Melbourne six piece Alpine have had an incredibly busy 2012. Fresh from supporting Matt Corby on his national tour and storming the States for SXSW, the band is gearing up for a huge run of headline shows in support of their first full length release A is for Alpine. We caught up with Lou James, one half of Alpine's interweaving vocals, to chat about what the group has been up to and what lies ahead.
I first caught you guys when you were supporting Matt Corby on his last tour, that was only five dates, it must have been a walk in the park compared to ten shows in three days at SXSW?
Yeah, I think once we did that, we can kind of do anything. We just got superhuman powers from South By, bring on any tour, we can do it.
You must be comfortable on stage with six of you up there, I imagine it would get pretty crowded.
I know six people is quite a lot, we did a media show recently where we were on a very very tiny stage and it was just a lot of fun! We started off playing really small stages, and now we’re playing bigger stages I really miss having that sense of everyone being quite connected with one another. I want to translate that onto festival stages, playing really close together again.
The band was in this month’s Rolling Stone for a fashion shoot, it must be so surreal finding yourselves spread across so many pages of such an iconic magazine?
Yeah, we got our modelling on! I remember when I was told we were doing it, it was mind blowing really. I’m still kind of shocked that we were in it, it’s really surreal. My mum saw it and said she was so proud! It was a bit embarrassing having to be a model, but I got to wear some cool clothes, got to get my face done, all that stuff that girls like.
The music video for Gasoline was released recently, you guys have some crazy imagery going on in there. Does the band have much input on that, or do you let the directors do their own thing?
We pretty much let the directors do their own thing, I think that’s the exciting part. Directors have this artistic vision, if you just let them go with it it means each video has it’s own flavour, and I think that is really important. Each of our videos are quite distinct in their own way, they have their own style. Kris Moyes who directed this one, he just wrote a really small sentence, there wasn’t much description at all and we were just like “Yeah sweet, let’s do it.” We’re happy just to take risks, and I love the outcome. I love that there’s a Yeti, it’s very Alpine.
The Album is kind of all over the place with mood, you’ve got a lot of dancey stuff in there, and the intro especially is very mellow, it’s hard to pick any one influence that you might have had. Who were you guys listening to a lot while writing and recording?
There are six of us, and we’ve all got very eclectic taste in music, so I can’t really say there was one genre that we were listening to, and also a lot of the songs have been written across a really long time frame. It’s not like we wrote them all in the two weeks we were recording! Like you said, some of the songs are dancey, some are mellow, it’s not really a concept album. A lot of the songs are an exploration of six of us in our 20’s, and the emotions and feelings that come with that.
Why did you guys decide to record somewhere rural like Gisborne rather than in an inner city studio?
It was pretty much just pot luck, we decided to record with Dann Hume, and that’s where the studio was which was perfect. It was so nice to get out of the city and away from distractions. It’s not actually that far away from the city, it’s about 40 minutes drive. I guess you can just tune out and get stuck in, I think that’s best way to do it. We were lucky to record there.
And if you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Oh my gosh, I think I would like to fly. That’s pretty boring, but I think flying would be awesome. I wouldn’t have to catch public transport or drive! And also because I’m short it would be nice to see things from a higher perspective.
Lisle Kelly- AAA Backstage