Alesana (//A-lisA-na) is an American rock band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Revival Recordings and Artery Recordings and have released two EPs and five full-length studio albums. The band gained a wide audience after their debut, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax was released, featuring a musical style shifting between light and heavy sounds along with a wide influence ranging to even classic rock bands such as The Beatles. Their band name is derived from street named Aliceanna St., which is located in Baltimore where the group originated.
Formation and Try This with Your Eyes Closed (2004–2005)
Although the band's members first began playing together in Baltimore,Maryland, Alesana officially formed in October 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina and was founded by Shawn Milke, Patrick Thompson, Dennis Lee, Steven Tomany and Daniel Magnuson. The name of the band is inspired from Aliceanna St., which Shawn Milke and Patrick Thompson lived on when playing in Baltimore, MD. Aliceanna St. is located in Fells Point, a neighborhood in Baltimore. Alesana was the first band to join Tragic Hero Records in 2005, and their 3 demo songs titled "Apology", "Beautiful in Blue" and "Goodbye, Goodnight for Good" were featured on the compilation All The Tragedy Money Can Buy. In May 2005 they released their debut EP, Try This With Your Eyes Closed. Alesana then toured across the United States, including an appearance at the Cornerstone Festival, despite not being a Christian band. In the same year, founding drummer Daniel Magnuson was replaced by Will Anderson.
On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax (2006–2008)
In 2006 the group added a new drummer Jeremy Bryan to replace Will Anderson and added guitarist/vocalist Adam Ferguson to their lineup. They followed with a full-length album, entitled On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, produced by Kit Walters, during the summer of 2006. In late 2006 Alesana signed to Fearless Records, which re-released their LP in March 2007 to mixed reviews and released a music video for "Ambrosia". In the same year, the song "Apology" in an acoustic version was featured on the compilation release, Punk Goes Acoustic 2. The group played the entire Warped Tour 2007, but afterwards, bassist Steven Tomany left Alesana. The record is also the first to feature Shawn Milke's sister, Melissa Milke, who performs all female vocals.
In early 2008, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Waxs charted on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, peaking at #44.
Where Myth Fades to Legend (2008–2009)
In 2008, Alesana finished recording their second album, Where Myth Fades to Legend. It was released on June 3, 2008, but was leaked on popular torrent sites a month beforehand. Where Myth Fades to Legend was also the title of their headlining tour with Sky Eats Airplane, Our Last Night, Lovehatehero, and The Chariot that supported the album. At the time of preparing for the record a year before, the band lacked an official bass player. Shane Crump, who previously played in a band named Your Name in Vain and originally a merchandise salesman for Alesana, was invited into the group after an audition, thus making the record Crump's debut.
On the 2008 Warped Tour, Shane Crump briefly left due to personal matters at home and Jake Campbell, formerly of Twelve Gauge Valentine, became a temporary fill in-bassist. Upon Crump's return, Adam Ferguson and the band parted ways and Campbell became the new guitarist/vocalist. Shane Crump also took care of all the backing unclean to this point.
On January 20, 2009 the music video for "Seduction", the song features a few screams made by Ferguson before he left the band, because of that Shane Crump lip sync all his screams. On March 10, 2009 the album Punk Goes Pop 2 was released which includes Alesana's cover of "What Goes Around...Comes Around" by Justin Timberlake. Alesana's Where Myth Fades to Legend has also charted on the Billboard 200 at #96 and on the Billboard Hard Rock Album at #13.
The Emptiness (2009–2010)
In late February, Shawn Milke announced Alesana had started writing new material for their upcoming album. They began recording their third studio album, in July 2009, in Portland, Oregon, with producer Kris Crummett. The album, according to Shawn Milke on The Rave TV, would be entitled The Emptiness. The band has made their progress in the studio viewable to fans through a Twitter account and an official website run by the band themselves. Concluding the band's recording session, which began on July 10, Alesana then set out for North Carolina to rest before they began their Vs. tour, which they headlined and included the bands The Bled, Enter Shikari, Broadway, Madina Lake, and Asking Alexandria. On the Vs. tour, Alesana's set included two new songs titled "To Be Scared By An Owl" and "The Thespian". Soon after concluding their month-long Vs. tour, Alesana headlined the "You'd Be Way Cuter in a Coffin" Tour with From First to Last, Asking Alexandria, The Word Alive and Memphis May Fire.
