Alien Country: “Like My Life Depends On It” by Eileen Shapiro

A brand new release from Liam Marcus Torres the mastermind of Alien Country, entitled “Like My Life Depends On It,” has made its appearance in the music world on July 11th …. in a big way. Myself not normally impressed at first glance, or at my initial listen, was overtaken by the talent and creativity and especially the voice of this artist.

The album is a fabulous fusion of rock, pop, country and science fiction, in conjunction with strings and things all combined with a voice that is so unique there are just no words….Art director for this album as well as The Allman Brothers, The Band, Rush, The Stray Cats, The Outlaws, and many others, Hugh Syme, said regarding “Like My Life Depends On It”, “what makes this confident and whimsical is the subtlety of the improbable elements coexisting in one frame of reference”.

Liam’s music is not only fun, but his lyrics are magical. I spoke to Liam who is based in Tampa but who was born in Puerto Rico, about his intriguing sonic flavor and his musical influences as well as his future endeavors. “Above all, my music is fun and my fans say it makes them happy. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters to me”…Liam Torres

I love your music!!

I’m my own fan, it’s been something in the making. I really never thought that I would write something like this. I wrote this about three years ago and then I put it on the shelf somewhere. It wasn’t until last year that after speaking to some of my high school buddies from 25 years ago, that we were talking about putting together a publishing house and putting some music together. Then I thought…”wait a second, I have about 20 country songs ,…let’s use that material.” The short story is, there it is. An album came out of that.

I haven’t really heard music like yours before, and I’ve heard a lot! Where are you from originally?

I was born in Puerto Rico. In the mix of listening to Hispanic music, salsa and merengue, we still had rock ‘n’ roll. All of my siblings are older than I am and they all went to music school. They all went to a conservatory and all that, and they never made music out of that experience. I did but I never went to music school. My sister though is the one who introduced me to rock n roll. I grew up listening to Phil Collins, Journey, Foreigner, all those bands from the 70’s. Even Led Zeppelin. So it comes from that Island even though it’s kind of secluded. I never really liked the Island music even though I wrote a few songs about ten years ago with that quality. They almost sound like Santana type of music. Even though I was born in Puerto Rico I came here about 30 years ago and rock ‘n’ roll has always been in my heart.

Your music is a little pop, a Little Rock, a little country, and it’s kind of Sci-FI.

Just a bit. A bit of everything. You have a burning desire, you just go with it.

You will be a household name one day.

It’s funny that you mention that. My wife is more excited than I am about my music. She really wants to push this because she’s been in love with my music for so long. But, I have a fan who heard my music on one of those Sci-fi pages or shows, and said that up until today when he heard my music he’s found most other music lame. He just totally enjoyed it. I’m happy for whom ever listens to it and enjoys it. It came from the heart. I’ve never done anything like it before.

Where do you come up with the inspiration for your lyrics?

Real life. I’m an Iron Maiden maniac, especially Bruce Dickinson’s writings. He’s so cumbersome. He’s so weird. Even his band members say the way that he writes is weird. Only he understands it. However I have met some individuals out there who actually read my lyrics and they understand it right away. It really is uncanny. The way that I write is, in the back of my mind I take it like the way Picasso use to paint. He illustrated certain elements of what he saw in such a way his style was his own. I want to make the way that I write lyrics my own. Kind of obscure, kind of the way that I understand the story. And of course it’s centered on a lot of life experiences. For example the song “No One is Coming For You Tonight”, is based on a narcissist. When you listen to it, it’s kind of hard to understand but the elements are there. If we would’ve put all of the songs to video it would be crystal clear to the listener. But, I want to keep it that way because it makes you think. Each line is good enough on its own to make you think about, “what is this artist talking about”. It makes it that more attractive. It makes you listen and over and over and over again. I mean that’s the way that I grew up, when I was listening to Rush. The way that Neil Peart wrote his lyrics was hard to understand. Even Iron Maiden and the other heavy metal bands that I listened to where hard to understand. I just wanted to make people think while they listened to the music. Just like when you go see a movie that you haven’t read any reviews about, it gets you thinking and keeps you wondering. “Ok, what’s coming next”? That’s what I was hoping would inspire the listener.

Where in Florida are you based?

I am in Tampa. This is a wonderful place, everything is so close.

Do you perform live?

Yes, I have. I have not in the past three years. Actually I was in a band with my sons. The band was called Alien Country. My sons and I were a trio. We had other singers and musicians join us for quite a few performances. We toured almost all of Florida, all the way down to Miami. That was about three years ago.

You should come to New York.

I would love New York.

What do you do when you’re not writing music?

I teach music. I teach the guitar mainly, and the piano.

Your voice is amazing.

I think I will have to continue because I have to tell you something. One of the reasons why I’m starting so late, I’m ashamed of it….I have a mentor called Tom Hess. He’s in Chicago. He’s a great guitar player, and a great business man. He tells me “it’s never too late”. He said he can understand why I had so much hesitation, because I didn’t have that much confidence in myself. But I have the confidence now to do this for the rest of my life.

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