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Welcome to the Pre-Tour Soulful Noise Lab!!!

Welcome to the Pre-Tour Soulful Noise Lab!!!

Hey,

I hope you’re doing well! As you’re reading this, we’re probably – most hopefully – packing as we’re leaving tomorrow for what will be our first time on stage following Alex’s recovery...! The past few weeks have been nothing less than very emotional, scary, and doubtful, but in the end, quite powerful and fulfilling on every possible level. 

Over the years, I’ve never seen Alex being so careful and cautious about his health, and his voice, doing vocal exercises for hours every day, walking his usual 15k+ steps, and making sure that he’ll be on top of his game as he’ll step on stage for the very first time in just a few days from now! He usually is pretty careless about all those things, more in the vibe of “Let’s see what happens and if I don’t have my voice, well, I’ll just throw myself in the crowd and create an unforgettable moment in a different way nonetheless. I have no time nor energy to worry about myself…!” 

But now, it’s quite inspiring to see that he’s in a completely different place in his heart and mind. It’s pretty much as if this tour was a spiritual or divine rendezvous of some kind, bringing us all into that same kind of spirit, where every time we set up and grab our instruments before a rehearsal, nothing else even exists around us. It’s our world to create and define through Alex’s redefined approach not only toward art or music but life in general, and it’s not something we want to take lightly, or at the same level as it was before.

 

Alex’s music is intimate and personal, very dark, heavy, filled with imagery that always travels through ourselves in such a different way every time we play those songs, especially for Alex. It fascinates me every time to realize how, even if songs and music are kind of stuck in time, having been written and recorded in a very precise moment of our lives, with Alex, they always metamorphose themselves following the impact they have on us as we play them while always being aligned with who we became, what we went through, where we’re at in the moment, like, very precisely in the now..! 

It’s never about playing the songs for what they were when we played them the last time, but all about playing them with who we are now, and what it means for us at this precise point in time. No “shut up and play the hits” kind of boring things for Alex, but more like “Scream out loud and make sure it’s an honest IT!”   

What that basically means is that, even if we spent more than three weeks rehearsing songs a certain way, even when we’re on stage, or right before we get on that stage, everything can change depending on how Alex feels about the crowd, the city, the venue, the festival, and so on…! 

I will always remember the moment before we got on stage at the Orange Blossom Special Festival back in 2022… We were all in the amazing house the festival founder uses as green rooms for bands and amazing gatherings for all the artists playing that day, and all of a sudden we all heard Alex saying: “Hey Long Shadows, I know we’ve been rehearsing Shadows of our Evening Tides a certain way, but today, I feel like we should change the intro and add that bass-leading part we removed before coming here.” My initial reaction was: “You mean adding the part we played at the Montreal Jazz Festival back in 2019?” And of course, Alex’s answer was: “YES! That part!!!”

We were all already pretty nervous, since this festival is truly one of a kind, with a very unique vibe and spirit, something people have been waiting to go back to for so long since COVID. So, for us to play there, we all knew there would be a before and after that show! And there goes Alex, asking us all to revisit a very important part of a song we haven’t played in years, mere minutes before heading on stage! Our second reaction, following how stunned we were when realizing that he was dead serious, was unanimous: “Can we have our instruments backstage right now, please? We have to rehearse a new part and we’re live in 20!” Our legs were shaking, our hands all became wet, and I’m sure that the colors of our faces were somewhere between white and green! 

Think about this for a second! We were all ready, well-rehearsed, and a few minutes before heading on stage, all of that was completely destroyed and had to be rebuilt in a very, very, very, very – again – very, very, very short amount of time! This was just Alex’s pure spirit aligning himself with the moment! Scary, crazy, but nonetheless what art, music, and spiritual connections should be about; dangerous and without any safety nets! In all honesty, I messed up one or two notes, no more than three for sure, but I’m expecting nothing less during these upcoming few weeks, as we’ll be evolving throughout each and every festival we’ll be performing at, thanks to their unique vibes, spirits, history, and of course, the best part, the audience attending! 

To conclude, I realize how, in my own perspective, it’s almost impossible to learn how to walk on a wire with no safety net underneath. It’s always scary, always insane and crazy, and the complete opposite of what a huge amount of bands and artists do, as no one wants to look stupid and rookie by making strange mistakes and sounding like a pair of boots in the drying machine… But the unity it creates, the powerful feeling of holding your breath, closing your eyes, and jumping – which in the end really feels like flying – comes close to nothing else. 

It’s filled with this spirit that I have the privilege to welcome you into our mad scientists' lab, where rules of security are only based on not being nor feeling secure by anything you know, understand, or master!!! 

I truly can’t wait to see where this connection of ours will bring us all throughout the summer! For all of you my non-European friends who I won’t have the chance to see and meet this summer, we’ll obviously figure out a way to stay really close and connected through the app and so on..! 

We’ll do loads of live events and interviews as well! We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you all, so it’s our way to thank you all for your incredible love, friendship and huge support! 

Love you so much! Let’s be great to one another!!!! 

Your Host and Friend, 
Jeff 

PS: I’ve been listening to Kim Gordon's latest album, “The Collective”, as I woke up listening to her on the Broken Record podcast! 

PPS: If you missed Alex and my Open Conversation that was shared last Saturday, here it is for you to enjoy!

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