By Charlie Matthews
Last week was kind of crazy for the blog. What started as a few people responding to a previously published blog post, turned into a wave of emails, phone calls, Facebook posts, and blog comments. It seems that the music scene in Birmingham is alive and well! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
One of the many bands that reached out to Station 219 was Alabama Rose. They are a female fronted rock band from Birmingham and they really wanted to add their two cents. So of course we gave them the opportunity to participate in the not-so-standard-interview.
Alabama Rose is:
Alabama Rose - Lead Vocals
Collin Zuckerman - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Adam Blevins - Drums
Jacob Robertson - Bass
The Alabama Rose herself took a stab out our not-so-standard-interview this week!
How do you describe your music to people?
Our style can best be described as surf, soul, blues and psychedelic riffs with a bit of old west desperado twang.
Tell us about your local music scene.
Our local scene is incredible. I honestly can’t even count how many original bands we have performing locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally. We have an incredibly inclusive scene, with venues to support every circuit of band, from proper DIY venues and badass dive bars to multi-million dollar venues and more in-between. The people working each one of them are some of the best, most professional and hard-working people I’ve met anywhere in the country. We have a thriving original music market, an in-city record label called Communicating Vessels, who does (among MANY other things) their own SXSW showcases, several record stores, once of which regularly hosts album release shows for local, national and internationally touring bands (shoutout to SEASICK Records, we love you!!). We host multiple annual music festivals per year that bring thousands upon thousands of people to see original music (including local bands), and large annual food, beer, art and film festivals that also provide a wide audience for local original music. We have several local production teams, booking agencies, photographers, writers, screen printing companies and freelance artists that service the music scene here. Our local radio support for original, local music is wonderful, and we have more than one amazing live session series in Birmingham (thanks Spectrasonic and Monotonia!!). We have numerous music schools, a few of which have programs that build entire bands with their students, teach them how to play together, and get them on stage at some of our biggest venues in town. It’s really amazing to watch. We even have a camp just for young female musicians. All of the counselors and teachers for that camp are also females!! We’re home to some AMAZING gear makers, some of my favorite pedals are made right in Birmingham (323 Effects for the win!!). Our scene is diverse, supportive, and most importantly, STILL GROWING!! This place has great resources and bands can easily stand out here and not get lost in the noise. Anyone who wants to come be a part of the love we have for music here is more than welcome!!!
It is the weekend, who should we be checking out in your town?
Oh man, if you had enough time, here are some of the bands you definitely would NOT want to miss, all of which throw down incredibly hard: The Burning Peppermints (yall, check this band out immediately), The Future Primitives, Heath Green and the Makeshifters, THE DEXATEENS, A New Kind of Hero, Future Elevators, Royal and Toulouse, CAVALEN, HEXXUS, Nowhere Squares, Wray, GT, Lolly and the Pops, Creature Camp, Secret Midnight Band, Dirty Girl (man they rip so hard), Tragic City, Taylor Hunnicutt, Zach & Cheyloe, The Old Paints, if they’re not on tour definitely Banditos and/or St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The Dirty Lungs (so so good), Lady Legs, Riverbend, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires, The Goddamn Rights, Holy Youth, Me and My Knife, Captain Kudzu, The Essentialists, SKEPTIC?, Zenosyne, In Snow, Beitthemeans, Suburban Love Junkies, Lolas, Asphalt Crown, STONED COBRA (love so so much), Underland Express, The Green Seed, New Devils, Nerves Baddington , Early James and the Latest, Koralyst, NULL, AND MANY MORE. Every single one of these bands are so worth the time and money to see anywhere they are. There’s a lot of competition here as far as talent goes, even though we are a supportive community. You can usually guarantee that a Birmingham local is trying to bring something special when they play.
What’s the immediate future look like for your band? Tours, festivals, working with other bands, etc.
We’ve had a busy year and are getting ready to head back to Nashville where we recorded our EP live last November. Our next goal is to write more material. We’re sitting on a full album already, but want to really explore the concepts of our LP, so we’re hyper focused on ripping the shit out of our next few shows, and then digging deep into our songwriting skills and creating something elaborate for our listeners and ourselves, then getting it out to people.
What's your outlook on the record industry today?
I think the record industry is really trying to evolve with the times, and some areas are a lot more up to par in that scope than others. Some labels are still very old-school and DIY oriented, some have mega resources to pump into artists and can literally change what people are listening to at-will. I really love labels who are run by smart music lovers and musicians themselves who want to invest in good music and hard working bands. There are a lot of factors to consider, from the way digital platforms are changing and how easy it is to access new music, the way vinyl is coming back, how bands can create and build their own brand and book their own tours without representation, so much more. All-in-all, I’m really optimistic about the record industry. There’s definitely fresh blood pumping through it.
What three bands are you listening to right now?
Been listening to a lot of Rolling Stones and ACDC lately, particularly watching live recordings from back in the day. I’m seeing Flamin’ Groovies in Nashville in a few months so I’ve been pumping a lot of that in anticipation.
What is that one piece of equipment you can't live without?
I’m a nerd for vintage microphones and perform live with a vintage SM57. I’d say that a good cable and a round bottom mic are about all I need personally, but I’m sure the rest of the band could geek out on this subject for days. Collin is partial to his Jazzmaster, Jacob plays a Warwick Jazzman and just got an EQD Fuzz Master General that we’re having a ton of fun with. Adam plays on a wood fiberglass Pearl kit that he got specifically for our blend of throw-back rock n roll. We’re all really partial to our current setup.
Catch Alabama Rose at the Secret Stages Music Festival August 4th and 5th in Birmingham, Alabama!