Modern Day Escape’s Sandra Alva Talks ‘Under The Gun,’ Musical Inspirations + More
With Modern Day Escape's latest album, 'Under The Gun,' hitting stores last week, the west coast hard rockers have been creating a strong buzz with their sophomore effort.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Modern Day Escape drummer Sandra Alva (ex-Black Veil Brides). Alva filled Loudwire in on the new album, tales from the road, her musical beginnings, interests outside of music and many other topics.
How did you come to join Modern Day Escape?
When I was in my old band, Black Veil Brides, we had this summer tour called “The Sacred Ceremony Tour” and Modern Day Escape was on the bill as well. They actually opened for us on that tour. We were also on the same record label. So, after that tour ended, I left my band at the time, and MDE lost their drummer at the same time. So it worked out perfectly. I joined forces with them, and here we are.
What will you remember most about the recording sessions for 'Under The Gun'?
The recording studio was like a cave. We would come in, start working in the morning and the next thing you know, you go outside for some fresh air and it’s after midnight. Then you go back to work, then, the next thing you know its daylight again. A whole 24 hours pass and you don’t even feel it. It was so weird, but oddly very funny at the same time.
What has the response to the CD been like so far?
It’s been so amazing! It makes me really happy that everyone likes it. The fans are really stoked about it. I’m really excited to see the crowds response to 'Under The Gun.' We worked our asses off on this record!
How was the video shoot for the title track 'Under The Gun'?
The shoot for 'Under The Gun' was really exciting. It’s the first single and the title track of the new album. We were really looking forward to be working with the director Scott Hansen. The whole day of the shoot was lots of laughs and really good energy the whole time with the band and crew. I think the music video turned out great because of that. We actually started working on another music video the same day as we shot 'Under The Gun.' The song is called 'Life’s A Bitch.' We also just released a fan lyric music video for the song 'The Syndicate.' That video is awesome, because it’s our fans taking pictures of themselves and holding the lyrics up. We thought it would be great to have a video of just the fans. It turned out so great!
What are your upcoming tour plans?
We have an awesome tour coming up for the summer, but I don’t think we can really say much about it just yet. It’s a great lineup and we are very excited for it.
What has been your most memorable Modern Day Escape live show?
I honestly can’t pick just one. I love every show so much. The fans make every show worthwhile. Just being able to meet them, talk to them one on one, and taking photos with them. Actually there have been a few shows where I have met fans and they start crying because they can’t believe that they are meeting me. It’s insane. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the fact that I have fans. [Laughs] It’s so unreal to me!
What's the craziest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I don’t remember what state I was in, but there was this really drunk woman at the show with her daughter who was also drinking at the bar. I swear they both tried to tag team me. First of all, it’s a mom and daughter wanting to get down and dirty, and second… well there isn’t really a second. It was nuts. I couldn’t help but laugh. I couldn’t believe that was happening!
How difficult is it to keep up with relationships when you're on the road so much?
Friendships are a lot easier to handle when I’m touring. It’s really hard to keep a romantic relationship being home for a few weeks then having to leave and spend most of your time away on the road. I actually just got out of a relationship because she said it was too hard to handle. It sucks, but there isn’t really anything I could do about that. It’s the lifestyle I chose to live. So I have to accept everything that comes with it as well.
What was your inspiration to start playing drums?
My cousins actually got me into making music. They play the guitar and I remember going to one of their band practices one day when I was about 10 years old and I thought it was the coolest thing. I had never seen a band of any sort. When I was 11 I sat behind the drums and I jammed with my cousin and I fell in love. The rest is history.
Who are some fellow drummers you respect and admire?
This might be a bit random, but then again not because I am Hispanic. But ever since I was little, my mom would always listen to this Spanish rock band Mana. I absolutely love their drummer Alex Gonzalez. He plays with such skill, from rock beats to salsa-like beats, an all-around amazing musician. And he is considered the best drummer in Mexico. I’ve just always thought he was so cool and I looked up to him a lot ever since I could remember.
What are your hobbies and interests away from music?
I love just hanging out with my friends as much as I can, especially when I’m home. Sometimes we like going down to Santa Monica and Venice to skate around on our boards for the day. I don’t do any tricks anymore, I just love to ride and cruise on my Tony Alva board and enjoy the beach weather.
What's currently on heavy rotation in your MP3 player?
This might sound weird and random, but I spent last summer in Dallas, Texas and ever since I came back I can’t stop listening to country music. I listen to more of the newer music though, like Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, just to name a few.
'Under The Gun' is available now at Hot Topic, through iTunes and Amazon.