Alt-J unveiled details of brand new material after a show at The Fonda in Los Angeles last night (December 12) – including one song about the classic sci-fi horror Alien.
Speaking to NME, keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton said that the band are currently writing new material, but that they won’t be heading into the studio to start work on the follow-up to their successful debut ‘An Awesome Wave’ until at least September of next year, after finishing up their 2013 touring and festival commitments.
He explained that he and frontman Joe Newman will be spending January focusing on new songs: “Joe is always writing and Joe and I will get together and do vocal sessions where we work on harmonies and things. I’m going down to Southampton in January to stay with Joe’s parents and Joe’s dad’s gonna put us in a room and make us write songs! Pretty much like a writers’ retreat, far from the madding crowd. It’s gonna be good.”
Unger-Hamilton added that of the new songs they’re currently working on “nothing’s 100 per cent fully formed” but that five songs have been named and are “sounding exciting”. He went on to say that one song, which the band used to play in their live sets in Leeds but shelved, has been given a fresh lease of life and had new parts added to it.
One of the new songs is called ‘The Gospel of John Hurt’ and is “classic Alt-J” and, according to Unger-Hamilton, references the film ‘Alien’.
Alt-J last night played their biggest headline show to date at The Fonda in Los Angeles to a packed out, enthusiastic crowd. The Mercury Prize-winning quartet were joined by a local gospel choir on ‘Ripe And Ruin’ and a violin and cello player on ‘Taro’.
“It was nerve-wracking,” said Unger-Hamilton after the sold-out show. “I don’t think we’ve headlined a venue that big, ever. And it’s in America – that’s crazy.”
The band played San Francisco the previous day, adding a matinee performance as the first gig sold out so quickly. They are currently on a short tour of the West Coast of the United States. You can see fan footage of their San Francisco show by scrolling down.
‘Ripe And Ruin’