Wearhaus Featured Artist: Alpha RevSeptember 14, 2015
Wildly established, local Austin, Texas music hero Casey McPherson has been creating for seemingly ever. The super talented songwriter started Alpha Rev in 2005 after closing some other projects and has built the band into something that is more than just a music generator. The Alpha Rev message is one of hope and help, including an incredible campaign supporting Habitat for Humanity that incorporates their creative spirit.
Taking a break on the road, we hopped on the phone with McPherson to learn more about his journey. With a new EP expected by the end of the year, Alpha Rev are in growth mode and you’re going to want to know more about them.
Wearhaus: In the midst of tour, is there anything from the stage that you think will grow and change by the end?
Casey McPherson: We definitely alter the show as we watch how people respond to it and start cutting songs that we feel like are what we would call ‘sleepers’ and having songs that we feel like people are reacting to stay in the show. Everybody’s attention span is so short these days, you have to work it as you go.
Alpha Rev songs are on the serious side. Does your inspiration for writing happen spontaneously or is is something you have to sit down and decide to do?
It happens more spontaneously. But when I’m at home, I do set aside time to write. Writing is just like every other craft, you have to get up in the morning and do it whether you feel like it or not. But in terms of things pouring out, you can never plan for that; you just hope that there is a voice recorder and a guitar and keyboard next to you.
#MusicBuilds is a big part of what you are doing right now and is more charitable than your average band. What pushes you to do this project and how do you plan on keeping #MusicBuilds going?
I first learned about Habitat for Humanity when my family was buying houses off of the auction and I had to help. I worked with these people and helped them figure out how to rebuild their lives because they lost everything and Habitat for Humanity ended up doing a lot for people. I didn’t realize this but they don’t just build homes for people, they help people learn how to manage their money. They take people who are in generational poverty circumstances and help the grow into middle class and beyond. They give opportunities.
It’s kind of what our American dream is supposed to be all about and so I really loved that and wanted to help because they have a hard time marketing that. #MusicBuilds is around what they are battling and giving them tools they can use to bring in more notice. That’s where that came from and now we are running this campaign to raise money to make this documentary and music video and PSA. We just finished recording a song and released that and there is a lot still yet to do but it has been fun to look at art from a different perspective instead of just being something we do; we get to attach it to this really cool mission.
You have a young daughter. What is her perception of music and what do you want music to grow into for her?
Seeing as she is almost two, she really sees music as a freedom; a form of expression to dance or sing to without it having to be anything other than something she feels. I think that’s really cool because we begin to mask that as we get older, package it and turn it into a product. But it’s cool to see how she responds to cool little songs and it’s from sheer enjoyment and freedom to feel. I hope she can hold on to that. I, as a musical dad, will definitely do my best to give her the biggest platform to express herself.
Coming out of the Austin music scene, what do you think that instilled in you that would not have happened somewhere else?
The great thing about Austin is, as a musician with a good enough work ethic, you can support yourself pretty easily in Texas. I’m able to play music, license music, record music and do those things in Austin with the cost of living being a little lower than New York or Los Angeles. It allows you to keep your expenses down and be creative. If I’m getting any business done, it’s going to be in another city in terms of meetings and record releases but in terms of being creative and playing shows and getting studio time, Austin is a great great place to be.
Categorized in: Artist Interviews