out perform // outlast // out work



Quickly gaining attention in my home town of Charleston is indie/alternative musician Pierce Alexander. Pierce released his second single “Waiting for the Show” to help kick off the launch of local Ohm Radio this summer. What he lacks in song numbers, Pierce makes up in quality. His smooth melancholy tones always remind me of sitting on a porch watching rain pour down. Maybe that’s just me. Pierce’s first track, “Black Friday” made both our School’s Out and Summer’s End playlists alongside OOTWW veterans like Glitter Rose and Leah Nobel, as well as other newcomers such as Z.A.R. and fellow Charleston local Collective Disparity. My excitement for Pierce’s music lies not only in his great sound, but in his potential. He already seems to have laid a great foundation with his killer tunes, and from the sounds of things he has some serious plans for the future. Just a few weeks ago, Alexander’s name showed up on the “Up and Coming” voting ballots in the Charleston City Paper Music Awards. Charleston locals especially are looking for more information on Pierce since he started playing in town, and I’m happy to share that I had the chance to ask him for all the details about who he is, where he’s going, and where he came from.


  1. How did you get your start with music? What’s your story?

Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My parents both love music, so it was always in our house. I was given a drum set when I was a kid, and my brother got a guitar at that same time. That was kind of a turning point for me, as I started to use instruments to actually play along with the bands I liked. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were my favorite back then. I had several of their CDs and just listened to them literally all of the time in my room. Rush was also an early influence of mine. They were different than anything else I had ever heard before. Their first song that really inspired me was Subdivisions. The song was the whole reason I got into Rush at that time and I remember thinking it was the best song I had ever heard. I think I was around 8 when I heard it for the first time. Later on, I joined the school band as a trumpet player and did that for 7 years, but I also always played and wrote my own music on the side. At some point, the guitar and songwriting started to become my passion and I went with it. I have been fortunate to work with some great musicians in my various bands over the last few years. I believe all of these experiences brought me to where I am today.   

  1. What inspired your latest song, “Waiting for the Show”?

The idea for the song came from something I had personally experienced in my life. Without being too direct, it’s about being in a situation where you find yourself as an outsider or an observer.     

  1. What is the biggest obstacle you face when trying to present your music to the world?

Probably social media. Independent musicians today have the benefit of having this vehicle for getting new music out there this way, but it takes a lot of work and there are definitely obstacles. Often posts from music pages don’t reach most of the followers. So you have to find different ways to try to let people know that your music is out there and where to find it.

  1. How far do you want to go in your music career? What are your goals?

I know I’d like to incorporate different aspects of music into a career- I envision some combination of composing, performing, and production. My overall goal is to be able to make a living as a musician, and to have the time to continue writing and performing my own music.

  1. If you could collaborate with one or two of our past guests, who would you choose? Why?

Of the past guests, I would choose Spence Mills. I have been checking out his music lately, and I think his musical style and ideas might blend really well with mine. It would be great to have the opportunity to collaborate with him.   

  1. What advice would you give to people who want to pursue a career in music?

I would tell people that—above everything else—it takes commitment and time. I think there are many people out there who have a passion for music, but there are few who are actually willing to put in the hard work and, by that, I mean working every single day. I personally don’t ever take days off, because that one day can mean taking two steps back. Instead, you have to make the work your passion. If you truly love what you are doing, you won’t ever want to miss a day.

  1. If you could perform anywhere in front of anyone, where would it be?

That is a tough question, and I could give many different answers. The first “out there” thing that comes to mind is the Radiohead basement, (from the “live from the basement sessions”). I am a huge Radiohead fan, so I really like this imagined scenario. They would invite me to play there, in front of them and with a few close friends of mine present.   

  1. What’s next? Any big plans?

No one else has heard about this yet, but there’s a music video in the works for “Waiting for the Show.” It will likely come out soon and ’m really excited about it. My best friend, Luke Alexander (no relation), is a talented film student/filmmaker and he probably knows my music better than anyone. Having him work on this project has been really cool. I have seen bits and pieces of the video so far, and he is doing incredible work- as I knew he would. I can pretty much guarantee that Luke and I will collaborate on many projects in the future. I am also currently working on my upcoming EP, which will tentatively be released in early 2016. This is a big deal for me and I have to say I can’t wait to get back in the studio.      

  1. Can you give us a few trivia facts?

I have always been big into skateboarding, and it’s something I do most days. Another random fact is that I am kind of a health fanatic, especially about food. For me anyway, there is a direct correlation between what I eat and how well I function, so I make it a priority to eat well every day. Third fact: I love watching movies. If you came to my house and wanted me to pick out one of my all-time favorites, there is a distinct possibility that I might choose Batman. Maybe “The Dark Knight.” It never gets old.



Hopefully by this time you’ve had a chance to hear a little sample of Pierce’s work. If you liked what you heard, be sure to go give him a like, a follow, or a vote in the Charleston City Paper Music Awards! If you’re awesome, maybe all of the above? We’ve had our eye on Pierce for years, and we’ll be watching in the years to come!

Until next time, I’m Chancy Johnson. Still bringing them (even on break)~

Out of the Woodwork.


2 comments on “Alternator

  1. Cyndi Grout
    September 28, 2015

    So proud of my grandson! Very interesting interview!

    • chancyjohnson
      September 30, 2015

      We love Pierce! We first saw him in concert about 2 years ago and we’ve been fans ever since.

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