“Like My Life Depends On It”, the newest release from Alien Country, Einsteined via Liam Torres, is one of the highest example of creative, diverse and intelligent music that has come a long in a long while. As a matter of fact it’s so different and unique that I find it hard to describe…..I couldn’t resist speaking with Liam once again regarding his brilliance.
“Like My Life Depends On It”….. how did you come up with the title and why?
I’m a firm believer of impacting lives in a positive way, it’s why we’re here, right? I believe, to make a great impact in people’s lives, not just our own. Fans tell me that my music helps them decompress and leaves them feeling like they can conquer the world. That’s awesome! I’ll continue to make music to help people as if my life depends on it!
There is another side to this, too, and it started with my collaborative mindset. However, as much as I wanted to make this album a collaborative effort with the people I thought wanted to participate in it, I realized it just wasn’t going to happen that way in the end. There were too many variables to deal with and no cohesive direction. From that moment on I took the entire project upon myself to complete alone.
So, the title is a reminder to me and anyone that if you put your mind to it, if you have a burning desire, if you commit to those two things, your goal will come alive and manifest itself right before your eyes.
Many more albums like this one will surface and come to complete fruition with the help of anyone who wishes to be part of them, but most importantly because of my burning desire to, as Captain Picard from Star Trek often said, “make it so.”
Where does the Sci-Fi edge come in regarding your music?
My intrigue with the unknown, the purely scientific, the psychological…. The cover art for this album really nails that aspect of my personality and my fun-loving side. The sci-fi-ness of my music is a small part of the Alien Country culture, really. That culture is about having fun with my fans and all of us feeling at home with each other and sharing our fun lovin’ geeky sides. We have a blast together on Facebook and email! We’ll go on and on with each other about sci-fi shows or books, swap redneck jokes, and share great music too.
Take “How It Could Have Been,” as an example of subtle sci-fi in the music. It’s entirely about “Family Man.” Remember that movie with Nicholas Cage and Tia Leoni – I’m a sucker for great romantic stories. Really am. What’s so sci-fi about this movie is the fact that Cage goes back in time (in a purely sci-fi sort of way) and experiences what could have been if he had not left his sweetheart (Leoni) crying at the airport. Cage had a trace back and quite literally lived the life he could have had – which makes it very much subtly sci-fi.
So, that’s what I do. I delve in things like that. Things that I like. And I just try to bring those things back to life in a totally new way – in a musical way and with a personal touch to them.
And, quite honestly, what the fans may like too. I listen to people and what they wish was out there for them to listen to.
Do you think that your upbringing and Latino influences are part of the reason your music is so special and unique?
Like one of my fans shared with me, “Most music out there is just lame…” This one element I try very hard to avoid when I write. I try very hard to not sound like anyone else. There may be things that are similar to other artists and bands that I have done, but it isn’t intentional. Probably not my Latino influences since I wasn’t really a fan of Latin music. Where I was born they played all types of music: Classical, Merengue, Salsa, Hibarito, etc. except Rock ‘n’ Roll. That genre was grudgingly allowed in my household only because my parents thought songs in English would help me learn the language faster.
I think if I had been brought up elsewhere, I would have had dissimilar inclinations, but for what reasons? That would be kind of sci-fi-ish in contemplation. Don’t you think? In the end, what matters is what the fans like, and they like the spontaneity and catchiness of my music. That, at the end of any day, is what is most important to me, as an artist – what is important to my fans and anyone, really, who listen to my music and go, “Wow! That’s out of this world.”
Do you acquire musical ideas from your music students?
No, I don’t acquire musical ideas from any of my students. If anything, my students were a source of inspiration to delve into the unknown, new sounds, new rhythms… anything which may have not been played or created before.
One particular genre of music which helped me see music in a totally different…most dramatic light, was Jazz. Jazz was dissonant and strange to me. It was arduously difficult for me to listen to and more so to play. I literally had to unlearn most of what I knew in order to learn the basics of this monstrously gratifying genre. I’m still learning. You never stop. You can hear some basic Jazz ideas in some of my songs here in “Like My Life Depends On It,” too.
5). Who is your favorite current artist and why? I’ve delved into so many genres of music it’s always hard to pinpoint a single artist I like and who has inspired me to create my own music – which I can honestly say, all of them have. However, my all time favorite band has been Iron Maiden. It must come out in my music subconsciously or something because a lot of Alien Country fans are also hard rock / metal fans. It really surprised me at first to hear from metal fans all over the world telling me they enjoy Alien Country! I’m thrilled to have them because we’re kindred spirits – brothers bridging the gap between country and hard rock, and here soon, metal…awesome!
On a side note, I always aspired to be as good a songwriter as Billy Joel. Honestly.
If you could open for anyone on the world, who would you choose?
I would choose Iron Maiden. No doubt about it. However, since our genres are so far apart, I would resurrect the Eagles or maybe reunite 16 Horsepower or CCR. Charlie Daniels and Dwight Yoakam would be awesome too.
Can you recall the moment that changed the entire trajectory of your life?
Since music has been my life, I can recall the instance when I practically gave music up.
After a really disappointing experience in a different band I literally thought of selling my guitars and going back into the banking business or officiating sports…. Then I looked in my inbox and saw an invitation from Tom Hess. The same invitation I had passed up three years ago. But this time, I was right there… on the edge of the precipice looking down and I didn’t like it. Hess’ program taught me to focus on my successes and not get dragged down by negativity. My smoldering desire for success ignited and I took off like my arse was on fire and my head was catchin’
I’m not turning back – EVER.
So you asked me why I named the album “Like My Life Depends On It”… that’s why. My making it into the music industry is my life because music is my life. There is nothing else. It is absolutely necessary for me.