Q&A With Alisa Xayalith of The Naked And Famous

After releasing their album Simple Forms in October 2016, The Naked And Famous toured several states in the U.S. and are returning to Austin, Texas, on March 22. They will make their way to several Florida spots later this spring, including Orlando on May 4 and St. Petersburg on May 5.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Alisa Xayalith, lead vocals of TNAF, to discuss their new album.

Beat Weekly: After releasing three albums, how do you find inspiration to produce unique, catchy songs?

Alisa: The topic of inspiration is a deeply researched subject. I recently watched a TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert talking about this very thing. She recently released a book called “Big Magic” that I’m currently reading; I would recommend it to anyone who is curious about the subject of inspiration and where it comes from. For a long time, I used to think I was one of those people that would only be able to work when inspiration hit. Which didn’t always work in my favour because when you get stuck in a writers block, things can get pretty grim and the pressure I would put on myself would be so detrimental to my self-esteem as a creative person. Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about “showing up to work, so that you’ll be prepared to catch it when it comes. The days where it doesn’t come as easily, I have to work so much harder, doing the things I would normally do when I sit down to write a song.  The origin of everything I create is rooted in a space that comes from the heart.

Where does the album title “Simple Forms” come from?

Simple Forms was lifted out of a lyric from our song “Falling.”  That was one of the first songs to be written for this record.

Do you guys have any pre-show traditions?

The pre-show rituals are often all very individual. Often you’ll see Jesse stretching, playing rudiments on a drum pad; David paces about the room; Aaron stretches and puts on music and dances his pre-show jitters away; Thom is off in the hallway doing vocal warm ups and you’ll probably find me in the bathroom doing the same. It’s like the tower of babel, we’re all speaking our own language within the same room.

Are you tired of performing your same top songs like “Punching in a Dream” and “Higher” over and over? Or do you love it as much as your fans do?

I love singing. It’s the only thing that truly brings me pleasure and I always feel empowered, being able to sing at the top of lungs in front of an audience that is singing right along with me.

At concerts, do you play songs that you think the audience wants to hear, or songs you want to play, or a mix of both?

We play a mix of both; all of us are often checking our social media and often see requests for songs.

If you were in a zombie apocalypse, which one of you would survive longest?

I think that Jesse would survive the longest. He has the longest limbs and could probably outrun them.

Several of TNAF’s shows this spring are with Blink-182, and a couple are with Wavves. Buy tickets soon before they sell out: