Alberta Cross Charges Ahead
I know you recently played at Bonnaroo, and you’ve played there before, right?
Yeah we played there about 2 years ago or something like that. I really sort of fell in love with the place, that’s definitely one of my favorite festivals, like favorite gigs, ever. You just fall in love with certain places; I hope they let us back next year. It’s just such a cool vibe down there. Everyone is just really cool, and there’s a great vibe and great lineup and it’s kind of muddy and gritty which is pretty cool, it reminds me of Glastonbury or something. Every time we play there we’re put in bigger tents and we played it two years ago and it was like something like 6,000 people in the tent, it was crazy. This time we played and it was just like a crammed tent. If you look at a picture we have on Facebook, it’s the profile picture on our Facebook right now, the Alberta Cross one. It’s just nuts, and you can see how many people were there. They seemed to really like what we were doing and we always enjoy it and I think people can kind of sense that.
What were some of the highlights from this last one?
Well, the main show is incredible. I think this time around we’ve been lucky to get to know a lot of people in all the bands. We’ve all been touring for so long that we have a lot of friends in other bands and it’s always kind of been like that, but even more now, like the longer you go on for. Just walking around the festival grounds is great and hanging out with people after the show, and backstage for the bands, there’s just so many friends. It’s like a gathering of mates and we all play the same festival, it’s pretty fucking awesome.
So, would you say Bonnaroo is your favorite festival?
I just love the whole idea of festivals. You tour all around the country; you do your own tours, headline tours, you do support tours, and that’s great. And then you get the chance to go and do festivals, and festivals for us are great for all of the stuff I’ve been saying: you have friends there; it’s a great get-together, and it’s like a celebration. But the good thing as well is all the people that go there. I remember that when I was younger and I would probably do it now [laughs] if I wasn’t playing them now. I would probably go to festivals. It’s great, it’s like a celebration, people get off work, people drive down there and watch music and hang out with people and the vibe down there is people are friendly and cool, people wanna have a good time, just to sense that vibe makes our gigs better, and everything we do so much better. Cause if you’re playing a headline show, wherever you’re playing in the world, it’s great, but it’s more like people just get off work to go down and see you. And it’s cool, people are having a good time, but at a festival, people go nuts. People get crazy at shows, but when you do a festival, people go fucking bananas.
Which must be so great to feed off of.
Exactly, that’s the whole thing. I love Bonnaroo, but I love every damn festival. Bonnaroo is definitely one of my favorite festivals of course, but we’ve played Coachella, we’ve played Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and stuff like that, and that’s great. In Europe they have amazing festivals, and we’ve played Fuji Rock in Japan, and Splendour in the Grass in Australia and they all have the same vibe, we love it.
Switching gears, where did you come up with your name, I’ve heard it’s an anagram?
It came up and it’s got meaning for us, and we’re just saying it’s an anagram to piss people off [laughs]. We did this Norwegian TV show a while back and the guy brought down like, I don’t know, 500 sheets of paper, like the biggest waste of paper ever, but he brought down like a book of answers and he kept going through, and I was like, “Is this on live tv? I bet it’s on live tv”. And I was like, we’re not going to sit here for like 10 minutes and talk about all those names. Fucking classic.
What are some of your influences?
I listen to everything; I don’t want life to get boring. If I listened to the same genre that would get boring. Massive fan of David Bowie, I love soul music, whatever’s got soul.
You recently moved from NY to LA? What sparked the move?
I’m in New York now and it’s so fuckin’ incredible. I love the city; I’ve got my best mates here, really great friends here. I lived in London for 10 years or something and then I lived in New York for like 3 ½ years and they are very different but they’re similar as well. Compact little cities and I love it, and I’m always gonna love it. So I felt like, when I get off tour I want to try something different. We’ve been in Cali a lot and I really like California, it always makes me kind of happy when I get there, you know, the palm trees, the blue skies, and the desert. It’s got a lot of things that I love. I’m not really a part of the LA scene or anything, but the nature around here is great. You’ve got the mountains, the snow, the desert. I love to go out to the desert and stuff, it’s quite inspiring for now. Ideally it’d be cool to be in both NY and LA and go between them. It’s a good change. There’s a lot of good music out there right now.
Will you be playing anything from your new album at the Rock Shop tonight?
We are playing loads off stuff from our new album. Like 70% new stuff to an extent and then we piss people off. No, we don’t. When I used to go see bands and they played a lot of new songs sometimes it’d kind of piss you off like, I wanna hear the old stuff! With us now, I’ve been a little bit paranoid because we did a record in LA and the first show we went on and we played like 12 new songs and walked off! [laughs] And I didn’t think about it, I was like “Fuck! Did we only play new songs?” and Terry, our bass player was like, “Yeah” and I was like “Fuck, I didn’t mean to do that at all” I was completely out of it, you know? And I was like, we can’t do that, if I was a fan and gone down to see that… I mean you’re happy to see new songs, but like it’s kind of nice to recognize some songs, so you can sing to the lyrics or jam to them. So now we try to mix it up. The whole point is to do small shows and try out lots of new stuff and treat people to that make it like a special show. Cause when the album comes out we’re gonna come back and do like bigger shows that’s gonna be more proper shows. We’re just gonna try out loads of crazy stuff, come and join us, and have a drink, you know?
Speaking of having a drink, what has it been working with Ketel One?
It’s been great. It was pretty awesome when they go in touch with us. Ketel One’s been around us on the road, we all drink Ketel One, and I’m not just saying that cause we really do. It’s been a great thing, when they told us they wanted us in the video, I’m in three commercials, the band was in one for jamming. The video director guy, David Russell, he’s this massive film director, he did The Fighter, and loads of big Hollywood films, and really cool ones, so they were like, “Oh he’s gonna direct you in all the films” and I was like, “Uhhhh, okay”. It was kinda cool. To be in a commercial sometimes it’s like, “Ohh, I don’t know if I wanna do that.” But then there was David and he would be telling me what we were going to do and it’s all about an after party after a show and just to hang. David was using his same team from The Fighter, they were doing it. The first day in downtown LA and the whole fucking street was just all trucks, it was like a massive movie set, it was crazy, it was really insane. The whole thing’s been great, it’s a good partnership. We love Ketel One, and they like us. The best thing is they’re Dutch, and we all LOVE Dutch people. [laughs] Our drummer, he’s got Dutch blood in him, so that was pretty awesome.
So, what’s next?
Next, man there’s a lot of shit coming up. We’re going into the Electric Lady now to record an EP pretty soon and then after that we’re touring different festivals. I know we’ve got some pretty big support tours that we might do, and we’re going to Europe and doing some festivals, winter festivals there. When we’re done with all the music and we record this EP, we’re thinking we’re gonna tour for 16 months all around the world, that’s the plan I guess. There are no certain things, I just know it’s gonna be a crazy time. You know you work hard in the studio forever trying to finish a record, and it’s great to be in the studio, but you feel closed in. At the end of a recording period you almost go, “Fuck it, nah.” You’re completely bonkers; you don’t know what’s up or down. You’re just like, “Ahh I wanna get on the road and play this fucking stuff for people.” That’s the thing now, I think we all feel really excited to get out and play, because there’s an EP and album, and even after the album we’re thinking about releasing another EP before the summer festivals next year. We wanna release a lot of music. It’s gonna be fun.