Alex Bracy says Van Halen made him do it.
After some guitar lessons in his teens, Bracy said things just didn’t click right away. But he pushed on, just to learn the basics.
Then one day inspiration struck.
“Eventually I discovered Van Halen,” he said. “And the first time I saw the “Live Without a Net” Van Halen DVD, that just made me want to really pursue guitar in a more serious fashion.”
When you meet Bracy in person, he’s soft-spoken and unassuming, the opposite of the ostentatious personalities in the band that sparked his passion.
But that quiet belies the power he wields with a guitar in his hands.
“Your first time performing, that was big for me,” he said. “I think that was when I realized I really liked it. Some people freeze up on stage and other people kind of come into character. It’s funny, I’ll play a gig in front of hundreds of people and I love it. I’ll be electrified on stage. But then when I come off stage, I’m more timid. … It’s just sort of an interesting concept that people change when they’re on and off stage.”
Bracy’s new single, “Rain” rides that crest in dynamic fashion: Both the full version and the radio edit start with a beautiful dance across the strings, a mellow and melodic lead-in to the wall of energy to come.
“Rain” is part of a purely studio project for Bracy, who at the moment hasn’t been onstage as much as in the past.
“I love performing, and about three to five years ago I was performing maybe once or twice almost every weekend in three or four different projects,” he said. “I was in cover bands, original bands. I was in acoustic duets. I was in everything, you name it.”
Bracy said he left the bands to chase an international opportunity, and when complications made it clear he shouldn’t move forward with it, he headed down the solo route for a time.
“I got all this great music that I’m really inspired by and I really think is good,” he said. “I think I could share it with other people that might like it, too.”
He had set a goal to make the solo project into a bigger project by the end of the year, but 2020 had other plans. When the pandemic restrictions are lifted, he hopes he can still make that happen.
“I’m not sure if that will be moved to next year due to everything that’s going on,” he said, “but this is definitely something that I do want to perform live.”