ALONE (BOISE, ID)
Boise, Idaho’s Alone got their start back in early 2014 and is made up of members Devin (27) vocals, Andy (27), guitar, Esai (27), guitar, Charlie (22) drums, and Jake (23) bass. The band recorded some demos real early on and recorded their debut EP titled “No Youth” in June and have played only 8 shows to date. They got a good sound that in some spots reminds me of “Looking Back” era Bold. They might be tucked away all the way up in Boise, Idaho but give these guys a listen and I am sure one or two of you will become fans like I did.
A FEW WORDS WITH ALONE LEAD SINGER DEVIN:
IE: Hey Devin, thanks for giving us some of your time. I guess we can start off with how Alone came about. You were telling me that the band started sometime around February or March of this year and you were already recording for the “No Youth” EP in May. How did things come together so quickly for you guys as a band?
Devin: Alone grew out of a couple things. We’ve all been friends and involved in the scene around Boise for quite a while. We had talked about starting something before but it never happened. But this time, we talked, got a time to jam and went with it. We had some songs in our back pockets as well as we all had a common vision of what we were kind of going for. I think out of the first practice we ended up with like the first 3 songs. I think it helped that we were all in previous bands, and the fact that we were friends. Everything honestly just came together really quick, it was more out of we were all stoked to be playing together and writing tunes rather than just trying to force stuff together for a set or an album.
IE: Tell us a little about the “No Youth” EP that came out earlier this year. To me it sounds like you guys had been together a whole lot longer than just a couple of months before recording this.
Devin: So “No Youth” is 8 songs. We recorded it at Paper Crane Audio with Ryan Morgan (Misery Signals/7a7p). Our guitar player Esai had just gotten done in the studio with him for his metalcore band, and Charlie had worked with him in his punk band. So we knew going in what we were in for. With the songs coming out super quick, and him being into what we were doing, it just came out awesome. He understands what we were going for and we laid everything down in a couple days. It was great working with him. The fact he knew what we were going for really helped out on the production end of it. Also, since we have a few members who are in bands that are doing a lot as far as playing shows, recording music, etc... it made it really easy to jump into the studio and get everything sounding great.
IE: Do you write all the lyrics? What's the vibe behind the title track to the EP?
Devin: Yeah I write all the lyrics, but I’ll usually write rough demos of them and let the other dudes in the band see them and offer feedback and make sure we are on the same page, Yeah I’m singing them and I want them to be personal for me, but I don’t want to be singing about things that they can’t get behind or think just suck. The vibe behind the track “No Youth” was just the idea that at a certain age, you become to cool for things, or you write off your past, or youth. You begin to social influence, your age, your peers really determine what you can and can’t enjoy. I mean, I couldn’t even tell you how many conversations I’ve had with people where they’ve asked what I’ve been up to and I tell them just going to shows, listening to hardcore and they’ll look baffled and go “Oh you’re still into that, that’s cool, I got too old to go to shows” and now they just hang out at some piss hole bar. Nothing wrong with bars and if that’s your thing, but all of that doesn’t make sense to me and it bums me out. If you enjoy something cool, if you grow out of it, that’s fine, but not being able to like something on the basis that you “grew up”? Get outta here bozo.
IE: I like the sound Alone has put together mixing in a lot of melody while still remaining hardcore and not getting too soft. What bands influenced your sound and when you guys sat down and talked about what you wanted to do musically what did you guys discuss and do you think up till this point you have followed what you all may have discussed early on?
Devin: Musically, we were really influenced just by the Rivalry Records roster, as well as older B9 bands. That is the sound that many of us grew up on and feels right at home for us to be playing. Specifically we were super into bands like Go It Alone, Another Breath, Sinking Ships, Verse, Killing the Dream, etc. We never really explicitly decided to sound like this or that, we just knew we collectively dug all those bands so that’s what we were going for and what made sense.
IE: You guys are from Boise, Idaho. What’s up with the hardcore scene there and can you give us a short version scene report of sorts?
Devin: The Boise hardcore scene is small and fluctuates quite frequently. You have your core group of people that will go to almost every show who are younger, and then you have a few older cats that come out to most shows, and then the randoms that attend a show every so often. Boise in general has a lot of people that are into hardcore, but a lot of them don’t make it out to shows due to other obligations; work, family, etc. It’s kind of a bummer honestly because for the size of our city, we get a ton of awesome tours and off dates being between Seattle and Salt lake City and our town isn’t always the kindest in terms of turn outs and what not, but the kids that do come out are definitely appreciate of bands making their way here. So thank you to any band that has come to Boise, had fun, and came back to play again, you’re definitely not forgotten. There’s a few venues in town; the Crux, the Shredder, The Android House, and some other houses, bars, bigger concert hall, etc. We have a decent record store here called the Record Exchange. You can usually find some cool stuff that’s been sold back to them, as well as older horror movies in the DVD area. Band wise, we may be biased but the other bands that our members are in are pretty cool and doing cool things for our area, (Telescopes As Time Machines, Our City Skyline, Step Brothers) and there’s also a band here called Compromised that has done some out of state shows/tours and that’s badass. If you’re into heavier metallic hardcore, check them out. Aside from that, not really, Boise local bands break up as soon as they start. In terms of bad parts of Boise, there aren’t really any haha it’s a pretty clean and a safe place to live, I mean my girlfriend walks home by herself from downtown to our apartment at 3am and never feels unsafe.
IE: Looking at a map Boise is really not centrally located to many other big cities. When you guys go out on the road what other areas have you gone to and how far are some of these trips? It can't be easy for bands in your area of the country.
Devin: We’ve only gone out of town once so far and we headed up to Washington and did a few shows; Auburn, Olympia, Seattle. That was about a 7-8 hour drive from Boise. The drive honestly wasn’t that bad. The biggest thing for us is several people in the band work full time jobs so everyone getting on the same page for time off and availability to play out of Boise is the hard part. Playing the Northwest can definitely be hard for bands, especially during the winter because of the heavy snowfall and mountain highways. The spring/summer is really when we get tours, and even then in comparison to the East Coast/South/California, we don’t get nearly as many, but the Northwest is awesome and we can’t complain.
IE: What's up next for Alone for the rest of 2014 and into 2015? How many new songs since the EP are already written and when can we expect to see the next release?
Devin: We’ve written roughly two new songs, we’re still hammering those out and exactly what we want them to sound like, but we’ve been playing parts of them as interludes at shows and people seem to be pretty receptive of them so that’s a cool feeling. We would like to get the new songs finished and hopefully write another one and record a winter EP. The songs will more than likely sound like us, but they might be a little longer, have some noisier/weirder parts, as well as some heavier stuff, and some more melodic stuff. Hopefully in 2015 we can make our way to Utah, Nevada, California…those are some areas we’ve been wanting to play, as well as head back up to the Washington/NW area. The shows we played there in November were awesome and we’d love to play there again, they’ve got a really cool hardcore scene going with a lot of awesome bands/people.