ILIRJANA ALUSHAJ IS ON HER WAY TO BECOMING A HARD TO PRONOUNCE HOUSEHOLD NAME. YOU MIGHT HAVE SPOTTED HER ON BLOGS AND IN PAGES OF MAGAZINES. YOU MIGHT BE A FAN OF HER LABEL/PUBLICATION KNOWN AS THE POP MANIFESTO. YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD HER BAND APACHE BEAT OR HER SOLO WORK ILLE, OR HAVE SPOTTED HER IN GIRL CRISIS (A COLLAB FEATURING LEADING LADIES FROM CHAIRLIFT, AU REVOIR SIMONE, CLASS ACTRESS, ETC) VIDEOS. THOUGH ALUSHAJ HAS HER HANDS IN SEEMINGLY EVERY JAR, SHE IS FIRST AND FOREMOST A MUSICIAN. WE WERE ABLE TO GET THE MULTI-TASKING MUSICIAN TO ANSWER TWELV QUESTIONS ABOUT PERFORMING AND TOUR.
1. The first show I ever played:
I played random instruments as a kid at some school, but as a proper band (Apache Beat) it was the Cake Shop. I used to do sound installation style pieces too, but I don’t think that counts as “playing”.
2. My pre-show warm-up:
Warming vocals, talking to myself and hiding from people.
3. My post-show cool-down (or re-warm-up):
Loads of chatting, chilling and reappearing from my hiding spot.
4. Most fated gig:
Montreal. We never made it to the city and have been black marked by that nation ever since.
5. I still can’t believe I’ve shared a bill with:
Maybe Sonic Youth?
6. The best on-road meal I’ve had:
In Spain all food was better.
7. Favourite locale I’ve toured through:
I’ve enjoyed Europe. Not sure if there is one reason why but I liked the general vibe and the excitement of people there for music.
8. My funniest live slip-up:
Almost falling off the stage in Barcelona due to partying too hard earlier that evening. By the time we played it was half two in the morning, but despite the near fall I think I held it together pretty well. Such a fun night.
9. The most surprising fan/audience interaction:
Things like marriage proposals and fans stage diving are pretty surprising. However my favourite was in Leeds where someone missed our show, found us loading out and brought records for us to sign. He was so sad that we hung out in the dock for a while and jammed.
10. I felt like I was in a movie:
Getting lost in the streets of Paris on a really pretty afternoon.
11. I knew I wasn’t in a movie:
Sitting in a fluorescent South Hampton [England] Chinese restaurant, bummed out and tired.
12. Nearest and dearest tour memory:
The ridiculous conversations I’ve had in the tour van, all which must be kept secret.
Interviewed by Tiffany Diane Tso
Edited by Patrik Lundberg
Photo Credit: Aimee Blaut of The Formula Blog