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 Ossining, New York
Genres Post-hardcore, alternative rock, indie rock,[1] post-grunge
Years active 2004 (2004)–2009 (2009); 2015
Labels Past: Pretty Activity, Gatehouse Anchor, Currently: The End Records
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, The Patrick Ewing Band, Galaxy of Tar, Good Grief, The Nerve!, Aches and the Pains, Kung-Fu Grip, The New Constituents, Surprise, you're Deaf! and Phatpallyboo strikes again
Members Christian Zucconi
Paul DeCourcey
Alex Charpentier
Alex Walker
Past members Anthony Kapfer

ALOKE is an American post-hardcore band that was formed by Christian Zucconi, Paul DeCourcey and Alex Charpentier in Ossining, 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, "Colors You Have"[2] (renamed "Colours"). At one time, ALOKE was described as "shoveling out creepy, loud, grueling beauty" and "the fiercest, hardest working, loudest band in NYC".[3][4]

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.[5] Prior to ALOKE, Christian played bass in Pagoda, fronted by his friend and actor Michael Pitt.[6] During his time in Pagoda, Zucconi filmed a music video for their "Happy Song", which captures him as a band member.[6] Zucconi also played additional guitar on "Death to Birth" from Pagoda self-titled debut album. Later on, ALOKE opened several times for Pagoda.[7] Paul DeCourcey played in punk rock band The Skizmatics. Their only record, "No Heroes" EP, was released on Beer City Records in 1996.[8] 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 the infamous studio album "Ruin a Good Time", which was released on March 25, 2003.[9][10]

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…[11]

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",[12] 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!".[13] Both magazines noted the opening track "You Did It… Again", which "evokes the angular stance of post-hardcore"[12] and "will help you regain self-esteem".[13]

On January 29, 2005,[14] 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 later, 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.[15][16] The entire album also was allowed to download for free on official site.[17]

The following year, on May 2, the album was released on Pretty Activity and Gatehouse Anchor on CD and vinyl, respectively.[4][19] Vinyl version, unlike CD, does not include tracks "Love Is Distance" and "All That Ever Was".[19][20] While promoting the album, ALOKE released three music videos for the songs "Nameless", "Pennywhistle" and "Dirty". The thought process for filming the video for digital single "Nameless" was that the band "wanted it to look and feel like how our live shows are […] sweaty, cathartic and lots of energy".[18] "Pennywhistle" was partly filmed in the deserts of California,[18] while "Dirty" was completely done in the band's rehearsal space.[21]

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

Alex Walker grew up with the rest of the band members and prior to joining ALOKE, he had 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 had previously opened for ALOKE on a few occasions. Walker joined the band mid–summer 2007, and after that, the quartet rode to Chicago, Illinois, to record a new album. Recording sessions took place in Electrical Audio Studios and was produced by famed Steve Albini, 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, "What a Sight It Shines at Night".[23] 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 the cover artwork for that EP.[24]

Over the next year and a half ALOKE toured frequently and took a part in such events as SXSW and Safe to Swim Weekend.[25]

2008–2009: Charpentier departure and breakup[edit]

In mid 2008, Alex Charpentier left ALOKE to pursue his dream of becoming the understudy for Dr. Frank N. Furter and the remaining band members continued performing as a trio, with Walker temporarily switching to bass, while DeCourcey took control on drums. In the first months of 2009, Anthony Kapfer joined the band and sat behind the drum set.[26][27] Two weeks after Kapfer auditioned for the band, they played SXSW in Austin, Texas.[26][27][28] In May the new line-up was set to record another extended play with Matt Labozza producing it.[29] 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 the demise of ALOKE, Christian Zucconi formed Grouplove. Grouplove adopted some of the ALOKE songs, "approached from a whole new angle", including "Gold Coast", "Itchin' on a Photograph", and "Colors You Have"[2] (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 decided to focus his musicical career on honing his craft a as Luthier and designing and crafting hand-made guitars. Since then, he opened up "Division Street Guitars", a shop in Peekskill, NY, where he repairs and builds custom guitars. Alex Charpentier, after his departure from ALOKE, played some time in Star Fucking Hipsters. In 2011, Walker, along with Charpentier and Jake Siegler, formed FORE, which released a self-titled instrumental album, putting it for free on Bandcamp.[30] The same year, Walker served as touring bassist for Los Angeles-based indie rock band Family of the Year.[22] On April 9, 2012, Walker released an extended play under the pseudonym Tutti Mondi, taken after the FORE song.[31] In 2013, Walker played guitar on Galaxy of Tar EP entitled "Barreta" and continued to write amazing solo songs such as "The whistle goes Woop, woop", "Muskrat Love" and "Tony done touched himself".[32]

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]

ALOKE
EP by ALOKE
Released 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Post-hardcore, post-grunge
Length 24:07
Label Self-release
No. Title Length
1. "You Did It… Again"   4:30
2. "Eggordream"   5:11
3. "All That Ever Was"   4:15
4. "Time Will Tell"   6:21
5. "Brainstem"   3:50
Not So Nonsense
EP by ALOKE
Released January 29, 2005
Genre Post-hardcore, post-grunge, indie rock
Length 16:58
Label Self-release
No. Title Length
1. "Three Leaf Clover"   3:28
2. "Bread and Butter"   4:57
3. "Fire in the Stove"   5:54
4. "Yellow Birds"   2:37
One Day We Will Kill You
Live album by ALOKE
Released August 2005 (Self-release)
May 2, 2006 (Label)
Recorded April 2005 at Excello Recording Studios, New York City, New York
Genre Post-hardcore, post-grunge, alternative rock
Length 40:55 (CD)
32:44 (Vinyl)
Label Pretty Activity (CD)
Gatehouse Anchor (Vinyl)
Producer Hugh Pool
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Punknews 4/5 stars[33]
No. Title Length
1. "Nameless"   4:11
2. "You Did It… Again"   4:46
3. "Violet"   3:26
4. "California"   5:01
5. "Love Is Distance" (omitted from vinyl) 4:17
6. "Pennywhistle"   5:27
7. "Dirty"   2:48
8. "All That Ever Was" (omitted from vinyl) 3:53
9. "Brainstem"   4:01
10. "Solidify"   3:04
I Moved Here to Live
EP by ALOKE
Released 2008
Recorded July–August 2007 at Electrical Audio Studios, Chicago, Illinois
Genre Alternative rock, indie rock, post-hardcore
Length 27:55
Label Self-release
Producer Steve Albini
No. Title Length
1. "Head on a String"   5:32
2. "We're Strangers Now"   4:59
3. "Hard Day at Work"   6:14
4. "Married on a Farm"   6:54
5. "Wilhelmina"   4:14
ALIVE
EP by ALOKE
Released 01 May 2015
Genre Alternative rock
Length 10:65
Label The End Records
No. Title Length
1. "Head on a String"   5:30
2. "Old Lady"   3:17
3. "Unforgettable Mess"   2:20
Alive
Studio album by ALOKE
Released July 17, 2015
Genre Post-hardcore, post-grunge, indie rock
Length 45 min
Label The End Records
No. Title Length
1. "Head on a String"   5:30
2. "Old Lady"   3:17
3. "Unforgettable Mess"   2:20
4. "We're Strangers Now"   4:59
5. "Gold Coast"   4:35
6. "Interlude 1"   1:05
7. "Hard Day at Work"   6:06
8. "Married on a Farm"   6:55
9. "Unresolved"   4:08
10. "Interlude 2"   2:48
11. "Don't Fail Me Now"   4:26
12. "Interlude 3"   3:02

Other songs[edit]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]