Written by Elizabeth Stafford
Alvarez Kings is definitely a hot and upcoming indie band that you all need to hear. The band includes members Simon and Paul Thompson, Richard Walker, and Sean Parkin and have grown from their roots in South Yorkshire. In the past few years, they have gone from playing shows in their hometown to supporting Echosmith on tour, being part of a full summer of Vans Warped Tour, and now to supporting Melanie Martinez on tour. Their indie/pop beats mixed with the obvious UK charm has proven a crowd-winner for sure. Luckily, Bulls Radio had the opportunity to ask the guys some questions. After you are done checking out the interview, make sure you check out the link at the bottom to watch their new video for single “Fear to Feel”.
• If your current self could give one piece of advice to yourself three years ago, what would it be?
(Simon) To not give up hope. There were times in the past when it felt like we hit a brick wall whether it be creatively or advancing in our careers. That had a negative effect on the band back then and we were actually close to give up. However, by making a conscious effort to stay positive and to say to ourselves that there will be lows mixed in with the highs that’s when we became more mature to where we find ourselves today.
• Describe briefly that moment you immediately knew pursuing a career in music was for you.
(Paul) Right from the very first moment we stepped onto a stage for the first time. Having all our friends and families pack out the venue, to take effort out of their day to come watch us play was inspiring at the time. Not only that but when The Strokes released that first record suddenly playing a guitar was cool again and we wanted to be a part of that scene.
• What/who pushes you all in life to keep going?
(Sean) The inspiration to create something timeless it what pushes us in our chosen career and therefore our lives. To create something that someone will love and respect years from now. For that song to inspire something in someone.
• If you all could collaborate with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?
(Paul) David Bowie. He was one of those artists that always held something special in our hearts. For those who know us well we like a good party. Whenever we wanted to take the party up a notch Bowie would always blast out on the stereo. His music is timeless and beyond its time.
• Let’s say you are in charge of putting together a world tour. What three bands do you choose?
(Rich) The Beatles. Talking Heads. The Strokes. All three inspired us in their own way.
• Where has your musical influence come from?
(Rich) We listen to everything from pop to metal, indie to EDM. By not limiting ourselves to a specific genre that the media have labelled it allows to approach songwriting in a creative way and taking inspiration from all types of music.
• Can you describe your emotions when you saw so many of the shows on the tour with Melanie Martinez were selling out?
(Simon) Very exciting indeed. We have never done a tour performing to this many people before and the thought of what is to come is like a shot of adrenaline. We thrived under pressure and so I believe this tour will bring the best out of us.
• What is one important thing you have learned through touring?
(Rich) Like we mention whenever we get asked this question: JUST BE NICE! Don’t be a dickhead. Respect everyone from the crew, to the performers, to the fans. They will remember this and will always remember you more for being respectful than acting like a dickhead. Oh and learn to be patient.
• How do you all overcome the infamous writer’s block?
(Sean) Sometimes you just need to take time away from the creative process when this happens because you can get frustrated with the block and that frustration turns into arguments between band members. When this happens some of us will visit an art gallery or museum for inspiration. Some of us will go and listen to new music. Or even just something as simple as going out for a long walk.
• What are some other hobbies/passions aside from music?
(Simon) While I wouldn’t say we are dedicated followers of fashion we do like to look good. We take pride on our appearance. To me there’s nothing worse than a band who looks like they’ve just been dragged in off the street and thrown an instrument around their necks. I like that mystique and to be able to be noticed in a crowd which I suppose why I always wanted to be the frontman and playing in front of large audiences.
(Paul) We’ve been lucky enough to be given clothes by brands like Ben Sherman and Drop Dead and even invited to London Fashion Week which was something a little different from the norm!
(Rich) Oh and Paul is a huge pro wrestling fan. Like completely obsessed with it.
• What Top 40 song do you wish you had written first?
(Sean) A very tough question. There’s too many to mention. Billie Jean has everything. The production from Quincy Jones was just pure genius. A very catchy bass lines and even an epic guitar solo from one of the greats in Van Halen,
• If the band could only play in one city for the rest of its career, what city would you all pick?
(Simon) There’s just too many cities where we have made special moments in order to answer this question fairly.
• Do you prefer the festival scene of Warped Tour or touring with one or two specific artists/bands?
(Paul) Warped Tour can be very difficult. They are long days and the weather is brutal especially in hot climates that us Brits are not used to. But you form a lot of close friendships on the tour. It’s like one big family. Everyone has each other’s backs. On the flip side with touring with specific artists from a logistical stand point things are easier. It is the little things like having longer soundchecks and just being less complicated.
• What’s one piece of advice you all can offer to those also pursuing a career in music?
(Rich) I mentioned it above when asked about the one important thing we learned from touring and it applies when giving advice to bands. Be nice and check your egos at the door.
• What’s the first word that pops into your mind when you think about the band?
Check out Alvarez Kings’ new video for their song “Fear to Feel” here: