During one of Benumu’s Sunday Sessions we interviewed four-piece band Alibi in one of Camden Assembly’s green rooms. After fighting off guitars, amps and cables we heard from the Hastings quartet who have experienced growing success in this year. Alibi have appeared at the TN32 Festival, the City Sound Project, and the Woodlands Festival UK in the past months, as well as gaining airtime on ‘BBC: Introducing the South’. Alibi achieve great inclusivity in their tracks due to their contemporary, indie resonance which is married to more traditional rock arrangements. The band constitutes of Maxi Williams, lead vocalist and rhythm guitar; Matt Edwards, lead guitar and vocals; Benji Meacham, bass guitar and vocals; and Wesley Brown on the drums. The combination of these four results in high-powered, catchy tracks that are performed masterly and with vigour.
How did your band name come about?
(Maxi) There’s not really much to it to be honest. It just sounded really nice, rolled off the tongue and that was it. (Bennie) Me and Max were just on the train listing a few different names and Alibi was the better one…
And there’s no ‘The’, it’s just ‘Alibi’?
(Maxi) One of the things we did write down was ‘The Alibi’, but then we just thought ‘nah, we’ll cut out ‘The”.
If you had to liken each other to animals what would they be?
(Ben) -pointing at Wesley’s dreadlocks – squid. Can we liken ourselves to crisps? Matt is a little Sunbite, Wesley’s Pombear, Max is Quaver and I’m Monster Munch. (Max) We just totally diverted the question there but anyway…
What is the one song that has taken you guys the longest to compose?
(Max) They’ve all been pretty quick to be honest. (Bennie) Yeah, we don’t like to put a lot of heart into it – laughs (Max) Maybe ‘Place Your Bets’ which is our current single, I think that may be the longest one we’ve composed.
So that came out in June, how has the response been?
(Max) I think pretty well, I think we went in a different direction to our previous single and we went a bit darker I suppose, but we felt that was the right thing to do at that time and I think people have responded to it fairly well I’d say. (Wesley) It’s made it onto some playlists and stuff, so yeah, we’re happy.
Do you have a main lyricist?
– everyone points at Max –
What are your future plans?
(Max) We would love to eventually support a bigger band on tour, well that’s one of my aims anyway. Maybe get some festivals next year, record another single that we think is worthy to get onto BBC Introducing. (Wesley) Maybe eventually get it as a day job.
What era of music do you wish you could have experienced firsthand?
(Ben) Late 50s, early 60s. (Matt) Same, to be honest. (Wesley) ’66 probably. (Max) Yeah I’d say teenage for 50s, young adult for 60s. That’s the era I’d have liked to be alive for. (Bennie) And then skip forward to the 80s – laughs (Max) It’s difficult because every era is really great.
Well, how do you feel about the decade you’ve landed in?
(Max) Er – awful. – general nods of agreement – To be quite honest, absolutely awful. There are so many bands that we really like that just aren’t getting the attention we feel they deserve, like Indoor Pets – bands we really look up to. (Wesley) Guitar music’s not so good at the moment. (Max) i feel like something might be bubbling under the surface but I’m not sure.
If you could see a band or artist who is either dead or retired who would it be?
(Max) I know straight away – Nirvana. Just to see that band play would be the dream. (Wesley) Probably Queen. (Matt) Yeah, Queen. (Wesley) Don’t say Queen, Ben
So you’ve developed in a time in which the internet has made it so much easier for artists to do things independently, so you don’t necessarily need label backing or management companies’ support due to having streaming and everything. How do you feel about it?
(Max) I think that is true, but I also feel that has made it harder in the sense that there are millions of bands doing the exact same thing, and Facebook being one of the main avenues for advertising has resulted in there being so much of it. At the same time that it’s very easy to just write a track and upload it the same day, it’s very difficult to get it properly heard.
Do you feel as though you get the instant gratification of uploading it but not the same sense of a track’s longevity?
(Wesley) You kind of have to be good at everything now, whereas back in the day record labels would do it for you, but now you have to social media well. (Ben) Yeah, we actually have to do the work ourselves instead of someone doing it for us – which would be a lot nicer.