A is for awesome

After sitting down with the lead singers of Alpine, we're bigger fans than ever.

By: Yeong Sassall

If you haven’t heard the luscious sounds of Aussie six-piece Alpine yet, you’ve seriously been missing out. Their debut album, A is for Alpine launched last year and it’s catchy, indie-pop sound have already garnered them a solid following, with the single Gasoline coming in at number 31 on the Triple J Hottest 100 2012.

We sat down with one of Alpine’s two lead singers, the lovely Phoebe Baker to get the goss on tour secrets and crowd etiquette ahead of her appearance at Laneway this month.

1. Have you been to Laneway before as a punter?

Yeah I went a few years ago when Peter Bjorn and John were playing. It was pretty crazy but I know it’s changed since then because that was in Melbourne and it was quite tiny. I think they have moved it now. And it’s expanded every year. I love how it’s really intimate. It kind of just feels like a street party, or a community event that you’ve organised with your neighbours.

2. You guys have toured with Lisa Mitchell, The Jezabels, Cloud Control, Sparkadia and Kimbra – a lot of really great Aussie artists. Who has been your favourite so far?

Oh gosh, that’s so hard because everyone is so different! We’ve toured with some pretty amazing people and I never have any idea what to expect when I meet them. They could be crazy, rock star divas but everyone has been awesome! Matt Corby was really good… but, I can’t decide! They were all lovely in different ways. I remember the first big tour we did with Sparkadia and Operator Please and I remember a few wild nights with those guys!

3. Do you have any stories to share?

I couldn’t spill the beans. I would get in trouble!

4. I saw you guys performing a few months ago and I was really surprised that there were two lead singers. Do people still get surprised when they see the two of you up on the stage singing?

Yeah definitely, it always gets mentioned and I’m sort of like “Really?” but then when I think about it, if I saw a band with two female singers I think it would be kind of weird. We’re quite different as well, we’re really old friends but we have very different personalities, so maybe seeing that on stage makes us stand out more.

5. Who are your biggest musical influences?

I have the most eclectic taste, it’s sort of grasps onto every genre. When I was young I listened to lots of cheesy pop like the Spice Girls and Savage Garden. I had a big Coldplay phase and then I really got into rock and fell in love with the 60s and 70s, and Led Zeppelin. Right now I’m going through a big Prince phase, I saw him at Rod Laver [arena] which was amazing.

6. If you could recommend three albums everybody should own, what would they be?

That is hard! I’ve grown up in the iPod generation, just listening to songs on shuffle. I am always terrible with albums, but if I had to think of one, maybe Spiceworld. Actually the latest John MOuse album is really good. Also, Toro Y Moi an American band, they’re amazing.

7. Can I ask you about crowd etiquette at a festival? If a set has started, do you think it’s ok to push your way to the front?

If you’re really short, yeah, I reckon! Because, for some people, height is a real problem and it would suck to be at the back. I have been known to do it. I think it depends on the reason, if you’re really desperate to see the artist and they’re the best thing since sliced bread, then yes, push to the front!

8. What about lots of people taking photos, are camera flashes really annoying when you’re performing?

No I love it, it’s like more lighting!

9. And people getting up on their friend’s shoulders?

Oh, I get really jealous of them because I really want to go on top of somebody’s shoulders! I really do, I’ve never done it and I’ve always wanted to do it! I’m like “Damn, she’s so cool!”

10.What about leaving your bag on the ground so other people trip over them? Do you think that’s ok?

Well I am really guilty of that so it’s totally fine! Just put your bags everywhere!

11. How do you guys feel about encores? I know there has been a lot of talk about this, because some artists absolutely hate them.

Ah, no I love them! I love if we get an encore and I love giving an artist that I love an encore because it’s fun and you want them back. I think they’re awesome. Also, I just love yelling “Encore!” really obnoxiously and stamping my feet. It’s kind of primal.