Interview – Alright The Captain

Alright The Captain hail from England’s East Midlands, and play a complex yet groovy style of math rock. Their highly individual sound and relentless touring schedule has won them many fans, so M3 decided to ask the band about their new free EP….

M3 – First of all, could you tell us a bit about yourself, and what it is that you do?
ATC – We’re Alright the Captain, a 3 piece experimental math noise band based in the UK.
You can listen to what we do here… 

What inspired you to start Alright The Captain? What are your own musical backgrounds?
I (Marty) moved to the UK from Ireland with my previous band which very quickly fell apart, after which I didn’t really do much music for a couple of years apart from the odd solo show here and there but I’m not really much of a solo artist so I set about getting a new band started in Nottingham and thats how Alright the Captain came to be. Todd, Ash and myself all listen to different genres of music including everything from Hip Hop to metal and we try to bring all our influences together to write music that we enjoy playing without ever taking ourselves too seriously.

What was the reasoning behind making  your 123.EP and recent remix album available for free download?
We released the 123.EP for free because at the time we had just downsized to a trio and had written all new material so it kind of felt like the 123.EP was our real starting point with the band and we just wanted as many people as possible to hear what we’d been working on so we could get out on the road and start touring as much as possible. All we asked for was an email address so we could contact the people who downloaded our music so we could let them know when we were gonna be in their towns, we also did a limited run of 200 handmade CD-R’s which we sold on tour to try cover a bit of petrol money.

We released the BINS remix album for free was because it was put together to help promote our debut album SNIB and the remixes had all been done by friends and fans so we didn’t want to charge people for other peoples remixes as that didn’t seem like a fair way to operate to us.

What benefits and/or disadvantages have arisen from this distribution method?
The benefits of this meant that we reached alot more people around the world and got our name out to a new audience who may never have heard of us otherwise. I can’t really see any disadvantages in it for us though as our main aim is to get as many people to listen to our music as possible, so if we can give them something for free then hopefully they will like it and come along to a show sometime and that’s what really counts. We love and live for playing live.

On average, how many people would you say still pay for a release when given the option to download for free?
Maybe 1 in 5 people on average would still pay for a release and every little really does help when your a DIY noise band so its nice when people choose to support us even if they don’t have to.

Would you say this method is a realistic possibility for the future of music distribution?
It’s definitely a possibility, its a great idea if you want to reach more people and the easiest way to do that is give people a choice, we try to make it as easy as possible for people to listen to our music so we have all our releases streaming on Bandcamp and have both free releases as well as our debut album for sale both physically and digitally.

What would be your preferred medium to listen to music (eg. Vinyl, CD, tape, MP3 etc.), and why?
I tend to buy most of my music on CD, although I’ve started getting into vinyl more recently and we’d love to release our next album on vinyl if possible. It would also mean that Todd (our bassist) can really go wild with the artwork for the next release.

Do you feel the idea of an album, as a piece of art that people will listen to from start to finish, has been undermined or forgotten about in the digital age?
Not at all, there are still a lot of people that like to sit down and just listen to an album all the way through, theres nothing better than putting on some headphones and just getting absorbed in an album from start to finish.

What is your take on the current SOPA/ACTA controversy?
It’s a load of nonsense which should never happen, people should have access to information without censorship, loads more people listened to our music as a result of filesharing online and I’m not gonna lie, when our album started popping up on torrent sites before its release date I was fuming, but when you step back and realise that kids in Russia and Indonesia are listening to your music that’s a cool feeling as they may never even have heard of us otherwise so that opens up more options for touring for us in the long run. At the end of the day if SOPA/ACTA was to be introduced we’d find a way to adapt to the changes and carry on.

Finally, what does the future have in store for Alright The Captain?
We will be touring as much as possible this year and we have shows lined up in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg in April, then we return to play some UK shows and start recording for our next release, which we’re hoping to bring out later in the year. In May we will be touring Ireland and we’re hoping for a busy summer filled with festivals.

For more information on Alright The Captain, check out their website, follow them on Facebook, or head over to their Bandcamp page to hear their latest EP. Additionally, you can catch the band live on their upcoming European tour at –

UPCOMING SHOWS

11th March @ The Old Bell, Derby (UK)
12th March @ Red rooms, Nottingham (UK)
23rd March @ Fuel, Manchester (UK)
31st March @ Cafe bluff, Heerlen, (NL)
1st April @ Music City, Antwerp (BE)
2nd April @ Rocas, Luxembourg
3rd April @ Venue TBC, Utrecht (NL)
4th April @ Le Cafe Central, Brussells (BE)
5th April @ Mukkes Alternative rock cafe, Leeuwarden (BE)
6th/7th/8th April @ DUNK! Festival, Zottegem, (BE)
15th April @ The Purple turtle, Camden (UK)
21st April @ The Caledonia, Liverpool (UK)
3rd May @ The Chameleon, Nottingham (UK)
4th May @ The Blue room, Blackpool (UK)
5th May @ The Horatia, London (UK)
10th May @ Radar, Belfast (UK)
11th May @ The Retro, Portrush (UK)
12th May @ Twisted Pepper , Dublin (UK)
13th May @ Fred Zeppelins (TBC), Cork (UK)
3rd June @ The Chameleon, Nottingham w/ Tera Melos (UK)

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About M3 Event

The music industry is rapidly changing. The internet has enabled widespread piracy, as well as a variety of new business and distribution models. We want to offer an engaged audience in and around the Euregion an opportunity to develop a coherent and detailed picture of the future of music distribution. On the 31st of May 2012 a music conference in Maastricht, consisting of oppositional debates, creative workshops and lectures, will provoke opportunities for intellectual stimulation, debate, as well as networking. We hope to utilise the skills and ideas of some of most forward thinking minds and operators in the industry in order to highlight some promising new ideas and areas which can be improved upon.

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