Led Zeppelin did it in the ’70s, Def Leppard did it in the ’80s and now, Alvarez Kings are at it – conquering the USA before their home country.
The Rotherham-Sheffield indie rockers have been touring the USA this year and now – after already playing throughout the east coast of the States and Canada earlier this year – the band are about to embark on an epic 40-day tour.
Guitarist Paul Thompson said: “It’s amazing that we have got this tour lined up. We’ll be playing to crowds of 15,000 every night, so the exposure that we’ll get off the back of this should be brilliant.”
The tour is known as the Vans Warped Tour, which is aimed at putting tomorrow’s biggest bands in front of as many people as possible. It also coincides with the band’s latest single release Postcard from Berlin.
“It’s the biggest touring music festival in the world and the highest grossing in the US,” said Thompson.
Alvarez Kings were approached about playing Warped by festival owner Kevin Lynam, when the band played the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
And it wasn’t just Kevin’s Lynam’s head the Rotherham-bred indie band turned.
The New York Daily News hailed the Kings above all other acts at the festival. The review read: “The most outgoing, and promising, of the acts turned out to be Alvarez Kings... which had the kind of melody that could buck the trend and let a decidedly UK-sound make it in the US.”
Thompson said: “We’ve gone down really well over here. This happens to a lot of UK bands. Another example is the Flaming Skulls, they didn’t do much in the UK but were really popular in America and now they are just starting to turn heads in the UK.”
Thompson puts this down to the UK’s rigidity about genres of rock and pop.
He said: “In America you see some real rockers at our gigs and you think ‘will they be into it?’ but they really are. It doesn’t really matter what genre a band is over there.
“It’s just whether people like it or not whereas at home it’s unlikely that indie fans will go and watch a heavy rock band. It’s a shame we are less fluid about genres than the Americans. The attitude we have in the UK can hurt bands, it means they have less exposure. We are missing a trick.”
Thompson and his band mates are – of course – looking forward to their US tour.
“We will be seeing every part of America over 40 days and with 26 live dates.”
And the band has had lots of offers from their South Yorkshire friends to come and help on the tour.
“We’ve had friends offer to be our clothes washers, security people, all sorts, but we are sharing a tour bus with a band from LA. There are 15 of us on the bus and only 15 beds.”
And with 15 young men on one coach, it’s unlikely that the tour will be remembered for its fresh-linen fragrance.
“It is going to be smelly but we are sticking to the famous rule: no ‘number twos’ on the tour bus.
But foul stenches aside, Alvarez Kings are on the cusp of mastering the biggest rock and roll market in the world, the USA.