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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Alpine

By: Carmine Pascuzzi

With a band name of Alpine, the young Melburnians are sometimes not thought of as Australian. This was also evidenced by the title of their debut EP “Zurich”. But make no mistake, Alpine are certainly championing the cause of up-and-coming Australian bands with their fresh approach.

The six-piece outfit display a different direction of pop music as there varying degrees of influence to the sound. Accordingly, co-lead singer Phoebe Baker mentioned that the album “is a document of the band's innocent and not so innocent explorations through our emotions”. When asked about having their album released, Phoebe and co-lead singer Lou James both emphasise that“ it's a dream come true to have it out there for people to listen to. It's hard to put into words.”

It's certainly a big effort for the six band members who came today through various friendships to form Alpine in 2009. They have been able to fuse their harmonies, synths and beats to great effect.

When asked about the recording process, Lou and Phoebe spoke highly of producer, Dann Hume (from Evermore). "We worked with Dann out at his Gisborne home. We had written many songs and Dann's great skills in arrangement helped us with the sounds and textures. He is a multi-instrumentalist and he would throw ideas at us all the time. His ideas at times would challenge the way we saw a song, but the outcome was always for the better.”

Has success come quicker than expected? “Yes, much quicker than we thought”, said Phoebe. “We suddenly got exposed, although it's come together really well. We've had a few good support shows in the last two years and become friends with several other bands and musicians. We know how lucky we've been and it has been hard to take the smiles of our faces.”

With the understanding gained through the fine working relationship with Dann Hume, the band see the benefits of the collaborative process. Alpine’s own methods for songwriting reflect this. They are deliberate in their writing, with input coming from each band member as the process moves in a circular motion. Phoebe and Lou said, “It usually begins with Christian (O'Brien) and his guitar ideas. The song may go in a full circular motion until everyone has a piece of it. It has worked well for us.”

When asked about the fact that there are two pretty young ladies out front to project a particular image, Lou and Phoebe see the benefits. “We love the image factor. We can show how fashion conscious we are and wear some cool gear.”

Alpine now embark on their first headline tour around Australia. Their energetic and infectious live shows are sure to win over more fans. Both Lou and Phoebe are as keen as mustard about it. “Yes, this tour will be great for us. To play our first album on the road will be exciting, and we then want to step into the festival scene later in the year.”

Thanks to Lou and Phoebe for their time, and you can see Alpine on their remaining tour dates as follows:

Sunday September 2 8.00pm - Transit Bar, Canberra
Wednesday September 5 8.00pm - The Loft, Warrnambool
Thursday September 6 8.00pm - Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Friday September 7 8.00pm - Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide
Saturday September 8 8.00pm - Corner Hotel, Richmond
Sunday September 9 8.00pm - Corner Hotel, Richmond
Thursday September 13 8.00pm - The Bended Elbow, Geelong
Friday September 14 8.00pm - Republic Bar, Hobart

A Is For Alpine is out now through Ivy League Records

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