Think Canadian reggae and Brantford, Ontario might not be the first place that comes to mind. But The Alpines are changing that. A love of reggae and west coast influences brought Andy, Donato, Keith, Mike and Scott together. The band soon found they aren’t the only ones who love reggae’s smooth, happy vibe.
“We’re different, a welcomed change from the rock and roll that people normally hear at the bar,” says Andy, the band’s lead singer. “We have a really good group of core fans and because of that our concerts are always a welcoming environment for new people. We see new faces at each show, which is awesome.”
Venues like Brantford’s local brewery Mash Paddles and Pub Fiction in Ancaster were early supporters of The Alpines, but these local venues are not the only places that you’ll catch a show. “Last night we opened up for the New York ska band the Slackers at Rum Runners in London,” Andy says. “It was a lot of fun, they gave us the creative freedom to build our set and we did eight originals.”
The Alpines prefer playing original music to covers, and their creative process is collaborative. The band combines the talents of each member, building off each other’s ideas to create original rhythms and lyrics – with Andy (The Moose) on vocals, guitar and bass, Donato (The Bear) on drums, Keith (The Hawk), on bass, guitar and vocals, and Mike (The Rabbit) on Saxophone. Their manager Scott, (The Turtle) completes the quintet.
So, what’s with the nicknames?
“We’re big outdoorsmen,” Andy says. “We love nature, and the nicknames reflect that.” A love of nature is at the heart of the band’s name too. “One of our first jam sessions was at Donnie’s in the country and we had pine trees all around us. It’s how our music is,” Andy explains. “There’s a good feeling to it. People say that if reggae is played with true soul then it’s supposed to clear the clouds and make the sun shine, and our music has that vibe.”
The Alpine’s lyrics which focus on living life to the fullest and enjoying the moment is how they live their lives. “We don’t do this for money, we’re doing it because we love it and have fun doing it,” Andy says.
So, what does the future hold for The Alpines? The band is set to play at the Hideout in Toronto later this month(April). They’re also working on a full-length album for release this fall, which will coincide nicely with their other major project: bringing Canada’s amazing reggae and ska bands together for the ultimate tour. “The more reggae bands that we meet, the more we want to keep the party going, that’s really our focus right now.” Andy says.
Check out The Alpine’s happy, laid-back vibe on Instagram or their website to hear songs like Cold World and Whistle Bird. @theaplines | thealpines.ca