Alter Eden At The Underground

Rock Band Give Memorable Performance In Headline Show

Bethan Shuff || August 23rd

Lee Barber once told me never to name drop... But i'll blame Rob Adcock for my arriving fashionably late to Alter Eden’s gig; and by fashionably late I mean half way through the main support act 5 Point 0. Frontman Cam Pearce was onstage wearing a Slash-worthy top hat whilst assisting Dan Wade, Jonathan Poxon and Liam Vaines in tearing the stage up for their first gig in over a month. After finishing the set with Face and What Will Happen When We’re Dead, I decided to find out what is happening with 5 Point 0 right now.

We crammed ourselves into the backstage room trying not to knock over all of Dan’s cymbals to have a chat about their latest EP that was released onto Soundcloud the afternoon of the gig. The Self-Titled EP, recorded at UTC Studios, contains Intro, Buried, Break, Suffocate and What Will Happen When We’re Dead; what’s odd is the difference in sound between the tracks when you listen to them recorded and when you see them live. Recorded, the songs sound a hell of a lot more chilled out compared to seeing the lads perform when they’re bouncing around the stage and breaking microphones!

It was everyone’s first time recording, and it took a lot longer than they’d hoped, however three months later and the little bad boy is here! If you plan on going to Hanley at some point next week, be careful – 5 Point 0 are planning to throw their EP out of their car window at innocent passers-by to get the EP out there - pretty cool idea for a music video? I asked the boys what 3 words they would use to describe this EP and got some varied answers including ‘pretty damn good’ and ‘three long months’, however the best was ‘down to earth’ and ‘refined’ (that’s only one word though, Dan).

5 Point 0 must have loved recording; the band have already put their heads together and started to write so material for a second, heavier EP with a slightly different sound since the boys have started to grow into themselves more; ‘we’ve got the cock, we need get the balls’ is how Liam compares EP one’s to EP two’s sound. Above all though, 5 Point 0 can’t beat a good gig. Being able to say that they’ve played on the same stage as the likes of Cancer Bats and Black Peaks and see the venue just as packed is such an accomplishment that the band takes great pride in… even if they don’t have the best of luck sometimes. The band sat on the sunken sofas in The Underground’s backstage room and laughed about all of their misfortunes such as accidentally unplugging the bass mid-set, snapping strings and ‘Dan being Dan’ and drumming without a stick without even realising; just as all of these are said, Nick Pilgrim of Alter Eden knocks Liam’s beer over – ‘I don’t have good luck with beer either’.

I asked what is becoming REBEL’s signature question ‘what’s the most rebellious thing you’ve ever done?’, Dan blurted out ‘Sheffield’ but the band freaked out – apparently I’m not allowed to know what happened in Sheffield. I am allowed to know that they sticker-bombed half of Stoke for promotion of the Facebook page – including KFC in its entirety. Pretty bad-ass guys, but I’m sure it’s only a fraction of the rebellion that occurred in Sheffield – what happens in Sheffield stays in Sheffield.

Up on the stage, Nick Pilgrim had his foot up on the monitors roaring into the microphone whilst Alex Coleman and Aled Roberts were quite literally folding themselves in half head-banging and Simon Whitney laid down some insane beats. Alter Eden’s energy and stage presence is so amazing to watch; the lads really put on a show, not simple play a gig – they perform. That isn’t what caught my attention most, though; what I found most impressive was Nick’s crazy vocal range! Man, he’s got some lungs on him. The dynamics between high, low, soft, loud and everywhere in between are hit with such precision - mad talent.

One minute Nick’s on stage, the next he’s jumped off. Everyone’s head turned to see where he was going. The bar. Nick is mid song, mic still in hand, at the bar opening a can of Red Stripe. Rock and Roll. He ran backstage and stood at the stage door, leaned against the wall before joining his band mates for the final chorus.

Another few tracks are played with blood, sweat and monster shredding before Nick is off again. He ran excitedly to the merch stand filled with Alter Eden t-shirts, EP’s and badges explaining ‘you should always spend money on band merch because it pays for fuel in the tank and it’s fucking expensive being a musician’.

We’ve Had Enough was the closing track of the night (apt title for the end of a gig). Aled and Nick were in and amongst the crowd causing havoc; I think Nick spend more time on the dancefloor than he did on stage! Alter Eden concluded the set with gratitude in such a professional and rockstar way before exiting the stage together.

I caught up with them backstage about the EP that they finished recording an hour before soundcheck. The EP was recorded with Mark Roberts at both his studio (Stronghold) and Alter Eden’s studio in Tunstall, then mastered by Peter Hewitt-Dutton from Metropolis. Hewitt-Dutton has mastered tracks for some real big-names like Bring Me The Horizon and Led Zeppelin (remastered). Alter Eden were trying to figure out what sort of a sound that they wanted for the EP, and after hearing one of Black Peaks’ (who recently played Stoke’s Sugarmill) tracks on Radio 1, the boys instantly needed it ‘That. That there. Right there!’ was the sound that Alter Eden had longed for in production. Nick tells me that they ‘trawled through two years’ worth of tweets’ to find Hewitt-Dutton because ‘he’s got the right balance between the rock and metal sort of edginess; but at the same time making it sort of listenable and accessible for the average listener.’

14 hour days in the studio are tiring, but free cake, trying to teach everyone drums and indirectly yelling ‘we’ve had enough’ at each other on huge stairwells seems to have made those long hours more entertaining.

Alter Eden are releasing a single from the EP on September 9th, and the EP later this year – the EP release date is top secret information, however I have been pinky promised that I’ll be the first to know when people start to know.