On October 15, Milke and Lee held a second interview with The Rave, where they revealed that they were shooting a music video in the fall for one song from The Emptiness. The two members went on to tell Linda, the interviewer, that due to their large fan base in Mexico and South America, they would be releasing a Spanish version of 2 of their songs. Milke also revealed that the album, The Emptiness, was to be released on January 26, 2010. On November 23, Alesana released their first recorded work off of The Emptiness, "To Be Scared By An Owl" and began to promote it as a single. The same week, they entered the studio to begin filming their third video which according to their website, is "The Thespian", the song was released on December 8, 2009. In 2009, Alesana won the Best Hardcore/Screamo Band at the Rock on Request Awards. The band were also invited to play "To Be Scared by an Owl" live on The Daily Habit.
After the release of their music video for "The Thespian" on March 17, the group became less active while promoting the 2010 Warped Tour, which they took part in at the end of June. Right before their first venue on the Warped Tour, guitarist Jake Campbell left the band to be with his family, and Alex Torres of Greeley Estates took his place. Upon the release of The Emptiness, it debuted at #68 on the Billboard 200, which made it the best selling release by the band during this period.
On July 22, 2010, Milke made a statement on the official Revolver website, regarding his constant desire to write scripts, stories and music; considering The Emptiness his 'first printed story'. Milke went on to say that he is constantly writing, and that new material for an Alesana album—as well as material for Wake Me Up, Juliet and Tempting Paris—was already being created. After The Emptiness's recording, the group announced a headlining tour entitled: Two Frail Weeks of Vanity and Wax, in which they performed On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax in its entirety on each date of the tour, along with confirming that some songs would never be played live again after these concerts. In November 2010, Alesana departed from Fearless and signed to Epitaph Records.
A Place Where the Sun Is Silent (2011)
During the beginning of 2011, the band confirmed that plans for a new record were already in the works. Alesana stated that chosen VIP's were involved within the testing of new tracks that were prepared to be included on their fourth studio album. These trackings were recorded during March 2011 with producer Kris Crummett. By the beginning of that summer, Alesana completely finished the record's recording sessions. Alex Torres, Shane Crump, and Dennis Lee shortly thereafter confirmed that the mixing was finished as well and that they had the first master copies published. The name of the album was then announced to be titled, A Place Where the Sun Is Silent, and was released on October 18.
Before its release, promotion for the record was supported by many magazines, websites and other publications. August 24, 2011 had Alternative Press premiere the first leaked song from the album, entitled "A Gilded Masquerade". September 20 had Buzznet streaming "A Forbidden Dance" on their website as part of a contest for a lyric video.
Side projects, Decade EP, tour and Confessions (2012–2015)
In May 2012, Lee began a four-piece side band named Child of the Jackyl with members of the thrash metal band Vanisher while Milke released "Polaroids In July" with his side project Tempting Paris (consisting of Shawn Milke, Paul Co, Patrick Thompson, Melissa Milke and Joey Mitchell (Swampcandy)). Alesana confirmed later in the year that their fifth studio album is currently in its pre works, but only in its writing stage so far. The band moved on without guitarist Alex Torres on the evening of August 19, 2012 by asking him to leave. Since then, Jake Campbell has returned to the band.
On May 8, 2013 it was announced by Milke that the band left Epitaph Records and the follow up to A Place Where the Sun Is Silent will be self released. The pre production for the new record will start shortly after the You Better Watch Your Mouth, Sunshine! Tour and they plan to release this fall. Shawn Milke will be the producer and Neil Engle, who also worked on The Emptiness and Dance Gavin Dance's Happiness will be involved as engineer.
Milke stated that the pre-production will start in July.
On August 10, 2013 Shawn Milke stated: "We're just finishing up with the writing and getting into pre-production. It’s coming out really nice so far. It’s actually the conclusion of the trilogy we began with The Emptiness. I knew the way that The Emptiness ended, I really hoped it would continue". The future plans for the band also contain releasing several EP's. Milke said: "One of the things we want to do after this record is to write and release a series of EPs. You know, drop an EP every two months or so for a year and have them all tie together".
On September 14, 2013 Revival Recordings posted a couple of Instagram photos of the guys in Alesana working on a brand new song, and stated they are currently in the pre-production process of it.
On November 14, 2013 Alesana posted on their Facebook page a picture of the artwork for the new single entitled "Fatima Rusalka" which will be released on December 24, 2013.
On January 7, 2014, Shawn Milke released a statement about the cancellation of their South American tour, "...First off, I would like to thank you for all of the kind words that many of you have shared in regards to our new single ‘Fatima Rusalka’ and for the excitement and enthusiasm you have displayed about our trip to see you in January. I do, however, have some unfortunate news. Due to circumstances that are completely out of our control, the shows have been cancelled. This is a sad day but we must find the positive in every situation in life. We are recording our new EP in January and February which means that when we do finally get the opportunity to play for our amazing South American fans we will have a bunch of new songs to play to go along with all of your favorites, past and present. We miss you and can’t wait to see you again!.
