The Alterkicks

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MusicRemedy had an exclusive interview with The Alterkicks. The band just released their debut EP "Do Everything I Taught You".

1) Why did you release "Do Everything I Taught You" as your debut? Is there a deepter thought behind the song/EP?

Mike Oates (MO): Do everything I taught you seemed like a good way to say hello'€¦ Zane Lowe was already playing the song as a demo before it actually got released, so we though it'€™d be silly to change that. Martin told us the song is about not being sure what your doing with your life and worrying about how others close to you might react, or something like that. Pretty universal stuff I reckon.

2) How do you experience the fact that your video is broadcasted at MTV2?

(MO): Its very exciting really'€¦ I'€™m not a person who likes looking at myself in photos, let alone videos, but having our song on MTV is fantastic and given the tiny budget we think Mark (the director) did a really good job!

3) Now that you becoming more famous are there more women/girls giving you attention? To my opinion Martin, you look adorable in the clip. Are there groupies/fans who will not leave you alone?

(MO): I wouldn'€™t say we were famous by any stretch'€¦ The only time we get any resembling fan attention is after gigs when we are more easily spotted/recognised. As a result, there are no stalkers or oddballs at this point. I decline to comment on Martin'€™s adorability'€¦

4) Are you pleased with the response you have received so far?

(MO): Yeah, it'€™s been great. The crowd responses have been fantastic given that we have been a support act on most of our recent shows and the fact that the ("Albeit ltd") single has pretty much sold out is great to know.

5) Your music sounds a little bit like Biffy Clyro and Belle & Sebastian, how do you experience it yourself? How do you want to call your sound?

(MO): The comparisons vary from place to place'€¦ which is probably a good sign. For instance, I'€™ve never heard us be compared to Biffy Clyro before. That said, there are some that keep popping up. With regard to the last single, we reckon its somewhere between Love, Bowie and the Pixes, but we don'€™t tend to have one particular sound for all our songs. Hopefully it'€™s frantic at times, melodic at other times and full of energy when needed.

6) How do you separate yourselves from other artists?

(MO): We all like different bands and different types of music '€“ we argue enough amongst ourselves about what is good to worry about what other musicians are doing. That said, we scrapped a couple of songs for sounding a bit '€˜80s, which is kind of the in-thing at the moment

7) What would you like to achieve with your music and career?

(MO): As much as we can. I like music that'€™s heartfelt and interesting and has its own personality, be it rock, electro, pop'€¦ but again'€¦ we all have different opinions. What it achieves as a product is out of our hands really..

8) How did you come to the conclusion to begin a career as a music artist?

(MO): Playing music is all about pleasing yourself and your band together at the same time'€¦ It only became a career when some said they'€™d pay us for it. I'€™d hoped to be doing something like this since my mid-teens, so it'€™s all a bit odd that it'€™s actually happened. Good odd mind you..

9) Which band(-s) and/or artists do you like? What did you listen to back in the 'old days'?

(MO): If you mean bands from the past or well established musicians, I like the Beatles, Radiohead, the Pixies, DJ Shadow, Mogwai, Interpol, Sonic Youth and many others. The band tend to agree on stuff like that'€¦ classic Stones, Bowie, Nirvana, etc.

10) How do you, as a band, write a new song? Are there difficulties, because of differences of opinion, when making a new song?

(MO): There are always difficulties, because we tend to go by the rule that all five of us have to be into it if we are going to use it. Over 90% of the time, Martin will present the band with a melody and root chords'€¦ something hes come up with on an acoustic'€¦ and we'€™ll work out a way of doing it as a band together'€¦ making the odd change/addition here and there, but mostly working out our own parts that can embellish the song. Its been fun recording b-sides for the next single. It usually helps to get a demo recorded - we make demos and single b-sides at home with our friend Darren Jones, which is great because we get to try things out more loosely and work out what we do well.

11) What artists are you listening to at the minute?

(MO): This very second I'€™m listening to Tri Repeatae by Autechre on my flatmates computer. Its amazing. Futureheads are great. The best new band from Liverpool is Hot Club de Paris. I saw them again the other night and was beaming from ear to ear.

12) Do you listen to other genres then rock, such like hiphop and dance? And who?

(MO): We like a wide variety of music'€¦ Martins a big Daft Punk fan'€¦ Ollie likes jazz, Mark likes hip hop, Gareths partial to a bit of country and I like ca fair bit of the Warp records type stuff. Good music is good music. It'€™s not to say we sound like any of those things'€¦ but it probably affects you somehow.

13) What celebrity/person would you want downloaded onto your hard drive and stored for all time?

(MO): Marilyn Monroe from Some Like it Hot. Or Bill hicks, but for very different reasons.

14) How is the tour doing and are you enjoying it? Did something special happen during the tour? Are there plans for a tour through Europe?

(MO): We would love to tour Europe and one day hope that happens. Touring the U.K has been a lot of fun and a good chance to find new ways of annoying each other. Nothing out of the ordinary special happened... though we came to realise for the first time just how much alcohol plays a part in being on tour, which is probably a valuable lesson.

15) Do you have anything to say to the MusicRemedy.com's visitors?

(MO): Good music is good music. Bad music is not good music. Treat forest life with respect. Don'€™t buy anything by Robbie Williams ever.

Biography
When Radio One'€™s Zane Lowe played the Alterkicks demo in November of 2004 little did he know that, for once, he wasn'€™t the first in the queue. Through a year of shows in their native North West Alterkicks had quietly gone about building a solid and widening fanbase without any notice from the rest of the country. Once the demo was played, that soon changed and the record companies also pricked up their ears, In tandem, more and more fans registered with the site and started a campaign for the band to play in the South of England, an, as yet, unfulfilled request.

So far this leads us to Alterkicks debut single through the internationally renowned first home for all decent talent, Fierce Panda. Released on March 7th, '€œDo Everything I Taught You'€ along with extra tracks '€œThe Cannibal Hiking Disaster'€ and '€œDo Me A Favour'€ will be the starting point for the band.

Alterkicks were formed through adverts in shops in Merseyside and Cheshire, Though now based in Liverpool, the band are drawn from far and wide. Now jobless as the pressures of the band overtook their first chosen careers, the five are currently becoming experts on the interest free loopholes of credit card introductory offers, '€œYou can change them every six months and transfer the debt'€, according to vocalist Martin. The working population'€™s loss is Capital One'€™s gain it would seem.

Fighting their way through the usual appalling early shows, '€œWe once did a charity gig in Croxteth Park to old ladies and dogs, We were on after the raffle'€, Gareth confesses, the band hit upon a sound that drew as heavily from the melodic intricacy of Love as the sheer noise attack of Pixies to create a set that is, for a new band, full of stone cold classics in waiting. With a strident musical ability linked to Martin'€™s surreal yet intimate lyrics, Alterkicks were keen to play outside of the system as it were until they were personally sure that they were ready. When Zane Lowe nailed his colours firmly to their mast, that time had come.

Still to play in London, Alterkicks embark on a tour in support of their Fierce Panda release (see attached press release for full details) and may even get round to that London gig. If only to stop the website from crashing'€¦..

Martin Stilwell '€“ Vocals
Gareth Padfield '€“ Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Mike Oates '€“ Guitar, Vocals
Mark Karin '€“ Bass
Oliver Hughes - Drums

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