NBC J. Cole returned to the stage on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" last night,…
- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 6:00PM by Monica Rozenfeld
Who are your musical influences?
All of Madonna's stuff. Disco and house music as well.
When we do songs, like the song 'Fascination,' it's based on several songs. We wanted something like 'Modern Love' from David Bowie but the energy of 'I'm So Excited' by the Pointer Sisters. 'Fascination' came out of this. Truly, how we make songs, we take from different songs that we really like.
Does your band ever get compared to Ace of Base?
[Laughs] Yes, by the new songs we do. We listened a lot to Ace of Base when we made the new record. We sort of get it. They had some really, really good tunes back in the days. They were a part of a big musical movement in the '90s.
Is this Alphabeat's first SXSW?
It is. Yeah, we've never been before. Really looking forward to it.
We've just seen pictures. Looks like people everywhere and music on every corner. That's a dream for any music fan. It seems a bit like a dream world to us, that place.
What's in your band's survival kit?
Something we learned in the U.K. because it's always raining over here, though I don't think you need this in Texas, are some rubber boots. That's always good. Everyone here has them on all the time. That's a good thing to have.
To keep your beers cold, if you're in a tent, underneath the tent put a wet towel over your beers and they'll stay cold. A little tip for you. No charge.
Your band seems pretty open-minded with music. Do you have a musical guilty pleasure?
In our band, we listen to everything. I don't feel guilty about listening to the most straight-up pop music ever. To me, if I had to pick, it would be more like Kings of Leon or something. That's probably not a guilty pleasure for a lot of people. I'm not really into that whole guitar thing. If a world war broke out between a synthesizer and a guitar, we would definitely be on the synthesizer's side.
You might have a problem finding bands in SXSW who don't have a guitar.
I know. I know. One of my favorite bands ever called Lo-Fi-Fnk, they're from Sweden, and they've played SXSW. You just have to look really, really closely.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
We were touring in France, and then we had to do this TV show on the island of Majorca. It was in this Medieval castle, filled with German people drunk out of their minds, girls in bikinis dancing on the tables, and everyone was just eating sausages and drinking pints. It was just, yeah, it was just quite the experience.
Your band is quite put together, fashion-wise. What's the inspiration behind the style?
We're six people in a band. We sort of found out after a couple years when people started taking pictures of us that it's just one big mess when everyone's wearing whatever they want. So we started wearing a lot more solid colors, and suits. We always try to look really simple, yet sleek and nice.
Stine Bramsen (female vocals) is the best of us all. She's always trying to make us look good.
You have an incredible fan base which you spotlight on your website. What do you think attracts such a dedicated fan base to your band?
I think, at least, that we're quite nice to our fans. But I'm actually quite surprised that people have been that dedicated. We're quite a shy band, and that sometimes comes off as being arrogant. We're just really happy that our fans are so nice and persistent.
You all look like you have a lot of fun. From your words, what is the key to enjoying life?
The key to enjoying life is doing something you really like to do, no matter what it is. Do whatever you want, of course, if you can afford it. We're just really lucky that we have the chance to do our hobby as our work. That's just really a cool thing. We're just six best friends touring the world.
What's it been like touring with Lady Gaga and how did you get connected?
She's been really nice to us. Came in and said hi on the first days. Really down-to-earth. Talked about how nervous she was about her show. We didn't expect her to be a diva. [We have] heard she was quite a nice person. Gave us flowers and champagne and stuff like that.
She said something in an interview about us, and then of course our manager and label were really quick to seize this; if there was any way we could do something with her. This tour was opened for support. We just got told one day that we were supporting her. We're not really big on the supporting thing, but if there was someone we'd want to support, it's definitely Lady Gaga. She's the biggest pop star. Fits very well in the line of Madonna, Prince, David Bowie, Michael Jackson and those kinds of people. We're just very honored to be on the tour. We're working out now if we're doing the European leg of her tour as well.
For people who have never seen you live, what should they expect?
We're a bit unique in the way that we are a band that does totally 100-percent pop music. But we are still a band, starting it all exactly like the indie way, in the rehearsal station. When we play live, the songs come more to life. It's very energetic. We still have a lot of fun when we play together. We always really focus on putting a lot of energy into it and having a lot of fun. It's always a hoot when we play.
Monica Rozenfeld is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.