aliensdontringdoorbells just released a new music video for Story, out October 2 on their forthcoming record, Arrival. We reached out to them about their latest single.
Dorian Foyil (vocals, guitar, sax)
Adam King (lead and backing vocals)
Christian Pearl (keyboards, backing vocals)
How did you come up with the name aliensdontringdoorbells?
Dorian: A number of years ago, my two oldest sons and I were in a New York subway, they were still just boys (6 and 9). Anyway, an old man wandering the subway platform seemingly talking to himself suddenly stopped turned around and said to my 6-year-old son, Zach, “It’s because aliens don’t ring doorbells,” and just like that, he turned and resumed his one-way conversation down the platform.
Made sense to me. I just remembered it and thought it would make a great band name; plus, I believe it!
What was the writing and recording process for “Story”?
Dorian: Musically, it started with me trying to discover yet another way to re-invent Travis finger picking on guitar, and it sounded like a nice hook, so I thought, why not? So that is the genesis—a picking pattern. The chord progression is a simple one for the verses—which allows us to leave room and develop the main vocals and other parts.
The chorus, however, is a variant on the typical diatonic chord movement through the song’s key, which is D by the way. The difference is that instead of going to the five-chord (A for this song)—which is almost always major, it goes to a minor chord, and this works as a transition and a mood change for the song.
So, that was the essential foundation musically. Once I brought ‘Story’ to Adam and Christian, we started to adjust it to our sound and as a result included a lot of new dynamics into the composition.
Christian: We were lucky enough to record the scratch track for ‘Story’ at a new, state-of-the-art recording studio called The Sanctuary in the Bahamas. From there, we had the main bones of the track, and re-recorded and added parts at The Keep studios in Denver, Colorado with producer Jeff Kanan. Finally, it was mixed, mastered, and optimized for radio in London by renowned producer John Reynolds.
What is the inspiration behind the video?
Adam: For the Story music video we worked with the film’s director, Viktor Maslyaev, to develop the vision for a dramatic music video. He wanted panoramic vistas to support the film. He shot using a unique anamorphic lens and camera for a cinematic feel. Victor had a real passion for the song “Story,” and the cast was really enthusiastic as well.
He storyboarded his vision, which we all loved, and then we flew to Ukraine in the summer to shoot it. The “Story” music video spans three generations of the same family set during World War II. It’s the story of a boy’s loss of his pilot father, but it leads the boy—who becomes the grandfather—to inspire his grandson and as a consequence his adult son who builds and flies a vintage glider in a celebration of life. It is a positive message of life which is to cherish our time while we are here.
How did you all come together to form aliensdontringdoorbells?
Christian: We all hail from different parts of the world; originally myself and Adam are from the U.K., and Dorian is from the U.S. But, our spiritual home is the Costa Blanca region on the east coast of Spain. Dorian had just moved from the Bahamas and instantly hopped on the local music scene, joining myself and Adam in a band playing numerous seafront clubs.
We had a great musical connection and decided to put out an original album. We all have a long history as working musicians, and we feel at home playing lots of different genres. Furthermore, the three of us are each songwriters, so we had lots of ideas that were ready to be developed. Our upcoming album, Arrival, available this autumn, will showcase 12 songs with a lot of these influences and experiences. ‘Story’ is one of those songs, and it’s the first release.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Adam: I love performing, and we want to let our fans and listeners know that our music is 50 percent of what we have to offer them; the other half is performing for them, and as soon we can do it safely, we will.
In the meantime we will be looking at how we can engage our audience with virtual, ‘play-at-home’ renditions as well as looking into a medium called Stageit, which would allow us to each film separately, say on green screen, and then combine us like we normally are when we play live. This exciting idea will allow the audience to watch us all plus have the option of focusing in on one of us during the song: could be interesting.
Christian: We’re already looking forward to the next album; we have two or three songs finished already and another five or six ideas to be developed. We have all sorts of crazy ideas such as a gospel choir and percussionists from across the globe, so I say, bring on the second album challenge!
Dorian: We’re a visual band and very aware that music today has a greater effect when it is accompanied by strong visuals. I’m talking dramatic and performance videos and creative lyric videos. As we continue to release material from our new album, each song will also feature a stylized video which often tells a story; we like doing that. The ‘Story’ music video is the first of a number of exciting upcoming videos we want to share along with our music.