Interview :: Alt-J [10.2.12]

Hotly-tipped UK band Alt-J, currently out on tour supporting past 32ft/sec interviewee's GROUPLOVE, shot some emails back and forth with us about their love of trainers, what the hell is a "Breezeblock" and what happens when someone, or everyone, starts comparing your band to Radiohead in 2012. Our questions and their answers after the jump.

32ft/sec: What are Alt-J's top five Desert Island Records?

1. Radiohead - Amnesiac
3. Clark - Totems Flare
4. Hot Chip - In Our Heads
5. Meshuggah - Kolosos

32ft: At your Bowery Ballroom gig, a guy just to my left whispered the words, "Radiohead, right?" as you came back out to play "Taro." It's a piece of your musical DNA that struck me on the first few listens to An Awesome Wave too, and it appears to have gained some momentum with reviewers. While I grant the implicit absurdity of likening a band to Radiohead (especially on a debut record), it is nonetheless happening. What do you think it is about your music that inspires this sort of comparison and are there any intentional odes to the path forged by Yorke?

Alt-J: I think we might sound slightly like Radiohead, in some ways. There's piano, weird vocals, odd percussion, odd song themes. The fact we're English and come from an academic background might be a part of it. All of this I'm guessing by the way because we never actually intended to sound or be like radiohead at all. We like Radiohead and we respect their success as a band but we never try and be like them. I agree you can't say anything is like Radiohead, we're post-Radiohead. It's flattering but we prefer to be Alt-J.

32ft: We ask everyone this: If Alt-J was stranded on a sinking ocean liner and there was only one life preserve left, which band member gets it and why?

Alt-J: Haha that's insane. Gwil, he has a Girlfriend.

32ft: What is a "Breezeblock?"

Alt-J: It's a concrete building block used as a frame for large buildings, I think the holes in the middle are filled with concrete when the wall is up so it's really fucking strong.

32ft: What is one thing about Alt-J that most people don't know but should absolutely never forget?

Alt-J: We love free trainers.

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