Alien Boy: The Band Creating a Space For Young Queer People

Alien Boy is the loud gay band from the City of Roses, Portland, and they’re hitting the road for their North American Tour following the recent hometown album release party for the group’s debut LP, Sleeping Lessons.

Sleeping Lessons, album artwork. 

“It was awesome, it sold out which is the first time for us. It was really sweet and probably one of the best shows I’ve ever played for sure. Things have been going really well, I’ve been playing music in Portland for so long and I feel like it has been building to this moment,” vocalist/guitarist, Sonia Weber said.

Recorded last summer, Sleeping Lessons, out via Tiny Engines, brings to life mournful melodies of love and heartbreak.

“I was able to be so honest in those songs in a way that really helped my brain. That thing that people do where they continue to overthink things all the time to the point where it doesn’t help, I feel it really helped stop that. It’s kinda shocking to me,” Weber said.

With a punch of pop-ness the 10-track album carries a tone of heartache with songs like “Somewhere Without Me.”

“I feel like a totally different person than I was before I started. Writing all the songs, practicing, it really helped me,”  Weber said. “I didn’t really think about repercussion of the people that the songs were about but now I’m definitely taking a step back. Not that anything was necessarily disrespectful. I just think there was a lot of miscommunication about things. I don’t know. It’s more about my feelings than any type of angsty feelings toward anybody else.”

The sold out album release party was not the only event marking the start of the band’s tour. Alien Boy performed a house show as the tour’s official kickoff.  

“I love playing house shows and for our record release show we needed something local people could talk about and actually go to,” Weber said. “I feel like there is a certain type of person that is down to go to a house show, I like having both. I wanted the record release show to be very accessible to anyone, especially people in town who don’t usually come see us.

Alien Boy will be making stops throughout the Southwest in the later part of September.

“We are doing more of an expedited tour this time around just because of everybodies schedule but I would love to do a tour that was bigger where we could go to El Paso,” Weber said.  

Weber also talked about taking Alien Boy south of the border.

“Someone just hit me up about a music festival in Mexico around when SXSW is, that I think we are going to do next year,” Weber said. 

According to Weber, the band is named after a song by the influential punk group, the Wipers.

“I want it to be a space for young queer people. That was always important to me about music. I feel like if I can create that space for somebody else, that’s much more important than any ego thing for myself,” Weber said. 

Weber will be taking a break from her role as a music teacher in Portland for the tour.

“It’s that moment of feeling like you have a community that can really put a lot of good back into the world,” Weber said. “I think even if you give one person a night to really feel like themselves it gives them the energy to further support other people. When there is so much bad shit happening, I think that even small things like that can really go a really long way.”

Sleeping Lessons, merch and more from Alien Boy can be found on their Bandcamp page.    Bassist Mac Pogue and guitarist Alex Fiedler will join Weber and drummer Derek McNeil on this tour. The band will close the tour with a show in Seattle on October 20.

By Jessi Almanzar

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