The Emerging Artists Series takes place every day of Summerfest on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage with 88Nine Radio Milwaukee. This series highlights up-and-coming local, national and international talent during daily performances that not only showcase great live music, but also engages the audience by having fans vote each day their favorite performance.
We’ve reached out to several of this year’s winners and asked them a few questions about themselves and what it’s like to perform at Summerfest.
This week we hear from the Alvarez Kings, four lads from South Yorkshire, UK. They performed this year at Summerfest on June 29 at the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage. Thank you guys for taking the time to answer some questions about your experience.
Q1) You had a lot of ‘firsts’ this summer. First Chick-fil-a experience, first time at Summerfest and visiting Milwaukee. What are your first thoughts about Summerfest and Milwaukee?
Alvarez Kings: We love Milwaukee! The crowds have always been one of the loudest every time we have played that city. Our first Sumerfest experience didn't dissapoint either. It was a great atmosphere so much so we made time to walk around the festival soaking up some of the sounds of different stages.
Q2) Did you have any time to check out any of the bands at Summerfest while you were here?
Alvarez Kings: We were actually really excited when we saw the lineup for our stage and saw that Hippo Campus was headlining it. We've been listening to those guys for a while and loved their set that day. We have a friend who works with Steve Aoki also so we got side stage for his set and met him backstage afterwards. Cool dude!
Q3) You were able to get at least one group picture outside the Summerfest gates near the Milwaukee river. Did you get a chance to explore more of Milwaukee? Go anywhere for a pint or maybe a snap a selfie with the bronze Fonz?
Alvarez Kings: We didn't get to see much of Milwaukee this time because of the travel from another festival the day before and the time of our show but I do remember last time when on tour with Melanie Martinez we went to a bar called The Wicked Hop and had the best Bloody Mary's we've ever tasted.
Q4) You were on the road a lot while in the U.S.A for your Somewhere Between Tour. What was the one item you always bought at a truck stop, petrol station, etc. when on the road?
Alvarez Kings: A lot of coffee was bought at truck stops just to keep us awake when driving. The traveling over here still blows our mind compared to the short drives back home. Especially if we were up partying the night before. We needed that caffeine the next day!
Q5) Is there a stage you would like to perform at the next time you come back to Summerfest?
Alvarez Kings: We always like to dream big in this band so next time we'd like to come back playing the Amphitheater or even the Pavilion.
Q6) Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your fans who voted for you at this year’s Emerging Artists Series at Summerfest?
Alvarez Kings: Just want to say a huge thank you to all our fans who voted for us and help us win! Means a lot knowing we have dedicated fans out there who always have our back.
Four lads from South Yorkshire, UK who gleefully share their moniker with an infamous old school South American gang, Alvarez Kings summon pop power through timeless analog synth and guitar magic.
The quartet—brothers Simon [vocals, guitar] and Paul Thompson [bass, keys, backup vocals], Sean Parkin [guitar], and Richard Walker [drums, samples, pads]—has quietly built up an international buzz since their 2012 formation in a place that, as they like to say, “resembles The Shire in The Lord of The Rings.” BBC Radio proclaimed the group’s song “No Resolve” the “Single of the Year,” while they impressed audiences at Isle of Wight and O2 Wireless Festival in addition to show-stopping stints on the Vans Warped Tour in 2013 and 2015 and support slots on tours with Melanie Martinez, PVRIS, and Echosmith. Their 2015 EP, Fear To Feel, expanded their foothold in the U.S. Spotify featured the title track on coveted playlists such as The Indie Mix and Ultimate Indie Playlist, notching 40K streams in less than 12 hours and eventually amassing over 700K and counting. Meanwhile, they drew acclaim from Billboard, Huffington Post, and more.
However, everything paved the way for their 2017 full-length debut, Somewhere Between [Sire/Warner Bros. Records]. To learn more visit the links below.