Alisa Xayalith (The Naked and Famous): “We played ‘Young Blood’ for the first time to 20 people”

They are young, shinny and full of vitality. New Zealand band THE NAKED AND FAMOUS has became one of the hypes of 2011. “Young Blood” has turned into one of the songs of the year. Although their 1 st album was released in September last year,  2011 has been their year.  Choosen by NME as Radar Band of 2010, which recognices new and original bands, they have go around the world performing “Passive me, aggressive you” during 2011. “Young blood” it’s the first song  from a New Zealand band that reaches the top of the charts in this country in the last two decades. We have been talking with Alisa, vocalist, composer, and keyboardist of  THE NAKED AND FAMOUS.

When did you write your first song?

I wrote my first song when I was about 12 years old. I used to have a tape recorder at home where I would spend hours recording little ditties. But I guess, my first written and performed song would be when I was 14 when I entered my first talent quest. I can’t remember how it goes or anything…

What is the process you follow when composing?

A basic song structure starts from Thom and myself. Aaron and Thom would produce it, then we’d take it to a live rehearsal room where we would trial and error a lot of parts to see if  the song would come across in a live setting. It may sound quite methodical compared to bands who all sit in a room jamming. But this works for us and it keeps things moving in a forwards motion.

I can fairly say that the lyrics are shared between myself and Thom. I guess it depends song by song. Sometimes I would write the lyrics for a whole song and so would Thom. Or I’d write what I sing and Thom would write what he sings. So it manifests in different ways, but generally it’s a shared effort. We keep each other on our toes and it’s a challenging way to work.

When and where did you play all together a live gig for the very first time?

Jesse and David didn’t join the band until the very end of 2008 when we begun writing and recording ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’. Our first show together was in a shitty little town, a couple of hours away out of Auckland City where we live. We played Young Blood for the first time to 20 people.

What is your favourite track from the debut album? And why?

My favourite moment for now ( it changes quite regulary ) is “Jilted Lovers”. It was my first time dabbling in writing music solely on the laptop instead of what I would usually do, which would normally consist of sitting in a room using a piano or guitar to write. I find it to be a really vulnerable moment on the record and I feel very proud that I was able to capture it.

What’s a sincere opinion of your success. Why do you think you are reaching hearts, heads and mouths of fans in Uk, Europe and US? 

 I think when people are moved by music. It travels. The internet is very powerful in that respect, it can make things go viral. That’s exactly what happened when we released our “Young Blood” video on the internet. There’s no secret formula that we’ve used. Things have happened for us, solely based on people falling in love with our music. If I knew the reason why  people have fallen for us the way they have, I would continue to do it over and over again!



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