Alex Hager is a down to earth guy that has overcoming bullying to reach his dream of becoming a Musician. I adore this song and when coupled with a pop culture packed music video it is even better. You have to check this out!
Hi Alex, thanks for sending me your first single ‘Drive Me Crazy’ as soon as I heard it I was keen to hear more and the video is one of the best music videos I have seen.
You are 20 years old and you have already become an actor, model, musician and self-professed Geek. You have an inspirational story, overcoming bullying at school and this causing you not to pick up a guitar for five years. That really sucks. Can you give us some back ground of what happened and then what inspired you to be strong enough to follow your dreams?
It did suck. There’s really no other way of putting it. It all started when I uploaded some videos of me playing guitar to Facebook. I was excited about posting them, an incoming freshman, sharing his original music. I soon found out that everyone in school had been talking about the videos and calling me “gay” for playing music and expressing my raw passion in the films. A few months into college, I decided that conformity wasn’t my cup of tea. I dropped out and began recording in my room with my new Fender Stratocaster. I haven’t looked back since.
Tell us about growing up and if you were influenced by anyone to pursue this profession?
I feel like often parents or siblings are the biggest influencers. While none of mine play an instrument, my father has always been a big supporter. My true inspiration for music comes from Guitar Hero, though. I overheard someone playing the song “Sweet Child O’ Mine” on the game and I told myself that I would find a way to play the song on a real guitar. To this day, I think the melody is one of the most beautiful, regardless of genre.
You are also an actor; can you tell us about acting you have done? Is this something that you want to continue?
Acting is such a fun experience. I’ve been in several commercials, most often technology commercials. I’ve also appeared on a couple TV shows, but my biggest role is when I starred in the WA Department of Licensing short ‘A Second Look’. While I have had dreams of being a Hollywood actor, music is definitely my focus. But it’s hard to beat getting paid to be a goob!
I probably should mention that you also like Ping Pong (table tennis for us Aussies), Skiing and Technology. You have a youtube video where you so some photoshopping of your face on celebrities, which tbh you make a really good Hillary Clinton! One thing I got from that video is that you have a bit of an obsession with Taylor Swift, would that be correct?
Who doesn’t love to ‘Shake It Off’ to some T-Swizzle? Yes, I may be a fan. And have her Live Speak Now CD. I’m flattered. Maybe I’ll take after Kanye and have a run in the future? YouTube is a fun platform where I can just step back and be myself. As for the interests, I was a ski racer for a few years, and I remain a huge geek. Which may help my ping pong skills.
Getting back to the music…. You state that your influences are Blink 182, U2, Guns N’ Roses, Taylor Swift.Bit of a mix lot there, first two I grew up with and loved Guns N’ Roses not so much and Taylor Swift meh…. Were these bands that your parents listened too or did you find the music yourself?
Definitely a mixed bag. And honestly, neither of my parents really listen to any of them. Blink 182 is probably my biggest influence. When I was 14, I basically wanted to be Tom Delonge. Slash was the inspiration to pick up a guitar, though. U2 has some of the most iconic riff-writing and emotion. And, despite her mainstream approach, I think Taylor Swift is an incredible songwriter. I listen to nearly every genre. You’ll most often catch me jamming to some 2000’s pop-punk, or listening to some anthemic pop.
Your debut song ‘Drive Me Crazy’ is in my opinion a song to watch, it is catchy and relatable. Now I have done some research on you these questions seem pretty obvious but was it written from personal experience and is the girl in the video your girlfriend?
Thank you for the kinds words. It was written from a personal experience. Although, not a single experience or person. The verses and chorus were actually not the same song. The verses, were initially lyrics to a reminiscent breakup song, while the chorus was a celebration of a girl who was close to me. I ended up putting them together, and it found a whole new meaning. Drive Me Crazy, now, is the story of my first girlfriend. Basically, I thought she the most gorgeous thing I’d seen since the moment I saw her, “on the bus”. The beautiful girl in the video is not my girlfriend. She’s out of my league.
