Interview: Alae Chat ‘Summer Thing’, Kiwi Music & Supporting Artists In 2020
Easy breezy.
Music 2w

Words by Amar Gera // 

Overflowing with soul and sun-kissed euphoria…

Are you missing the beach, kicking back with your mates or just being out in the world in general? Kiwi four-piece Alae have got you covered, coming through with fun indie-pop bops that are smooth as silk, but pack a hell of a punch.

Their latest single ‘Summer Thing’ takes you right back to that feeling of downing some bevs at your local beach with a couple of your best mates. Except, said beach features numerous goths dancing in an incredibly quirky dance routine. I guess Kiwi beaches are really built different hey?

With gorgeous vocals, glittery production and a laid back energy that’s earned them support slots for acts like Angus & Julia Stone, John Butler Trio and James Morrison, it seems Alae is truly destined for greatness, and you should definitely get in now before they skyrocket to the next realm.

We caught up with singer Alex over the phone for a quick chat about all things Alae, check it below!

Listening to you guys I can’t help but feel a super light and wavy type of feeling that I don’t get when listening to artists much, is that the sort of vibe you’re going for? Or is that me just projecting?

I guess quite often the music that we create is quite indicative of our head spaces, or where we’re at the time. I think the newer music that’s coming out is, I feel like it’s more of a statement to do with how we’re all growing up and getting a little bit happier, which is really nice. But at the same time, there’s never really a conscious thought of what sound it is that you’re going to create, you know?

You just go in and you make something and you’re like, “Fuck, okay, this is either shit or it’s good”. And then, depending on the circumstance, you can see that and know what niche market you can see it serving. I mean, we just ran with this new stuff, it was a new direction. So, it’s been a journey for sure, man. 

I can’t say I know what sunshine sounds like, but I assume it sounds something like ‘Summer Thing’. Give us a quick rundown on it! 

I had the opportunity to go over to LA to write some music with this dude called Justin Gray who was helping us out. And no shit man, that song just went off in like the first two or three hours. We pretty much got this hook down and it was just, it felt real right in the moment and I was like “You know what bro? It’s good, it’s happy, it’s upbeat”. It’s different thematically from what I’d usually write, and I thought that was a cool thing. We just put it out and were like “Fuck it, we might as well keep it there”.

In the music video you have goths dancing on a beach which is such a dope concept, what was the thought behind that? 

The directors of the video ‘Vision Thing’ presented us with this really cool idea, and we were like “Oh man this really works” like the metaphor that the video portrays. The idea is somebody that’s in a great situation but they’re unwilling to kind of embrace it. You know what I mean?

I suppose that’s what it’s about. It’s just about chilling out and just being like “No screw it, let’s actually enjoy ourselves”, which I like in regards to the song and the new direction we’ve taken as well. It all works on a few levels I think.

It’s fair to say that New Zealand is definitely having a moment right now with acts like Lorde, BENEE and yourselves producing some really cool and unique music. Give us the low down on the Kiwi music scene.

I suppose there are a lot of people who are doing it and then there’s a lot of people who are like, “Let me get a message going”, and I think you’re right. People like Lorde and BENEE, who’s awesome, are really doing that. People are doing really cool things in the Kiwi music scene right now.

But I think they’ve created a platform which is pushing the limits of what other artists think they can be. Just challenging what we think we’re capable of as artists and it’s really inspiring. So it’s nice to have that. They’ve definitely helped out the scene and they’ve helped a lot of people believe in themselves.

Any Kiwi acts you reckon we should check out?

Oh man, I really like Balu Brigada, they’ve got this song called ‘medicine’ that’s so sick. You should totally check that out. I like a dude called Jonathan Bree too, he’s super cool.

I gotta mention Mako Road as well. They’re really cool too.

I wanna mention a crazy performance you guys did at Auckland’s Pride celebration ‘Big Gay Out’ which had a crowd of 10,000 people. How was the whole day?

It was actually amazing man! I really enjoyed being up on that stage. I felt really comfortable, like it was a totally nonjudgmental environment and I ended up a little bit drunk already before we went on [laughs]. But it went down really well man, and people loved it. The reception was great. Yeah, we all felt really awesome afterwards and then we just hung out and drank some more beers. It was a good time for sure.

I’m sure the energy would’ve been so mad and euphoric, were there any sort of “Holy shit this is insane” moments you had when you were looking out at everyone?

There were a couple moments when people were singing lyrics and stuff, which is always a great feeling, and when people start clapping while you’re holding a big note or they’re just loving it. That sort of stuff. Someone threw me a beer on stage bro, it was sick.

Oh sick, what beer was it?

I think it was a Tooheys [laughs].

You a Tooheys fan?

I was straight in there man, opened it up right on stage [laughs].

Love it. Now onto new music, what can you tell us about your upcoming EP?

So the new EP is basically a combination of a bunch of songs that I wrote with the producer we worked with, Justin Gray, and it’s about five or six songs long. We’ve released ‘Summer Thing’ and ‘Hit Me Where It Hurts’ so far. So there’ll be one or two more before we release the whole thing.

What’s the plan for 2020? Give us something to look forward to!

We’ll definitely be going on a tour and then we’re hoping to get over to Ozzy as well. We just don’t know when. I’m sure we will though, there’ll definitely be a New Zealand and Australian tour for sure.

Just wanna finish this off by getting your opinion on something. With countless tours getting postponed and musos being left in the lurch as of late, how can fans best support artists in this tricky time? 

If you’re wanting to continue to support artists, you can always buy merch or you can buy music man. Like merch is a really great source of income for a lot of artists. Quite often their only really chance to sell it is when they’re touring, or if they’re moving around. So stuff like that, buying shit online, and downloading people’s music properly you know. Just yeah, be a kind person hey.

March 25, 2020
Editors Pick