Introducing Alex Fain
Can you introduce yourself, who are you and where are you from? What are you doing in your day-to-day life?
My name is Alex and I live in small town 100km north of Venice, in the middle of the Dolomites, I’m 47 years old and my passion for music began in 1989 when I became a DJ. For more or less 20 years I was a DJ and a professional producer, until 2008. That year the music industry had a crisis and I simply lost my passion for it. I sold all my instruments and I decided to follow the path of a “normal life” and I started working as a forklift sales representative which I still do today.
In 2017 I bought an iPad by chance and I found some music apps that lighted a spark in me, and in a natural way I just started to make music again as a hobby. During the week I work, but in the evenings and in the weekend, I become a producer and live performer Alex Fain. Even Batman lived a double life, right?
How did the whole Corona pandemic situation impact you? For example, what things you did last year are you not able to do right now?
Actually, during this period I didn’t really change my routine that much! I don’t usually go out to party or to events a lot, I don’t care. Obviously, I’m sorry cause some people had invited me to do a few live sets near my town for the summer but everything got canceled. I think that it’ll be this way until the middle of 2021. Meanwhile, I use this period to practice.
Latest EP ‘Luna’
How did the tracks of this EP come about? What was your source of inspiration and how was the production process?
After 30 years of experience in the world of music I understood that music is not something that you create by default, it’s inspiration and art. I made all of my best songs within 2 hours, overwhelmed by inspiration, that comes when you least expect it!
Honestly, I created “Luna” with the App Korg Gadget for iPad during a rainy night under the sheets with the iPad using iPhone headphones. Then I exported the tracks to Ableton where I mixed and mastered the song. 90% of my songs come to life on my couch with my iPad, in the car in a parking lot during lunch break, or in bed with my headphones on. Music apps are really powerful and professional and they allow you to jot down ideas that you can finish later in the studio.
On average, how much road testing or feedback from friends is needed before you call a track finished? Tell us something about this process.
I usually act like this: before I finish the song, I send it to 3/4 trusted friends (DJ/producers) for feedback. Then I master it and I listen to the finished track in my car, because the car is the best reference to understand if the song sounds good or not. If it’s ok I send it to labels. A mistake that I make often is that I send the song right away, without letting it “rest” for 20 days and not listening to it. The best thing to do would be to wait for 20 days so you’re hearing loses that addiction for the song. At that moment you know for sure if a track is good or not! I can’t tell you how many times it happened that after listening to a song that I thought was cool, I’d think: it sucks!! Hehehe.
Overview of the synthesizers and music gear Alex Fain owns
I got a MacBook Pro I7 2012 with Ableton Live 10 and Logic X. I have a Steinberg UR22, Behringer UMC 1820 with ADA8000 and as monitor speakers I use the Yamaha HS7’s.
Additionally I own:
- Korg Volca Drum
- Korg Monologue
- Korg Minilogue xd
- Behringer Crave
- 2 Behringer TD3
- Behringer MS01
- MAM MB 33
- Toraiz Squid that I just switched for an Ableton Push 2
Are the tracks on this EP made with one or more of these synths? If yes, tell us which one and why this synth?
Usually I record my song live while I use my synths. I just press rec and I see what happens! But for the Luna EP this wasn’t the case, as it was produced all “in the box”, with the iPad using Korg Gadget App and Auxy studio App. So, for this track, none of my toys had the pleasure to play in it, maybe next time!
If you’d have to pick, what is your favorite synth and why?
I think Moog One! I tried it and I have to say that it’s phenomenal! But it’s out of my budget because it’s really expensive! It costs like a Fiat Panda!!!
Highlights of his career so far
In the 1991 I placed 3rd in Italy at the official DMC championship. I was young and a virtuoso at cutting and scratching. There’s also a YouTube video where I mix with every part of my body during a competition!!
I produced over a hundred songs and remixes in these 30 years, but the ones that made me most proud were “Who Da Funk- Shiny Disco Balls”, “Sex On Monday rmx(2006)” , “Dr. Who DJ- Extasía (1995)”, “Naïf Theme- Teenagers (2002)”, “Sex On Monday- Bring Back The Love(2005)”.
What more can we expect from you next year? Any releases or special events you can tell us about?
This year I signed a song with the label Jam by Sam Paganini, a minimal song that will come out the 29th of November. For me this is a big opportunity! He’s a friend of mine and we’ve started working together, but even though we know each other since we were kids, he rejected some of my songs as if we were strangers. And that’s the right way to work, he has to choose a song to publish, our friendship has nothing to do with it!
I keep producing by my own, you got to keep going! I’m helping my daughter Desi producing her first pop music album. She sings and produces and she’s way more talented than me haha!
I really enjoy doing live sets with only 2/3 instruments, everything in real time. I think it would be spectacular and artistic if I could perform at an event where the crowd would listen to something unrepeatable created from scratch every time, so they would live the magical moment with you.
I don’t really like playing other people’s music, probably because I did it for many years. It’s better if I can play my own music, right? My ambition is to make some songs that people enjoy, and doing live sets with thousands of people watching, that’d be cool! Unfortunately with the current situation everything is canceled and I can’t tell you when it’s gonna be like before, but when it will I think there’s gonna be a general euphoria, and there’ll be plenty of parties and events all around the world