Spotlight: AC Deathstrike

Finding Inspiration in Russian Winters

GENRE: Indie Rock

HOMETOWN: Jacksonville, FL

ARTISTIC APPROACH: Complex layers, indie flare, and intelligence.

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AC Deathstrike hails from the sunshiny depths of Jacksonville, FL. However, this hasn’t hindered the quartet’s ability to produce music brimming with complex layers and intellectual meaning. Their latest album, Winter In Russia, has just hit stores and according to lead singer Alex Dougherty, it is a record centered on the idea that, “My government doesn’t speak my language and I am trapped in a place where no one can help me.” Fueled by moments of heavy reverberation and enticing and energetic melodies, Winter In Russia is a fine addition to the band’s already impressive discography.

Much of the inspiration for the record came from photographs and personal thoughts. “My aunt sent me a photos of winter in Russia and those became the album cover. I liked the theme and from there the meaning just grew,” says Dougherty.  Like many of the band’s previous albums, it grew organically; there was a clear intent but from that the album evolved. Dougherty says of the process, “Sometimes I write down a line and it becomes a lyric, sometimes it’s a file name. Here I drew from my screenwriting background and the photos my aunt sent me.”

The band works collaboratively to produce each album, but Dougherty is in many ways the wizard behind the curtain. While each member contributes to the final polished version, the band’s creative process rests heavily on him and his Takamine guitar – an item he says he cannot live without. “I write the songs and will record and work on them in my house by myself. It takes a while before I bring a song to the band,” he says.             AC Deathstrike is band of musicians who live for creativity: “If I couldn’t be creative, I couldn’t live,” Dougherty muses. They have already had a prolific career and don’t have any plans to slow down. They hit the road for a short East Coast tour early in the New Year and Dougherty has already started work on the band’s next album.

photo by Joseph Johnson

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