Alpine. Alpine. Alpine. A band I love. LOVE people. Love. The reason why I do this music blog is to discover music from around the world (I’m in the UK) and then share it with you. And back in September last year, when the blog started, one of the bands I found and grew in love with their music instantly was Alpine, a six-piece band from Melbourne, Australia. Their psychedelic indie-pop music always puts a huge smile on my face and gets me to forget about my problems and delve into their incredible world. What a wonderful world the band members must live in. Bliss. Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, well they were nominated for Best Band and Best Album in our very own awards, the 2012 BTM Awards and are soon to be supporting The Temper Trap on their Australian 2013 tour. But despite their busy schedule and rehearsing for the tour, I was ever so lucky, and very excited by it all, as Phoebe from the band (the female on the left in the picture above – if you did not know) was able to answer some questions.
Phoebe – Vocals
Lou – Vocals
Christian – Guitar
Phil – Drums
Ryan – Bass
Tim – Keyboards
What’s the story behind the band’s name?
We used to be called Swiss, but kept getting our wires crossed with an Adelaide band called Swiss. Things got messy, food fights and all, and we knew it was time for a new name. Alpine was the one word, or title, out of many that we could all agree upon. I think it depicts our music nicely.
Here’s a great track of theirs, but just so you know the video is weird, COOL but weird! You have been warned.
On your Facebook page you put your music in the genres Indie/Pop, but in more detail how you would you describe your music?
Being asked to describe your own art is a rather difficult thing to do. I mean in my mind I hear it as POP, BANG, WHIZZ, noise, love, blah blah blah… it’s an enjoyable mess that I can’t really understand. It comes from? It’s twisty pop. It’s better than a diary. It’s friendship.
Some bands find it difficult to find the right sound and can take a while until they do, was this the case for you or were you able to find your sound very easily?
It really did come to us naturally. Christian was the initiator of it all and the way he writes affects the way we all respond with our writing. I remember when it first started Christian would send me mp3s of this very tightly woven awesome guitar pop, and I felt as though my challenge was to unravel them a bit and add in some psychedelia and lashings of reverb and loads of bass. After this first culmination we had definitely created this nicely balanced mix, which we both were and are lucky enough to enjoy. This process has expanded and somehow we all seem to be able to vibe, when writing, an ‘Alpine’ sound.
One thing I have always been curious about and have to personally ask is what is the story/message behind the artwork for your album A is for Alpine?
Now this you will have to ask Timmy (keys), he is the genius behind it. The image is of 11 made up sports playing fields from a birds-eye view. One for each song. For Tim especially, I suppose it’s a matter of finding the right aesthetics to suit the music and the relationship we have as a band. Creating album art is probably one of the coolest things you can do. Each of us takes our own interpretation, for me it signifies our experience of being in this band; it’s a bizarre new and wonderful art of sport that we are learning to master. Each song has its own life, its recording and writing. Tim probably has a much better answer for you though.
Though it is quite difficult to decide which is the best, one of my favourite tracks from the album is Villages. What was the inspiration for the track?
Villages is about love. It’s about feeling the pain that love can cause, it’s about embracing the whole thing pain and all because it’s absolutely worth it.
Some of your music has been on the internationally famous Australian soap Home & Away (in fact quite a lot now that I think about it). How did this happen?
Haha, I actually have no idea. I heard it was in a love scene. Oh la la! Now we just need to do an awkward onscreen cameo.
Just to see how much of their music has been played on the show click here.
You are supporting The Temper Trap on their AUS tour in April and May, are you excited? What preparation have you done for this?
Yes yes yes! So excited. What a lovely band! And just been doing loads of practise, preparing new tricks and enhancing old.
Now, out of all of your songs, which is your favourite to perform live and why?
It changes every night. Depends on my mood and the whole band’s mood. Some nights I’ll be feeling melancholy so I’ll feel much relief from performing a song like All For One or The Vigour. I always love performing Gasoline and Too Safe.
If you could cover any track and put it on your next E.P. or album, what would it be?
Funkadelic – Maggot Brain.
No. Maybe Common – Love. Haha.
Apart from the tour what are your plans for the rest of 2013?
America. Beans on toast. Expanding cheese taste buds. Making music. Sitting in cars and planes. Tea and biscuits.
Although the blog is for everyone in the world, it is situated in the UK. So I have to ask, plus because I am a huge fan, will you be performing in the UK anytime soon?
I jolly well hope so! Yes Sir please. Half of us have English heritage. And I love banoffee pie. Sans cream.
Finally, to finish on a high with a random question. Apart from you, the band, Alpine can also refer to Alpine Ski, which is also known as downhill Ski. Can any of you Ski? And if you were all in a Skiing race, who would win and why?
All of us are pro skiers. Lou would win due to magical speedy short eleven legs.
There we go. A huge look inside the mystical world of Alpine. Since first hearing them back in September, I have been a huge fan of Alpine and love their sensational and very beautiful music. I seriously recommend that you check out their album A is for Alpine as it is dreamy and loveable yet powerful and awesomely breathtaking. A big thanks goes to Jess Thornhill for allowing the interview to happen and a massive thanks to Phoebe for answering the questions. I really appreciate it and as a huge fan and being one of my favourite bands, I appreciate it even more that the interview happened.