KajaFax Interviews Alex Stamp
KajaFax readers know Alex Stamp as one half of Industrial Salt, the pop group masterminded by Steve Askew and Nick Beggs in the mid 2000’s. We caught up with Alex to discuss life, music, and a rather wonderful album in the making currently available via soundcloud.
Here is what she said…
Briefly, can you remind us how you came to be involved with Steve (Askew) and Nick (Beggs) in the group ‘Industrial Salt’?
Nick and Steve held auditions at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford where I was studying vocals. I was actually on my way out of the door when someone mentioned the audition, so I went back in and had to think of a song on the spur of the moment. It landed me a parking ticket but also landed me the job, so worked out in the end!
Why did the band split?
It just kind of fizzled out after Ki/Oon decided not to release the second album in Japan. I always knew there was no place for that kind of music in the UK and I think after a few years in the band we all wanted to try something new.
How long was it before you joined the band ‘Take Aim Fire’, and how did that differ from the experiences you had previously in Industrial Salt?
I think it was about 2 years later that I joined Take Aim Fire. It was a very different band from Industrial Salt, I guess you could say it was more my kind of music, very Indie/electro which is the kind of music I’ve always been into. I played synth and sung lead vocals along side Joe who also sung lead vocals. I was never that comfortable having to front Industrial Salt on my own; I think I really found my niche with Take Aim Fire.
‘A Barren Spell’ was one of your tracks that received much acclaim and was championed by the BBC as well as Channel 5 Television in the UK. What exactly happened to ‘Take Aim Fire’?
Two years after I joined the band I got a call out of the blue from Joe saying he wanted to give it all up. He wrote and produced the songs so I guess it never seemed like a possibility to carry on without him which was a shame. I was devastated!
Many Kajagoogoo fans followed your career back in 2005 with Industrial Salt, and judging from the email we receive here at KajaFax, there are still many that want to know what you are up to! Can you sum up your activities over the last few years?
After Take Aim Fire split I decided to focus solely on writing music. I heard that there was a new course at ACM called artist development and songwriting and so decided to go back for a year. It was a really good move for me; I met some fantastic musicians and managed to get back into writing fairly quickly. I’ve been recording my songs at Rockfield studios in Wales with the hope of eventually getting some sort of publishing deal and TV/film syncs. I have also been singing backing vocals for a very talented singer/songwriter called Andy Ruddy; we’ve just finished recording vocals for his first album which is produced by Fraser Smith formerly of Shed 7.
You have a new ‘album’ of songs, currently on SoundCloud that we at KajaFax like very much indeed. ‘Roads End’ is in my opinion the stand out track from that collection which as a whole sounds like a sure-fire ready made hit indie album. What is your personal favourite from that collection of songs?
I think ‘Never on your side’ is probably my favourite… We went into the studio with it as quite an acoustic track and the producer, Tim Lewis had the idea of using the studio’s old 70’s Rhodes instead. It changed the feel of the song completely and as a result made it a really good session to be on; it just kind of developed into something I never imagined.
Can you tell us more about the writing and recording of those tracks?
I always write the basic chords/vocal melodies/lyrics myself and then meet with my band which consists of Andy Ruddy and another excellent band called Red Kites. They are all amazing musicians and through just jamming the tracks are able to write all of the guitar, bass and drum parts for me. We’ve recorded everything at Rockfield, usually doing one song per day which is a very tight schedule to work to! Fraser Smith then masters the tracks at his studio, The Chapel.
Finally, what does the future hold for Alex Stamp?
Is there a forthcoming CD or are there any live performances on the horizon?
I’ve never seen my songs as being cohesive enough to be released as an album but I guess you never know. I’m still trying to aim for the publishing deal above anything else and will be back in the studio next month to record 4 new songs. I am really looking forward to being back on the live scene with Andy Ruddy though but have no plans to get out there gigging my own stuff at the moment.
KajaFax sends a huge thanks to Alex for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak to us – she was a pleasure to speak to, so thank you Alex! On behalf of all readers of KajaFax, we wish you the very best 🙂
For more of Alex’s output, check out her soundcloud page:
with more tracks available here:
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