With a trip to York next week on their tour, we knew it was time to catch up with Manchester rock and roll band Alias Kid. We chatted about their comparisons to Oasis, the Manchester music scene and future plans.
By Jane Howkins
You’re about to start a tour of the UK, with a date at the Spread Eagle in York in March. How excited are you?
Yeah we can’t wait to get back on the road again. Touring and live gigs is what music is all about for me. The buzz of the live shows is addictive and when you aren’t out there gigging you’re climbing the walls at home waiting to get back. That’s just me speaking for me, I’d guess James on guitar is excited because it means he can put his shades back on. He only wears them inside at night so I might trip him up at one of the gigs and blame our bass player.
Do you enjoy playing in this area of the country, and if so, why?
I like getting into the North-East yeah. York is a top city with loads of history. Top street names too – I want to find out what a Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is. We’ve played up there a few times and the crowds are always up for it. I also like that even though it’s always pretty cold, nobody seems to give a shit, all going out with the bare legs and short sleeved shirts. Fair play to you lot, hard as nails.
You’re based in Manchester, where there’s a big musical heritage. Do you ever feel like that is something you have to live up to?
In some ways I suppose it helps because people see how hard it is to break through in Manchester – there are so many top bands from this town. So they know if you come out of Manchester and are doing well you are going to be good. On the other hand, it could hinder us if people decide to stereotype us as a certain type of band because of where we are from. Nobody has two minutes to think these days so first impressions are more important than ever. That’s probably why nobody talks to our drummer.
You’ve actually been compared to Oasis in the past, how does that feel? Are you fans?
Let’s be honest, we have been compared to Oasis because we are a working class band from Manchester signed on Creation by Alan McGee. I think those comparisons are pretty lazy. Don’t get me wrong I personally think Oasis were top but nobody who comes to an Alias Kid gig goes away thinking we are the next version of them and the reviews we get are always great. It’s like anything though if a new left winger comes through for Man United he’s the new Ryan Giggs until he makes a name in his own right. Probably shouldn’t have mentioned Man United in a York magazine.
What is the Manchester music scene like at the minute and are there any other bands emerging at the moment that you feel could get big?
There are always bands that could get big but it depends on so many things. The music isn’t enough these days that’s for certain. I’ve seen amazing bands play to ten people when I’ve gone watching on a Tuesday night in town. You have to be made of iron in this industry to get to where we got, let alone any further. On top of that you kind of have to get a break – we were lucky to get Alan McGee signing us to Creation on our third gig; he was there and he liked it. Saying that, we have more than paid our dues, so I think it’s justified.
Who/what would you say you are most influenced by?
I suppose everyone draws on their own experience, I can’t deny that my entire life influences how I write a song. Sean and I sit in a room together or alone and sometimes a song will just come out of thin air. I think you create your own reality just by living in the world, and all your inspiration comes from that. It isn’t like I go for a walk round town and come home to write about what I saw in the back bedroom; I just sit down and let it come out as it wants to. For me that is the most honest way to write; it isn’t contrived and it isn’t designed to be anything other than what it is.
Are there any other bands you think our readers should check out?
There are so many good bands on the underground scene. One of the good things about gigging around the country is we get to see them. I think it’s so easy to be entertained these days that people don’t need to get out to gigs for bands they don’t know in order to have a good time. But I guarantee there are 10 or 20 bands playing in every major city in the UK every week that are better than 90% of what we are spoon fed in the mainstream. There just isn’t the incentive to get out and watch that there used to be I suppose.
You released a couple of EPs last year (Smoke and Ashes and Zara Henna) and a full length album entitled Revolt to Revolt. Do you have any plans to release anything else in the near future?
Yeah there is loads going on now for the band; the industry has turned its head to us and so it will be full on attack this year. We are always writing new songs so we have quite a bit of new stuff and we’ve been rehearsing it for recording. We’ll throw a couple into the set to try them out over the tour and see how they go down. We have some big news coming about our releases and what we will be doing but we can’t say anything yet.
What can people expect from one of your shows, and why do you think people should come and see you?
The live gigs are chaos from where I am standing. It gets lively on stage but even more so in the crowd. The atmosphere is like a party every time – just loads of people who get what it is about and who want to have a good time. They come down and have a laugh – it’s loud and it’s powerful and it’s always a top night. Plus, I might eventually be able to rip our drummer enough during a gig to make him snap – so you might get to see me get battered on stage.
Any last words for the fans?
The people who come and watch your gigs or buy your music are the people who give you the chance to get out and around the country. Our support is amazing online, at our live shows and at festivals where we seem to pick up new fans all the time. To all of those who helped us sell out Manchester, Glasgow and Moscow, all of Alias Kid say thank you, and to those of you who haven’t seen us yet, get down to a gig to see what’s what.
Alias Kid is playing at The Spread Eagle on Saturday 12 March 2016, 7.00 pm