My Music DNA: Paul Thompson of Alvarez Kings

Power pop bastions Alvarez Kings are to play Motion, Bristol on October 26th as part of their autumn UK tour.. Four lads from South Yorkshire, UK who gleefully share their moniker with an infamous old school South American gang, Alvarez Kings summon pop power through timeless analog synth and guitar magic.

Andy Howells recently discovered the music DNA that makes up Alvarez Kings bassist Paul Thompson.

The first song that made an impact on you

Last Night by The Strokes. I first heard the song when at college and my friend had the album. They looked cool and sounded refreshing compared to the scene before them which was filled up with bands like Travis and The Stereophonics. As a band we tend to credit Last Night as the song that made us want to pick up guitars and be in a band. 

The first single /download you bought

A pretty obvious first single but it was Wonderwall by Oasis. I bought into all the hype. I’m from the North so it was all about Oasis and I remember hating Blur. Then my music tastes became a bit more refined and I haven’t listed to Oasis for years. Looking back, it was obvious Blur were superior songwriters. 

The first album you owned

The first album I personally bought and owned was OK Computer by Radiohead. I remember I just used to lay on my bed listening to that album on repeat fully absorbing the music and it was also the album that made me realize its okay to push the boundaries when writing music.

Your constant go-to track

A Day In The Life by The Beatles. It is just a timeless piece of music that has stood the test of time. I love how essentially it is just two great songs one written by Lennon, the other by McCartney and to bridge the two together they added in that awesome orchestral cacophony.

Your constant go-to album

Turn On The Bright Lights by Interpol. I listened to a tonne of bands in that early noughties era but many of the albums from then have not aged well. That Interpol album is one of the rare ones I can listen to again and again over the years and never get bored of it. As a bass player in my band I absolutely love the bass lines that Carlos wrote through the album.

Your latest music discovery 

Run The Jewels 3 by Run The Jewels. I first heard about these when one of our A&R at the record label posted a link to one of their videos from YouTube. They are a brilliant rap/hip hop duo from the States and I love the production and Killer Mike’s flow with words – very slick. I’ve been going through a hip hop stage lately mainly from the eighties and early-nighties but Run The Jewels are the first hip hop artists in years I’ve really gravitated to.

Your own track that best defines you as an artist

Probably Somewhere Between which happens to be the title of our debut album that we’ve just released this year and the track that closes the album. I love the production, the way it starts off with a simple synth arpeggio and builds up to this huge crescendo. I also like how the chords are different throughout the entire song, always changing. It is great seeing the reactions on people’s faces as well when we play it live and the guitars and drums kick in.,” 

  • Alvarez Kings debut album, Somewhere Between is available now from Sire/Warner Bros. Records