It all began in Melbourne for this band of six. Since their formation, Alpine have been regulars at music festivals and have supported a bevy of bands and musicians (Kimbra, Sia, Cloud Control, The Jezabels, The Naked And Famous and Matt Corby). After last year’s success with their dance-pop number, Villages, the band is finally releasing their debut album. A is for Alpine is out this August and they’ll be touring nationally all through August and September. On top of their quirky music videos, breathy, breezy harmonies and pop sound that makes you want dance, Alpine are excellent people. How can we not love these kids!?
We had a little chat to lead singers Phoebe and Lou about their upcoming album and touring.
Where did you write A is for Alpine? And what is it about?
Lou : The album was sort of a continuation of the writing period from the EP to now. We didn’t really stop writing. What’s it about? It’s really just a reflection of six twenty-something-year-olds’ experiences – it’s quite honest and there’s a lot of poetry and metaphors. I guess it’s about lust, anxiety and needing to escape… and recognising your own faults in relationships.
Who writes the songs?
Lou: It depends on the song. Usually Christian will write a really basic instrumental and Phoebe and I will just go nuts with writing lyrics. If there’s a really unique lyrical idea or theme that we really like, we’ll use it and develop it further.
What situation could the the album soundtrack? What do you picture happening to your music?
Phoebe: Gosh… all sorts of things. I get a bit of a road tripping vibe. Or in a park, or down by the beach. It may sound a bit silly – but even up in the Alps. Yeah, fresh open spaces and nature… but it’s also for on the train, going to work.
What are your main musical influences?
Lou: There’s six of us, so our influences are really diverse and eclectic. We listen to every genre really. I guess we just naturally came together with pop. And Christian’s instrumental style and writing is a part of it. It takes bits from every pop genre. It isn’t really for the top 40 pop charts though.
Who came up with the concept for your video clip for Hands?
Phoebe: Luci Schroder came up with concept. I think it was originally a preconceived idea for a project. We get approached with images and ideas for videos, but her idea really stuck out to us. It’s a little confronting but we knew it would work out really well. In terms of its meaning, the song is about acceptance and accepting your emotions. In terms of the video, it makes sense because the video is about innocence and your first experience with sexuality and the awkward phase you go through – the time when you’re trying to accept the new sensations you’re going through.
What’s you favourite thing about touring?
Lou: I think it’s the idea of escapism. Its like an entire day that builds up to an hour’s set. It’s a long day up until that point but I love it. It’s us being together on stage, sharing music with people.
Phoebe: My favourite thing is going to places I wouldn’t have ordinarily gone to. Going down to the local shops and meeting all these different people, and playing in all these different venues is great too. Also touring with other bands; we’ve toured with the Jezebels, Sparkadia, and Matt Corby… you meet all these lovely people. Its like going on a camping trip but you’re working.
If you could tour with any musician or band, who would it be?
Phoebe: I would choose Grace Jones. She is incredible and I reckon she’d be fun to hang out with. But there are so many…
Lou: I would love to tour with Roxy Music. I just think they’d be crazy characters. I’d just want to wear what they wear. It just looks like a costume party on stage. So much glitz and glamour. Lots of fun and naughtiness. Plus I’d just listen to Brian talk all the time, I love his voice.”
Who is the ‘mum’ on tour?
Phoebe: Maybe Ryan. He’s kind of the organiser and the gentle soul. He would be mum … and I’d be the Nan, and Lou would be the naughty child.
If you weren’t singing what would you be doing?
Lou : It would definitely be in music still. I’d really want to organise music festivals in really obscure places.”
Phoebe: I’d probably still be in music too, or a chocolatier. Or teach music in a village in Mexico, but I’d like to have a little chocolate shop because I love chocolate so much.
What is Alpine’s backstage routine?
Lou: Phoebe and I do our warm ups and everyone just kind of does their own thing. Then it’s really important that we do our hands-in. It means we come together and remind ourselves that we’re going on stage together as a team, as naff as that sounds.
Whats next for Alpine?
Phoebe: We’ve got the big album tour in August, and I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the reception for the album is. We’d love to go overseas as well and definitely just more writing. So please come see our show!
Alpine’s new album, A is for Alpine is out August 10th.
Tour dates for August and September:
Thursday 16 August – Great Northern, Byron Bay
Friday 17 August – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday 18 August – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta
Thursday 23 August – Newport Hotel, Fremantle
Friday 24 August – Prince of Wales, Bunbury
Saturday 25 August – Bakery Artrage, Perth
Wednesday 29 August – The Patch, Wollongong
Friday 31 August – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday 1 September – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Sunday 2 September – Transit Bar, Canberra
Wednesday 5 September – The Loft, Warrnambool
Thursday 6 September – Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Friday 7 September – The Gov, Adelaide – LIC AA
Saturday 8 September – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Thursday 13 September – Bended Elbow, Geelong
Friday 14 September – Republic Bar, Hobart
Head to Alpine’s website for more details.