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I have some news and updates from Alex and I!

I have some news and updates from Alex and I!

I hope that you’re doing well and remaining hopeful in better days regardless of what that so-called “second wave” might bring to the world! So much has happened since the last Cult Missive I sent you and I wanted to take some of the time that I have in between meetings to write a few words, to give you news.

I’m presently sitting outside on a terrace in this amazing bistro in Hollywood, Los Angeles with Alex while I write down those words, wearing my "ALIVE." mask in what feels like a B Movie scenario. It couldn’t feel more real as we’re presently having a coffee in the entertainment capital of the world, with all the multiplicity of styles, languages, music being played, and the all-around eccentricity. I understand why Los Angeles is a unique yet fascinating place!

The few weeks prior to our West Coast trip have been very particular as well. As you know, I traveled from Montreal to Virginia in order to spend some quality time with Alex, whom I hadn’t seen in a while before this trip, which was supposed to last seven days and that is now way beyond the thirty-day mark! Typically us, as even if we don’t have to wait to see each other again to realize how much we’ve missed each other when we take time apart, it’s nonetheless always special to get together after a few weeks of separation, like it happened this time. So it’s not a surprise that my trip to Virginia got “extended”, to say the least!

It was good to see each other! And of course, with all the upcoming projects that needed to be planned and organized in a context of uncertainty such as this one, we decided to keep on following and trusting our instincts and add even more passion and drive into what we consider sacred!

You should’ve seen our very first meeting. It’s always quite entertaining and very colorful! Alex always comes down with a terrific amount of ideas, notes written on I don’t know how many notepads, on his different computers, on his iPad and of course… on his iPhone! It's almost as if in every place he went, there was something on which he could write down some ideas and projects! It’s impressive, to be honest. He has an old iMac for what he calls the “boring business side of his life”, and he refrains from writing any creative elements on it. So whatever notes he’s got go from notepads, to his iPad and iPhone. Also, there's another iMac where he exclusively writes lyrics, and he's got his vintage typewriter as well. It’s as funny as it is actually impressive.

In fact, I’m sure he even brings a notepad in the shower! There’s so much going on in Alex’s mind all the time. He has the ability to lead many conversations about different things at the same time, no joke! I always wondered if he could be out of breath by thinking that much! Being in Alex’s mind must be quite an intense roller coaster ride, where world-changing projects, lyrics, musical influences, and poems of all kinds live alongside a lot of paradigms being questioned, redefined, and transformed, all that with the thoughts of buying himself a new notepad!

As for me, an iPad does the trick. Bullet-point lists, clean and easy. So our meetings are very animated and creative!

A little fun fact: Alex still prints meeting notes, from an actual printer, while he’s had a new iPad waiting in an unopened box for months now. As he explains, he wanted to wait until he started working on his next album's writing sessions to open it. Well, it makes sense, in a way...!



As I’m sitting here today, waiting for my last meeting to start, I can tell you that coming to L.A. was truly worth the trip. In a way, I will need a few more Cult Missives to share it all with you…!

I’m so glad we decided to follow our instinct and bold spirit regardless of the present situation of confusion, all while doing it by being responsible towards ourselves and others, by being respectful and by following the mandatory rules in place. All that to say that it’s significant for us to remain positive and resolute to keep on giving life to our vision. Even if the music and entertainment business is one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we didn’t want to feel sorry for ourselves knowing that people are sick, dying, losing hope and what they may have worked all their lives to build something that could forever be lost. That was the pact that Alex and I made: "Let’s honor those we love by feeding the light, no matter what." Coming here was part of that mutual covenant.

Being totally DIY and independent from any corporations, we’ve learned over the years (sometimes the hard way) that real defining opportunities only last a very short moment and will only allow a very few who were crazy enough to do something out of the ordinary to not only be part of it, but to turn any of those “chances” into occasions to make a difference! This is the exact essence of this trip to L.A.!

It’s while on the plane with Alex that we had this incredible conversation about the “ALIVE.” project and were so humbled before all the incredibly deep and personal messages he received following the release of his blog “There’s No Easy Way to Say Goodbye”. Even though terrible, it’s one of those circumstances that he decided to turn into something made of brighter lights. But just like you all did, he had to face his own darkness to be able to expose himself. It’s never easy to do that, never. It’s a difficult choice to make to take the opportunity to embrace something communal that will most certainly hurt you personally. There’s always an initial price to pay when we choose to expose ourselves, it’s a steep one, for everyone, even when we know it is the right thing to do, even when we understand that such issues are bigger than our own sufferings. So we were very moved, touched, inspired, and grateful for all of you… all of you. It’s a strange world we live in, but we have each other to determine the nature we want this strange world to have, to “live” rather than to survive. It’s not easy, but it’s possible, and most importantly, so worth it.

As you know, Alex always takes the time to write personal letters to everyone who takes a chance at sharing our unique life journey, and this time he told me just how poignant it was for him to do so after all your messages and testimonies. We knew that opening up about such intimate and delicate subjects such as desperation, hopelessness, depression and sorrowfulness would be an emotional voyage but we couldn’t envision how necessary of a heart matter it truly was for all of us. It made me realize just how imperative it was to open up about such realities, to offer a safe place to talk about it and to believe that such conversations could make a real difference. It was a true awakening for me, in a way.

That being said, that’s why Alex’s words resonate even louder within me now, especially when he says at the end of the video we produced for “ALIVE.”: “Love and compassion save us all”! This is not only true, it is also inspiringly empowering and positively engaging. “Love and compassion save us all”... I asked Alex so many questions during our flight from Washington to L.A. and I now understand that there is so much more to it than what I initially got from it. It’s somehow more personal now and I understand why Alex put a brake on everything else after he learned of our friend’s passing, why it became way more important than anything else we had on the calendar. If there’s one thing I’ve learned with Alex, it is that he doesn’t do anything he doesn’t believe in nor does he ever do something he doesn’t feel is right, whatever the reasons.

