An Afternoon with After Alazan

A small bookstore in Nacogdoches, Texas is beginning to overflow with people. The seats are full and people begin to stand in the walkways and against the walls that are adorned with handmade wood carvings and painted novelty guitars. At the back of the store, a makeshift stage has been created using floral printed carpet and stools for the artists to sit on. After Alazan’s studio recording of “D.G.F Inc.” pours through the speakers. The Bosslight bookstore becomes the venue for a local band getting ready to celebrate the release of their first single. 

 

In this small college town, most people assume the only live music available is country music at Banita Creek Dance Hall or the occasional cover band at Maklemore’s Ale House and Bistro-- however, it’s not true. Rock and roll is alive and well in this area, people just have to seek it out. 

 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

After Alazan members, Miriam Galan, 17, and Matthew Lucas, 20, and their special guest, Clio Cadence from Dallas, welcome their guests as they settle into their spots. The show was starting.

 

After Alazan is a progressive rock band based in Nacogdoches, and with almost two years together, they are dedicated to their art. They not only want to write the songs and create music, but are also interested in keeping the independent aspect of their music. 

 

“I want to use After Alazan to get popular and for me to gain experience… and I really want us to do it kind of without a label. Because I want us to kind of help other bands in the future not use labels,” guitarist/ bassist Miriam said. She feels that young artists often get taken advantage of by labels because they simply don’t know about self-management and how to plan their own shows. 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

 

After the soulful introduction with their original song, “Label Me (Lazy)” the crowd applauds and whistles wring out from supportive friends. Between songs, the artists introduce each other and thank the audience for being there. They explain the process of recording their upcoming album and how excited they are to finally be back on stage after being away for months. This is their first performance since June and nerves are settling in. Miriam admits to me that she was nervous the entire show— although I didn’t notice. 

 

Special guest, Clio Cadence, sings alongside Matthew in their first ever cover performance. After Alazan usually only performs their own songs, but since Clio was there to lend a helping hand with her box drum, she sang a couple of covers with them. 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs

 

The first cover was “If It Means A Lot To You” by A Day To Remember. Matthew and Clio’s voices blended together well and the gang vocals as they sang the lyric “now everybody’s singing” was beautiful. 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

 

The crowd watches intently as they perform, some singing along to the popular rock song-- including me. Songs like these— early 2000’s pop-punk— are credited for giving After Alazan their sound. Matthew, lead vocalist, credits his vocal inspiration to “punk music with the grit and the screams,” as well as grunge music. Miriam, however, credits Pierce the Veil for what inspired her to pick up guitar again. After Alazan’s inspirations as a whole include Foo Fighters, Audioslave and Nirvana. 

 

The show continues on with a few more After Alazan originals such as “Chugadada”— aptly named after a repetitive riff in the song when they couldn’t think of a proper title— and “Make Believe.” Next, Clio sings her own cover of “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar and she dances along to Miriam’s guitar. Her high energy performance leaves the crowd excited and the song comes to a close with her and Matthew belting out the last high note together. Miriam later tells me that they had only rehearsed the song that morning when Clio made it to Nacogdoches. It was a great performance for having been put together so quickly.

 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

            

As the show ends, After Alazan thanks everyone for coming and supporting their music. Tim Bryant— owner of The Bosslight— gives his gratitude for After Alazan and gushes about his support for the local artist. He then reminds the audience about the tip jar in the center of the room and people begin to drop dollars into it.

 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

The paper attached to the vase reads: “Show your appreciation here. TIP JAR. Please support the arts (artists.)”

 

The shows ends with a stripped down version of their single “D.G.F Inc.” The heavier vocals and screams are replaced with a softer tone and the distorted guitars are left bare and mellow. It was the perfect way to end the release show. 

 

Photo by: Lexus Jacobs 

 

“D.G.F Inc.” is the first single available before the release of their full studio album, You Weren’t Sorry Enough Not To Do It,which is expected to drop in November. It is available now on Spotifyand Soundcloudand can be purchased on cdbabyfor 99 cents.