Alex Soria (1965–2004) was a rock and roll musician from Montreal. and founding member of the power pop/punk rock groups "The Nils" (1978–2004) and "Chino" (1999). Born in Montreal in 1965, Alex along with his older brother Carlos experienced a trying childhood which fueled both his personal demons as well as his lyric and songwriting fluency. As a salvation, the brothers used music, and soccer, as a means to build confidence and find purpose. Alex's older brother Carlos played in several punk bands during the late 1970s prior to forming The Nils with his younger brother aged only 13. Carlos would bring home punk rock records such as The Clash, Sex Pistols and Stiff Little Fingers and play them for his brother. Alex Soria was won over by this then very new sound. Carlos soon bought him an $80 guitar and taught him 3 chords. Alex quickly excelled and by 1978 The Nils had formed and began playing live.
From there, the brothers shared a songwriting partnership with Alex offering up the more fragile, introspective ballads and Carlos offering the more charged, anthemic social commentaries. This songwriting partnership would prove to be instrumental in The Nils footprint in rock n roll history. In 1982 the brothers saw this partnership come to fruition upon the release of "Scratches and Needles"(Alex Soria)for the BYO compilation "Something to Believe In" but band broke up shortly afterward. Luckily, Carlos convinced the remaining band members to continue playing as The Nils and they released "Call of the Wild" (Carlos Soria)for a Primitive Air Raid compilation. The band began to tour extensively and still managed to deliver a seminal power pop/punk rock EP entitled "Paisley" in 1984.
By 1985, The Nils had befriended Ivan Doroschuk of Men Without Hats who loaned the band $3,500 loan to record the highly influential "Sell Out Young" EP. The album's success and critical acclaim began to draw the attention of a few major labels and by the following year, The Nils accepted an offer from a subsidiary of Profile Records to record the seminal self-titled LP "The Nils" (produced by Chris Spedding and award winning engineer Phil Burnett). This album included updated versions of the songs "Daylight" and "Inbetweens" from Sell Out Young, as well as eight other original songs. With this the band continued to garner critical acclaim and set off on a second North American tour before it being abruptly cancelled due to the label's bankruptcy. Bound by their five year contract with the now defunct label and now unable to release anything under The Nils name until the contract's expiration, the band broke up and went their separate ways with Carlos joining Naked Soul in Los Angeles, and Alex beginning a day job in Montreal. Without his band or older brother by his side to serve as his personal and professional manager, Alex began to lose hope regarding his ability to make his only calling, music, his career. Struggling to find solace, he began a lengthy battle with heroin addiction.
In 1994 The Nils released "Green Fields in Daylight", a compilation of early recordings. The release included "Call of the Wild", the Nils demo tape "Now", "Scratches and Needles", and tracks from the "Sell Out Young" and "Paisley" eps. The album also included a radio interview with Carlos Soria. Later Alex, formed the band "Chino" in an effort to break away from The Nils and start anew. The band released the 6 song EP "Mala Leche" in 1999 and continued to play shows but never got garnered the attention of that of The Nils. In 2002, The Nils reformed with Carlos now on Bass, and ex Flounger and Chino guitar player and close friend of Alex, Mark Donato. The band began writing new songs and Alex finally seemed hopeful that this could be their second chance.
On December 13, 2004, in a moment of fleeting desperation Alex Soria ended his life on a train track near his home in Montreal. He was 39 years old. Months later, musicians including Chris Spedding and John Kastner (Doughboys, Asexuals) held a sold out tribute concert in his name.
In 2006 in honor of his younger brother, Carlos Soria released "Next Of Kin" an album featuring unreleased acoustic 4-track recordings by Alex and himself. The album showcased Alex's naturally introspective nature and perhaps finally gave the world a glimpse into the heart and mind of an artist who was so notoriously shy and private.
Today, Alex Soria's legend lives on through his recordings that helped shape a sound so distinct it can be still found in those who followed closely behind.
- http://www.montrealmirror.com/2005/030305/cover_music.html, Retrieved on 2009-11-15.