alexalone Jams Out at Local Live, Feb. 4 2024

alexalone Jams Out at Local Live, Feb. 4 2024

February 4, 2024 in Local Live

by dj lemonhead

Alexalone, the brainchild of singer and guitarist Alex Peterson, joined KVRX in the studio on February 4 to play a six-song set that showed off their instrumental prowess. The band, also consisting of members Sam Jordan and Andrew “Drewsky” Hulett, delivered layer upon layer of mesmerizing sonic textures throughout their set, interpolating moments of chaos with moments of clarity.

During an instrumental which spanned at least ten minutes, Peterson and Hulett busied themselves with adjusting pedals and knobs at their feet while Jordan utilized unique methods on the drums to add to the ambient noisiness.

Their music is best described by Alex as this: “soft stuff played really loud.”

This style is on full display in their album, ALEXALONE TECHNICAL RESEARCH, which they released last year. You can catch the band later this month in Austin at Hotel Vegas on Feb. 16.

Read our interview with alexalone below.

Q: Could you introduce yourselves and what you do in the band, and tell us what your favorite appetizer is?

Sam: Hi, my name is Sam. I play the drums, and my favorite appetizer is probably tofu spring rolls with peanut sauce.

Alex: Hi, I'm Alex. I play guitar and sing, and I think...this is a hard one. But I think my go-to would probably be some sort of karaage situation.

Drewsky: I'm Drewsky, I play the bass. My favorite appetizer has to be shishito peppers because of the drama. Like, you don't know if you're gonna get a spicy one. I love that, and watching people across the table. It's good.

Q: If you were to explain the vibe of your music to someone that has never heard it before, what would you say? How would you describe it?

Alex: I'd probably describe it as soft stuff played really loud, as a general sense. Yeah, that's my go to. Kind of noisy but kind of chill sometimes.

Q: Would you guys genre yourselves in any kind of specific genre?

Alex: I don't know, that one's hard. I feel like sometimes we're kind of a noise rock band, and sometimes we're kind of shoegaze adjacent. Sometimes we're slow. Those are the first couple that come to mind. We're kind of becoming a little more of a metal band, the longer we go.

Q: Could you tell us a little bit more about your songwriting process and your project that just came out? Your new stuff, and how you guys have approached that.

Alex: Yeah, so for this new record, it started off with me writing a lot of the stuff in varying levels of completion. [One of] two examples is the song "ANGELMAKER" from our new record. I had the structure and most of the riffs and stuff, and then everyone fleshed out their parts. But we have a song "FULL BODY LEARNING" that was just a riff that I had, and I was just like, I want to turn this into a long song. And then everyone started bringing their own things to the table and figuring out how to do that without it being boring. So it kind of varies.

Q: I have a question for Sam: you had this moment during that really long instrumental where you were spinning your cymbals and you had your drumstick on it. How do you come up with different instrumentations like that? Is it just all experimental? Are you inspired by other drummers that you see?

Sam: I think I'm inspired by other drummers that I see. And then I've just in some form been listening to music for my whole life and just will pull things out of things I've heard a long time ago. But in that particular case, I'm kind of digging the tip of my drumstick into the cymbal and spinning it so it creates friction and so that it makes a screeching sound. And it kind of sounds like a train stopping on some rails or something like that. I saw a friend of mine do that in town - another drummer a while ago - and I was like, I've got to start doing that. It's awesome. I didn't know you could do that, and then I was like, wow, this is really freaky.

Q: What kind of pre-show or post-show rituals do y'all have? And what is y'all's mentality going into a show?

Drewsky: I don't know if this is necessarily a pre-show ritual, but on tour, it's very important to us that we get a really delicious meal wherever we are. Because I think on tour, it can be a grinding experience to be in a new city for such a short amount of time. And one way to treat ourselves and take care of ourselves on tour is eating a really good meal. So even when we're in [Austin], I feel like we try to make some time for that. A meal or a walk or something nice.

Sam: We used to do a thing before shows where we'd kind of huddle up and have a breathing moment, and when we first started doing it I was like, man, this is making me even more nervous. And now I want to bring it back because I think it actually would calm me now. Just a little kind of breathing thing, like alright, we're about to go tear it up.

