Alexandre Erian is the Phil Collins of the extreme rock scene.
Erian, 26, started out as the drummer in Montreal’s Despised Icon. But when singer Marie-Helene Landry left the band in 2004, he put down his sticks and stepped forward to share frontman duties with Steve Marois — much to his relief.
“Back then, I was playing drums in three different bands,” Erian recalls. “At some point, I overdid it and hurt my arm and decided to take a break, and the timing worked out when (Landry) left the band.
“I enjoy (being out front). Jumping from the back of the stage to the front is a fun experience for me. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I used to be a lot shyer, but a shy frontman is kind of lame, so I worked on it. It’s all been worth it.”
Despised Icon took two years to put out its third and latest studio album, “The Ills of Modern Man.” Like its predecessors, it explores a variety of hard rock styles — hardcore, grindcore, metalcore, deathcore among them — and Erian says that kind of inter-genre diversity makes recording a bit more challenging.
“We’re all about compromise,” Erian explains. “Everybody listens to what everybody has to say, and nobody forces anybody to play something they don’t like. That’s how all of us are actually stoked on the material, but that’s why it took us two years to put out a new record.
“But for us, it was worth the wait.”
Despised Icon performs Friday (Sept. 21) with Suicide Silence, See You Next Tuesday and Winds of Plague at the My Space Internet Cafe Music Venue, 16627 Eastland, Roseville. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (586) 777-4227 or visit www.myspace.com/myspaceinternetcafe.
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