From Charleston to Nashville, Alex Admiral Collier finds his way with The Weeks 


Alex Collier (second from left) and The Weeks are currently working on a new album

Joshua Black Wilkins

Alex Collier (second from left) and The Weeks are currently working on a new album

Keyboardist Alex Admiral Collier was managing a band out of Atlanta when he was drawn to Mississippi indie-rock group The Weeks. Collier met The Weeks' manager on a trip to Nashville, and then joined the group on a trip to Charleston. He was showing the band a pipe organ at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist on Broad Street when the magical question came up. "They were just like, 'You should be in the band,' and I said, 'OK.' I had so much other stuff happening, so it wasn't like on my radar, but then I thought, 'Hey, this might actually be really fun,'" Collier says.

Collier was brought up in the Holy City, attending Charleston Catholic School on King Street and then School of the Arts in North Charleston. Collier started playing the piano at seven years old, but it wasn't until middle school at SoA that he branched out to other instruments. "I wanted to be in the band, but there was no piano in band. So, my sixth grade band director loaned me his trumpet," Collier says.

Growing up, Collier's musical inspirations came from Saturdays with his parents, watching cartoons in the morning and then listening to records through the evening. "My parents knew Prince before he became Prince, and they were actually friends when they lived in Minneapolis. So Prince records were a large part of my childhood influence," says Collier. Local events also shaped him, creatively. "My mom would take me to Citadel dress parades to watch the bands and that was a huge influence early on."

Collier was also inspired by local trumpeter and organ player Charlton Singleton, who currently leads the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. In addition, he latched onto Joey Morant, a trumpet player whose son attended SoA with Collier. Then at Berklee College of Music, a while after his middle school trumpeting days, Collier met current business partner Joshua Smoak. Collier and Smoak formed the music production and film scoring company Sunday Entertainment, which produces original compositions for advertising, films, and documentaries.

When he's not working with Sunday Entertainment, Collier takes some time away to tour with The Weeks. "It's an interesting balance working with Josh and then going on the road. One pro is being able to travel and be in a place and meet other people compared to just the two of us at the company. Being in Charleston working all the time would be hard to meet new people and branch out. While I'm gone, Josh holds down the fort, and I work on a lot of the admin stuff on the road, which is easy to carry out," Collier says.

Since Collier has been onboard, The Weeks' recording process has shifted. Beforehand, the group would go to a tiny shack in Water Valley, Miss., the current home of folk artist A.A. Bondy. There, the band would hole up for a while and record. With their latest disc Dear Bo Jackson, however, the entire album was recorded, mixed, and mastered in Nashville, Tenn. with Grammy-nominated sound engineer Paul Moak. The Weeks are currently with Nashville-based record label Serpents and Snakes, which is owned and operated by Kings of Leon.

The Weeks have been working on a new album, which will be released mid-2015. The Southern alt-rock group has already recorded nine songs, and Collier describes the new sound as a more mature version of the first two records, with heavier guitar. As for the show this weekend, Collier expresses his excitement in coming back to his home. "Charleston always finds its way back into whatever," says Collier.



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