Interviewed by Hailey Nuthals, Highlighter Editor
Alvarez Kings, the rapidly growing rock quartet hailing from various towns in England, graciously took time during the middle of their current tour with Melanie Martinez to chat with WSN and discuss their take on songwriting and performing.
WSN: Do you guys see songwriting as more of a cathartic or creative exercise (or some combination of the two)?
Simon Thompson: Definitely somewhere in between. In terms of the cathartic side of it, we always take our frustrations out on our instruments. I think all musicians should. You have to express your own thoughts and feelings in your music. And that helps you become more creative in the first place. Then when you get into a room of guys that are all like-minded individuals, musically speaking, then it becomes a massively creative process anyway.
WSN: Being so internationally acclaimed, do you feel like fans from different countries or continents behave differently? Do you notice a difference between crowds from different places?
Richard Walker: Yeah, they definitely have a different vibe wherever you go.
ST: Even state to state, yeah. City to city, everybody’s different. Every crowd’s different. They all react positively, but slightly differently. Some of them go slightly more nuts than others, some scream the entire way through the set, some are quiet and wait until after you’ve finished to really show their appreciation. It keeps you on your toes.
Sean Parkin: It does keep you on your toes.
RW: You wouldn’t want it the same every night.
RW: I’d hate to be the Foo Fighters or somebody like that. I wouldn’t mind being a couple dollars behind Dave Grohl, but…
WSN: It’s said that when people spend enough time living together they pick up each other’s habits; do you think you’ve picked up any of Melanie Martinez’s habits musically or performance-wise on this tour (or from other artists you’ve toured with in the past)?
ST: I guess everybody has a little bit of an influence on you, I suppose, after that amount of time, but we’ve always done our own thing. Our sound has probably grown a lot from other people, I guess.
RW: I think, in terms of stagecraft, I’ve picked up a lot on the road. I’ve started watching other bands on Warped Tour and other bands we’ve toured with, like Echosmith and things like that. You do pick up some good habits, in terms of performance and showmanship.
ST: You just grow up with more confidence the more you play with other people, and other people show you the ropes a bit when you’re not feeling so confident in yourself.
SP: I guess when you’ve got 2,000 or 2,500 kids screaming at you every night, each night’s a little bit different. You see how far you can push your performance until the breaking point when you fall off the stage.
The Alvarez Kings will be touring with PVRIS for a few dates of their headlining tour in the UK after having wrapped up Melanie Martinez’s Cry Baby Tour. Catch them there, or listen to & buy their music on Spotify or iTunes.