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Mag draft penultimate

  2. 2. CONTENTS July 10th #534 FEATURES 48 AURORA STORM 72 THE 1975 The woman who has landed herself as the most controversial artist of our generation lays herself bare. How much fun can beiung a member of The 1975 be? This much. 80 TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB VS (MAG) 85 READING & LEEDS 90 THE DRUMS We go head to head against one of Britain’s favourite indie bands. The festivals of the year are just around the corner... are you ready?! A short, tactical guideto preening and prouncing about. 92 HANDWRITTEN Expert analyses behind the scribblings of your favourite Indie artists. 101 50 GIGS IN 10 YEARS The top 50 gigs of the decade that you must see! 34
  3. 3. M C p ALTERNATE MAG w b @ALTERNATEMAG /alternatemagazine ALTERNATE MAG /alternatemag REGULARS 08 YOU’VE GOT MAIL! 10 THE TOP 50 This months essential songs. 15 NOW Alt-J in the studio, Foster The People’s secrets spilled, the 10 most notable career suicides and the rest of the music news. 48 32 ON LOCATION: Hello Camden! We visit one of London’s most popular urban areas to hunt down what’s going on in the world of Indie. 34 PG NO. NEW TO (MAG) Greetings Passenger, London Grammar and Imagine Dragons. Make yourself at ome. PG NO. 32 REVIEW 50 THE 1975 @ BRIXTON January can be a month of false impressions in pop, when a band can look bigger than it really is by doing something major in a music wasteland. The 1975’s three nights in this 5,000-capacity venue are London’s only gigs of note this week but the Manchester quartet has been making a big noise before now. Their debut album went to number one in the much busier month of September 2012. 42 ACCESS ALL AREAS The best seat in the house behind the scenes of Arctic Monkey’s hit new album - AM. 78 RECORD COLLEC TIONS Indie’s finest, Chris Martin, takes us back to his musical beginnings. 96 SUBSCRIBE Oh, go on, you know you want to! 161 QUIZ Your regular dose of brain food. Win a guitar and amp worth £1,200. 162 LAST REQUESTS Final thoughts from Kodaline.
  4. 4. EXCLUSIVE 48 S
  5. 5. S W hat with her eccentric, controversial yet iconic style - and music and match 20-year-old Aurora Storm is currently causing a sensation in the UK, where her vivid indie-edge debut single ‘Smother’ has charted in the Top 10. Her sassy, bad-girl act echoes that of childhood idols Janis Joplin and Madonna. “I look to Madonna for her philosophy about music and fashion,” she admits. “If I’m going to get compared to any music artist, I sure as fuck want it to be her.” Raised in the heart of London, Aurora attended the £17,000-a-year Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone, where she studied music and performing arts alongside Rita Ora and Tom Fletcher. ‘I didn’t hang out with all the popular girls,” she says, claiming to have kept her head down and focused on her art and theatre studies. To the humiliation of her parents – extremely successful lawyers - she ended up moving downtown at just 17 years old following a serious argument she had with her family. Aurora did everything she could to get by – working in a small café at minimal wage and occasionally partaking in nude modeling and busking on the streets of London to songs that she had written in her spare time, just so she could have a roof over her head and place food on her plate every night. “I was doing drugs, I was really out of control,” she says. “But what made me different was that I was making music, too. I wasn’t just doing drugs.” Her antics caught the eye of musical-director Caius Pawson, (Founder of The XX, Sampha) who found her aurora storm busking at Camden Lock, before bringing her to the attention of Young Turks Records. Aurora’s debut album Porcelain is released in the UK this month, and she plans to take just herself, her guitar and her music worldwide. But Aurora insists that it’s not all about the marketing and publicity. “I could end up in America selling thousands of records or I could go back to how things were before when no one really knew my name and few people purchased my music, and it wouldn’t matter to me. All that matters is the music. I don’t give a shit about how many records are sold – as long as I am making music for the people I love, then I’m happy.” There’s no denying the fact that Aurora is all that everyone is talking about right now – her seemingly overnight success is what has got her to where she is now. When asked if this is the “most insane year” of her life so far, the singer-song writer says, “Everything is so chaotic and crazy right now and it’s so much all at once, but I’m living for it. I’m just having the best time ever and everything’s falling into place like it’s supposed to. I don’t really care if people hate me. I think anyone wanting to pursue a music career would have given anything to be me at that very moment where I blew up, because I was being one hundred percent true to myself… and not many people can say that.” But it’s not all hate for Aurora. This fact is a kind of icing on the cake for some, who have greeted Aurora not just as the latest, new, indie sensation to appear freshly baked off the assembly line, but as a kind of Trojan horse come to deliver us from the saccharine smiles and full-frontal sexual provocation clogging the charts. “The charts are 49
