I catch up with the band Alexander on their UK tour
Just a typical Wednesday at Barfly in Camden. Quite ordinary day for a gig. Any would do, actually. With one exception. Rather extraordinary band that strikes with a strong and contagious confidence. Meet Alexander – four lads from Newcastle, 3/4 vegetarians (the guitarist loves food a bit too much), whose mannerism is [quoting] wild. And let me tell you, I have a feeling they are just getting started. If you seek a new band to love, they might the one.
Jamie Clark (22), Anth Snowdon (22), Drew Michael (25) and James Simpson (22)
After releasing their debut LP Say Hello in 2013 and having a short break the following year, the band Alexander hits the road again. The gig at Barfly in London is the third show of their UK headline tour after smashing Birmingham and Cardiff. When asked about that they say – It’s been great. Amazing. Fun. All the laughs in the world. Of course, I want to hear all about those “laughs”.
But before we go any further, first things first. The name of the band. Rather simple, you’d say. But also rather enigmatic. It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I mean, since none of the guys is actually named Alexander.. So what’s the deal?
We wanted a human name – says Anth, the lead singer of the group. Just one word, a strong name. You know, we’ve met a lot of bands and we’ve been in a lot of bands where the name is just random. It doesn’t really make sense. I guess, a name Alexander for four lads doesn’t make sense either but for us it’s different because it represents us as a whole. One name to represent all of us together. We went through a lot of various names and to be honest this particular one was the first on the list [laughs]. Having a strong name solidifies your identity. It’s a good thing.
I must admit that for being rather young band, the group seem very concrete and focus on what they want to achieve. They formed as Alexander only in 2013 but they’ve known each other way back. Anth (vocals, guitar) and James (bass) basically grew up together and then they met Drew (drums) at college in Newcastle. After playing some gigs they ran across Jamie (guitar) whom they stole from another band. We gave him a guitar and said “Play this. It is your new band now.” – remembers Drew. Nice move guys!
Whilst listening to their songs you can hear all the late 90s vibes. As they point out, growing up in these nostalgic times has had significant impact on their music. But it is always difficult and tricky for a band to describe their sound. It’s weird this whole genre thing. Naming your identity and sound with just a couple of words can be hard sometimes. But I think for us a word alternative is good because it’s so broad. There are a lot of ideas in that mix. – says Anth. But also that break in 2014 was a chance for experiments and in the result it gave us a different music sound. The last couple of releases are quite different form our previous EP and you can hear it straight away. With that incorporated nostalgia from the 90s the entire production is diverse. – adds Drew.
As you can see from the pictures above they smashed the place. From opening drummy beats of Drive through up tempo guitar in Say Hello to already crowd’s favourite Four A.M. With the energy like theirs, there was no other way. I can’t wait to see (and hear) what’s next from these guys. As they told me, when the tour ends they head straight to the studio to work on the new material. Yay!
Now go and check (intentionally cheesy) music video for the track Four A.M.
But what has changed? Two years are a short period of time but also a plenty of time to change your mind, your perspective or even your life. It is certainly enough time to change your sound.
I think the difference is that now we just have peace with doing what we do because we enjoy doing it – the frontman of the band adds at the end. We’re not trying to fit any scene, not trying to follow what anyone else is doing. We write what we want to write and don’t worry about what people think. We are quite content now.