Sian Alice Group 

Breaking It Up: Sian Alice Group play nice—whenever, however

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  • Sian Alice Group
Sian Alice Group’s guitarist is one of the most sought-after music video directors in the U.K.—and yet the trio’s drummer sleeps on the floor of their studio. His ramshackle quarters are just one indication of how unpretentious the innovative lads are in their cultivation of genre-bending sounds

Brooklyn’s gonzo label The Social Registry—home to experimental groups Gang Gang Dance and Zs—has given Sian Alice Group free reign to do whatever they please since 2007.

“The first album they didn’t even listen to until it had been mastered. They really are completely at ease with us doing exactly what we want to do,” multi-instrumentalist/engineer/producer Rupert Clervaux says. Guitarist Ben Crook confirms this, adding, “Making a double vinyl is kind of foolhardy but The Social Registry let us do it twice. Everyone says the music industry is falling apart but we’ve been pretty lucky.”

Cool, but don’t lucky folks own a bed? Well, Clervaux crashed in the studio in order to give the self-proclaimed workaholic ‘round the clock mixing time. Crook takes a similar approach in handling the visual side of the band with plenty of his own time-consuming experience directing videos for some of Britain’s finest stars (Pet Shop Boys, The Fratellis, The Horrors, Spiritualized.) The amazing vocalist and namesake of the group Sian Ahern says this of their latest video, “I have faith that Ben would make something great. It’s good when you have that trust.” That faith crosses over into their personal relationship, as well.

The couple met prior to the group’s formation, and with Crook’s assistance an evolution took place turning microphone-shy Ahern into the “seasoned professional” she is today—though she’s still surprised to hear herself described as such. “How did it happen? I do really enjoy it now, whereas before the fear made it difficult to enjoy the process.”

Considering how seriously they take their creative process, the group is quite personable, issuing more “cheers” and “thank-yous” than most stateside rockers of similar caliber.

“I like meeting new people. I like talking to them and drinking with them,” Ahern says.

“I’m not all serious. I like to have fun.”

The band is eagerly awaiting their Salt Lake City stop as well as the scenic drive.

“It’s pretty relaxing sitting in a van staring out the window waiting for your next gig,” Crook says Crook and Ahern enjoy that time enough that the band’s latest video (“Closer to the Ground”) channels the muse of road trips on Kansas highways. Crook utilized Dungeness—a headland on the coast of Kent, England—to stand in for the open roads of the Midwest evincing their past cross-country drives in and out of twilight with a preternatural blue/gray light.

Sian Alice Group’s latest LP, Troubled, Shaken, Etc., is a tight, pitch-perfect follow-up to its predecessor, Dusk Line EP—exactly what longtime followers and experimental music fans in general are craving. Sian Alice Group wouldn’t want it any other way.

“I don’t want to make someone else’s music. You can only be pure with what you know.” Crook says. Clervaux continues this thought by revealing the true nature of the band, saying, “We are devoid any sort of mission statement. There are really no rules.”

In other words, expect the unexpected.

The Urban Lounge
241 S. 500 East
Monday, Oct. 5
9 p.m.

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Jon Paxton

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