ALASKALASKA play Soho Radio Vinyl Session at Jäger Soho.
South London band ALASKALASKA's bassist Fraser Rieley spoke to Lizzie's Lowdown after their unique Soho Radio Vinyl Session at Jäger Soho last month, where they followed in the footsteps of the likes of IDLES and Deaf Havana by recording live straight to vinyl.
Here, Fraser talks about opening for Tame Impala in June, whether they will get to work with frontman-and-producer Kevin Parker, wanting to become more "self-sufficient" by getting their own studio and all things vinyl...
How did you enjoy your Soho Radio Vinyl Session?
A bit nerve-racking cutting straight to vinyl with no room for any mistakes, but it was exciting and we got very sweaty.
How important is vinyl to you as a format? Is it your preferred way to listen to music?
It's something I have always been excited about and fascinated by since I was very young.
I can remember flicking through my parents’ records and wanting to own them myself, even though our turntable was broken.
Aside from hearing something performed live, for me vinyl is possibly the best way to feel connected to a piece of music, or to an artist, as a consumer.
Regardless of the fidelity of your listening, of even the quality of the recording itself, the whole ceremony of selecting and playing a record from start to finish imposes much more artistic and sentimental value on who and what you are listening to.
Plus I like collecting things.
Watch ALASKALASKA's Vinyl Session below:
You got to open for Tame Impala at The O2. Was that a real pinch yourself moment?
Yep, very surreal. We don't really know how it happened, half luck and half having mutual contacts I think. We found out two days before the show ... It was a great night and feels like a year ago now.
Have you kept in touch with them. Could you work with Kevin in the future?
We FaceTime a couple of times each week and are planning on meeting up soon to go paint-balling...
No, it doesn't really work like that.
We had a nice chat about music and production after the show but that was it, he's in a very different realm of the industry to me and has a lot going on.
We’d love to work with him but I think he’s quite a solitary composer and is too busy being super famous.
Two years ago when you released your debut singles did you imagine you’d have a debut album released already?
Maybe? I'm not sure. I definitely wanted to do an album but when we recorded the first tracks it was just really for fun, to test ourselves a bit and to see if anyone would be interested in it.
You released your debut album last month and it was received so well. What lessons did you learn from making the record?
Just do what you want. Listen to other people’s ideas and get ideas from what influences you, but do what feels satisfying to you and trust yourself.
We had a very tight deadline to deliver the record and in some ways that really helped me, but maybe not everyone.
I find it's not good to spend too long on one thing, to stay as excited and inspired about your creative process as possible.
Are you already pressing on with the next album?
Nope. A few ideas, but for now we're busy playing live, organising things and trying to develop ourselves more.
It doesnt feel that long since we finished the first one really, and I'm not great at doing everything at once so I like to concentrate on just writing, or just recording and experimenting, or on playing live, or to living a normal-ish life, and we're between those different modes at the moment trying to pick a direction to go in.
Where would you like to be in the next five years?
On holiday ... or I'd like to have our own studio and be more self-sufficient.
I'd like to be writing more, for others or for film would be cool.
Mostly I'd like all of us to be happy and proud of ourselves, headline a UK festival and visit lots more countries.
What else have you got coming up for the rest of the year?
We're playing at Lost Village festival in August, a few dates abroad across September/October, then our UK tour starts in November before we tour supporting Hot Chip in Europe in December. And try to write another album. Busy!
The Soho Radio Vinyl Session was part of the Label Lodge in partnership with AIM - a series of pop-ups at Jäger Soho, the collaborative space created by Jägermeister and Soho Radio - to celebrate independent record labels.