EMURG’s Unsung Heroes Series: Alan Price
EMURG once again brings you another artist that deserves recognition for all their contributions for not only being a talented musician, but as a driving force in the world of music in EMURG’s “Unsung Heroes Series”. Alan Price is not your typical musician that merely stands in the shadows while on stage. Alan embodies the drive, energy, and passion that seems to be absent in much of music today. From having a rich history of musical experiences and skills to working with numerous well-known artists, Alan is proving why he’s just not another nameless musician, but a musician that has more to him than meets the eye. EMURG introduces to you…Alan Price.
EMURG: For those who are not familiar with your work, you have a long history as musician who has much experience in the music industry with such bands as Shinedown, Call Me No One, and Souls Harbor. Can you give our viewers a little background into the life of Alan Price?
Alan Price: I grew up surrounded by a musical family in the Holy City Charleston, South Carolina . My dad plays trumpet and sings and his mother was an amazing singer.They were both heavily involved in Church choir and symphony, so my brother and I were raised in church and were in choir and music classes from the time we were talking. Looking back now, I would certainly say that was a huge influence on my attraction to music. So, yeah we went to Church more days of the week than not, but when we were around the house, my parents would jam their record collection and tell us all about the bands we were listening to. Everything from 3 Dog Night and Led Zeppelin to the Jackson 5 and Frankie Valli. We had a broad variety of influences going on for sure but I always had a serious gravitational pull towards the guitar players. There was something more than just powerful about guys like Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. They were Commanding. I payed close attention to them.
Then, the 80’s happened and sparked some new life into the guitar solo with all the great players and bands from the era like Journey, Metallica, GNR, White Snake, and so many more. HAHA, I would sit and imagine myself looking like CeeCee Deville from POISON , Slaying a guitar solo on stage with a bunch of dudes wearing lipstick and patent leather pants. Needless to say,the dream has changed slightly over the years but its still very alive in me. I got my first electric guitar when I was 10 years old tried and forever to find other guys to play with who had the same ideas in mind. My first serious band was called UNJUST. We were a Melodic Hardcore DIY band which meant that we packed ourselves into a cargo van with all our gear and drove all over the country touring with other hardcore bands like, Hatebreed, Stretch Armstrong and so many others. We were signed to an indie label “Insurgent Sounds” in 1997 and released our first 7″ record “This Is My Forever” shortly after. We did this all while still trying to graduate from high school. UNJUST released 2 more albums, “…Of Love and Spilled Blood” (1999) and “No Healing” (2011).
I started my own record label, “Permanent Records” in 1998 with Walter Richter (UNJUST vocalist) and we released several other albums and continued to tour thru late ’99. I signed another band called “quench” to my label in mid 1999 and by the time their first album was released I was playing guitar in the band. We went on to release 4 albums. The last of those albums “Number One Contender” was produced by Eric Bass of Shinedown and released in 2005. That band then shifted gears somewhat and became know as Number One Contender. We released two more full-length records “The Album” (2006) and “Closer” (2009) that were also produced by Eric Bass just as he was joining up with Shinedown. We were fortunate enough to tour in support of Shinedown, Candlebox, Seether, Halestorm, and tons of other bands that we admired. In early 2009, NOC opened for Shinedown at the Orlando, Florida House of Blues. It was a special night of acoustic performances from both bands and I was invited to play guitar with Shinedown for the first time. .The members of NOC parted ways in 2010 to pursue various other things and I went to work opening Collective Recording Studio with fellow musician/partner Jamey Rogers. During this period I also began touring with heavy rock band SOULS HARBOR. I toured for a short while playing bass guitar and then lead guitar for the band .We were less than a year into the studios existense when I got a call about Shinedown doing a full US “storytellers” type tour. I was fortunate to be asked to join them and play guitar on the “Anything & Everything” tour and be part of their “Somewhere in the Stratosphere” CD/DVD released internationally in 2011.
While on tour with Shinedown I met Mr. Clint Lowery from Sevendust. He and the guys from CAVO joined us on stage for a song when we performed in St. Louis, MO. After the show, Clint and I exchanged contact info and over next year or so managed to stay in contact. Clint has always been one of my favorite guitarists of our time and a guy for which I have the utmost recpect. In early 2012, He and Morgan Rose of Sevendust ventured to record a new project to be named “Call Me No One”. When they were wrapping up the recording of the first CMNO album “Last Parade” I got the call to play guitar with them. In July 2012, we went on our first successful tour with Nonpoint and Eye Empire and managed to play some very memorable, amazing shows.
I have an absolutely beautiful fiancé and two amazing daughters who drive me and inspire me to continue working diligently. The influences are always changing and evolving but one thing that never seems to go away is the desire to make good music. That will never change.
EMURG: What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of being a guitarist?
AP: For me, its being able to express myself through something other than words. Sometimes I can say things thru music i would never be able to speak.
EMURG: As mentioned earlier, you have contributed and played in many bands such as Souls Harbor and Call Me No One. What was it like playing in each of these bands and how did they contribute to your skills and experience as a musician?
AP: Every single project or band I’ve been involved with through the years has contributed something to who I am as a player and as a person. I learned the ropes alongside the guys I started with. I’ve learned a lot about who I wanted to become and who not to be. I feel like I’ve managed to take a piece of everyone I’ve played with and carry it with me. Playing with bands like Shinedown and Call Me No One really helped reinforce the fact that I feel like I was put here on this earth to make music. Each experience made me a better musician and more confident that I’m no where near the end of my musical journey.
EMURG: Who inspired you to start playing guitar? Why did you start playing guitar?
