Juan Alban

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Juan Alban

The name Juan Alban should be one that is all too familiar with the Forte readership. For those unfamiliar with his name though, Alban fronted a little band called Epicure, who was one of the most successful through the 2000s in the Australian music scene. Last year Alban released his debut solo record entitled Dr Pelican on Holiday!, and if you remember reading the review for it, I said that it was a cracking acoustic and relaxing listen. In the lead up to his show at the Karova Lounge on the 3rd of May, I sat down with Juan to chat about how the journey has been to produce a solo record.
After the final tour and band mates went different ways, Alban began working on an EP, which eventually saw the light of day in 2012. Too Long in Flight, according to Alban, was very similar to the material that he was writing for Epicure, and so with the album, Alban wanted to change things up a little bit and create an entirely new sound.
“In 2010 we did our final tour and then I was working on Too Long in Flight straight after that. It took a while to craft the songs and everything I wrote in the period after Epicure broke up sounded more or less like the band. Dr Pelican on Holiday! was something that I had to go back to the drawing board with and look at each song and it took a while to come up with them, but I think that the final result is sounding great. And the record has been getting really positive reviews as well,” Alban said.
Having been influenced by many bands throughout his musical career, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what inspired the set of ten songs on the album. Throughout the Epicure days, Alban was inspired by the likes of Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana, but thinks that singer-songwriters had a lot more to say this time around.
“There are a lot of different sounds on the album that is credit to the producing of Dave Manton. We stripped the songs back and worked on them from there and there is a folky influence from the likes of Ryan Adams, Sufjan Stevens, Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams and Ray LaMontagne, to name just a few in there. It took around 18 months to piece together, but it is a record that I am very proud of.”
Together with members of The Hello Morning, the Karova Lounge gig sees Juan Alban and Los Pelicans creating the album exactly as you hear it on the record, with a full eight-piece band along for the ride. Comprised of many members of The Hello Morning, Alban is unsure of when this full band sound will happen again and urges all Forte readers to get down for a great night of fun.
“The Hello Morning are a band in their own right and are off touring around the country. They have given me a lot of their time, and this show is probably the last time that you will see this record played in full band mode for quite some time. There are some great players, and Steve Clifford’s amazing pedal steel will be on show. What more could you ask for?”
Be sure not to miss a brilliant record, re-created in this live show.
When&Where: The Karova, Ballarat – May 3
Written by Tex Miller