I liked the song not only because of the contagious getting stuck in your head kind a tune in a good way though (not an Achy Breaky heart Billy Cyrus way….) but because of the timeless fashion that you mention. I mean ripped jeans and all white Chucks have been around since I was a teenager…. Not saying how old I am…. Was it your intention to add in timeless fashion or was it simply because that is what your girlfriend wears?
It’s a catchy melody! As for the clothing-descriptive chorus, I actually wrote that part while I was bored at work. I was working at the fair, and I swear every teenage girl was wearing a crop top, light wash ripped skinny jeans, and white Chucks. But, I loved it. So I wrote it down on my phone. I wear that outfit often too, minus the crop top.
Yeah can’t picture you in a crop top! You seem to have the support of your friends that were involved in your music video, can you tell us about them, who they are and what business they are involved in?
Many of my friends have been rockstar supporters. You’ll find a couple of them in the video. Connor, who can be found in my “band” during the 50’s scene and boy band shots, is one of my best friends. We’re complete nerds, but I like it. He’s been to almost all of my shows and was the first to memorize the lyrics of the song. You’ll find Allison in the video too. She brings out the craziness in me. But you’ll most often find her taking over my Snapchat. Lastly, my musical friend Steven has been kind of a mentor. So what better way to return the favor by throwing him in the water?
I felt sorry for the guy thrown in the water! Poor Steve! The video is super entertaining, funny and has a great use of pop culture. How long did this take to make? There are so many scenes to set up!
Thanks! We actually were pretty efficient. Everything was filmed in just two days! Two very long days. Most of the shots took place at my buddie’s house in my hometown of Gig Harbor, WA!
Two days! Wow, yeah that must of been so tiring! Can you take us through a couple of the scenes and tell us why you included them?
Absolutely. If it’s not obvious by this point, I’m zany. I like being the painfully weird, yet somehow life of the party. We knew we had to kick off my introduction to the world as a ridiculous sit-com character. You’ll even see my Dad make an appearance. You’ll also find the classic lounge rock scene. That was the first shot we filmed. It was a surreal experience. I had no idea if people were going to even show up to be in the video. But they all came. And we started things off using everyone’s energy in a high-voltage home concert. Having people from all over come to support my dream was a moment I’ll never forget.
So any other mates in the video your? Are those other guys in the pool scene your musicians? The pool scene looks great but my favourite is the pop punk lounge room scene and the Sesame Street one.
Definitely! In fact, nearly every one there is a good friend of mine. For music, it’s
actually just me right now. You’ll find Tony playing the drums in the rock scene. He’s a good friend of mine. If I get the opportunity to play more live shows, I’d love to have him up there bangin’ the sticks! The rest of the pool bandmates, Connor and Ryan, don’t actually play instruments. But they’re great actors! We think (and hope) that many others will agree with your choices. I certainly had fun in every scene.
What was your fav scene to do?
That’s a tough question. The entire film was the best experience of my life. The fragrance commercial was entirely my outlandish idea, though. Cheesy over-dramatic acting is my thing, so I think I’ll have to say it’s a tie between the commercial and Soap Opera!
That one is great, and yes the over acting makes the scene. Are there any funny stories while filming that you can share?
Many. Thankfully, I wasn’t mic’d up, because my vocals definitely could have used a warm up. But, despite my acting experience, I’ve never really mastered the fake slap. So, after several attempts of trying (in the Soap Opera scene), I insisted that the girl actually slap me. So she did. More than a few times. Oh, and I pushed one of my best friends in the pool because he was hungover. It ended up making the cut.
Love that! Thanks heaps Alex, I wish you all the best for your single release.
Written, Directed and Edited by Sam Akina
Cinematography by Domenic Barbero
Produced by Alex Hager, Sam Akina and Jules Jones
Gaffer Chris Taranto
Grip Mike Astle
Key PA Drew Ellis
Makeup: Carmen Gaskins, Polished With Envy
PA Brett Ferry
Wardrobe: Zina Curtean
Photography: Luke Wesson
Production Company: Attackships On Fire