I’d only seen Marc Aliana playing guitar in a couple of local bands, both loud. There was a stint with Jon Goodhue, and a tribute band called the Red Not Chili Peppers, in which Aliana pays homage to John Frusciante. Last year, when Aliana sent me some mixes from a solo CD he was putting together, I was impressed at the depth and the pop-culture influences. I didn’t know he had it in him. “What a shock,” I wrote in an email exchange. “Many people were surprised,” he shot back. “I wanted to explore a more intimate side of my writing and singing,” was the simple answer. “I enjoy it very much, but that doesn’t mean I’m planning on staying there forever.” I ask if this could be confusing to his followers. “I’m a big fan of contrast and variety, and I like to think people will recognize me no matter what styles or moods I dive in and out of, as long as I’m making my music from an honest place.” Fair enough.
Aliana, who came here from a small town near Barcelona called Premià De Mar, knocked around San Diego for about a year before heading north. “L.A.’s packed with very talented people who work hard on their crafts and believe in what they do,” he says, “plus it’s a giant melting pot of so many different cultures and different ways of seeing life.” He still works with the hometown Red Nots, who recently finished a short string of dates across the country. But I’m wondering what his solo gig at Winstons in O.B. will look like, now that Aliana has shown us his quieter side. “I’m gonna be standing solo with my Telecaster on,” he says about an electric guitar that requires amplification. “So who knows? Maybe I won’t be able to keep it all that mellow after all.”