Bassist Joel Alex declined joining Shiraz Lane until he heard the material the band had in 2014

Bassist Joel Alex declined joining Shiraz Lane until he heard the material the band had in 2014

Shiraz Lane bassist Joel Alex was recently interviewed by The New Wave of Hair Metal‘s senior admin Tom and spoke about how he ended up playing the bass and later joining the band.

Alex stated: “… I picked up the bass for the first time in school when I was 15. Since then I had thought that I’ll be a kickass drummer in a band someday. And I did play the drums, even took some lessons and whatnot. How did the bass end up in my hands? Our music class had too many drummers to keep everyone busy. I was a restless kid and wanted to play every second of my favorite class I could so I figured why not try the bass when the drum-stool is taken. My music teacher walked me through the absolute basics and I got interested in it. Soon came the 16th Birthday and my parents were nice enough to get me my first bass I had been asking to get for a while. It was a very Dimmu Borgirish ESP and I loved it. Drumming left more and more behind and the music class situation with drum-stool being occupated soon reflected in my friend’s bands that I wanted to be in. But there were always room for bass players. And that’s how I drifted away from drums completely, started playing bands, deeply fell in love with the powerful feeling and the tone of a bass guitar. To be honest, I had no idea what I was doing when I joined my first bands but I was ambitious to learn.

The honourable mentions of top two influential people go to Duff McKagan and Ana Willman. Duff because Duff. I love the melodic way he ties in the band and does it with a lovely clanky pick-tone. So cool. No need for especial magic tricks if you know how to compliment the song right and do it great. Our own Ana Willman because he’s the one I’ve paid most attention to while thinking of my own playing and wanting to step it up.

I hooked up with Shiraz Lane in 2014 when they came knocking on my door in need of a bass player and I hopped in. That’s the short story. The longer one includes some cat n’ mouse play as I turned down the offer a couple of times. How stupid of me. Eventually they turned my head by showing me the newer material they had been working on, which wasn’t the same I was familiar with when they asked for the first couple of times. Now I couldn’t be happier of their persistence regarding getting me on board.”

Of note, Shiraz Lane released two EPs — Before It Strikes in October 2011 and Lights Out in November 2012 prior to Alex joining the band. With Alex in the line-up, Shiraz Lane have released the EP Be The Slave Or Be The Change in May 2015, the full-length For Crying Out Loud in April 2016 and another full-length Carnival Days in February 2018.

Sleaze Roxx was in attendance when Shiraz Lane got to play in Toronto, Ontario, Canada back on November 13, 2014 after they won a contest called Hard Rock Rising Helsinki — which was essentially a battle of the bands culminating with the grand prize being a trip to play a show at the Hard Rock Cafe Toronto. Sleaze Roxx stated in its review of that show:  “Once Shiraz Lane‘s set was over I asked the band members if they had any music to sell, but alas, the answer was “no”. Drummer Ana Willman explained that the band did have a prior EP (apparently two of them) but they were not playing or promoting any material from them because their new songs were a lot better. After the concert, I was able to track down two tracks from the band’s EP ‘Lights Out’, but it seems that Shiraz Lane have pulled whatever videos they had made in support of their earlier EPs. Based on the two tracks that I was able find, I have to agree with Willman‘s assessment that the new Shiraz Lane tracks are way better than what the band previously came up with.”

Interestingly, Sleaze Roxx stated the following in its concert review about Alex who was known as Joel Hiljanen at that time: “Next up was Shiraz Lane, whose band members looked a little bit like a young but slightly more polished version of Guns N’ Roses. The similarities were uncanny with Hiljanen looking a lot like Duff McKagan, minus the height, tattoos and hair color (he even sported a tank top with the word “Duff” on it), and rhythm guitarist Miki Kalske reminding me of Izzy Stradlin with his little cap.”

Shiraz Lane‘s “People Like Us” video (from Carnival Days album):

Shiraz Lane “People Like Us” (Official Music Video)

Subscribe To Be Alerted When We Add New Videos – / From the new album CARNIVAL DAYS.