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Alae - Interview: Alae

25 Oct 2018 // An interview by darryl baser

Alae are quite possibly New Zealand's hardest working musicians at the moment. The video for their latest single All Gived Up was released in early October and followed the release of another single Stone Cold in April. Their new album is due for release today (October 26), and will be followed by a national tour - and just a few days ago, they supported Calum Scott on his Auckland tour date. Darryl Baser spoke to them about all things musical:

Who are you all, and what bands have you played in before Alae?

Alex Farrell-Davey, Lead Vocals guitar; Allister Meffan, Keys and Vocals; Jayden Lee, Drums Vocals; Marika Hodgson, Bass guitar.

Individually, we've all played under a few different names. Marika and Jayden take the cake though, they're hard working gig hunters with a pretty awesome gig history. Marika has played with artists such as Hollie Smith, Theia, Teeks and Jayden has played in many bands including Automatic 80s.

Is there a main songwriter, or do y'all write as a team: in short, what's your songwriting process?

Alex writes the structure or the blueprint, the initial chord progressions, and the lyrics to the songs.

Allister helps to illustrate the songs by developing the soundscape, creating alternate chord progressions, chord voicings, time changes, percussion and harmonies.

Jayden and Marika are the rhythm section, they help to frame the structure of the songs and add a sense of punctuation.

What do you do when you're not playing in, or working on Alae projects?

Most of us, most of the time, are working part time - or gigging under other names.

Where are you in the writing, recording, touring cycle?

We are currently right in the middle of releasing our debut album which is out October 26th then we head away on a national tour. It feels great to be finished as we started this album a year ago with the writing and pre-production sessions. When we get to hold the final vinyl that will be a great moment as it’s everything we have been working towards.

Do you release through a label or entirely by self?

We are an independent band in the sense we have no label. Our digital distribution is all done through DRM and the CDs and vinyl all through Rhythm Method.

So, it’s a self-release with the help of some great people working at those places and of course with the NZ On Air project funding nothing would have been possible without that.

Which bands did y'all listen to growing up, and conversely, who do you listen to now?

Carol King, Mel Torme, Feist, Grizzly Bear, Beirut, Bon Iver, Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Karen O, Wilco, Josh Rouse, Andrew Bird, Fountains of Wayne, The XX.

Where do you see the band in five years’ time?

Hopefully making some happy songs!! Hopefully somewhere overseas...


About Alae

Alae. It’s a word that means nothing to you at the moment, and that’s a good thing. But that will change.

They’re a fresh, Kiwi duo with a unique sound that needs to be experienced to be understood. alae is what you get when you mix Alex Farrell-Davey and Allister Meffan; two old high school mates who are talented musicians in their own right, but when they come together, it’s something else entirely.

Alae aren’t the status quo, they’re not sugar-coated or created in a lab - they got together because, for them, jamming together just feels right. And you'll feel that in everything you hear.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Alae


Lucy's Mixtape
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Henry St
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Alae EP
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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