THE ALBUM BY
CD Review by Adriana Rubio
Interview & Article by Adriana Rubio
Photographs: Courtesy of Alex Lato
“The best story about the album is really the story of how it all came about…”(Alex Lato).
Alex Lato is the lead singer of the London-based famous band “THE FUSE”, previously known as “Lato”, a New Wave-Pop-Rock band. Alex plays piano from when he was 4, guitar from his teen’s years and studied singing with an opera singer.
“Infamous” is a 13 tracks album produced by Dany Huppermans, co-produced by Roby Mildenberger and executive produced by Sandro de Angelus. The songwriting process of “Infamous” started in or around 2011/12 with Dany Huppermans, a well known music producer, engineer and composer who in 2008 was called by the owner of Blue Turtle Studios in Los Angeles, CA to help produce Alex’s band “The Fuse” first record as a signed act for Russ Regan, the man behind Elton John, Barry White and Marvin Gaye. A fabulous partnership was born then and led to the release of Alex’s debut solo album in Benelux on November 1st, 2013 by VMV Music and Rough Trade.
“The best story about the album is really the story of how it all came about. I met Dany in LA in 20087 when I was recording under the aegis of Velocity Entertainment, who had signed LATO – the band that later became The Fuse. Dany had been parachuted in to the recording by the producer Thierry Migeotte to help out. Anyway Dany and I clicked straightaway, helped by the fact that we both spoke Italian. Dany is half Italian, and my Italian is fluent as a result of spending a year in Bologna University. So Dany and I would rattle away in Italian and that was the basis of our friendship - we still speak in Italian now. Sadly the LA album never got released by Velocity because they went bust in the 2008 financial meltdown, but Dany and I stayed in touch over the next few years”.
“Infamous” songs were recorded and performed professionally with musicians that VMV Music put together for Alex. They are the Belgian Christopher Genette and the Germans Robby Midenberger, Alex Vesper and Marius Goldhammer.
“Infamous” can be described as a “hits album” right from the first track titled “Black Magic”, a song that’s been featured on Lopsided World of L’s Exciting New Artists of 2013. The track has a bit of groovy rhythm with the inclusion of a synth bass and a guitar solo that really please the listener’s ears.
“I wrote the basis of Black Magic with Christophe Genette sometime in April 2013. We were both really in the mood, riding the creative wave, working at Dany’s studio. Christophe always turns up with bottles of great Belgian beer and they really got us in vibe. We had the structure largely finished by the end of the day, but at this stage it was a piano and vocal song. I had this lyric it’s a ‘different kind of magic’ and the chorus melody pretty set, but I didn’t really finish the song until much later, writing most of the lyrics and revising the melodies in London”.
“I was looking for phrases that would work with ‘Black Magic’ and I remembered this phrase that Russ Regan used to use when I was out in LA – ‘smoke and mirrors’. I really wanted to use this phrase, and I built the verses around it. I told Russ about it and he loved it. Black Magic contains another lyric I’m quite proud of: ‘Heaven knows, everything’s better, when anything goes.’”.
This is an album with a profound message of love with inspiring and thoughtful lyrics. The singing melodies will make the audiences sing along without stop. “Infamous” is undoubtedly the result of a creative process guided by the passion of making music and the inspiration of the everyday living. Songs like “Hurt You” and “Waves Of The Sea” are the purest examples of it.
“Hurt You was one of the first songs Dany and I wrote together – it was born in the very first creative session in 2011. I was in a funny place creatively, I hadn’t written anything outside the context of “The Fuse” for quite a long time and I hadn’t played the guitar much either. In short, I was a bit rusty, which is why the song is so simple structure wise – I was just playing Am Dm chords, and shuffling a little melody out because my soft fingers were killing me! Dany had some really great ideas for Hurt You, the central chorus line ‘nothing is ever going to hurt you’ was his melody, and I think I came up with the lyric about the same time. I was inspired by (my fiancé) Tracy for Hurt You, we’d only recently started going out, so were in the first flush of love. Robby came in on this song as well, adding the chord extensions to the chorus, which allowed me to come up with the ‘wherever you go / I’ll be there’ sections of the melody. That section was originally a BV/instrumental, and it was only when I was recording the lead vocal in autumn 2012 that I thought of the lyrics!”
“Waves Of The Sea was a song I began in Croydon on my old piano at my mum’s house. I was inspired by Sting for this track, I really love the song ‘Fields Of Gold’ and got into the vibe of that song when I was writing the piano lick. This track is also inspired by Tracy, it’s based around this amazing experience we had at Camber Sands (a beach in East Sussex) in the summer of 2010. It was the day of the England Germany football match. Tracy and I had ridden on my gorgeous old CB550 down to the coast to get some sun and sand, and watch the game. Afterwards we were standing in the warm sea, kissing, and moving with the water, and that’s where I got the image for the lyrics”.
The songwriting process with Dany Huppermans helped Alex Lato to explore more musically by listening to different artists he was not used to really listen to. The making of “Infamous” opened Alex’s inner talent to discover even more his songwriting and singing potential.
“Dany introduced me to so many acts I’d never really listened to, like The Doors, Hall and Oates, even Black Sabbath. I bought tons of music, and listened to as much of it as I could, so writing the album really broadened my creative horizon and also helped with things like vocal technique – watching Daryl Hall was one of the most important experiences I’ve had – he’s the singer I’d like to try and emulate”.
Alex Lato jumped into the music world with his first band in 1994, and since then he hasn’t stopped making music, singing and touring. Alex is an award winning of the Rock Category in the UK Songsearch with Crib in 2004 and was finalist for the Rock Star Lottery in 2006. The long road he walked with “Lato” then “The Fuse” and the experience he gained as a professional songwriter/singer, encouraged him to release his first solo record “Infamous”. Now, the song “Hurt You” is play-listed on 32 stations in Belgium! Isn't it great! Of course it is!
“INFAMOUS” TRACKS LISTING:
1. BLACK MAGIC
2. SOUND OF LOVE
3. HURT YOU
5. HUMAN STORY
10. WAVES OF THE SEA
11. REEVA, FOREVER
13. THE END?
For further info on Alex Lato, please visit the official websites at:
There’s more to come!