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Like a Snowflake, Uniquely Magnificent and Grievingly Impermanent - So Real!

Like a Snowflake, Uniquely Magnificent and Grievingly Impermanent - So Real!

I hope you are doing well!!! I’m very happy to announce that these are the lucky ones who have seen their names picked by Alex earlier today during a Facebook live session, amongst all the people who wanted a chance to get themselves one of the last copies of the limited and collector edition of the lathe cut vinyl “Snowflakes in July”. Congratulations to you all! It's just unbelievable to realize this is already the end of this wonderful journey.

There could not have been a better way to end this amazing collector vinyl series than to be all together as we did this morning...! I wanted to thank you for joining us on what is way more than a single voyage... It is something we all gave life to before redefining and cultivating its essence that is above and beyond everything we are, as one.

For Alex and me, it’s always about finding ways to gather, share, and create memorable and meaningful moments, and music is the perfect bridge that leads to that common ground! And this year's theme “As Long as the Heart”, couldn't be more appropriate to this absolutely strange and confusing year that is 2020.

So I wanted to thank you for your participation in that unique vinyl lottery and for making The Club a very special and familial place to be a part of. It means a lot to us all.


Watching the video of the live performance of “Snowflakes in July” that we did for the Upper Room Studio Sessions on July 26, I can’t help but feel the shivers cover my arms every time I hear Alex scream from the deepest part of his soul “We all want to feel alive!!!” That very simple sentence, coming from him, with so much honesty and emotional depth, still resonates within me to such a degree that it has become more than just a special souvenir. I realize the transformative implication involved in this profound and sincere statement, in this confession made in a total abandonment... It had a transcending effect that can’t stand in the way of one's determination to be free from your own limitations.

It was very beautiful and inspiring for us to hear Alex scream something like that. It was particularly moving to realize that we all spontaneously embraced the liberating power of this unrehearsed and improvised moment in our own ways, personally but also collectively. It also took the form of a commemoration of our own journey with Alex, from the night his father died in his arms to the renaissance of our relationships. Screaming with Alex was also a way for us to express our thankfulness for having another chance at being with him, a gift of forgiveness that allowed us all to be closer than ever before, together as there are about twelve days left before finally switching to 2021...! That’s the transformative implication of being on both ends of love: You learn to receive it in the same way you are determined to give yourself away.

I know I keep referring to a conversation that Alex and I had, but when you come very close to losing your best friend, like it happened to me, you learn to value the simplest moments of life, because you never know when it can be taken away from you. There’s some very significant exchange that helps you see the value of the present moment, and seeing Alex scream that day got me right back to the interview I did with him following the initial release of his album Windows in the Sky back in November of 2018. He kept saying that he didn’t want to have any promotional campaign, no pre-sale, no video, no interview except this one, nothing too commercial. He just didn’t want to turn his record into the usual circus he felt trapped in with every new release from Your Favorite Enemies, which last album had been released 3 years before Alex's first solo record. He said, "Let’s do a private type of pre-release event" - a moment I previously talked to you about through the “Shadows of our Evening Tides” lathe cut vinyl edition. But he didn’t want to do anything else. He barely agreed to have an in-house interview in our church-studio during which we broadcasted his entire album via lyric videos and accepted to answer a few questions after… That’s it.

Those two events were supposed to be the only things we would do. Alex was very categoric. This album would be a family affair kind of thing. It was designed to be intimate. So much that when it became a top-3 Billboard chart upon its release, Alex left for Virginia with his two dogs and systematically refused to do interviews. I had never seen him as distressed as when he had to face the impact of his album, especially after he had done everything to avoid it.

We did the live video interviews in both English and in French. Since the album is already beyond the 60-minute mark, I decided to split the songs for each interview, as obviously, we couldn’t talk about all eight twice following the live listening sessions. I was so nervous! Interviewing Alex is such an interesting thing... Not only was I aware of how fragile he was at the time, but I’m also his best friend and partner in crime since 2002, so let's say it brought a fascinating reality to those conversations, especially as we both knew once someone said “Ok everyone, we’ll be live soon, so get ready! Jeff, you need to look at this camera for the intro, Alex, don’t bother with the technicals, we got your back brother” there’s no way back because this is live, and our conversation could go in any direction, where emotions of all kinds can very easily be part of the show, as we both like to bring the conversation to a certain depth…

We all knew what our faithful friends and fans wanted to know, as they’d been sending plenty of messages, of love and support, wishing not for Alex to feel secure, but also hoping he would bring that new music on the road, something Alex told me he didn’t feel strong enough to do. There were questions I knew the answers to, others Alex didn’t want to answer... It was very intense on the set, and I knew Alex wanted the interview to be real and legit, not some sugarcoated talk. We even had a technical back up plan if Alex wanted to stop the interview at any moment or if it was becoming too emotional to keep going. We didn’t want to turn the whole thing into a freak show and had to protect him and respect the people who would join us for something we all knew would be unique…

Alex was very quiet, which is never a good sign. He usually makes sure to talk and encourage every member of the production team before any event he is part of, but this time, he was waiting on his chair, with his 2 dogs, silently drinking coffee. I honestly wondered if we should proceed with an interview following the listening session. Maybe it was better to let the music do the talking considering just how delicate it all appeared to me. It wasn’t heavy or anything like that, it was poignant. So I asked Alex if he was still cool with the concept. He was calm and said that he was.

