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- Posted on Mar 3rd 2010 11:00AM by Steven Horowitz
Austin, Texas seven-piece band Alpha Rev, who signed with Hollywood Records in 2008, meld classical instrumentation with rock -- with six vocalists to boot. The group will release the album 'New Morning' on April 20, and make an appearance on the ABC Family program 'Greeks.' Bass player Alex Dunlop spoke to Spinner ahead of Alpha Rev's SXSW hometown performance about the band and where to get the best Texas breakfast.
Describe Alpha Rev's sound in your own words.
Seven people pouring their souls into rock 'n' roll music they truly believe in.How did your band form?
Casey [McPherson] started Alpha Rev on his own after Endochine broke up. Dave [Wiley] and Brian [Batch] had been playing some strings live with Endochine, and were kind of part of that transition with him. I guess it was 2005, and Casey was writing new songs and getting musicians he had known through the scene to play shows with him. It was hectic to sometimes play shows on a few hour's notice, but we made it through that and came out with the crew we have. We are lucky to all be very close friends.
What are your musical influences?
I personally started learning how grooves work and how notes need to be placed in musical space by playing in my church's handbell choir growing up. I'll bet I could still jam some handbells.
How did you come up with your band name, Alpha Rev?
Half-Greek, half-Latin -- the words pulled together loosely mean "the beginning of something new." Casey came up with the name, and said it well in a recent interview: "It's that feeling when the light bulb goes off -- that instant of inspiration and redemption ... those moments that keep us going forward."
What's your biggest vice?
Tie between practicing looking cool in mirrors and gambling.
What's in your festival survival kit?
You should just act like you are surviving and then eat blueberry pancakes at the hotel like the guy from Man vs. Wild.
Who was your first celeb crush?
Mine was Lisa Turtle from 'Saved by the Bell.' Brian Batch wanted me to be sure and mention that his was Gadget Mouse from Rescue Rangers. After a quick google search, I must say I admire his taste in mice.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Delicious chocolate-covered pianos.
As an Austin-ite, what does SXSW meant to you?
I grew up in Austin and have never lived anywhere else. SXSW is a part of our city's identity and much more. It is a yearly reminder to artists that our scene is not only relevant, but revered within the entertainment industry. Sometimes it is hard to be in a band from Austin; There are lots of bands here and lots of venues. The effort to differentiate yourself can be difficult. Having a huge annual event as legendary as SXSW to remind you that your scene means something and that your work is noticed is such a welcome feeling for a lot of bands.
Where is the best place in Austin to eat a real Texas breakfast
Juan in a Million on East 1st St. No question. You gotta get the "Don Juan." Oh, and be prepared for Juan's legendary handshake when he seats you. It only hurts for a minute.
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