldn’t think about it that much, but you asked…

How did you meet up with Andrea Francesa Morici?

She was playing the synthesizer in a band called the TRANZISTORS and I was recording them at my old studio in Detroit and she did some background vocals and she was great.

What’s next for His Name Is Alive?

I just opened a new recording studio called the UFO FACTORY, everything is painted silver inside.  I’ve got around a hundred things I gotta record as soon as possible.  Yesterday I saw a silver cockroach running across the floor.


Go To Hell Mountain mp3

His Name Is Alive Web Page

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