Steve DeMarchi was at home one day recently when he received a phone call from an Indonesian radio station. A deejay there informed him a track, `More Than Words Can Say” by his former band, Alias was top of the Indonesian charts and could he comment on the song’s success.
“I had to tell him that song was originally recorded in 1990, that Alias didn’t exist anymore and that they had discovered that song on the internet,” recalled the former Alias guitarist. “Then it struck me, ‘where had this happened before?”
Talk about déjà vu. In 1989 a Las Vegas deejay called Jay Taylor stumbled upon a song by Canadian band, Sheriff titled “When I’m With You”, liked it, put it on the air and sparked hysteria with his listeners. Trouble was the band Sheriff had disbanded in 1985, they didn’t have a record company and there was no album or single in print. DeMarchi, lead vocalist Freddy Curci, guitarist Arnold Lanni, bassist Wolf Hassel and drummer Rob Elliot were the members of Sherrif. Yet when the word came down that EMI wanted the band to reform to capitalize on the US label securing a No.1 hit on Billboard with the re-release, chief songwriter Lanni and his sidekick Hassel declined as they were enjoying their own U.S success fronting Frozen Ghost.
Curci and DeMarchi’s response was to form a new band, Alias (as in alias Sheriff!), in doing so hooking up with the former Heart trio of Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen and Michael Desrosier to form what was touted as a `supergroup’. Their self-titled 1990 debut spawned three hit singles in “More Than Words Can Say”, “Waiting For Love” and “Haunted Heart”, went to No.1 on billboard and the band toured the U.S with REO Speedwagon and executed their own Canadian headline tour.
[quote]I’d love to do one of those five-year tours where you end up hating the band and wanting to throw your guitars at them.[/quote]However, their U.S. manager Alan Kovac engaged in a political battle with their EMI U.S. label just as Nirvana was championing the Grunge music movement. “The musical climate changed overnight and rock n roll hair bands like us just got swept away,” noted Curci.
DeMarchi and Curci split with the Heart contingent and they recorded a second Alias album, Never Say Never in 1992 but their EMI Canada label sat on the record and instead encouraged Curci to record a solo album, `Dreamer’s Road’
DeMarchi hooked up with Irish band, The Cranberries in 1996 and toured the world as a support player, moving on to recording and touring in support of a solo album by The Cranberries’ lead vocalist Dolores O’Riordan in 2007. “But then things fell out with Dolores, she didn’t come through with some songwriting credits I was supposed to get, so I bailed” explained DeMarchi.
“What was weird was that while I was touring with Dolores in 07, I found myself autographing copies of the second Alias album, one that hadn’t been officially released?” noted DeMarchi. “Yes someone had downloaded tracks off the internet and illegally printed up a bootleg album” added Curci. That second album was finally released in 2009 by EMI.
Curci had moved to Los Angeles, met his wife there and established roots, recording a series of solo albums, writing music for television and movies and also forming an accapella group called Who’s Your Daddy. “It’s wild, we do accapella covers of Foreigner and Led Zeppelin. We’re booked in to play the House Of Blues in Los Angeles.
Both agree that they feel there is unfinished business with Alias and that the Heart tandem are in Seattle waiting for a recall. “We’ve done some acoustic dates together, and we’re always hearing from the fans, asking when the band is going to reunite, I’d love to see it happen,” noted DeMarchi.
“I’m ready to go,” concured Curci. “Just need some support to get the band back on the road, but I’d love to do one of those five-year tours where you end up hating the band and wanting to throw your guitars at them. Would just love that opportunity.”