Alexander Litinsky is a talented musician hailing from Winnipeg, a city located in Manitoba, Canada. His solo endeavor, A.M. Overcast, plays around with pop music, creating dreamy sounds that seamlessly intertwine with several different genres of rock heard in the scene today, most notably the math rock community. We had a nice email exchange, where we discussed how he first got involved with Soft Speak Records, the future of A.M. Overcast and the beauty that is the soundtrack to “The Lion King.”
Modern Vinyl: First things first: How did you first get started as a musician? Who were some of your early influences that helped shape who you are today?
Alex Litinsky: I got started pretty early in life. I really have to give it to my music-loving parents who would play tons of records in the house growing up. It evolved from pots and pans to the drum set and l began to play along to my favourite albums. There are literally too many artists to mention, but I can say I didn’t pigeonhole myself into one genre. I would study jazz one week, then move along to some grind-core the next. I remember discovering Zach Hill while I was in high school and tried to get my hands on everything he was involved with. There was honestly so much that influenced me at that time though; literally from whatever pop was on the radio to practicing snare drum.
MV: How did the name “A.M. Overcast” originate?
AL: The story is kind of boring to be honest. In my early teens (when I had tons of free time), I’d spend a majority of my days figuring out how to play guitar and practiced drums. I found I was most inspired to write songs when I woke up to rainy mornings, so “A.M. Overcast” came to me and has just sort of stuck since then.
MV: How is A.M. Overcast different from your other project, Grand Beach?
AL: Aside from A.M. being a solo project and GB a collaboration of 4 individuals, I’ve also found that musically, Grand Beach has more structural complexity and also focuses more on vocal work. A.M. Overcast is more geared towards experimenting with “pop” ideas. If that makes any sense…haha.
MV: How did you get involved with Soft Speak Records?
AL: After Pellow started to gain some popularity through the help of the online math rock community, I was contacted by the label’s owner, Michael, basically out of the blue. We chatted for quite some time and decided to put out a record. Before you know it, Lexicon Palace was available to everyone on vinyl. I couldn’t be more thrilled that Soft Speak is going to be releasing Beauty Ave., as well. I’d just like to add that It’s really humbling to be on a label with amazing groups such as Invalids.
MV: Is there anything in the works for new music in the next few months?
AL: In terms of releasing music, unfortunately not. To be completely honest, I released Beauty Ave. with the mindset that it would be the last A.M. album (at least for a long time). But like most artists will probably agree, you’re sort of a born slave to your craft. There are periods of intensive creativity and then there are stretches of writer’s block, but nonetheless I’m always motivated to create new ideas. So I’ve been doing a ton of songwriting this summer and do plan to release more music in the future. Whether it’ll be under the AMO alias, or when that might be is totally an unknown. What I do know is that I’d like it to be longer than 15 minutes. Haha.
MV: Thematically, how did you approach the writing/recording/mixing process of “Beauty Ave.?”
AL: It was approached with lots of positivity, optimism and confidence. In each stage of the process I maintained a pretty laid-back state of mind and I was always conscious of not over-thinking things.
MV: Do you have any plans to tour across the U.S.?
AL: Now that I’ve relocated to the western shores of Canada, it’s been a challenge meeting new musicians. But if the stars align and a live A.M. Overcast ensemble is ever formed, I’d be thrilled to tour the United States!
MV: If you could have a dream tour routing, where would it take you and why?
AL: Probably something involving Poland (my roots) and that area of Europe. Maybe even throw a bit of Iceland in there.
MV: Let’s branch out a little and talk about your music collection. How and when did you first start collecting records (or cds or tapes, if that’s what you’re into!)? With all of that said, do you have any favorites in your collection?
AL: I remember I was probably something like seven years old and my dad gave me some cash at a CD store to pick any album I wanted. For whatever reason, I ended up gravitating towards The Lion King soundtrack. To this day, the chord progressions in the chorus of “Circle Of Life” still gives me the goosebumps. But seriously, I began to collect anything that really caught my ear. I went through both a cassette and CD Walkman phase, all over the place with different mediums. I remember getting myself Dillinger Escape Plan’s Irony Is A Dead Scene on vinyl and just realizing how awesome it was that you could experience music as insane as that on vinyl. Some of my all-time favourites include:
MV: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’d like to thank Alex for taking the time to chat with us here at Modern Vinyl and wish him the best for all of his future endeavors! If you’re interested in checking out his other project, Grand Beach, you can do so right here. “Beauty Ave.” is currently up for pre-order on Soft Speak’s webstore, with a limited pressing of 100 available on black wax.