AT THE REQUEST OF CARLOS SORIA AND NILS MANAGER NIKO STASH, I'M REMOVING THE LINKS FROM THIS POST. PLEASE VISIT THEM AT http://vampirefreaks.com/The_Nils.
Alex Soria was just twelve years old, when he started The Nils in Montreal with his older brother Carlos, in 1978. In 1983 one of their songs appears on the BYO compilation, Something To Believe In. In 1984, two more songs appear on the Primitive Air Raid: Montreal comp.
By 1985, they record their first EP, Sell Out Young. Paisley comes out the following year. In 1987, they release their debut LP.
By the end of the decade, The Nils will have been at the forefront of a revolution in pop-punk that included contemporaries like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü, whose leader Bob Mould would become a charter member of their fan club.
Often cited as "Canada's Paul Westerberg", Alex Soria was a gifted songwriter. But his talents never got the proper exposure because they were signed to Rock Hotel, a division of Profile Records (of Run-DMC fame). Profile was reportedly making loads of money; Rock Hotel was designed to lose it. RH head Chris Williamson bought The Nils equipment and told them they'd be opening for various bands. Nothing materialized. Williamson is later described as a "dickhead" by people who were involved in the project.
Carlos Soria later reminisces that people told them not to sign with Rock Hotel. But they'd already been playing for ten years and this was the only offer they got.
Still, once the record comes out, there is a buzz about the band. They tour the U.S. East and West Coasts, earning influential fans along the way (including the aforementioned Hüsker Dü, Paul Westerberg and Soul Asylum in Minneapolis). Things are looking up. But not for long.
The Nils return home. During one concert, Chris Williamson shows up. Rock Hotel had checked out: the company went out of business. Williamson is there to reclaim them equipment he bought for them. This is the beginning of the downward spiral of Alex Soria.
Carlos would accept an offer to play with MIA in California, leaving the younger Soria in Montreal. Alex eventually strikes a relationship with an older woman named Karen, who was once the girlfriend of Dave Rosenberg of The Chromosomes. Karen and Rosenberg were both junkies: it would only be a matter of time before Alex joins that dubious crowd.
Karen mothers him for ten years. But when she splits, Alex Soria becomes more aimless: He sinks deeper into his heroin habit.
Upon Carlos' return, the elder brother would also strike up a heroin habit, purportedly to be closer to Alex. The sense of guilt Alex feels for this, is reported to be great: he spirals even further.
The brothers do try to make a Nils comeback: they form another lineup with Alex McSweeney on drums. But by 1995, there's nothing left. Carlos becomes a mess. Eventually Alex moves in with his friend Eric Kearns. Kearns urges Alex to form another band.
By late 1996, Alex breaks up with Karen. He eventually cleans himself up, and forms Chino, without his brother. The band spends $2,500 to record the Mala Leche EP. Carlos, too, kicks his babit. As awkward as it was for both of them, Carlos roadies for his brother and Chino.
Alex has many great songs in his head...but all he hears are shitty bands on the radio. But he never speaks of his frustration. However big brother Carlos speaks up for him, telling anyone who would listen that Alex should be on the airwaves with the best of them. By 1998, Alex is straight and has Chino going: he's happy and energetic.
But things don't always go as planned. Chino can't get off the ground. The band goes nowhere, thanks to the same old story: no tour and poor distribution. More frustration and heartbreak for Alex.
Fast-forward to 2004. Carlos and Alex have spent the last few years reportedly packing kosher products. Life is difficult for Alex: he has just come out of detox, but is feeling pressure that his family knows about his drug addiction. Then one day, he and Carlos go to work, only to find out that the company has shut down. They lose their jobs, and they lose their pay.
On December 13th, Alex and his girlfriend Debbie get into a terrible fight. One of his neighbours calls 911. These would be the last two hours of his life.
Alex leaves for some time alone. He reportedly enters a nearby restaurant and goes into the restroom, "doing what, I'm not sure," according to one-time roadie, Bill Moser.
When he returns to the apartment, he sees police at his door. He freaks out. Alex heads towards the train tracks.
It's not known if he was high at the time, but it's clear that Alex Soria was not of sound mind when he goes to the tracks.
Apparently, he gives the conductor of an oncoming train a salute. He then throws himself into the path of that train. Alex Soria was only 39 years old.
A couple of years later, Woody Whelan of Mag Wheel records and a friend of the band, compiled practically all the recordings The Nils put out, including EP tracks, demos and live recordings of a Boston tour. Please take a listen to Green Fields In Daylight and give Alex Soria the appreciation which he never received during his sad, tragic life.
As a bonus, I'm also including their 10-song LP, released in 1987. It has many of the same songs as the ones listed above, but with different mixes plus one song which didn't appear on GFID.
The Nils -- Green Fields In Daylight:
|1||The Nils||Call Of The Wild||2:17|
|2||The Nils||Slip Away||2:07|
|3||The Nils||Scratches And Needles||2:45|
|4||The Nils||In Betweens||2:42|
|8||The Nils||I Am The Wolf||3:21|
|9||The Nils||Tuesday High||2:12|
|10||The Nils||Up Turns To Down||1:51|
|11||The Nils||Glory Daze||2:44|
|12||The Nils||Freedom Come, Freedom Go (Live)||3:02|
|14||The Nils||Bandito Callin||4:34|
|15||The Nils||Sweet Dreams||4:48|
|16||The Nils||Wicked Politician||4:51|
|17||The Nils||Mary-Anne With The Shaky Hands||1:52|
|18||The Nils||Young Man In Transit||3:09|
|19||The Nils||River Of Sadness||3:52|
|20||The Nils||If Heaven Lies||3:41|
|21||The Nils||Red Balloon||2:47|
|22||The Nils||When Love Puts On A Sad Face||3:53|
|23||The Nils||Pop Goes The World||1:24|
|24||The Nils||In An Instant||1:37|
|25||The Nils||The Back Flow||2:14|
|26||The Nils||Scratches And Needles||2:49|
|27||The Nils||The Gathering||1:50|
|28||The Nils||Give Me Time||1:56|
|29||The Nils||Radio Interview||1:04|
The Nils -- The Nils:
|1||The Nils||River of Sadness||3:57|
|3||The Nils||If Heaven Lies||3:37|
|4||The Nils||When the Love Puts on a Sad Face||3:50|
|5||The Nils||Wicked Politician||4:40|
|6||The Nils||Bandito Callin'||5:01|
|7||The Nils||In Betweens||3:36|
|8||The Nils||But for Now||3:10|
|9||The Nils||Young Man in Transit||3:12|