Alex: Yeah, it kind of varies, sometimes we'll play hacky sack too.

Sam: Oh, yeah. 100%

Drewsky: Big foot baggers.

Q: How long have you guys been playing together?

Alex: I've been playing with Sam for a long time in different bands. This band started initially with just me in 2015 or 2016, but Sam joined in 2017 and that kind of started to stabilize things. And Drewsky came in in 2019. We've had other folks, but that hasn't changed since then. So I guess five years we've been playing together now in this configuration?

Q: How would you say that your style has changed in that time going from just you to now being in a more, like you said, stable band?

Alex: I feel like...I mean, for one, I'm not a very good drummer. I mean, I'm fine, but really there's kind of this idea that you're building something. If you think about it, an octopus is an analogy. Maybe two of your legs aren't as good as two of other people's legs, so if you just chop off those and then have someone else do those things, then things become more of the sum of their parts. It just means that if I get stuck on things there are people to bounce things off of, and then also there'll be a lot of things that I would never do that people will try and we'll just try it. And if it works, then that's kind of a victory.

Drewsky: That's a weird analogy.

Alex: Yeah.

Drewsky: You're building an octopus?

Alex: I'm building an octopus. I've got too many limbs right now. We've got 12 between us.

Drewsky of alexalone by Trevor

Photos by Trevor Keig.

Q: If you could play on a bill with anyone in Austin right now. Who would it be?

Sam: Oh, my gosh.

Alex: We're playing with Porcelain this month. And that's a band that I'm a really big fan of. So I'm pretty excited about that. We'd love to play a show with Ringo Deathstarr. I mean, there's a lot of really good bands here, so it's kind of a hard question. I'd say those two right now.

Q: Speaking of your history with other awesome bands, have you guys been on tour? And if so, what was that like?

Alex: We went on two tours last year. One in April, that was the South, so it was pretty fun. And then we went on a big one in November. We did the whole country, and for the first three weeks, we were opening for this band Palehound that we're really big fans of and then were on our own for the last two-ish weeks. So we kind of went everywhere pretty recently.

Sam: Yeah, we're two months back.

Alex: This [Local Live] was our first thing that we've done since then. Because we kind of did a lot last year.

Q: Tour life must have been a lot.

Sam: It was like 10,000 miles total, I think.

Alex: Yeah, I feel like the victory is that we came back and we all still liked each other. Because that's underrated, for sure. But we just saw so many really cool people and got to meet a lot of folks, and I think we just know more about what we want to do next time, how we want to change it. So we just learned a lot, for sure, in a fast period.

Q: Alex, I believe you actually played local live back in 2014, is that right? With another band? So what's it like being back here?

Alex: It's great. This is actually my fifth time playing local live. The first one was with my band Subspace; that was my first band. And then my band smith+robot did two of them because one of the files got corrupted. And so we did a redo. Then me and Sam used to play in this band in town, Ama, and we did one, and then alexalone had a different one. But it's been a while since I've been here. It's cool to see that the spirit of the thing is going, but there's just new folks. It's kind of inspiring, really, because I feel like I don't have that relationship with a lot of other things like this, where I can see that things are different, but they're kind of the same too. In a good way, from an outsider perspective.

Sam: A lot of friends we know in the music world we met through Local Live and they became, you know, sound engineers, or bandmates or something like that. So it's cool to see friends go through this spot and it teach them a lot of things about the music world.

Q: What was your least favorite place to play in Austin?

All: Oohhh

Sam: So this is past tense?

Alex: This is a spicy question. I'm gonna say the Far Out Lounge. It doesn't have anything to do with the vibe because I love seeing shows there, but the subwoofers are right under the stage. Every time you play, there's just so much low end vibration that it's really disorienting. That said, I like seeing shows there. I just don't really enjoy playing them as much as I would hope to.

Sam: I played...I'm trying to remember. [Vulcan Gas Company]. It was also a situation where I played a show there, and you're right on top of the subs. My bandmate had a bunch of electronics on a table and they were vibrating, jiggling off the table and falling because of the subs being there. So it's impossible, and it cut the set off because it just unplugged it.

Alex: Yeah, I feel like I can deal with most things except for the subs being way too loud and the stage vibrating. That's my no-go.

