Alec Stanley Seven Quickly Becoming One of Macon’s Hottest Acts
written by Luke Goddard
If a typical set lasts around 30 minutes, 16 year old Alec Stanley spends 25 minutes of it with his eyes closed. I remember a time when I was catching one of his shows, an uninformed bystander leaned in and asked me if the “dude singin'” was blind. Certainly humorous at the time, I had to inform this person that it’s just Alec Stanley being Alec Stanley. Quirky, no doubt, but it’s almost as if he leaves his body during his set. As soon as he straps on his guitar and adjusts his mic, there’s no doubt who’s the leader in the band, Alec Stanley Seven, as if the band’s name isn’t obvious enough. This is not, in any way, a reflection of an egotistical frontman. “I really don’t enjoy the band being named after me. Our keyboardist, Matt Spinks, named the band. His logic was that I already worked hard raising a fan base . . . by the time we wanted to change the name, we collectively felt that it was too late. It sort of stuck,” says Stanley when asked about the name of his band. The band is made up of Alec Stanley (Guitar/vocals), John Payne (bass), Matt Spinks (Keys/percussion), and Stephen Payne (drums).
Stanley’s stage presence locks you in and could appear to a newcomer as a bit over-the-top. After a few songs into his set, though, it becomes clear that this young talent is simply laying his heart on the stage. And he holds nothing back while doing so. “I just try to let my emotion come through in my performance. I like to move to music,” says Stanley. Most impressively, the fella is “moving” all over the stage while staying spot-on with the rhythm of the song on his guitar.
To me, it’s always special to catch one of Stanley’s shows– whether it’s with his band or one of his solo shows. Because he has literally played every instrument known to man in nearly every relevant band in Macon, it’s a special thing to see him fronting a band. It’s right where he needs to be. Of course, he doesn’t think so. “I love being an auxiliary musician. I like playing random instruments that aren’t really that important, but add flavor. I loved playing glock and signing harmonies for Oh Dorian. My favorite role, however, would have to be either a drummer, or a bassist that sings harmonies. I would pick either of those over fronting a band.” Bands in and around middle Georgia demonstrate intelligence and vision when they choose to have Stanley assist them in their shows. During these performances as an “auxiliary musician,” he’s doing much more than adding flavor for these bands’ sets. Instead, I’ve often seen Stanley be more of the meat of someone else’s show. So to see him as the frontman of a band he feels comfortable in is a treat. Taking the light off himself, Stanley says, “I love all of the musicians in this band, and they all are so talented. There isn’t one person, besides me, that sticks out for being less talented than the rest. I am definitely the least talented musician in this band, and I love it.” Hardly. But, he’s right on part of that statement. Alec Stanley Seven is, indeed, comprised of three other very talented young guys that seems to allow Stanley to sort blend in a bit better.
Before embarking on this new project, Alec Stanley Seven, Stanley tried his hand at being the drummer in a band called, “I Draw Trees.” That was a sloppy mess. The chemistry was simply horrendous. It was frustrating for many to see him so out of place. A fine drummer, Stanley, to put it simply, was in a band that wasn’t quite good enough. The talent seemed to be there at times for the band, but the fellas (I can’t even remember their names) seemed to lack taste. And a lack of taste goes a long in way in making a band suck. “We got tired of each other really fast, and the quality of the music started to really slip,” said Stanley. I Draw Trees lasted a handful of shows and finally decided to call it quits.
Since putting the sticks away, Stanley is coming off his first real tour as the frontman of Alec Stanley Seven. Between shows on the road, Stanley and his band have been spending a lot of time with local recording engineer, Johnny Davis at Symmetry Studios. They’ve recorded a 6-track EP that appears to be a very solid debut effort. The band will look to impress at TheBlueIndian.com’s Showcase 2010 this Friday, August 13th.
And folks, you won’t want to miss it.