Pop-rockers Alvarez Kings came to Norwich for their biggest show yet in support of Switchfoot. Nick Mason caught up with the band’s frontman, Simon.
Hi Simon. I first saw you in 2014. You’ve come a long way and dropped your debut album, Somewhere Between, this year. How’s it felt finally getting the debut out?
Simon: It was 2016, I think July, we went to LA. It was a crazy year. We did a two-month tour in the States, then toured with PVRIS and went back to Europe with Melody Martinez. Then we went out there and recorded the album in 3 weeks. We were very worried about time restraints, our Visas ran out on the last day of recording.
When I saw you back in 2013 I remember you premiered ‘Postcards From Berlin’, which was given a huge overhaul for the album, as were ‘Cold Conscience’ and ‘No Resolve’ to an extent. I was curious, did you adapt the songs for the album or was it a case of adapting them led to the album?
Simon: Well we wanted the album to sound like the new Alvarez Kings. We’d kept people waiting long enough. It was us trying to have a theme through the album. Songs like ‘Postcards From Berlin’ were quite indie-rock sounding and it wouldn’t fit. ‘Sleepwalking Pt. 2’ was based on ‘Sleepwalking’, which was an acoustic song we played live. Our label loved it but we thought it wouldn’t work so changed the structure and, well, the whole song really.
Over the past few years you’ve really brought a lot of dreamy synths to your music. Was this an intentional direction or did it happen quite organically?
Simon: It was something we always dabbled with on a small scale. ‘Tell Tale Heart’ had a bit of synth pad, but it was something we couldn’t adapt to live and kept it low-key. But we didn’t have access to all the synths we recorded with. We could warrant that kind of money for live sound. One of the reasons we chose the studio we did was because of the synths. We spent days searching for the right synths sounds.
What are your plans to see out the year? Is there any recording on the horizon or do you want to keep promoting Somewhere Between for the foreseeable future?
Simon: Well, we’re going to release a live session just before the Switchfoot tour. We’re going to continue promoting the album. We are still relatively unknown and we think it has legs and life left, but I am writing towards an EP to bridge the gap between albums one and two. There’s plenty of writing occurring. It’s one of the things in the position we’re at that we don’t really know what is going to happen. The label is still excited about the album and the future. As long as the label is happy then we can keep moving forward.