Baybeats 2013 Special: L'Alphalpha

Where the Swedish and co. excel in diversity of music in their corner of the world, we have, a little closer to home a place where Indie, folk, grindcore, pop, classic rock and dangdut can coexist peacefully. In terms of music, Indonesia is a little Scandinavia in Southeast Asia. Incorporating toy instruments, ethereal voice samples, violins and keys as well as traditional rock band instruments, L'Alphalpha combines various musical styles to make music that is rich in sonic layers and meaning. We talk to them ahead of their show at Baybeats about their beginnings, new material and fantasy festivals. 

Hi L'Alphalpha welcome back to Singapore! How are you feeling about playing again here, and at Baybeats this time?

Herald: Of course we’re really excited. More excited this time, being able to share our music overseas in a music festival.

Irma: So excited! Can’t believe that we're in the line up.

How did you start out and why choose to dabble in the genre of post-rock?

H: We were trying to make some “Spacey Music” when I started this band with my bass player. But then we stumbled upon and became really interested in post-rock music at that time, listening to a lot of Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Rós and other post-rock bands and ambient stuff. They really inspired us with the grandness of the music, the crescendoes, the impact, you pick up surprises in some parts of the music... and here we were, trying to make a pop record. 

The music scene in Indonesia is very diverse, in your own words, give us a short introduction of the scene. 

H: We do see many great bands and great talents in Indonesia, it is true that the music scene here is very diverse and each music scenes could celebrate their music in their own way, From Pop, Rock, Metal, Reggae, Indie, Electronica/Dance Music etc, it is really good and you have many options, which ever that fits your ears. Some important bands in our local Indie scene are White Shoes and The Couples Company, Efek Rumah Kaca, and others. 

In a lot of your songs, you play around with a lot of voice samples. Tell us about your fascination with vocal samples.

H: We love vocal harmonies, and many vocal layers  and chants could make a different feeling into a song. Dreaming to have our own little choir here. Haha.

'When We Awake All Dreams Are Gone' was done in a storybook structure, what inspired this?

H: Our album is about dreams, so we thought that it would be a good thing if we treated this album like a bedtime story.

What do you listen to and who/what are some of your influences?

H: We still listen to what we mentioned earlier and we enjoy a lot of new music these days. We have a lot more influences now and lots of local and international artists inspired us to make more music. 

We know you guys are working on some new material, can you tell us a bit about the new songs? Are there any changes in terms of musical direction?  

H: Yes there are some changes in our music, we try to make it more enjoyable and more fun for us to sing and play. I listen to a lot of British indie rock these days, and maybe you’ll hear it in our new songs. And we try to sing in our own Indonesian language for some of our new songs.

What do you want to see change in the Indonesian music scene?

H: We want to see a good regeneration in our local music scene. And more music/art festivals to be held in Indonesia.

What is next for L'Alphalpha?

H: We don’t know yet, but our next target would be our 2nd album hopefully out this year. And we want to hold a mini intimate concert.

For those who have yet to hear L'Alphalpha live, what can they expect?

H: To be prepared to go on a dreamy adventure/journey/experience. Haha.

L'Alphalpha play Baybeats on June 30 at the Outdoor Theatre and Concourse