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ALPINE

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By Nichola Spain

“PERFORMING AND CREATING IS SUCH A POWERFUL THING, IF YOU CREATE SOMETHING, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET OLD AND YOU’VE PASSED AWAY, YOUR ART WILL ALWAYS EXIST.”

Cast your mind back to that dark and stormy Tuesday evening, circa August 2010, when local Melbourne six-piece band Alpine first took the stage of the Northcote social club for the beginning of their month long weekly residency. Oh wait? You didn’t know? Bet you wished you had.

“It was always raining and it was so hard to get people to come. There was always a big push to try and get people so it looked like we were a real up and coming thing. It was quite funny” Lou James, co-lead singer of Alpine recalls.

From humble beginnings, the band has come a long way and are currently putting the wheels in motion to give the people what they want, a third studio album. Cue excitement.

“I think of when we first did our EP Zurich, to when we did A is for Alpine, to then Yuck. It’s always such a different experience. I think a lot of that comes from I guess just growing as a person and growing as a band and friends and everything that’s happening around you, and also as you learn to figure out what kind of musician and artist you are.”

“It’s always such an exciting kind of learning curve. You never kind of know which direction [the album is going], well we don’t as a group. I think that’s why it’s always exciting and always is really surprising. Even the newer stuff that we’ve been working on, it’s such a further progression of Yuck and if I compare that to Zurich it’s like woh! We’ve just come so far.” 

The difference in sound from A is for Alpine to Yuck is distinct. A is for Alpine made you want to throw your shoes off and dance around the house in your undies like no ones watching. The second album Yuck seemed to have brought a sense of calm to the sound. Their beats a little more mellow and chilled.

“I feel like the transition from A is to Alpine to Yuck for me it really was like a sense of self-assurance. I found that we were a lot more confident and I think that was a reflection on the fact that we had toured so much together as a band and we really started to understand what our influences were and how we are as a collective group of artists.” 

So what can we expect from the third studio album?

“Tim [Royal, Alpine keyboardist] really helped with more songs on the latest record. I feel like maybe this sort of 90s, RnB flair is coming through a lot more so with Tim. And then Christian [O’Brien, Alpine guitarist] he’s more so the classical side of our style of writing. Together they’re both collaborating a lot more so it’s a real wild kind of direction the songs are sounding. It’s cool.”

2015/2016 was another big year for the band. They toured around Australia as well as hit big festivals including Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and Sugar Mountain. Lou admits touring around Australia is far easier than when she compares it to their 2013 tour around the States in a cramped up minivan. Not so glamorous. But what we were curious to know, is honestly, don’t hold back. What’s it like having to sing the same song, over and over and over and over again?

“I don’t ever get bored of performing the songs, even though you would think that. You’ll be in such a different headspace or setting. Like the room will feel different, or the energy that you have as a collective on stage will feel different. It’s always unique and it’s never a dull moment.”

Well that wasn’t as juicy as we’d hoped. But you can’t help but feel the love. The love for the music, the art or making it, the art of performing it.

“Performing and creating is such a powerful thing, if you create something, no matter what happens when you get old and you’ve passed away, your art will always exist.”

“Being able to connect with people when you’re performing…it’s really hard to describe. Every show is unlike the show you played the day before. Or the people that you meet are unlike the people that you met the day before. It’s just so great to sort of try and connect your music with other people and performing is one of my favourite things. I just love that sense of freedom and adrenalin.”

Other extremely exciting news in the Alpine world is they’ve welcomed the first baby to the group (already in training for resident triangle player). The bands drummer, Phil Tucker and his partner welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Navy to the universe (how cool is the name Navy).

One critical thing to point out, no this is not the love child of two of the band members. So if you thought they’ve all hooked up and are living in an incestuous mini van touring the world, you’re all a bunch of sickos. Get your minds out of the gutter. We can happily say ours wasn’t even there (which is unusual). In search of some news breaking unreported info about Alpine, Lou volunteered this information.

“Oh! None of us have hooked up with each other. Everyone seems to think because there is four guys and two girls, that we’re all getting it on. But that’s definitely not happening. Like ew, gross. It’s completely like a sibling relationship.” She get’s creepy shivers down her spin and utters “ewww” once more.

“And that is something that I would like to let everyone know about.”

Five minutes later, ABC breaking news (more like Elite Daily. Yeah they love this shit).

 FINISH THE SENTENCE…

The best thing we’ve learnt... is to always make sure that you have fresh underwear.

Our favourite drink... is tequila.

Our dirty little secret... is we love each other.

No one ever told us... how tired we would be.

My greatest fear is... that this will end.

My happy place is... home.

My weirdest habit is... too many in jokes.

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