  6. 6. EXCLUSIVE constantly filled up with pop songs with no meaning, no real passion… just a different combination of the 26 letters in our alphabet accompanied by a stupid tune. Who wants to listen to that?! That’s what I want to change.” Aurora’s sharp narrative observations – on both the single, and her critically acclaimed follow-up album, Porcelain – have led to her being labeled the voice of her generation. When we meet, Aurora can barely sit upright. “I came down with a kidney infection just as I was about to get on a plane here,” she says. “They took me into hospital and put me on a drip and now I’m on heavy-duty antibiotics.” With her gothically pale skin offset by dark, red lips, black-rimmed wide-set eyes and her bold, statement full fringe, it’s not hard to see why she attracts the attention that she does – even when she’s ill she manages to look flawless. She looks much older than she is, a perception reinforced sound that shakes you to the core. That is the power of the whistle register; the ability to control that part of the human voice is quite rare (think Mariah Carey) and even when ill, Aurora is able to hit way beyond the whistle register. In performance, Aurora has a goofy theatricality: one minute she is indulging in closed-eyed singing whilst si ply sat with her guitar, shaking her hair and flicking her hands out; the next, she’s all broad smiles and wisecracks, jokily mocking her audience. Aurora was born with the ability to be a performer and that’s quite hard to find these days. ‘‘Songwriting is so weird because you are writing down intimate things and then you go into a studio with someone you have never met,” she says. “For me, the idea of an album touched by anyone else… that would cut me in half. I wouldn’t want to make albums with song writers. I don’t like people who call themselves singer/song- “I don’t intend on selling dreams to young people.” by the deep, commanding timbre of her sonorous voice. On stage the previous night at Brixton Academy, Aurora had betrayed no sign of her illness, or that she had only 20 live performances under her belt. Aurora performed a mix of emotional ballads and when she reached the dramatic climax of the song, she vaults to the top of her range and produces a piercing 8 50 writer when they don’t write all of it themselves. I do everything myself.” When asked about sharing her thoughts and problems with the world through songwriting, Aurora claims, “It was just music that was written when I was getting wrecked just for fun. It was almost secondary to getting wrecked – the fact that people have embraced it is actually really humbling. It’s also kind of conflicting and has sent me a bit mental but anybody that knows me will know that it doesn’t take much to send me mental. When I passed it through to my team, it was a strange situation where something just clicked. My team was very good at being perceptive and figuring out what I do, which is quite a raw, impulsive thing. “ Over the past year and a half, from 2011, Aurora and her team came up with the 10 songs for her debut album, but Aurora says it never crossed her mind that one might become a worldwide hit. She insisted her first songs be put out on free streaming service SoundCloud without any videos or photographs to promote them. “I put my music out with no kind of commercial expectation, and found out I was a ‘star’. I didn’t see my music as number-one Billboard chart selling music,” she says. “I tried to market my music the way my favourite indie producers did. I care more about giving back to my fans and the people that I love than selling my music worldwide – don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolute honour to be doing what I’m doing but I don’t want to become a marketing product like most pop artists these days. I’m much deeper than that.” While other mainstream pop acts such as Katy Perry, One Direction and Britney Spears turn to the same small pool of producers
  7. 7. aurora storm in London, Stockholm and LA who deal in radio-friendly generic dance styles, more-experimental acts such as Kanye West or Lady Gaga elect complicated, flamboyant and ostentatious compositions. By contrast, Aurora’s sound is simple yet cinematic, spinning tales of real teenage realities – penniless but happy nights out full of longing and loneliness – that reject clichés of mindless fun and decadence. “I don’t intend on selling dreams to young people. We’re now brought up believing that you have to live and behave in a certain way to get the best out of life – but that’s completely wrong. Look at Disney for example; as a child I thought I was going to be a princess, just like most little girls do… but that’s not going to happen. Being a teenager and growing up in this generation isn’t what people expect. Y’know, constant partying, your first kiss, being prom queen, falling in love… it’s not what it seems. It’s all bullshit. Growing up is one of the most difficult periods of time that you can experience – yes, it can be great, but just like everything there’s a downfall and people need to be more aware of that. That’s why I write about my experiences. I’ve gone from rock bottom right to the top; I want my music to reflect on this – not everyone is perfect and I want my music to help people through the reality of life… not this perfect picture that generic music seems to constantly portray.” When asked about what motivates Aurora to create music, she states “Nothing really, it’s just an innate need - I’ve never known how to do anything else. The way my music is so based around music almost 51
