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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
My mother’s an actor and musician and had a successful band in the 70s. My father was always into music too. So it was a bit inevitable really! I remember listening to the Beatles and Chuck Berry as a child and first picked up a guitar aged 5.
If I wasn’t doing music I would be a Coder - something that pays better for sure but creative too!
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Travelling(!) when possible
Going to see live music
Watching films and documentaries plus the occasional series
Anything to break out of the routine and spark some new connections, even something like taking a new route on a walk and not using a map keeps me feeling more alive and inspired!!
How long has your band been around?
Just over a year - we started with this lineup during lockdown - so it was more an online collaboration to begin with.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
London - being in and around the local scene and growing up in Camden definitely affects the kind of music you’re exposed to and influenced by. So I guess I have a somewhat 60s influenced take on music via my parents and then my peers - Rock n Roll, the Brit Invasion, Brit Pop, Indie. Pop music (especially guitar music) as it ping ponged across the Atlantic during the latter part 20th century and how we internalised it and reinvented it locally growing up!
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you.
Alterpodes are alternate spaces - they can be thousands of miles apart yet remain closely related in the imaginations of those who live within them. In the band we all come from very different backgrounds and places but we connect through the music, so we thought it was a fitting name.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Alterpodes haven’t played a show yet! Harry: for me personally, best would be a show at a club in Essen where most of the audience (a couple of hundred) knew our songs and really wanted to dance and have a good time. It was a great atmosphere and fun to play as we were responsible for getting the party started and we succeeded! Worst show: possibly a very nearly empty pub and a workmate showed up in support and my string promptly broke mid-set so I had to restring too - that was fun!
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven’t already?
I prefer smaller intimate shows generally - of the ones still going I like the Shacklewell arms in Dalston.
Bucket list venues to name a few:
Red Rocks Arena
Whiskey a go go
Main Stage Glastonbury!
The Roundhouse Camden!
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Queen at Wembley
I mean that’s hard coz I could name a very long list of amazing and dead artists (not saying the above are all in that category) I would love to share a stage with but if it had to actually work on a single bill those 3 would be a fun night I think!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Do it for fun. If you’re serious about it as a career, be in it for the long haul and for the right reasons.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Play more guitar and less computer games! Get a guitar teacher who challenges you in the right ways and learn some theory and piano along the way.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Maybe Cardboard Cutout because it is about someone I used to know in school
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
We are yet to find that out! But in terms of the ones I enjoy playing I like Retro Psycho and Rewires because I can get into them more as they are more energetic.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
We tend to write some music separately and then bring it to the other two and then work it into a finished song. We share the recording project file as we all have home recording setups. Sometimes we write new material in the studio too. Inspiration comes from a need to play music and express ourselves through that medium. It’s cathartic. It could be a TV show I saw, someone’s behaviour, a difficult moment. Generally some kind of emotional response to something I’ve experienced but it can be pretty subconscious.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
They tend to be about an emotional journey, either mine or someone else’s. I’ll keep it vague so it can be relatable to different situations and not too literal. Most recently about confronting inner demons; being ostracised by a community and then finding your feet again; dealing with lockdown etc. Generally positive messages but sometimes I feel angry about something in the world and want people to see things differently so I try and frame that in a song. So they occasionally can be a bit political - those are tough to get right without coming across as preachy!
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Sometimes! I write google docs where we try and agree frameworks around whatever the disagreement is so we can all move forward and feel heard. Lol. So far we can see the music is the most important thing and as long as that feels right then we can navigate the rest!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that’s coming up?
More - the next singles. Getting a liveshow together! The masterplan!! I’d personally like to try and find an indie label for us within the next 12 months and do a tour to promote the band as soon as that’s possible.
You can pre-save our upcoming double single (due out this Friday May 21/05/2021) , Retro Psycho, here: