Eccentric psychedelic rockers The Alligator Wine have recently released their debut album entitled Demons Of The Mind. A unique album with all the instrument melodies coming from hammond organs and moogs, the act have been gaining in popularity since they first came onto the scene a few years ago. Prior to the release of the album, we got the opportunity to catch up with vocalist and key-slammer Rob to discuss the album, the band’s journey so far and his favourite ice cream.
You’re gearing up to release the debut album entitled Demons of the Mind. How has the response been to the songs you’ve released so far?
So far I think it’s been a great response. I’m very happy with the results so far as we didn’t really know what was going to happen. With our music not having guitars, it was always going to be an interesting one to see, but so far people seem to like it.
We used hammond organs and I have a hammond by studiologic which has a really great sound despite being quite modern. I use that live and on most of the record. We also have a hohner leslie which we use both live and in the studio, along with a crazy amount of pedals. We love to experiment and play around with lots of effects so that list of pedals is always changing. I also have a Nord 5D which I love because you can do so many crazy sounds for it. For this album, we also used a fender rhodes which was really cool.
In comparison to your earlier EP’s, was the production process behind this album any different?
The first demo was kind of a self-production which we did in our rehearsal space. We mainly track our ideas there and it’s not really designed for recording full albums. We did our demo there as kind of an experiment to see where we could go with it, and it was super-raw sounding. Our producer who I’d worked with on other projects, then got in touch with us asked if we wanted to record some more tracks which resulted in the EP. After the EP, we then knew that it would work as our producer got an amazing sound and we really loved working with him. He was super-excited to work with us as he was able to use all of his real gear which he doesn’t normally for all the metal he produces. After we finished recorded that and headed home, we then thought we’d try and create an album which is what led us to here.
Where does the band name come from?
The band name comes from a song by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins who was a 60’s blue performer. He wrote a song called “Alligator Wine” where he talked about the ingredients needed to create the aforementioned item. We have so many influences, and it’s difficult to really describe them so we chose that name to kind of help with that. Put everything together, mix it up, and you’ve got Alligator wine.
When you started creating this music, did you ever foresee the events you mentioned happening?
No, not at all. It was not planned at all. I’ve known the drummer for many years and we live in the same village in Germany. The only things to do here are go crazy, write music or do both! We see each other pretty much everyday and when we started it was never a consideration that we’d make it into a band and sign to a label. The music is so super crazy and everything is happening step by step which is really cool. I guess that if you do things right, then you’ll end up going somewhere. We are two freaks who love to experiment at the end of the day. We try stupid things and can spend hours and hours doing that.
It then came to the point that we had to kind of tone ourselves back as it was getting too crazy. We then decided to create some strong melodies, inspired by the beetles, and mix in our crazy ideas. I think it’s a good mix and it’s been well received so far.
What’s something you want to see less of in the music scene?
I’m not sure. For me, the most important thing is that I want to see more people doing there own thing and not have the album sound live. For us, we have a lot of sounds on the album but we want to try and keep things simple. There’s only two of us, so we don’t do everything live, but we are organic. We don’t use computers on stage, we just get up on there and play. I don’t like the plastic-ness and over-produced nature of the industry. I’d be happy if that went away. We want to bring just simple rock and roll to people.
What drew you to start creating music?
My dad was the biggest influence for me I’d say. I started playing drums when I was three or four years old as my dad drummed as well. I’ve always been interested in music and playing, and when my dad brought me to his rehearsal place where his band played polka it was so cool. I started playing piano and then guitar as time went on, but singing was never a real focus of mine. Friends of mine said I can sing, but I don’t really feel like a frontman kind of person. I’ve been in bands over the past 15 years and I never expected that I’d play the keys in a band! I always love music and I grew up in a musical family which is what led to me doing this.
If you had to put together an Ice cream sundae, what flavours of Ice cream and toppings would you use?
I would use a classic vanilla and chocolate ice cream. I wouldn’t put any toppings on it, and keep it just nice and simple.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee is my drug so definetly coffee. My wife is really into tea and asks me almost every morning if I want tea. I know that the coffee is not that healthy, but I need that adrenaline push in the morning. I quite smoking 5 years ago, and coffee has now kind of filled the void. I try to keep it low as too much coffee is not too good for you.