It’s September 2012 and Alias guitarist Steve DeMarchi has agreed to meet with myself to discuss a “Where Are They Now” spotlight feature to run in the debut issue of the newly launched Music Express online magazine about Alias and what has happened to himself, lead vocalist Freddy Curci and the former Heart trio of guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen and drummer Michael Derosier.
It had been over 20 years at that time since the band imploded following the success of their 1990 self-titled debut which had featured one giant radio hit “More Than Words Can Say” plus a couple of other radio hits in “Waiting For Love” and “Haunted Heart”. Yet within two years, the advent of the grunge movement had forced, their U.S label Capitol/EMI to clear out their pop-rock roster and Alias were one of those clear-out victims.
Even though DeMarchi went on to spend almost 15 years touring and recording with Irish mega band, the Cranberries, there was always a feeling of unfinished business with Alias as we sat in that Etobicoke Restaurant and reflected on past events and what would happen if Alias had the opportunity to re-unite!
Thursday August 21st 2014, that opportunity avails itself as Alias is set to reform by headlining the first night of the four-night Sturgis Canada music festival to be staged at the Merritt B.C Music Grounds. It won’t be a complete reunion. DeMarchi and lead vocalist Freddy Curci are back together but Fisher had long ago gone off to pursue solo ventures and the duo of Fossen and Derosier are unavailable due to the logistics of being previously booked for their Heart By Heart tribute band.
Still DeMarchi and Curci have reunited with bassist Wolf Hassel who was with them in their previous band Sheriff and joining the group are keyboardist Dennis DeMarchi (who performed on that debut Alias release), new guitarist Roscoe Stewart and drummer Chris Sutherland who has been performing with Kim Mitchell’s band.
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“It’s purely a logistics thing that Steve (Fossen) and Michael (Derosier) can’t make it for Sturgis,” allowed DeMarchi before heading out to engage in rehearsals for the forthcoming gig. “They have this very popular Heart tribute band which is in great demand around the Seattle area. But to compensate, it’s great to have Wolf back in the band and former Harlequin guitarist Glenn Willows highly recommended Chris (Sutherland)”.
Still most fans will remember Curci and DeMarchi has been the band’s mainstays and DeMarchi informs that Curci has been keeping his vocal chops in shape by singing in a Los Angeles-based band called Who’s Your Daddy which sings a capella versions of classic hits.
“It’s a great time for Alias to return, we haven’t done the circuit for a long time,” reflected DeMarchi. “There is a definite resurgence in classic rock, I see it all the time with other bands, guys like Loverboy and Coney Hatch, I see the shows that they’re doing and I sense that we could be successful as well.”
DeMarchi is aware that the fans might not be initially aware of some of the bands hits. “They might not remember them off the top,” he allows. “But once they do hear the songs, they’ll remember us.”
Of course “When I’m With You” their Billboard No.1 hit from their Sheriff album remains a standard on every classic rock station and “More Than Words Can Say” is an equally popular Alias single. “I am hoping that our re-launch will generate radio interest in other hits like “Waiting For Love” and “Haunted Heart”, noted DeMarchi who says the band’s set list for Sturgis Canada will also include tracks from their second album, tracks from Freddy’s `Dreamers Road’ solo release plus the band is planning a few surprise covers. “Knowing there’s a lot of bikers out there, we might do something like Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” or some AC/DC – we’ll definitely have a lot of fun.”
So is this Sturgis gig just a one-off or is there a chance of the band reforming? “Hard to say,” responded DeMarchi. “We’ll know better once we get rehearsing and when we go on stage at Sturgis. But, yes we feel we have some unfinished business. There’s people out there, both in the United States and Canada, that want to see us again and are obviously hoping for a reunion, so we’ll have to see what happens. I do know that Freddy is anxious to get going again, I would love to see things work out and if the chemistry is right with the other guys, who knows?”