ALOKE

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ALOKE
Band ALOKE.png
ALOKE in 2006
Left to right: Paul DeCourcey, Christian Zucconi and Alex Charpentier
Background information
Also known as The Ram Fam (2009)
Origin Mount Vernon, New York
Genres Post-hardcore, alternative rock, indie rock,[1] post-grunge
Years active 2004 (2004)–2009 (2009)
Labels Pretty Activity, Gatehouse Anchor
Associated acts The Skizmatics, Awkward Thought, Pagoda, Little Million, Back Off Track, Grouplove, Star Fucking Hipsters, Do Shadows Savage?, Electric Kompany, FORE, Family of the Year, Tutti Mondi, Galaxy of Tar, Good Grief, The Nerve!, Aches and the Pains, Kung-Fu Grip, The New Constituents
Past members Christian Zucconi
Paul DeCourcey
Alex Charpentier
Alex Walker
Anthony Kapfer

ALOKE were an American post-hardcore band that formed by Christian Zucconi, Paul DeCourcey and Alex Charpentier in Mount Vernon, New York, in 2004. During their career, the band released one live album and three EPs, before disbanding in the summer of 2009. Thereafter, Zucconi formed Grouplove, which gained popularity with ALOKE song,[2] "Colors You Have"[3] (renamed "Colours"). At one time, ALOKE was described as "shoveling out creepy, loud, grueling beauty" and "the fiercest, hardest working, loudest band in NYC".[4][5]

History[edit]

Background[edit]

The founders of the band – Christian Zucconi, Paul DeCourcey and Alex Charpentier – grew up in Westchester County, New York and played together in a school band.[6] Prior to ALOKE, Christian played bass in Pagoda, fronted by his friend and actor Michael Pitt.[7] During his time in Pagoda, Zucconi filmed a music video for their "Happy Song", which captures him as a band member.[7] Zucconi also played additional guitar on "Death to Birth" from Pagoda self-titled debut album. Later on, ALOKE opened a several times for Pagoda.[8] Paul DeCourcey played in punk rock band The Skizmatics. Their only record, "No Heroes" EP, was released on Beer City Records in 1996.[9] Alex Charpentier was a drummer for hardcore punk band Awkward Thought. After they were joined by Alex Walker, the future ALOKE guitarist, the band recorded and released "Fear Not" EP. They were soon joined by DeCourcey, and afterwards this line-up recorded studio album "Ruin a Good Time", which was released on March 25, 2003.[10][11]

2004–2007: Formation and first releases[edit]

…Pulsating rhythms, catchy guitar and punk influences make ALOKE… The young band members were full of energy and played a thrashing set of screaming vocals on top of a dark and murky rhythm. A voyage into space and beyond, very futuristic, reminding me of a mix of images from The Matrix and Alien. Sci-fi, but thrilling mixed with gothic. What a great show…[12]

Review of ALOKE concert at Pianos on October 21, 2004

The band was formed as a trio in the summer of 2004 and played its first shows in such venues as Rothko and Pianos. After a while, they released self-titled extended play, which included five songs. Crusher Magazine wrote that songs are "sounds like [they] could've been lifted from the Nirvana box set",[13] while The Deli Magazine reviewer stated that EP "showcase a talented post-punk/post-rock combo with some interesting influences blessed by good songwriting skills and a genetic tendency to avoid banality and… explode!".[14] Both magazines noted the opening track "You Did It… Again", which "evokes the angular stance of post-hardcore"[13] and "will help you regain self-esteem".[14]

On January 29, 2005,[15] the band released their second EP titled "Not So Nonsense". One of the songs from the album, "Fire in the Stove", was later re-recorded by Zucconi as an instrumental, while writing score for Jennifer Venditti documentary Billy the Kid. A few months ago, in August, they put out another self-release, live album "One Day We Will Kill You", which was recorded in front of small audience and mixed at Excello Recording Studios by Hugh Pool in April 2005.[16][17] The entire album also was allowed to download for free on official site.[18]

The following year, on May 2, the album was released on Pretty Activity and Gatehouse Anchor on CD and vinyl, respectively.[5][20] Vinyl version, unlike CD, does not include tracks "Love Is Distance" and "All That Ever Was".[20][21] While promoting the album, ALOKE released three music videos for the songs "Nameless", "Pennywhistle" and "Dirty". Filming a video for digital single "Nameless", the band "wanted it to look and feel like how our live shows are […] sweaty, cathartic and lots of energy".[19] "Pennywhistle" was partly filmed in the deserts of California,[19] while "Dirty" was completely done in the band's rehearsal space.[22]

2007–2008: Alex Walker and new recordings[edit]

Alex Walker grew up with the rest of the band members and couple years before joining ALOKE, he already played with DeCourcey and Charpentier in Awkward Thought. Besides that, Walker played in avant-garde chamber group Electric Kompany and Do Shadows Savage?, which opened for ALOKE a few times. Walker joined the band mid–summer 2007, and after that quartet rode to Chicago, Illinois, to record new album. Recording sessions took place in Electrical Audio Studios and was produced by famed Steve Albini,[2] who has worked with musical acts such as Nirvana, Pixies and PJ Harvey, among many others.

