5 bloggers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by the MWA writers. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Chicago Singer/Songwriter/Rocker, Aly Jados.

Since the tender age of 13, Aly has been playing screeching guitar solos in punk and metal bands, while dreaming of rock stardom. These days she’s writing her own brand of guitar rock and getting noticed for her amazing vocals & songwriting. Even with multiple TV appearances under her belt she’s stayed humble, playing monthly residencies to her loyal fans all throughout Chicago while continuing to write and record. She even took a minute to answer a few questions for our latest FIVE x FIVE.

How did you get hooked up with Cassette Company Records? Have you noticed any advantages or disadvantages to working with a hometown label? | Dan Fiorio

I got hooked up there through KMA Management. Stefan Clark is a great producer and owner of Cassette Company. I don’t really see any disadvantages to staying local, always gotta support where you come from.

You play your dad’s ’78 Gibson Les Paul, what makes that guitar so special, both from a performance aspect and for it’s sentimental value? | Dan Jarvis

My dad gave me that guitar for my 13th birthday present and it reminds me of my roots and how I got into music in the first place. From a performance aspect, I love seeing and hearing anyone with an interesting vintage guitar on stage, there’s always a story behind it.

How much of a role did you play in the imagery of the “Waiting” video? How did the concept come about? | Eric Slager

It’s funny, the director (who is a good friend of mine) and I were in my kitchen late one night and the concept came from us just rattling off craziness and then we were on to organizing a production. We both love old school horror flicks so we knew it would have that element. It was all DIY and pulling favors from friends. KMA management let us completely clear out and take over their building, for the mortuary scenes. I randomly had a friend, who had a friend, that let us take over his funeral home for a day! I got to pick out any casket I wanted, that was a tough decision!

I was introduced to you a few years ago when you opened for Art Alexakis at the Hard Rock. How would you say you’ve progressed or grown as a musician since then? | Alyssa Welch

I take opportunities when they come my way and have had a ton of experience playing live since then. I have also been writing with a lot of other musicians which challenges me and helps me grow as a songwriter.

You’ve done some residencies at various venues, what would you say is the hardest part about a residency versus a one-and-done show? | Patrick David

A residency is awesome but can be challenging at times. There is always a pressure of getting new material or something different each week for yourself and of course the audience. It can start to be mundane if you let it, it’s up to you to make it exciting.

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