She’s pretty and witty and wise…
Canada’s melodic death, metalcore tyrants, The Agonist will unleash their third full length studio effort, Prisoners on June 5th, through Century Media records. The quintet is currently tearing up the road with Kittie and Blackguard. I caught up with vocalist Alissa White-Gluz in Houston, Texas where the band would spend its Cinco de Mayo celebration.
The Montreal, Quebec based group formed in 2004 as The Tempest, changing their name to The Agonist upon signing to Century Media and recording their debut album, Once Only Imagined, in 2007. White-Gluz along with guitarist Danny Marino and bassist Chris Kell formed the group which is rounded out by guitarist Pascal “Paco” Jobin and drummer Simon McKay.
The Agonist made great strides sonically with their sophomore effort, Lullabies For The Dormant Mind, in 2009. With Prisoners, which is slated for a June 15 release, the band is expected to grow even further.
In talking with White-Gluz one can sense a frustration with the state of the music industry and its impact on the band’s ability to obtain its goals.
“We had a lot of goals in mind when we went to record [Prisoners] and I don’t really think we achieved any of them. But we did put together an album that’s pretty interesting.”
White-Gluz said that during the recording process the band learned a lesson in just going with the flow and not trying to control the artistic process. When asked specifically about what goals were not met, she offered;
“things that were out of budget, things that we just didn’t have the time for. You know things that would have been just really really amazing if we could have done them, but it’s just not practical in this day and age. Like we wanted to do completely analog recording, and we wanted to have guest musicians come in, we wanted to have a different producer, a different person mastering it. None of it really happened, but whatever the circumstances were, they led to whatever the album is now. So, gotta be happy with it.”
The young vocalist is very passionate about her causes, and she is an outspoken Peta advocate.
“The biggest thing for me is animal rights,” White-Gluz” acknowledged. “That’s the number one factor that sort of means everything in my life, more than music or anything else. I think it’s a huge problem, and I think it’s refreshing to meet people, now and then, that actually do care about their impact on the planet, and not just care about themselves. They care about people they affect, the land they affect, the animals they affect, the pollution they create, but most people aren’t like that. And most people weren’t raised to think that way. It’s like the boiled frog syndrome; if I walk up to you and shoot you in the face I’m killing you, but if I build a factory next to your house that’s going to pollute the air and give you cancer in 30 years, I’m not a murderer.”
As both the face of a major rock band and the voice of advocacy, White-Gluz is in a position to influence a great many young listeners through her lyrics and the band’s music, but that’s not how she feels she makes the biggest mark. “I think the thing I do the most that has the greatest impact is being vegan. The fact that I don’t take my dollars and my money that I earn and put them into companies that I don’t wanna support. I don’t support animal testing. I don’t support industries that I think contribute to problems for the planet.”
The Agonist will spend the rest of the summer in relentless tour mode bringing new music to their fans, and spreading Alissa’s socially conscious message far and wide. You can listen to our full interview below and check out their new single, “Ideomotor”.