Interview: Casey McPherson / Alpha Rev


There is no doubt that since the emergence of the internet and operating on clear and defined rules the music world has totally blown up. A drop in album sales is one thing, but one can often come across complaints that with the internet the music world has become flooded with untalented rock-star wannabes desperately trying to “make it”. I can’t deny the fact that, but just like life, to a large extent your point of view to depends on the point of focus. Yes, currently there is a big flood of mud in the music stream, but while exploring the net, I am more often overwhelmed with delight at the amount of diamonds, that can be found out there. There are plenty of talented bands and artists scattered around the world many or which you can meet through the magical properties of communication protocols. Below I give you one such jewel,. Casey McPherson, founder, singer and multi-instrumentalist of the Texas-based band Alpha Rev says about his formation that he would like it to be as “the light at the end of the tunnel, the first step toward revealing something that needs to be seen”. I did take the step. The light blinked in the distance.

(Casey Mcpherson and his band in his hands)

“Bloom” is one of the best albums I have heard in 2013. It’s pretty diverse, but overall very catchy, impressively composed and produced. How do you look at it from perspective of time?

Thank you! I enjoyed making it, of course I doubt that any writer is ever satisfied with their work, but looking back I think it was a good interpretation of where I was at the time.

To me the song that stands out the most on the album is „I will come”. It transmits this dark yet sensual vibe, which is intense to the degree it gets dangerous, but it’s a quite magnetic danger. I usually never ask about it because I think that how I feel a song is how it’s meant to be for me as a listener, but I’d like to make an exception for this one. What was the concept behind „I will come”?

“I will come” is about our relationship with the spiritual dark and light. It actually can be very sensual, both sides in their own way. The hope here was that the light would lead, would come, we would come into the light. Because of love, choice and freedom, not because we became slaves to ourselves or felt forced to.

When I listen to songs like „Lexington” I see it being sung at stadiums. It’s so spacious, so light, so melodic, in a good way I’d say “Coldplay-like” potential.  To be honest when I first heard your band I thought what people often write in comments on Facebook or YouTube, so things like „why is this band so unknown?!”, „they should be much bigger than they are!”. I realize, that maybe firstly we would need to define what „being big” actually means to a band and I also know, that with band’s presence out there is the whole business side of it involved, labels, budgets, promotions, but one could also ask if that is actually important to a given band. That is why in this paragraph I’d like to ask you about very basic thing: why do you actually create and share your music?

Thank you for saying that. I make music because I strongly feel it is what I was made to do! Feast or famine as they say. Although I’ve struggled with wanting to be more well known, or wanting fame as a sign of success. Ultimately none of that matters. I truly love it.

I always take music with me wherever I go and one day when I was returning home late at night while being in a slightly reflective mood, „When you gonna run” hit my player and its sounds generated this one thought, which in words can be put something like this: „One of the biggest illusions people believe in is the conviction that one has time”.

Do you feel sometimes, that you/we do not have time?

How true. I feel like this life is but a few seconds and I struggle with always hoping, wishing, waiting for the future instead of being, living in the moment. How different we’d live our lives if we were really present.

I have a cousin who is a nun. She often is around poor people, difficult families or orphans. We met during Christmas and talked for a long time about life and the condition of the human spirit and at one point she told me an interesting thing. Basing on her experiences, no matter who it is, be it alcohol abusing family living in a bad conditions, illiterate, violent kids living on the streets  or a forgotten orphanage, be it in Mexico, Paris or somewhere in Kyrgyzstan, no matter the situation and surroundings, everywhere, everyone had one and the same desire: to have a connection with another human being. To say hello, exchange a thought, to be smiled at. After tragic events (*) in your life you are also involved in helping others. How do you reflect on what people struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts bear inside?

Your cousin sounds like an amazing person! I believe she has spoken the truth. It is very true with those of us that struggle with depression, mental illness and even suicide. It is incredibly tormenting to struggle with mental illness and it’s amazing what affect others can have on that struggle, when they can truly listen and love the other person. I’ve also found that mental illness can be physical, spiritual, emotional, and chemical. It can be one, some, or all of them. Ultimately, I find my own healing in helping where I can in this area.

(*) When Casey was 19 his father committed suicide, 4 years later his brother committed suicide. Today Casey helps others who’ve lost family to depression and suicide as a volunteer spokesperson for the National Institute of Mental Health organization, Mental Health America of Texas

Questions: Chris Bienkiewicz

Alpha Rev – Sing Loud

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