Overall, the band recorded 18 songs, 13 of which was scheduled for release on the new album,[2] "What a Sight It Shines at Night".[24] But, instead of full-length album another EP was released, which included five recorded with Albini songs. Hannah Hooper, Zucconi's girlfriend with whom he later formed Grouplove, made an artwork for EP.[25]

Over the next year and a half ALOKE toured frequently and took a part in such events as SXSW and Safe to Swim Weekend.[26]

2008–2009: Charpentier departure and breakup[edit]

In mid 2008, Alex Charpentier left ALOKE, and remained band members continued performing as a trio, with Walker temporarily switching on bass, while DeCourcey on drums. In the first months of 2009, Anthony Kapfer joined the band and sat behind the drum set.[27][28] Two weeks after Kapfer auditioned for the band, they played SXSW in Austin, Texas.[27][28][29] In May the new line-up was set to record another extended play with Matt Labozza producing it.[30] Although, it was not meant to be: a month later the band played its last show and disbanded, while all that was recorded remained unreleased.

Post-breakup[edit]

After ALOKE demise, Christian Zucconi formed Grouplove, which gained much bigger popularity than his old band. Grouplove adopted some of ALOKE songs, "approached from a whole new angle",[2] including "Gold Coast", "Itchin' on a Photograph",[31] and "Colors You Have"[3] (renamed "Colours"). The band released two studio albums, Never Trust a Happy Song in 2011, and its follow-up Spreading Rumours in 2013. Besides that, Zucconi participated in side-projects, such as Back Off Track and solo-project Little Million. Paul DeCourcey played for a while with Zucconi in Back Off Track and thereafter quit music career. Alex Charpentier, after his departure from ALOKE, played some time in Star Fucking Hipsters. Alex Walker released four free singles and one EP on Lapdance Academy.[32] In 2011, Walker, alongside with Charpentier and Jake Siegler, formed the FORE, which released self-titled instrumental album, putting it for free on Bandcamp.[33] The same year, he served as touring bassist for Los Angeles-based indie rock band Family of the Year.[23] On April 9, 2012, Walker released an extended play under the pseudonym Tutti Mondi, taken after the FORE song.[34] In 2013, Walker played guitar on Galaxy of Tar EP entitled "Barreta".[35]

Band members[edit]

  • Christian Zucconi – guitar, lead vocals (2004–2009)
  • Paul DeCourcey – bass, vocals (2004–2009)
  • Alex Charpentier – drums (2004–2008)
  • Alex Walker – guitar, vocals (2007–2009)
  • Anthony Kapfer – drums (2009)

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Other songs[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ALOKE | Music Biography, Credits and Discography | AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d Aloke blog
  3. ^ a b BTR Live Studio with Aloke - BreakThru Radio
  4. ^ "Bringing It Home" - Anti-Mag
  5. ^ a b Aloke - Pretty Activity
  6. ^ Aloke seeks musical 'Nirvana'
  7. ^ a b Pagoda | Biography | AllMusic
  8. ^ Michael Pitt is Pagoda | Aloke | VERY Special Guests
  9. ^ Skizmatics, The - No Heroes (Vinyl)
  10. ^ Ruin a Good Time — Awkward Thought: Credits
  11. ^ Rough Edge: Awkward Thought
  12. ^ Aloke @ Pianos Oct 21, '04
  13. ^ a b Aloke Review
  14. ^ a b The Deli - Music Recipes from the Big Apple
  15. ^ ::pianos nyc::live music calendar::
  16. ^ Aloke on Gatehouse Anchor.com
  17. ^ Hugh Pool News
  18. ^ ALOKE | Music
  19. ^ a b c Indie Music Interview: 10 Questions with ALOKE
  20. ^ a b News | Gatehouse Anchor
  21. ^ Aloke - One Day We Will Kill You
  22. ^ Dutch Masterson - Music Video
  23. ^ a b Alex Walker Interview: From New York to LA | GuitarInternational.com
  24. ^ ALOKE Music | RCRD LBL
  25. ^ Hannah Hooper - Aloke album cover
  26. ^ Massive free music festival continues Saturday
  27. ^ a b Anthony Kapfer | The Living Room
  28. ^ a b The Deli - Kitchen - Elance
  29. ^ HYMNS SXSW RUN!! (Anthony Kapfer comment: "I'll be down there drumming in a band I just joined")
  30. ^ Aloke = Rock
  31. ^ a b ALOKE | MySpace
  32. ^ LAPDANCE ACADEMY | ALEX WALKER
  33. ^ FORE - Bandcamp
  34. ^ Alex Walker - Tutti Mondi
  35. ^ BARRETA | Galaxy of Tar
  36. ^ a b Aloke - One Day We Will Kill You
  37. ^ Aloke - It's Been a While
  38. ^ ALOKE-MIKEY'S SONG LIVE
  39. ^ Aloke - Walk Right Into the Sun
  40. ^ Aloke - Creepster
  41. ^ Aloke performing "Unforgettable Mess". @ mojos
  42. ^ Aloke - Unforgettable Mess
  43. ^ ALOKE - Laughing and Crying
  44. ^ Love Parade CD release party: for “All Together Now”
  45. ^ Aloke - Unresolved
  46. ^ ON THE BACKS OF WHALES (LIVE) by ALOKE
  47. ^ Aloke - Rocks In My Head
  48. ^ Aloke - Run Around Town
  49. ^ Aloke - As Far As We Go
  50. ^ Aloke - gold coast
  51. ^ a b c BTR Live Studio with Aloke
  52. ^ IMMIGRANT SON by ALOKE
  53. ^ Aloke - Don't Fail Me Now
  54. ^ ALOKE-OLD LADY
  55. ^ ALOKE- Hootenanny Acoustic
  56. ^ ALOKE - I Don't Wanna Go Home
  57. ^ ALOKE All Across The World Today @ SXSW 2009

External links[edit]