AP: I think it was a combination of so many things and so many people that started me playing guitar. My dad being a musician and my Mom being a huge music fan, were probably the biggest influences. When I asked for my first guitar, my folks were genuinely excited. If it weren’t for them Im not sure it would have all gone down the way it has. Of course my big guitar heroes were Hendrix, SRV, Steve Vai, Jerry Cantrell, Kirk Hammett and all the rest of em too. If it weren’t for those guys inspiring me i don’t know what I would be doing.
EMURG: What was it like working with Sevendust guitarist, Clint Lowery, for his and Morgan Roses’ side project, “Call Me No One”? How would you describe Clint and Morgan as a musicians and on a personal level?
AP: Im a Sevendust fan myself so, when it first sunk in that I was going to be playing in a band with these guys, I had to pinch myself for about a week to make sure i wasn’t dreaming. As much as i give myself credit for working hard towards my goals and for being a decent guitarist, it really was a dream of mine to be able to play with guys on this level. Im a Sevendust fan myself so From the very first meeting with Clint and Morgan, I realized that these guys weren’t just incredible players and bandmates but they were great people and soon to be my friends. As a player, I must say i couldn’t have asked for a better group of musicians to be on stage with. Clint took on his first tour as lead singer for the band and went on stage with conviction every single night. He made me proud to be his guitarist. I absorbed so much just playing with him each night. Morgan Rose is as solid as they make em’ and equally impressive from the stage as he is from the audience. He is the man, the myth, the legend. The idea of us all being able to come together with almost zero rehearsal time, and walk on stage each night with confidence speaks volumes. Our Bass player Rek Mohr (Hurt) was the man who completed us as a band and another of the best musicians I’ve had the pleasure to play with. At the end of our first run , it was obvious to me that we have something special going on with CMNO and I really hope to continue it into the future. They are all amazing dudes and deserve nothing but the best.
EMURG: You have a long list on your resume with performing and writing with many bands, but you also are a music producer for the Collective Recording Company. What is it like being a musician and being the person behind the mixing board? How has it helped you develop more as a musician?
AP: Having the opportunity to become a mix engineer and producer has really helped to better all the different facets of being a musician. As a producer its my duty to not just be open to all musical possibilities but also to search for new possibilities to make each project better than the one before it. This means that sometimes I find myself fighting for ideas that seem absurd or out of the norm. I may be alone on my side of an argument over a part but often times, it pays off. Everything involved in learning more about your craft applies to getting better at what you do, I think. From learning how to make something sound exactly how i want it to sound, to exposing me to all different types of music and players,to sitting behind the mixer and actually making it happen, producing music was the ideal way for me to continue growing as a musician.
EMURG: What are your current views about the music industry and where it is heading? Do you think rock music is still alive?
AP: I’ve been reading lots of interviews and articles that discuss the issue “Is Rock Music Dead?”. My answer is No. Rock music isn’t dead. The system that rock music flourished within has however died a very slow painful type of death. Up until recently, the tools to record, release and distribute music weren’t as accessible to those not privy to be involved with a record label or agency of some sort. This gave the upper hand to those companies who controlled how people could access music. Nowadays, you can write a song, record it the same day and release it to the world via digital media with a few clicks. This opens the flood gates to discover tons of new great music and a boat load of absolute BS. The companies who used to have a ninja grip on the sales and distribution of music are scrambling to find a new working model for how to make money from rock bands and in turn the industry that was ROCK MUSIC has died. In combination with the idea that popular music works in cycles, I think in years to come you will see a resurgence of the “popularity” of rock music. See, there are some amazing rock bands out playing shows near you as we speak. Some of them are backed by record labels, some are not. Thats not important. Everything is very glazed over and shimmery right now in popular music. The other side of the coin is a little dirtier and more scratched up. I believe Its only a matter of time before it gets flipped over and you will see more Rock bands getting the exposure they deserve and i think the best of the best will take those spots at the top.
EMURG: What is the best piece of advice you can give an inspiring musician who wants to pursue a career in the music business?
AP: Be open, Always! Play everything. Pick up every instrument and don’t let it intimidate you. Listen to everything and don’t ever be close minded. Surviving in an industry as steamrolling as this one, you have to adapt and evolve.
EMURG: What type of gear are you currently using and why do you choose this gear over other name brands?
AP: I play PRS electric guitars and Taylor Acoustic guitars and I tour with EVH amplification. The combination of the PRS and EVH amps gives me the power to be versatile and the ability to go from ballsy to beautiful with ease. As a producer, I have a small arsenal of guitars and amps and other gadgets that make my job possible so i can’t attribute it all to the PRS and EVH but when its time to crank it up, thats what you’ll see me playing.
EMURG: What is next for you with your musical endeavors? Will fans see more of you out on the road or in the studio?
AP: Currently I have a few new projects in the works and I am busy writing and producing new music. I recently produced a new album for a band called “Trick Knee” that will be released before the end of 2013 and I have several other projects I’ll be producing in the next few months. I have a beautiful wife and two amazing daughters that drive me to keep working harder every day. Its I have played 150+ shows in 2013 with Doug Marshall of Souls Harbor. Together we have a new project called ‘TRAVEL” and soon will be announcing the release of our first album together in early 2014, we are looking for a cheap van insurance so that we get our transportation ready for what’s coming. I am also writing and in pre-production with a new rock band “REFEREE”. We will head into the studio before the end of this year to track the bands debut album. So, I’m not gonna disappear any time soon.
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Editor’s Note: If you want to find out more about Alan and all of his musical ventures, please be sure to check out his following website: