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Interview: Alt-J

To put it mildly, 2012 was a big year for Alt-J. The quartet from Cambridge came out of nowhere with a debut record called An Awesome Wave that was initially slow to catch on, but indeed rode that wave to the attention of mainstream press on both sides of the Atlantic and eventually to the UK’s Mercury Music Prize. We caught up with the band’s Gwil Sainsbury and Gus Unger-Hamilton during SXSW last month at a busy hotel in downtown Austin, and talked to them about their early development in Leeds, the pressure they’re already feeling for a follow-up release, and their flu-ridden Portland show this past December.

Speaking of Alt-J’s December appearance in town, we met up with them during their soundcheck at the Star Theater and, despite battling sound issues and illness, they turned in this exquisite trio of songs from An Awesome Wave.


Alt-J returns to Portland tonight, playing a sold out Roseland Theater. The good news if you missed out this time around is that they’ll be back September 3rd, playing the Crystal Ballroom.

interview video

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