Everybody’s talking about local musician Alix Monasterio, a young dude who has become famous in the teen scene for multilayered soundscapes recorded entirely in his garage. Always down for a good old-fashioned bandwagon, I sat down with Monasterio and gave him a little word association test.

SFR: My music
AM: …is a self-indulgent thing. My first album, Insomnia, was about feelings that come from not being able to sleep…lonely nights and fears that come from overthinking everything. It was almost dancey and influenced by the modulating bass sounds of dubstep. My second album, Interlude, was inspired by poets and authors like EE Cummings and Dylan Thomas. It’s about fear and death—making sense of those emotions.

The guitar
…is my instrument, but I find it overpowering. Obviously, you can establish a band based on guitar, but unless it’s purely guitar, I don’t really like it to be the focus.

My studio
…is my home base. When people have talked to me about recording other places, I cringe. I’m emotional about my music, and I hate having somebody looking over my shoulder and the idea of my creativity not being 100 percent me.

I look up to
…a lot of local musicians, specifically people who aren’t in the bar scene. We live in a place that’s pretty much for people 35 and over, and if you ask me, music has never really been for people 35 and over. Just about every genre that’s been hugely successful has been about pain, and people over 35 don’t experience the same kind of hormonal angst that teens and 20-somethings do. [Editor’s note: Dude, I’m 35, and you’re right—we experience real pain.]

Warehouse 21
…made me who I am and is like heaven to me right now. This is a place that is rooted in music, and it’s not this huge “let’s make money” venue. I like that, when bigger-name acts come to town, they share the stage with people I know. It makes me realize that anyone can do it, that art is not just for the artists.

…isn’t as powerful now as it once was, but the time for doing it yourself is right now. Musicians especially need to know this because you don’t need to be signed to have an impact anymore.

Santa Fe
…is where I call home, and I’m determined to be a musician here, but it’s a hard place to do it. If people look back, a hundred years from now, they will see all these troubled youths that were trying desperately to carve a niche for themselves in a town that was more interested in an upbeat bar scene and getting wasted. 

The future
…is a scary thing. I’m working on a third album that is shaping up to be kind of industrial in its sound, probably because I’ve been listening to a lot of angry ’90s music. I’m a high school dropout, so who knows where things will go, but at the same time, as long as I can make music, things like insomnia or poverty won’t hold me back.

Right now
…is a weird time. Santa Fe is slow, and music is kind of slow, but things are changing a lot for me. I feel like I’ve gotten into the business of local music a lot faster than I should have, but I know there’s still a lot for me to learn. 

Interlude and Insomnia
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