Saturday, 4 May 2013

Slam Dunk Preview // Tonight Alive

This week in our Slam Dunk Preview we are bringing out Australian pop-punk quintet Tonight Alive. With a huge UK fanbase and a reputation for an energetic live show there is no doubt that you won't want to miss their set at Slam Dunk 2013.

We caught up with the band on their recent UK tour. To read the interview and to find out what you can expect from their live show click below...

You guys have played over in the UK a few times; what do you like most about it?
WHAKAIO [TAAHI, lead guitar]I think the kids are just awesome. They’re really open about music and bands and we’ve  been received really warmly.
JAKE [HARDY, rhythm guitar]- Everything’s been moving really fast here for us so it’s really good. A lot of funny accents as well. Welsh is tough, Scottish is tougher and Irish is at the peak I think, they speak so quickly.

Jenna McDougall on stage in Manchester
You self funded EPs when you first started. Was it nice to finally make that full length, “What Are You So Scared Of?”, and go to LA to record it and I guess take your time?
WHAKAIOYeah, I think at the time we were a bit starry eyed and it was a massive learning curve for us. It was good that we didn’t have to work everyday to try and fund it. Well we’re doing that now, but it’s different [laughing].

And the name? Would you say you’re a band who is fearless, you take that risk?
JAKE- Yeah, definitely. We’ve always been a band to go against the grain and try and push ourselves as far as possible, whether it be going overseas or just working with new people.
WHAKAIOI think that it’s always a risk going on stage everynight and being like “this is what we are, this is what we do”. But we always try and set goals for ourselves; we’re always trying to get better and hopefully it’s working.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?
WHAKAIOWe’ve all quit our jobs and none of us went to college or Uni and have devoted ourselves to this. It is a massive risk, but I mean we’re still really young so if it goes wrong we can do something else [laughing].

Tonight Alive at Manchester Academy 1

You’ve covered Mumford and Sons; are you enjoying the UK music scene at the moment?
WHAKAIOOh yeah, definitely. Young Guns is one of our favourite bands, we’ve toured with them, and musically they just get it. We love Mumford and Sons as well.
JAKE- We met a bunch of UK bands on Warped Tour, like Twin Atlantic, We Are The Ocean and we’ve toured with The Blackout and POLAR. There’s a bunch of UK bands that we really like and respect.
WHAKAIOIt’s almost like the UK and Australia are the same mix.
JAKE- Yeah, it’s like we have a long lost family over here; we come over here and feel accepted. 

And finally, what else do you guys have planned for this year?
WHAKAIOWe’re going back to finish recording our next album. Then we have a tour in the States and hopefully some stuff in Australia, and maybe Asia, and then hopefully coming back here two or three more times.
JAKE- Even though it’s twenty-four hours away, but it’s all good.

And here's what you can expect from Tonight's Alive's set...

On the bill this evening is five-piece Australian pop-punk band Tonight Alive. Dramatic entrance music begins; “Manchester make some noise”, shouts front-woman Jenna McDougall and then the beginning riff kicks in. No messing around from beginning to end, Tonight Alive are full force and high energy. The up-beat “Breaking & Entering” kicks off the set and starts the crowd in motion. From here on in it’s a wild ride both on and off stage. Jenna McDougall is an unstoppable force, running up and down the stage and leaping on and off speakers and amps, whilst the audience here in Manchester’s Academy 1 are just as vibrant. No two bands on the Kerrang tour are identical and Tonight Alive firmly has locked down infectious pop-punk and has a fan base to support it. Killer hooks and heavier breakdowns in the likes of “Thank You & Goodnight” hit just at the right time and prove that they aren’t too sugary sweet. Ballad, “Amelia” taken from the new album, works as an interlude and takes the pace down a little, nevertheless still soars out into the crowd. “Listening” brings the set back to a high paced finish. They may have had to fly half way across the world to be here but it was more than worth it judging by tonight’s response. They had a great 2012 and this year is set to be even better.

Photo credit: Danny Peart Photography