Alt. are about to drop their musically diverse, thought provoking and innovative debut album Abeyance shortly and guitarist Simon Aistrope braves the Monday morning rush to discuss the albums journey.
‘It’s been finished for a year at this point but we started it two years ago as an EP originally. So we had seven songs. This would’ve been not long after – debut EP- ‘Dysfunctional’ came out.
So we started writing with Landon from The Plot In You and Marcus from Northlane, you know just a fun co-write thing. Wrote a few songs, then wrote another five, went to the studio and we were all ready for it to be an EP.
At the time we were looking for management and stuff and some of the people we were talking to were like ‘you’re gonna have better luck if the next release you make it an album!’ So in about another three or four weeks we wrote another three songs and then went on a label hunt and that’s where we are at’.
Debut EP Dysfunctional came out of the ashes of After Change. As personal changed, singer Daniel Cullen-Richards suggested a name change that could allow any style and a fresh start begun. During this period the EP was born, a plan was put into place and Alt. went on the offensive. The new album Abeyance is the next step in the bands blazing evolution however have they gotten heavier?
‘It’s not intentional! Me and Dan do a lot of the writing. He usually starts off with a bass line and a vocal hook and I’ll kinda try and write the song from there and we go back and forth. I just gravitated towards writing sick riffs!
The singles that have come out are the heaviest songs on the album. After that there’s not many heavy songs on the album. Like the next song coming out is a weird movie type thing it doesn’t even have a chorus in it. There’s like a dancy type song on there and then a couple of softs one. It will be interesting cause you have to listen to it as a whole but singles wise, we have definitely gotten heavier.’
For a band from Adelaide, they don’t play many shows in their hometown as they attempt to navigate through the pitfalls of Australia’s musical landscape that is east coast centric. It is all part of the bands plan.
‘We had to have that chat and decide if we are going to do this properly. That’s what we did. I went in with the mindset that Adelaide is easy to over play. So we had that in mind, we’re going to play in Melbourne as much as we can. If we do play in Adelaide it will be decent shows as a support band. We are only going to play a show if we have something to release. When you think of big international touring bands and stuff, they’re not touring for the hell of it, it’s for releases be it an album, a single. We went into it with that mindset. We wanted to keep people interested and not play too much.’
The results are showing. National tours with Northlane, Saosin and Don Brocco have been completed in the last twelve months with another with Windwaker and a jaunt across the ditch with Thornhill to come. These tours allow the band to learn and grow with the best.
‘Going back to last year and the Northlane tour. We were kinda thrown in at the deep end. We hadn’t done a big tour before, we had only done one or two smaller ones. You learn how to be efficient and how you handle yourself around everyone. It’s a massive learning process for everything behind the scenes. You know how not to piss people off. But show wise we’ve become a bit more confident in ourselves now cause we’ve gotten past that we are playing to this many people. I think we’ve got a bit more personality in the band.’
Anyone who has seen the bands shows can vouch the upward trajectory is impressive, they even managed to bring a fun wall of death into their set this last run.
‘That was something we did on the most recent tour with Don Brocco because they’re such a crowd hype band. ‘We gotta pull a little wall of death, put it in the track, leave a space for it.’ In Sydney it was really sick and before Unify, we were like let’s keep it and it was probably better than any of those other ones on tour.’
The bands music has hit over two million streams, appeared on Radio Kerrang! and Radio 1 overseas. With a brilliant and emotional touching album about to be released, expect to see and hear much more from a band that can be literally anything they want.
Interview By Iain McCallum