INTERVIEW: Alvarez Kings
One of the beauties of Summerfest is that the festival looks the world over to bring in talent for eleven straight days. Alvarez Kings are a UK-based band that have played Milwaukee before, but get the chance to return with an even brighter spotlight on their name. The band’s debut album, “Somewhere Between”, was just released via Sire Records, and we caught up with Simon, Paul, and Sean before their appearance on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage at 5:30 today.
B&E: Welcome back to Milwaukee! For those that haven’t heard the band before, describe your sound:
Simon: Thanks so much we are really excited to return to Milwaukee. It’s always been one of our favorite cities. We’ve played Milwaukee twice on Vans Warped Tour and then we played last year with Melanie Martinez and we’ve had such a blast each time.
We describe our sound as Alternative Indie Pop.
B&E: You’ve played Milwaukee before. Have you ever had a chance to see the city?
Paul: Milwaukee has always been great to us. We played Warped Tour twice and both crowds were huge. And then last year we opened for Melanie Martinez at Riverside Theater and it was one of the loudest crowds of the whole tour. But in terms of seeing the sights of Milwaukee, with tour life there is always so much to do once arriving at the venue such as setting up, soundchecking and local press so we don’t get time to see much. However, I do remember last time we was in your wonderful city drinking the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had!
B&E: Your first full-length album is out now. What artists influenced the sound of “Somewhere Between”?
Sean: Each of us individually bring influences from other artists, which kind of culminated in the sonic position of what the record sounds like. Personally I love EDM and House music styles, big 80s synths, so there were techniques and instrumentation brought from those genres. But yeah, we were going for a little bit of Don Henley & Tears for Fears meets Disclosure & Foals.
B&E: What’s your favorite song(s) on the record?
Paul: Personally I’d say the closer and title track, “Somewhere Between”. I love the evolution of the song from when it started, from just a synth pad and bare vocals to recording the finished version in LA.
Sean: Got to say “Fear To Feel” is the ultimate blend of everything that our band does for me, technical time signature changes, the instrumentation, soaring melodies and very emotive lyrics.
B&E: You’re on tour through July. What’s next for Alvarez Kings after that?
Simon: We are very early in to the tour cycle of the album and so far, its been unforgettable. We have so many things lined up, we just cant announce anything just yet. We like to surprise our fans.
B&E: We always love a good tour story. What’s been the craziest thing that’s happened to you guys on the road?
Simon: We played Vans Warped Tour in 2013, and when we did the Canada show I was stopped at the border coming back in to America. There was an issue with my work visa so I was refused entry, and had to stay behind, but the guys carried on the tour without me. We made great friends on the tour and in my absence Echosmith, Allstar Weekend and William Beckett filled on vocals.
B&E: Lastly, if you could make your own concert festival lineup with anyone living or dead, what acts would you pick?
Paul: Bonobo. He’s a house producer from the UK, and absolutely love his production and soundscapes he creates.
Simon: The Maccabees are an awesome band from England. They are just doing their farewell tour, and I got tickets to go see them, but unfortunately I’m on my own tour which is awesome in itself, but I’m never going to get chance to see them again. Sad face.
Rich: I would have to say Foals. I have loved there music from the first album. I love how they have developed their music over the years, and I just think we would be a perfect combination in a tour.