Q: To partner with that, what was your favorite show in Austin?

Drewsky: Deerhoof?

Sam: Yeah.

Alex: Yeah, we played with Deerhoof recently.

Drewsky: The new Parish, that place is great to play. And we played with Deerhoof, so how could you have a bad night?

Alex: We've played a lot of really good shows at the Parish recently. That's probably my favorite place to play right now because it has a nice stage that sounds really good, and I think it's a good viewing experience. And then they have, like, nice bathrooms and yada, yada.

Sam: Yeah, that show was incredible because I've always been an admirer of Deerhoof. I remember being a little bit nervous going into that show because their drummer, Greg, is one of my favorite drummers, and I was like, "I hope I don't play bad. Be presentable." They were really easy to talk to and were incredibly nice, and it felt really comfy playing that show.

alexalone blurry by Trevor

Photos by Trevor Keig.

Q: Do y'all have any unexpected guilty pleasure music? Maybe something just totally off the wall that people would not expect after hearing your music?

Sam: I recently discovered that Now That's What I Call Music is all on Spotify - like every one of them. So I've gone back in order of Now That's What I Call Music. One, two, and I've done it all in order. It's so wild the memories you get, going back to when you were a kid listening to these things. Like, I was in my parents living room when I listened to this, or something like that. Or just some sort of a feeling that you get when you listen to those nostalgic songs again.

Alex: I feel like with music, I don't really necessarily think of anything as a guilty pleasure...maybe with other forms of media. But I've been listening to a lot of Vocaloid music lately. So that's kind of where my brain is.

Sam: It's like an indulgence.

Drewsky: Yeah, I feel similar. There's not music that I would categorize that way, but maybe a good answer is YouTube gear reviews. You could maybe call that music.

Sam: If you're on tour with these two, it's all the time. I'm like, "Yeah, that's so cool how they put the plug in a different spot on that pedal. How convenient."

Alex: I'm, like, addicted to YouTube, for sure.

Q: What's next for alexalone?

Alex: We've got a couple of shows this month. We're playing with Squirrel Flower from Chicago in Austin and Dallas. We're playing at the Ballroom on the sixth and Dallas on the seventh, then playing with Porcelain for their record release at Hotel Vegas on the 16th. So far, those are our plans. We did a lot last year, so we're kind of figuring out what our year's gonna look like right now. Hopefully we'll record some stuff and try and tour. We're just kind of figuring out what makes sense for the year.

Q: Obviously Austin is known for its awesome music scene that we all partake in. Is there any other city you can think of where you happen to really enjoy their music scene?

Drewsky: So many.

Sam: I was very stoked about the bands that we played with in Milwaukee, and I thought that was a really cool spot. The Madison-Milwaukee connection was really cool to see. I'd never played in both of those towns. Maybe I played in Madison once before, but I had not played in Milwaukee. And I was like, this town is awesome. It's really pretty, the houses are cute and the bands are sick. I was like, this place is great.

Alex: I feel like there are just a lot of bands and people in general that I like in Philly. And also shout out to Columbia, Missouri.

Drewsky: I think there's just so much good music everywhere. It's just a matter of opening your ears. And in every city I've been to, I've been delighted by something, you know?

Alex: Yeah it's nice to be surprised. It's kind of literally anywhere.

Find alexalone here:

Instagram: @alexaloneworld

alexalone group photo

Photos by Trevor Keig.

Musicians: Alex Peterson - vocals and guitar; Andrew "Drewsky" Hulett - bass; Sam Jordan - drummer


Production Manager: Emma Kositsky; Set Design Director: Cooper Stephenson;

Audio Director: Aiden Sharabba; Audio Interns: Nathan Crews, Astrid Alvarez;

Video Directors: Zahra Ahmed, Cassie Quintela;

Photo Directors: Trevor Keig, Abraham Vidal; Photo Intern: Danelo Gonzalez III;

TSTV Producer: Michael Norris, Darren Puccala;

Interviewers: Morgan Lenamond, Rayna Sevilla;

Volunteers: Bella Lopez, Louis DeBock, Rob Paine, Kayla Pearl, Alyse Stiles, Andrea Ramirez, Catherine Elizalde

All Photos Thanks to KVRX's Trevor Keig.

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