I also knew that he had to go through it all. The dilemma wasn’t if he had to, but if now was the proper time. Even if this was everything but easy and smooth, I figured that if we could only have 2 or 3 questions asked, it would be great. But they would have to be the right questions. I couldn’t go halfway through. I struggled to the very last second before going live. I was overly prepared, so I could deal with any situation. I told myself, "ok, let’s play it cool. Don't go too deep… but how can I talk about Windows in the Sky without talking about his father, his grief and desperation?" Knowing Alex, it would have been a total lack of respect for me to stay shallow, and I honestly didn’t know the whole spectrum of emotions involved in every word and sound… I had to do it, and it was live… NOW!

I didn’t realize how fast it had gone by until I saw the show producer show me there were 2 minutes left before the end. I remember telling myself “Oh, it went well, no need to worry for the French one, then!” We took a little break as the production team set the cameras for the French interview. Everyone present was very impressed by how solid Alex had been in the circumstances. We talked about real stuff and the interview seemed spot on. Alex told me he was ok, and that he thought it all went really well. I took a brief instant to go over the questions for the French edition, which is usually more fun to do as it is our first language. The “ice” had been broken, which removed a ton of stress on everybody. I was particularly happy that we could share pretty much everything about what led to the writing and recording of Windows in the Sky, which I wouldn't bet at all only an hour prior to the show.

I started to go over the French version of the interview with Alex, told him a few things I’d love for us to dive in, to make it a little different from the English version and avoid any unnecessary repetition of something that was already done and amazing. No need to duplicate, we just have to live it as it comes. Since we hadn't talked about the song Snowflakes in July during the previous interview, I would really like to know more about it, from the idea behind the name, the lyrics, the storyline, and different layers that make that song very particular… I maybe should have avoided telling Alex that, but I didn’t…

"5 - 4 - 3…" This is our Q. We are live again, but this time, speaking French. Everything's going quite smoothly, as I expected, even though we’re diving into something quite deeper and more personal as we talk about a different angle to what led to the creation of Windows in the Sky, why he left for Tangier, the reasons underneath his brokenness, how he found the force and the will to write those words down…

Alex was obviously exhausted both emotionally and physically, but it was almost over. We talked about different songs, and everything is right, honest, no filter, no pretension, no fabrication. And since I knew how precious it was for everyone watching to see and hear Alex speak as he was doing, it was fundamental for me to keep it simple but real, so that everyone could understand what happened with Your Favorite Enemies, why a solo album, what happened during those three years, and so on… It’s at that moment that I hesitate between closing this interview now or asking one last question about Snowflakes in July...

Well... I opted for option B and asked about “Snowflakes in July”, only to see in Alex’s eyes just how off guard he felt. I tried to maneuver around in order to wrap the whole thing up, but it was too late, Alex was now crying. I was thinking, “Why have you pushed?! It was great until that point!” I hate to see my best friend cry, but here we were, LIVE! I can see him seek some air as he fights to keep his composure, to get back on his feet, while I’m still looking for something to divert the attention and “save” the situation from becoming a collapsing disaster. But it was a little too late and we had to go through it.

As I was completely freaking out inside, Alex managed to find just enough strength to say, very calmly, in an almost inaudible whisper, “I don't want to talk about that song at this point. It’s too personal and I’m not ready yet… Maybe later.” And then he started to lightly laugh! There was an incredible humility in that moment. That very precise instant remained with me for a long time, as I’ve always waited for him to be ready to open up about it. He never did… but I was still hoping that the time would come at some point.

This day finally came following the live performance we did for the Upper Room Studio Live Sessions, which happened at almost the same place where I asked him that question two years before! So here I am again, July 26, 2020, right after a very poignant and emotional live performance of Snowflakes in July with the whole band, asking if he would like to do a short exclusive interview for The Club members. He was calm… I mean, we had just played for about an hour followed by an interview on the set, so I didn’t want to look like I wanted the press for more when he already had been so generous… but I wanted to know something:

“What led you to scream this amazing and inspiring sentence at the end of the song Snowflakes in July? “We all want to feel alive!” It had never been rehearsed or even mentioned that such a thing could happen before it was screamed all of a sudden. Can you share what happened?”

“It’s difficult to comprehend the most profound nature of the heart... The human essence is so fluid that it makes it almost impossible to understand the emotions we are experiencing. We are the products of moments, of flashes and glimpses, part paradoxes and contradictions, part decisions and denial, let go and resilience, as much as we are filled with our own measure of illusions and make-believe, truths of our own and dream-like fantasies we tend to hide in…”

“Human feelings are as complex as they are stunning and repulsive at times. Some like to remain bystanders of their own lives, while others like to dictate other people’s existence. We all try to figure out a balance in it, and since music is so intrinsically spiritual and intimate yet collectively lived and communally embodied, that’s why it’s the most fascinating form of expression for me. It’s like a snowflake, uniquely magnificent and grievingly impermanent…” So real!

We didn’t talk much about it afterward, but maybe we will on another occasion… Especially that I know that his transformation, along with our own, is only beginning….


I would like to wish you all an amazing time during those Holidays as we’re finally reaching the end of 2020! May your hearts be filled with love, joy, peace, and especially hope! I truly can’t wait to unveil what we have to share with you in 2021, it will be nothing less than extraordinary!

I will be posting some pictures of our time, the band together, at Alex’s place in Virginia, where we’ll gladly raise our glasses to what matters the most to us; life and its communal power!

Thanks again for this amazing year we had the magnificent blessing to share with you. The crazy circumstances in which it took place do not diminish its wonderful nature in any way. On the contrary, our special connection helped us all go through that confusing and distressing time!

See you very soon my dear friends!

Be safe!

Your Host and Friend,

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