That present situation led us to talk about the Jazz Festival album we were planning to pre-release next week and how, regardless of his desire to share it with all of you, it didn’t feel right for him to do so now, as he said: “I’m still a bit too emotionally troubled and affectively worn out by it all to jump into such a profound and engaging project right now… I just don’t think it’s the right timing for me to commune a moment that literally transformed my existence afterwards, and I believe our people still need to process the Alive. conversations. So let’s wait until it’s a celebration of life. It’s ok to take time to mourn what we need to let go of and to contemplate what we want to embrace, may it be something completely new or anything we want to explore once more.”

It was shared with so much peace and serenity that I know Alex was right. There truly was a before and an after this Jazz Festival concert for us all, especially for Alex. Going through the concert’s making of the never-released material we have, the video footage and audio clips, as much as remembering the whole process and vibe confirms that it will be very special. And since the project required an absolute abandonment for him to dwell into, it was more sincerely honest than a “wise” move to take the decision to slow down a little.

For us, to slow the pace even just a little is quite unusual, and it makes us feel guilty towards ourselves a little! At least, for me it does, a lot! We always embrace life to the fullest and even when we physically think we’ve reached the end, it’s an invitation for us to discover what’s beyond our boundaries. Yes, there’s probably a bit of madness involved in it all as well! But I think we are also learning to admit to ourselves and to each other when it’s time to say “Let’s take a moment to reassess the true reasons why we are so eager to keep on pushing the issue, when our hearts and instincts are pointing in a different direction than our zealous enthusiasm to push things through no matter what.” So it’s still a work in progress to be “patient”!

So the schedule is re-opened. Alex wants to keep the Alive. project going until the beginning of next year, he wants to take that time to write a book about it. The Club’s packages are about to be produced and we want to celebrate its new culture as well. And somewhere in Alex’s numerous notepads, are held quite a few new lyrics and songs ideas to be explored very soon as well. So I guess that we all have different definitions of “taking it slow”!

Los Angeles


Alex and I have this very cool tradition when we have those kinds of meetings to plan and schedule, especially when everything goes very well and we not only agree on most of those amazing projects and crazy ideas, but are very overly enthusiastic about seeing them coming to life! Alex, whose unique uplifting vibe has the ability to turn a dull moment into a vibrant one, will disappear a brief moment and come back with two glasses of whisky, so we can raise our glasses to proclaim what that project or moment means and what we are foreseeing in the future about it. It’s not only symbolic, it’s a way for us to speak out, to confess our vision, to push ourselves to break the cycle of doubts and insecurities in order to redefine what we may have once believed into being impossible or unachievable at that point. As strange as it might sound, a lot of fears and negativity have been transformed into faith, dedication and resilience through such moments. It’s not magic, or positive empowerment… it’s some sort of commitment between each other.   

It’s not always an easy thing to do, because we have mutual engagements and once it’s said, there’s no way back, and those moments are sacred! So the last toast we had was: “To the courage of our convictions”,  as it’s written on the well-chosen whisky bottle! Always in grand soulful style… Alex’s style! It’s great and inspiring to see him being in such a good spirit, especially knowing how the last 10 years or so of his life have been made of tragedies one after another. We have learned to be grateful for every subject of a peaceful smile. We appreciate every single one of them for what they are now, little miracles. 

After a few days of those very intense meetings and meaningful moments, I decided I would stay a little longer in my room the next morning to read a little, but as the sun was starting to unshy itself on the wonderful mountains surrounding Alex’s house in Virginia, I received a text from him saying: “Are you up?”. I honestly hesitated before answering, as the view was so magical, heavenly, with the birds singing and a few night insects’ noises still being perceptible in the faraway horizon. That inspiring instant, along with the fact that Alex has only one vibe in the morning and it’s being very hyper, brought my hesitation a little further. I was appreciating the peaceful moment contrasting with the usual city noises where our studio is located and where The Long Shadows’ very loud amps are turning my life into a perpetual venue every day… joyful noise, joyful noise!

So, I knew that as soon as I would answer Alex’s text, which can be at 4am sometimes, I might have someone coming through my room’s door with coffee, eggs and another notepad of amazing ideas under his arm! And as a matter of fact, since I couldn't resist, my curiosity got stronger than my intense desire to keep that peaceful instant going, and I said: “Of course!”. And the storm of life happened: “You need to come down now, Joe (who’s Alex’s new creative collaborator and an extraordinary artist) sent me the final version of The Club’s visual theme of the year “As Long As The Heart”!”. Ten minutes later, we were all standing in front of Alex’s iMac (the third one dedicated to his visual projects, no joke!) with a coffee in hand, looking at something absolutely amazing… so beautiful and inspiring that I couldn’t resist but to share some of it with you today! 

Here's a little glimpse of the stunning artwork! I will reveal a little more about it in my upcoming Cult Missive, as I'll have Alex share the entire story of this design and introduce you to the artist he has worked with for this particular project!


Passion, hard work and resilience, along with taking the different opportunities coming our way, are what got us here, where we are… even when it sounds crazy sometimes, or absurd and foolish to others. We know that the decisions that end up being the most significant ones we could take for our lives are the ones that, most of the time, had to be grasped in the most unlikely of all places, which is through our own doubts to actually be able to make it and within the midst of our fears to fail.

To the courage of our convictions...! As long as the heart!!!! A lot more to come!

Your host and friend, 

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