The Actors & Liars Era [2009 – 2014]
By Benjamin Chilton
A period filled with struggles and impressive first successes, the Actors & Liars years were without doubt AlascA’s most crucial and formative years. The members of the independent folk four piece, Frank Bond on vocals and guitars, Ferdinand Jonk on banjo, guitars and close-harmonies, Louis van Sinderen on drums and percussion and William Bond on keys and backing vocals, were brought together by a joint love for melodic folk pop. As early as 2008 the band felt vindicated when it saw folk acts like Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons rise to fame. Ferdinand Jonk recalls, “people had been mocking us for our soft close-harmony driven sound and then BAM! all of a sudden the sound that AlascA embodied was starting to become more popular. We really felt that we had what it took to become just as successful as Fleet Foxes so we gave up on our studies and jobs to go for it. It was as simple as that and it would be a matter of time. Haha, we were so naïve.”
Nevertheless, AlascA’s future was looking bright. The band was gaining popularity, played a lot of shows and several major indie labels were starting to show their interest. The band, however, rejected all label requests and had its mind set on working on its own terms and on its own terms alone. AlascA’s objective was to record an album that would equal the high quality standards of their favorite albums and to release it independently. Drummer Louis van Sinderen: “there’s this very long exciting story about our then-manager and stuff, but the bottom-line is that we got into touch with Grammy-winner Alan Branch who then came to the Netherlands to hear us play in the summer of 2010. He was genuinely hooked by our material and further encouraged us to fully commit to music. We got along great and started to cooperate.” Alan Branch and AlascA started working on the debut record that was to be called ‘Actors & Liars’. Inspired by Big Star, the band self-recorded the majority of the album with Alan providing instructions and production views from the UK and mixing the album after completion. “It was the most exciting time of our lives”, says singer and guitarist Frank Bond. “It didn’t come easy though, but for the startup of the project and all the drum takes we had a great engineer, Jan Pronk, who was the best of help we could have wished for. After that we recorded the rest in our own studio. At that time it was an old warehouse where there was no heating, no toilet or anything whatsoever. You should have seen it.” ....
[photo by Danijel Mihajlovic]Tweet