Once Sheriff had run its course in the mid ’80s after only one album, vocalist Freddy Curci and guitarist Steve DeMarchi spent the next few years in Toronto, writing and recording at DeMarchi’s home studio awhile trying out different band ideas, none of which went anywhere.
But in an ironic twist of fate in 1989, a Las Vegas DJ started playing Sheriff‘s last single, “When I’m With You,” prompting other stations across the US to do the same. It wound up on the American chart for 30 weeks, eventually going to #1 while selling over half a million copies, six years after the band’s breakup and 60 notches higher on the chart. The renewed interest led Capitol to re-release the band’s album (although without any bonus material), and prompted the members to re-group. But Arnold Lanni owned the band’s name, and with his new group Frozen Ghost showing promise Stateside, he feared the confusion would prove disasterous, so he declined.
With dozens of demos in hand, Curci and DeMarchi went to LA and landed a deal of their own with Capitol. They rounded out their group with guitarist Roger Fisher, Steve Fossen on bass, and drummer Michael Derosier. And Alias was born. The three newcomers had recently been given their walking papers from Heart, and the polished hard pop melodies were mixed with a power backbeat and slick guitar riffs.
With producer Rick Neigher (Sass Jordan and Vixen), their first single, “Haunted Heart” broke the top 20 on both sides of the border, but it was the monster power ballad “More Than Words Can Say” that smashed Canada’s charts and reached #2 on Billboard, pushing the album platinum in Canada and gold in the US. “Waiting For Love” was another pop/rock crossover hit, making the top 5 in Canada and top 40 Stateside, and even broke ground in the Australian and British markets in the spring of 1991.
Because of Tonio K’s relationship with their producer, they also recorded his song “Perfect World” for the soundtrack to the film, “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead.” The band set out on the road, opening for the likes of REO Speedwagon and Styx, and appeared twice on “The Tonight Show,” once with Johnny Carson and once with Jay Leno.
Once the tour was finished, turmoil inside the group caused the former Heart members to leave. Curci and DeMarchi soon pulled the plug, and both became studio musicians while trying on outside projects, often playing and working together. With the financial backing of friends and family, they built a recording studio in the DeMarchi family home basement, where they continued to write together while working as couriers to make ends meet. Although another band named Alias surfaced around the turn of the millennium and recorded a few albums, this was a different group, one from Maine. Curci meanwhile released a solo album called DREAMER’S ROAD in 2004.
In January 2009, Curci and DeMarchi announced the release of Alias’ appropriately titled follow-up album, NEVER SAY NEVER, nearly two decades after the first one. Some songs were re-recorded versions that appeared on Curci’s album, but it was a critic’s rave, generally calling it a throwback to the ’80s, with all the synths, harmony vocals and pounding backbeat of a forgotten time, such as the lead-off “Woman Enough,” “Wild Wild One,” “Xtoci,” and the power ballad “All I Want Is You.” A new band lineup and tour were rumoured, but never materialized, and Curci and DeMarchi went back to outside projects.