GameStarz: The Alps

Playing at being Real Guitar Heroes

Posted by Staff
This week on GameStarz we managed to collar indie popsters ?The Alps?, who have been getting an increasing amount of airplay over the last year and gaining a not-to-be-sniffed at fanbase both at their over-subscribed gigs and online. You can check out the band's Myspace page to hear more on the band.

The Alps ? pictured right - are Daniel (Lead Vocals / Guitar); Sam (Keyboards / Guitar / Vocals); Dave (Bass) and Hezi (Drums). On their website they draw similarities between themselves and ?less fussy? post-punkers such as The Jam, The Police and Elvis Costello.

The Greenwich quartet like to think that they don't muck about when it comes to knocking together the kind of thorny three-minute gems that the above-mentioned masters of the form perfected. Well SPOnG can take or leave Sting?s rusty old bucket of a band, but if The Alps are a tenth of what The Jam or Costello were at the height of their new wave powers, SPOnG is all ears.

They describe their tunes as 'high tempo foot stomping numbers'. What is perhaps more important, in order to wow the largely female art editors of the Indie music press, the band are quite a handsome bunch, sporting the same square-jawed matinee idol looks that forever haunt the faded celluloid of Hollywood's golden era.

With all this in mind, SPOnG was very pleased to hear that they are all avid gamers. Two of the band have actually put time in at Capcom ? one of them (Sam) still holding down his day job working in the PR dept for the Japanese publishing giant, whilst singer Dan used to work in the testing department. So SPOnG can safely assume that they know their games.


SPOnG: What are your favourite games of the last year or two?

Dan Alp: We got a wicked present sent over from one of our pals in the US at Christmas and we've been playing it ever since - Guitar Hero is the best game ever. Guitar-offs have been almost nightly in Alps HQ, we can't put it down! Other than that it's the usual Pro Evolution Soccer and a bit of Resi4. Shadow of the Colossus is a game I really want to play. Looks awesome.


SPOnG: What are your top three favourite games of all time?

Dan Alp: I think Guitar Hero has to go in there right at the top, but if I were to be nostalgic, I guess the first Tomb Raider game on PS1 and possibly MGS1. I also played a lot of Megalomania on my mates old Amiga when I was at Uni. A class game.


SPOnG: What's your earliest memory of playing video games?

Dan Alp: I think I was 9 when my Dad bought a BBC Micro with a few oldies on tape like Frogger and possibly Jet Pack. I've been playing games ever since! I remember when we upgraded from the Tape Deck to a huge floppy disk drive. Technology is truly a wondrous thing!


SPOnG: Xbox, PlayStation, PC or Gamecube?

Dan Alp: We used to have all three consoles in the house but only the PS2 gets used these days. I've played on a mates new Xbox360 which looks ace but my favourite game he showed me was Geometry Wars.


SPOnG: Unless you are one of the lucky few who already has an Xbox 360, will you buy a next-generation console in 2006?

Dan Alp: I'm interested to see how things develop. I'm a PlayStation man at heart but we've got an age to wait for PS3. If something truly amazing does come out on 360 I'll get one of them. But my money's on PS3. Can't wait.


SPOnG: When you are buying a new game, how do you make the decision what to buy?

Dan Alp: It's usually on recommendations from mates.


SPOnG: Do you play games alone, online with others or multiplayer with your partner, family and/or mates?

Dan Alp: Against the guys mostly. Its all about the PES when we're not being Guitar Heroes!


SPOnG: If you were given carte blanche to design the game of your dreams what would it be?

Dan Alp: I'd make remake Rampage, the game when you got to climb up buildings as King Kong or some other monster smash the windows and eat people from inside. Spectacular!


SPOnG: We hear that you once upon a time worked at Capcom! What did you do there? Was it fun work or mindless drudgery?

Dan Alp: Capcom was interesting. I only worked there one day a week answering emails from kids. It was alright but pretty boring really. I also worked a bit on Chaos Legion doing English translation stuff for a month or two. That was hideous. They asked me to work full time so I left.


SPOnG: What movies would you like to see video game versions of?

Dan Alp: I'd like to see a decent Bond game. I miss Goldeneye. Surely someone can come up with a decent sequel? The recent attempt at the Connery game was a shocker! Very disappointing.


Well there we go again for this week, oh fans of famous gamers. After The Alps storming set at Tiscali's VIP tent at the Reading festival last year, the band went back to both XFM and Karmadownload for exclusive live session recordings. A second live XFM Session is scheduled for next month on February 22nd, so be sure to tune it. Remember to check out their website.

To get the full-on Alp's experience you can also catch the band live at White Heat at Madame JoJo's. 8-10 Brewer Street, London, on Tuesday 21st February. SPOnG will be at the bar and will have a Guinness and black please.
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