Social media has transformed each and every one of us into people who expect constant, or at least consistent updates from the artists we love. A press release once every few months is no longer good enough. If someone is quiet for a day, that’s fine, but once a week or more passes people begin to question what exactly is going on. If the someone in question is a band, most assume they’ve broken up, gone on hiatus, or are otherwise experiencing some turbulent time as a group. Alesana have spent nearly 8 months off the radar, but in a new interview appearing on UTG tomorrow the group exclusively reveals they are far from finished.
While we wait for the release of the full interview, we thought it would be a good idea to tease some of the things covered in our feature. Guitarist Shawn Milke spoke with us for nearly half an hour on everything from the group’s time away, to their recent tour announcement and plans for the future. One of the biggest reveals early on, however, was the fact the group are no longer on the Epitaph Records roster. You can read an excerpt from the interview detailing the change, as well as the motivations behind it, below.
Check UTG around this time tomorrow to read our full interview with Milke. We did our best to get updates on every aspect of the band, as well as his other projects, and this exclusive is only the tip of the iceberg.
UTG: Speaking of your time away, quite a few rumors and questions have emerged as a result of your absence. One we seem to get asked every other week is whether or not Alesana are still a part of the Epitaph Records roster. Can you offer any clarity on the situation?
Shawn: It’s interesting because, being on the other side of the fence, I try to think back to when I was only a fan of music and not a fan of music who also works in the industry whether or not I ever truly cared what labels bands were on. I’ve had a bit of trouble rewinding my mind and thinking about whether I used, and I went back to my earlier days of liking bands like The Starting Line and The Early November, and come to think of it they were all on Drive-Thru Records. I guess I can kind of see how it was kind of cool if the band you loved was on Drive-Thru Records, but I guess I didn’t realize that in today’s music scene that people still care what label a band is on. Then people started asking about our label, and why Epitaph isn’t on the tour poster, etc, and it was very surprising to me that people were really that concerned the fact that we had left the label. But everything there was completely amicable and there was no falling out whatsoever. It’s just that I was starting my record label, and so I went to Epitaph and we had a great conversation. We loved doing the record together, but we decided that Alesana would release the next record on our own. It’s so we have the creative freedom to do things that we have wanted to do in the past. No one ever told us no, necessarily, but we still had to run ideas by people and we wanted the freedom to make our own decisions.
I think a lot of bands at a certain point in their career kind of want that freedom. To go back to the way it was when you weren’t on a label in the beginning, and you only answered to you. Again, there was no negativity or falling out, this is just where we wanted to go for our next release.