Alberto Albis



YOU’VE HAD SEVERAL SONGS FEATURED IN MOVIES AND SOUNDTRACKS THAT YOU PLAYED BASS ON, PRODUCED, AND/OR WROTE. HOW DID YOU GET INTO DOING THAT?I had a band a couple of years ago called The Crash Poets, and we had a few songs featured on different TV shows on MTV and the WB. You can also hear me play bass on the soundtrack of the movie Am Limit by Academy Award winner Pepe Danquat. And a few years ago, I started playing with a band that eventually turned into Viva la Union, with actor John Cho. I ended up co-writing and producing the first album and they used the song “Chinese Baby” on the soundtrack of Harold and Kumar 2: Escape from Guantanamo Bay.So to answer your question about how I got into doing it, I’m always looking for opportunities to be creative and always looking for the next step. That’s why I got into producing and writing. I saw the opportunity, took it, and found out that I really enjoyed it, and people responded to my work. So I guess it’s a combination of luck, perseverance, talent, and meeting the right people.WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE PROJECTS THAT YOU’VE BEEN A PART OF AND WHY?Every project I have worked on is a lot of fun and they all give me something different. For example, Viva la Union’s first album was a lot of fun, the budget was low and we had to be very creative with how we recorded and used our limited resources. I was playing bass, keys, producing, singing backing vocals, programming stuff, writing, etc. Working on Roy Ashen’s album Eclipse was such a great experience because I was able to be very creative with my bass lines and help with the arrangements during pre-production. And Roy collaborated with Grammy winners Andrew Scheps (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bjork, Metallica) and Tim Palmer (U2, David Bowie, Cure), so getting to see that was a great learning experience! I did some sessions with some hip hop/R&B artists and the writers and producers are now nominated for Grammys. That was a lot of fun and very interesting because they were writing the music on the spot with the musicians, as well as all the loops and little musical parts.HOW DID YOUR TIME AT LACM HELP YOU GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?I learned a lot at LACM, and they helped me to find my voice and expand it. They also gave me a lot of tools, which really helped me define myself as a musician. I began to understand the importance of groove and pocket, especially with the type of music that I really wanted to be playing.WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE LESSONS OR EXPERIENCES FROM YOUR LACM DAYS?I loved being there every day in every class! They all had something so good to offer. I was playing all day and all night and taking any opportunity to play. I practiced, but I think I spent more time playing with people and bands than anything else. I was the first one playing in the Ensemble Workshops, which gave me the chance to play again at the end after all my classmates played, so I was always playing twice. I was fearless and didn’t care about making mistakes. The support and feedback were amazing!I am currently in the studio with singer/songwriter Erin Alden working on a new project that I’m co-writing and producing. I’m also playing bass, keys, and doing the programming on it. Randy Cooke is on drums and Bryan Baker played guitar on it. I’m happy because I got to be very creative with it. I’m also working with John Cho on the new Viva la Union album, which I’m co-writing, producing, playing keys, and programming, etc. And I have a girlfriend too! [laughs]