Interview: Alpha Rev’s Casey McPherson on Music Pirating, Success, and His Dream Venue

Although Alpha Rev is arguably one of the most successful bands to come out of our quirky state capitol, the band still manages to fly below the mainstream. And while the band has had chart-topping songs, and some producers and recording companies would like to turn the group into formulaic hit-makers, with each successive release, the band remains true to their particular musical vision. The band will perform at the Granada on July 12. FrontRow caught up with Alpha Rev’s lead singer, Casey McPherson, on his day off from their current tour.

FrontRow:  You have had some pretty big hits with New Morning and now your single “Sing Loud.” Do you like your current cult status or would you like to become more of a Justin Bieber-level pop artist?

Casey McPherson: Well, I certainly wouldn’t mind having more success; I could get buy one of those Tempur-Pedic mattresses, I’ve heard those are really something … but, I’m really happy where I’m at, and I really dig our fans. I do enjoy the fact that I can go into Target and not get mauled by every mom’s teenage daughter … or every mom for that matter.

FR:  Both Alpha Rev and your previous band Endochine were Greek names. What’s your fascination with Greek?

CM:  They’re not Greek names, but just derived from some of those words. I love the fact that you can take Greek and Latin, create a word that’s never existed by using prefixes, suffixes, and root words improperly. And you get your website, Facebook, and Twitter account names with no problems. I mean, think how hard it’s going to be for “John Smith” who’s born in 20 years to get a Facebook page?! And Justin Beiber’s name would be “Ligo Agori,” doesn’t that just sound more interesting (it means “little man-boy”).

FR:   What’s your dream venue to play at?

CM:  My bedroom … cause then I wouldn’t have to go anywhere when I woke up. I wouldn’t have to load any gear, and I would never feel out of place, insecure, or overwhelmed. It’s an introvert’s dream venue!

FR:  You’ve said previously that the track, “Lexington,”  is a  sort of  a, “f*** you to the music industry.” Why is it essentially a musical middle-finger to the recording industry?

CM:  Well, the track itself is not, just where it is on the record. You may not know this, but you’re suppose to put your most radio ready songs in the front of your record so that the industry buys into it quicker. “Lexington” is over 5 minutes long, and it’s in 5/4 time so getting your average Joe to groove or clap to it is next to impossible, much less pay attention to it for a whopping five minutes. I mean, you may as well kiss your whole career goodbye if you want to start writing songs that long! Anyways, it just so happens to be my favorite song on the record, and I wanted everyone to hear it first, and that’s the real reason it’s there.

FR:   Pirating takes millions out of the music industries pockets each year. As an indie artist does it hurt you more than a multi-platinum pop artist? What would you say to someone that is pirating your music?

CM:  No, the main people that it harms at the moment are record labels. Now, if it got out of hand and no one bought music then you and I would both be out of a job. What would I say to someone that pirated Alpha Rev music? I’d say, “Hey dude! You better email all those stolen mp3s to everyone one of your friends and make us some new freakin’ fans!”