Recording an album in a farmhouse loft might not be the first location a musician thinks of when cutting a first solo album.
But that’s exactly what Edmonton-based singer, guitarist and songwriter Alex Vissia did for her recently released disc A Lot Less Gold.
Vissia, 23, and her band — Nich Davies on drums, Kurtis Cockerill on bass, Savic Panylyk on saxophone and Jeff Kynoch on guitars — also recorded the nine-tracks in a variety of locations, including friend’s houses and basements.
The reasoning behind this was two fold, Vissia told The Daily News during a roadside interview en route to a show in Victoria. One, it was done in an effort to save money that would otherwise have gone to expensive studio time.
Plus it allowed Vissia and her band to relax and enjoy the process, which she believes comes through in the tracks.
“I had just graduated from Grant MacEwan University (in Edmonton) with a music diploma,” Vissia explained. “All the guys on the album who played and produced are MacEwan graduates. The guys who play bass and drums are the guys I tour with now. It was really a nice kind of home-grown effort.”
Vissia’s current tour brings her and fellow MacEwan graduates to The Art We Are in Kamloops (246 Victoria St.) on May 10. The show begins at 8 p.m.
Kamloops audiences will hear all nine tracks from A Lot Less Gold, which harkens back to her roots and country beginnings only with a heavier sound. Her music, she said, is rock and roll.
“I play with bass and drums now. I play with electric guitar instead of acoustic. My writing has changed over the years, which comes with age I guess,” said Vissia.
People will also hear a couple of covers from The Beatles and Motown era that Vissia has remastered into her home. One song, Heat Wave, doesn’t sound anything like the original, she said.
Vissia became a musician at a young age and started performing with her sisters, Aleisha and Andi, when she was 13. The act was called The Vissia Sisters.
Music was all around the girls as they grew up in Stony Plain, AB. The Vissias don’t come from a long line of musicians, but Neil Diamond and Simon and Garfunkel were always playing and the sisters were enrolled in dance classes.
Dance eventually gave way to song and dance, which is when Vissia was drawn to singing. It wasn’t long before the trio was performing in and around Stony Plain.
“We started out playing at old folks’ homes, where they are more than happy to have people come in and play and sing,” she said.
Those performances led to singing competitions and more concerts, including a show in Japan.
When they hit their teenage years, The Vissia Sisters became The Plain Janes in an effort to branch out from a family troupe.
“It just kind of spiralled from that. The more we got into it, the more we did,” said Vissia.
The sisters eventually went their separate ways, with Aleisha and Andi off to university next year. Vissia, however, can’t see herself doing anything but performing, which is why she pursued a music degree, cut an album and is now on tour.
“It’s been a really refreshing experience. It just kind of happened,” she said.
For more go to alexvissia.com. A Lot Less Gold is available at independent record stores in Alberta, online at CD Baby and via iTunes.