By Nicholas Jason Lopez
South Yorkshire, UK-based alternative pop quartet Alvarez Kings have released a new single “Words I Couldn’t Say,” which is now streaming everywhere.
Described as “emotionally charged and hook-filled,” the song revolves around self-blame, self-destruction from drug and alcohol abuse and the desolation of a failed relationship.
Formed in 2012 and aptly named after an infamous old school South American gang, Alvarez Kings are vocalist/guitarist Simon Thompson, bassist/keyboardist/backup vocalist Paul Thompson, guitarist/keyboardist/producer Aidan Thompson and drummer Richard Walker.
Over time, they’ve played Firefly, Summerfest, Isle Of Wight, 02 Wireless Festival and the 2013/2015 Vans Warped Tour. Beyond that, they’ve toured to support the likes of Melanie Martinez, PVRIS and Echosmith and have previously been featured on U.S. Spotify playlists, such as The Indie Mix and Ultimate Indie Playlist, where they’ve amassed over six million streams to date.
The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Simon Thompson about “Words I Couldn’t Say” and more.
Music Bugle – How would you describe the UK to someone who has never been there before?
Simon Thompson – The UK is steeped in history. We have castles and all kinds of crazy old buildings. The countryside and the coast is my favorite place. I’m not much of a city person. I don’t like crowded places.
Music Bugle – What was your mindset when you wrote your latest single “Words I Couldn’t Say”?
Simon Thompson – After some pretty extensive touring, we all needed time to reset and recharge the batteries. We were dealing with some alcohol and drug issues within the camp, which impacted heavily on relationships inside and outside the band. “Words I Couldn’t Say” is a story of an uncontrollable collision course of self destruction.
Music Bugle – Alternative-Pop – what excites you the most about it?
Simon Thompson – “Pop” is such a taboo word in music, which comprises of your standard guitar and drum lineup. We don’t shy away from the fact that we like pop and we enjoy writing it. We just threw the “alternative” on the front of it so that we didn’t get tagged alongside the likes of The Spice Girls or Justin Bieber.
Music Bugle – Besides “Words I Couldn’t Say,” what would you say is another song of yours that is carried out on pure emotion?
Simon Thompson – “The Other Side Of Sadness” from our album ‘Somewhere Between.’ I wrote that about my friend taking his own life. It hits me hard every time we play that song. We wanted to make the music upbeat so that it wasn’t completely depressing.
Music Bugle – In what ways would you say the group has matured over time?
Simon Thompson – We’ve definitely aged in the body and mind. It’s hard to take care of yourself on the road. I would say that we have become comfortable in our sound and writing. We’re not afraid to try different things and think outside of the box a little. “Words I Couldn’t Say” is definitely different to anything we have wrote and recorded before, so it will definitely decide opinion somewhat.
Music Bugle – What has been your favorite moment while out on tour or something you’ll never forget?
Simon Thompson – I remember being on the Melanie Martinez tour and on the first night, we walked onstage to overwhelming screams from the crowd. It was like The Beatles had landed in America all over again. That was crazy. It happened every night too, which was even more crazy.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Simon Thompson – I’ve never spent so much time at home, but it’s been really nice to spend some quality family time. Not seeing immediate family has been very challenging.
Music Bugle – If you had the chance to chat one-on-one with one of your musical influences, who would you choose?
Simon Thompson – I would probably choose Kurt Cobain. He’s the reason I picked up a guitar and why I wanted to be in a band. I imagine he would have quite a lot to say.
Music Bugle – Where do you hope to be within the next year, as far as the band’s goals?
Simon Thompson – Far, far away on a deserted island. I would at least like to have released our second album and anything else would be a bonus.
Music Bugle – What’s something people should know about you as a person, away from music?
Simon Thompson – I’m very shy and nervous, which quite often comes off as being rude.