On January 13, 2014, the band announced that they will be releasing a brand new EP on April 1 which is called The Decade EP in celebration of their 10th anniversary as a band. "The Decade Tour" will be starting March 7 and last till April 6. Support bands are Get Scared, Hearts & Hands, Farewell, My Love (Band) and Megosh.
Alesana has released a new single "Nevermore" via revolvermag.com at 10am Est on March 3.
On March 27, 2014, Alesana released a new song off of their The Decade EP entitled "Double Or Nothing" via the Artery Recordings YouTube channel.
On September 12, 2014 Cliché Magazine interviewed Shawn Milke before their Chaos Is the Ladder Tour with Megosh, The Funeral Portrait and The Things They Carried about their forthcoming album set for a Spring release. The album will be the conclusion of the Annabel trilogy and will be centered around "The Time Quintet" literary book series by Madeleine L'Engle. The band will also release another single in December. Also via Facebook, the band announced that they will record and release their first live album on December 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
On February 24, 2015, the band announced via Facebook the third and final part of the Annabel trilogy of Annabel. The album will be titled Confessions and will be released through Revival Recordings; the first single "Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen" premieres on March 17. In addition to the announcement of Alesana’s new album, the band will be heading out on a nationwide tour with Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, and Revival Recordings labelmates The Funeral Portrait. This 29-day tour will begin in Winston-Salem, NC on April 3 and wrap up on May 3 in Dallas, TX.
On April 2, 2015 the song "Comedy Of Errors" was premiered on the band's social networks, a videoclip for the song was filmed as lead track of "Confessions" 
On April 21, 2015 the band's fifth album "Confessions" was released. It is the conclusion to the Annabel trilogy.
On December 30, 2015 via Revival Recordings YouTube channel, the band release the trailer for the first part of "Comedy of Errors" it will premier on January 7, 2016. In February 7th, 2016 the second part was released
Live album and its issues, band's future and hiatus (2016–Present)
On December Shawn Milke did an AMA on the Revival Recordings' YouTube channel, a user named Shane Waters asked: "So when's the live album going to be released? Thought it was going to be last year?" and Shawn Milke answered: "So when we opened the session from the Live performance there were a lot of corrupt files. We've been working to see if the session is salvageable. Fingers crossed, I appreciate you asking about it!" It leaves unlikely expectations for the release, also most of the vinyls for Confessions and The Emptiness are delayed with logistics problems. The band has no plan to tour or release anything in the near future. Shawn and his wife Naima have two children, Jake and his wife had a baby at the start of the year, Shane and Patrick are working on their own projects and Jeremy and Dennis are working on personal projects.
The page will be available soon.
Musical style and influence
Alesana's overall genre is difficult to determine due to their frequent use of light and poppy influence combined with heavy outputs and metal influenced-screaming vocals. The band has been labeled under many genres like screamo, metalcore, post-hardcore and emocore. Although these are the genres that Alesana is usually classified as, the band has labeled themselves as pop-metal, and "sweetcore" (a term that was made-up by the group that parodies the cliché of genres that suffix in "core"). Their clean vocals and lyrics are described as appealing to emo and heavy riffs are described as appealing to metal and hardcore punk fans.
Influences for the band include an array of rock bands such as The Beatles, Sonic Youth and Mew. The band is also influenced by an array of metal bands such as The Black Dahlia Murder and Iron Maiden.
- Studio albums
- On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax (2006)
- Where Myth Fades to Legend (2008)
- The Emptiness (2010)
- A Place Where the Sun Is Silent (2011)
- Confessions (2015)
- Live Albums
- NOT RELEASED (for technical issues) (recorded on December 11, 2014 at Raleigh, NC on Southland Ballroom)
- Non-album songs
- "Fatima Rusalka" (2013)
|Year||Title||From the album||Director|
|2007||"Ambrosia", "Ambrosia" (director's cut) ||On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax||Jeremy Jackson|
|2008||"Seduction"||Where Myth Fades To Legend||Scott Hansen|
|2010||"The Thespian" ||The Emptiness||Stephen Penta|
|2011||"Circle VII: Sins of the Lion"||A Place Where the Sun Is Silent||Shawn Milke|
|2011||"Lullaby of the Crucified"||A Place Where the Sun Is Silent||Stephen Penta|
|2014||"Fatima Rusalka"||Non-album Single||Rita Amal Baghdadi|
|2014||"Nevermore"||The Decade EP||Cole Dabney|
|2016||"Comedy of Errors" (Part 1) ||Confessions||Justin Reich|
|2016||"Comedy of Errors" (Part 2) ||Confessions||Justin Reich|