Azari & III

With a Juno nomination for Electronic Album Of The Year for their 2011 eponymous release, Azari & III is burning with excitement.  Make sure that you have your dancing shoes on for this one!   They combine grit, glamour and a fierce, politicised attitude.  The dance floor's historic role as a place of liberation for marginalised communities is a topic that is close to their heart.  Intelligent lyrics and electronic rhythms reinforces the doctrine that pleasure and happiness are the sole or chief good in life.  For more information on this band and tour dates, visit:  
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: Can you please introduce yourself! Talk to me about your music.

Alphonse Alixander Lanza III:  Hi I'm Alphonse Alixander Lanza III and I make all kinds of sincere music some of which is the industrial strength techno funk known as Azari & III.

Fritz Helder: Hello! We are Azari&III!  We are A Canadian 4 piece creating music in a cerebral yet kinetic series of forgotten emotions, wandering hopes and crystalline fantasies.

Valerie: What inspires your writing? Tell me about your first eponymous album.

Alixander III: Generally life as it breezes by is the inspiration, watching, feeling, inventing. Taking cues from those around and the info at hand, twisting it up into poetry and metaphor, understanding life by analysing and rewriting it.

Fritz Helder: Our writing is inspired by our lives, our friends lives and just being observant or "aware" if u will. Inspiration is everywhere.  The album started off with a few singles that slowly made their way through the bloggesphere leading to the finished album you hear now. It's a love story without an end.

Valerie: I heard that you were nominated for Electronic Album Of The Year at the JUNO Awards which were held last last March in Ottawa; how did it go?

Alixander III: Well, we did not bring home the prize but that is OK. We are just happy that Canada is recognising the new artists emerging from within, and we had fun with our friends who did win!

Fritz Helder: The JUNOs were fun, we played a small PA show and partied too much! We didn't win but we all came home with massive hangovers!

Valerie: I know that it's important to you to write meaningful lyrics. What inspired the single Reckless With Your Love?

Alixander III: Meaningful may be a bit pretentious, what means something to me might not to you, what we wanted to avoid was party anthem nonsense and over wrought cliche. We look around us and see how our people are living, what is inspiring them and their dogma.  We report on the current state of affairs, adding in our own judgemental and omnipotent skew. 

Fritz Helder: Being reckless with love.

Valerie: How did the song Hungry for the Power come about?

Alixander III: Well at the time it seems that a lot of people were dashing towards success without any care of what would get them there. Just churning out product trying to get somewhere in the scene. But guess what; where are 90% of them now? You have to follow your heart and conscience not the dangling carrot of success.
Valerie: What is your favourite song on this album?

Alixander III: That's tough as we really got into each one as it's own universe, but probably Reckless, its just so repeatable without being cliche, IMHO.

Fritz Helder: Between the four of us, we cannot decide. Favourites change with each listen or show we play. It depends on the mood, or maybe the time of day. The album played from start to finish is an enjoyable journey.

Valerie: What song would you hope for people to relate to specifically and why?

Alixander III: Hopefully the whole album works as its own dose of dreamy narcotic. Welcome to our world vibes.

Valerie: You stand up for marginalized groups in our society. What would you like to say through your music that will take people one step further (in their dancing shoes!!) from tolerance to acceptance and respect?

Alixander III:  Its interesting because we are not the most tolerant folks out there. We have our vision and our version and we operate under the auspice of the inner voice and outer input, if that makes any sense.

Fritz Helder: We don't think our music should bare the burden of that. Dance music / club culture has always been there for people to loose themselves in. We are just a small thread of a larger tapestry, much older than us.  Respect is the word! Respect yourself and respect the fact that we are here to have fun and to free ourselves too.

Valerie: What is your definition of a fun night with Azari & III?

Alixander III: Individually we are lovers, fighters, theologians and thieves, things could go either way if you end up alone with one of us. But the Azari & III experience as a united group it definitely most tangible and potent during our stage shows, when we lose ourselves in the communal Dionysian hypnosis.

Fritz Helder: Good food...

Valerie: Do you have any near future touring plans? Where can we buy your music and see you play?

Alixander III: We are joining Sonar (Spain) for their first tour of the USA this Fall 2012, co-headlining with Die Antwoord and featuring Seth Troxler and Tiga plus many more . You can see us in a major city near you, and the music is available all over the net for theft or purchase, let your karma decide how you'll attain it.  

Fritz Helder: We are on a small break after an extensive summer tour through Europe. We will be back on the road in October/November in North America along side our buddies Die Antowoord, Seth Troxler and Tiga!

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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