Posted On 31 Jul 2015
Tag: Alex Charpentier, Alex Walker, Alive, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Aloke, Artist Interview, Avenue B, Christian Zucconi, Colors You Have, Colours, Grouplove, Hannah Hooper, Head On A String, Hudson, Lollapalooza, New York, One Day We Will Kill You, Ossining, Paul DeCourcey, Ryan Rabin, Sing Sing, Steve Albini, The End Records
“ALIVE” is the latest album released by the New York band, ALOKE. The group features Christian Zucconi of the indie rock group Grouplove. They recorded the collection in Chicago with the legendary producer and noise merchant Steve Albini. The rest of the band include Paul DeCourcey, Alex Charpentier and Alex Walker.
“I love the guys in the band,” Zucconi said. “We were made to play with each other and we respect the work.”
To purchase ALOKE’s latest ALIVE:
Learn more about Christian and ALOKE in the following All Access interview:
Next month, you will be releasing your second full-length album, “Alive”. I understand that the seeds of this album were first sown in 2007. Why did it take so long to finally put it out?
Music, like most forms of art, works in movements and when we finished recording ALIVE there was a new wave resurgence spreading like wildfire around New York. Our raw emotional sound just wasn’t being heard. And we couldn’t find the right people to put out our album, and without any support we slowly fell apart.
Can you explain how your album “Alive” is old school rock and roll?
I wouldn’t say ALOKE is old school rock and roll (Laughter) but we definitely recorded it like old school rock and roll- no computers, no click track, no overdubs; things that are important to a lot of live bands but to the general population have no real value.
How did ALOKE first come together? Can you remember first starting this band? How did you come up with the band name?
I grew up with the guys in ALOKE. We all were born and raised in Ossining, NY, a working class town on the Hudson river built around Sing Sing prison. Maybe there is something in the water or maybe it was just the 90’s but Ossining bread some crazy talented musicians. ALOKE first started after years of us all playing in variations of this line up but we officially became Aloke in 2005. It just felt right.
ALOKE means invisible which is how we all feel separately but together we become something else. A force.
How is ALOKE’S music different Grouplove’s sound?
They are two entirely different beasts. Two different brains. Two very different chapters of my life. I think comparing them sonically would do each of them an injustice. The only similarity is the freedom we all have on stage. A rare state where we can completely let go and let the music take over. It has been an emotional experience playing the “Alive” album with ALOKE again. It has almost been like finding an old journal from way back and realizing you remember every moment you wrote in it as though it were yesterday.
Right now I am writing the 3rd Grouplove album, performing with ALOKE, and weeks away from becoming a father, so I am straddling three incredible chapters of my life all at the same time. I am able to be present and in a state of reflection that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. I am finding a balance between art and life that is beautiful.
How do the crowds at their shows differ for each band?
Awww man- I have a dream-like memory of Grouplove playing Lollapalooza in 2014 for well over 50,000 people- And ALOKE’S biggest show was at a club on Avenue B in 2008 for maybe 200 people. To have had the luck and privilege to experience commercial success has been insanely humbling and probably makes it harder for people to believe that I still get off the same way when a show goes well regardless of the head count. What I give and how much I let go during a performance is as unpredictable as writing a hit.
How has ALOKE’S sound changed since your first album?
Our first album, “One Day We Will Kill You”, we were a three piece and our second album, “ALIVE”, we became a four piece with Alex Walker joining us on lead guitar. Walker is another Ossining native and is probably the most original and technically insane guitar player I’ve ever heard.
What was the inspiration for the album’s lead single, “Head On A String”?
Instrumentally it all came together out of a jam. Lyrically, I wrote it at a time in my life when I felt suffocated and tied-down by my situation- I was carrying a heavy past and a heavy present and it all felt doomed.
Grouplove first gained popularity with the ALOKE song, “Colors You Have” renamed to “Colours”. Why was this particular song chosen for Grouplove?
Hannah and I sang a folkier version of “Colours” around Brooklyn after ALOKE broke up and it stood out from our set. We recorded it for fun with Ryan Rabin [Grouplove drummer] on a trip to LA never thinking it would become the first single of Grouplove. We were just a bunch of friends playing music together.
So far, what do you think has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
I think my biggest accomplishment is about to come- Being a DADDY!!!
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music through the years?
My biggest inspiration is Hannah Hooper, my soon to be wife and mama of our baby girl.