  8. 8. EXCLUSIVE drives me crazy. I would rather get away from it than me inspired to create it because I can’t ever imagine doing something else.” When asked about what motivates Aurora to create music, she states “Nothing really, it’s just an innate need, I’ve never known how to do anything else. The way my music is so based around music almost drives me crazy. I would rather get away from it than me inspired to create it because I can’t ever imagine doing something else.” I write about my experiences. I’ve gone from rock bottom right to the top; I want my music to reflect on this – not everyone is perfect and I want my music to help people through the reality of life… not this perfect picture that generic music seems to constantly portray.” “I feel like there’s a genuine hole in me. The little death, almost. I need stimulation. I used to need physical stimulation constantly, whether that is from taking drugs, listening to the sound of my own voice or flirting with guys and girls. I’m not bisexual, but that’ moment when you realise someone likes you – it’s the best feeling in the world. If you could bottle it… [She drifts off for a moment. And then she asks that question] ‘Do you like me?” “The way my brain is so based around “The idea of hell for me would be if I wasn’t making music. I don’t know any other way of expressing myself; therefore I don’t really know another way of indulging myself. And a life without indulgence and nuance would be catastrophic. I genuinely don’t know what I would do. Music for me kind of commands me how to feel, whether its excitement or emotion or anything. I’m totally, totally defined by music. I would just try to get any job that was associated with music”, she says laughing. music almost drives me crazy.” “It’s all bullshit. Growing up is one of the most difficult periods of time that you can experience – yes, it can be great, but just like everything there’s a downfall and people need to be more aware of that. That’s why 52 Aurora possesses a maturity that is, for now, inoculating her from the madness growing around her. “What I am doing now, I learnt so much that I couldn’t learn at any university at any age,” she says. “Every time I get on stage I learn something new. I’m evolving all the time. My next record could sound completely different.” Aurora Storm gives her opinion on some of the most well-known Indie artists of the generation: The 1975: “The 1975 are one of my favourite bands!!! I especially love their song ‘The City’, it’s so catchy and always stuck in my brain. The impact they have made in such a short time really reflects well on the type of band they are, and I encourage everyone to buy their debut album otherwise you’ll regret it!” Ed Sheeran: “Ed is actually one of my close friends, he’s an absolutely amazing artist and we actually plan on working together in the future! But shhhhhh... you didn’t hear it from me!” London Grammar: “I’ve heard some of their stuff - they’re great, but a little bit overrated. Maybe that’s just me but I personally think that they haven’t quite produced the life-affirming set they may have bee capable of... But don’t get me wrong, I think that Hannah [lead singer] has an absolutely beautiful voice. They have the potential to be a chart-topping, tear-inducing live act – but when I saw them live at Brixton, it was not their time or place.” Catch Aurora Storm on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge on July 16th! Aurora’s album, Porcelaine, is out November 26th.
  9. 9. aurora storm 53
  10. 10. scribble gathering handwritten LYRICS Handwriting expert Vanessa Wanner’s mission from (MAG NAME) was simple: pore over a selection of original indie lyrics and spill the beans on the people who wrote them... get her take on the scrawlings of Aurora Storm, Paloma Faith, Matty from The 1975, Kasabian, Florence & The Machine, Ed Sheeran and Oasis. Aurora S T O R M “LOVE” She can’t erase him [them] from her mind, the memories and the heart break. She replays the happiest moments and the moment he ended all he had with her for another person. It’s constantly on her mind, although she’s tried her absolute hardest to forget everything. She can’t stand knowing that he said words he used to say to her to another girl. Also, porcelain is very detailed, as in China dolls and antiques; and are often connoted as breaking very easily. She pictures them having intercourse, and everything’s very detailed. He and his new lover knew of everything she had with him, and they both knew that it would break her heart (‘bleeding inside’) as in her heart hurts. These lyrics really capture the heart- Matthew Healy T H E 1 9 7 5 “HEART OUT” This quote could either be directed at Matty from the girl, or from Matty to the girl. “Rocks” is slang for a form of cocaine. “Brown” is slang for heroin. Matty or the girl is addicted to cocaine, heroin and sleeping around, this behaviour is a reflection on the persons mental health. 92