Alt-J: ”New Radiohead’ comparisons are premature’

Mercury-hyped band admit there is a 'lot of pressure on us'

Mercury Music Prize hopefuls Alt-J have dismissed descriptions of them as the “new Radiohead” as “premature”.

The band’s debut album ‘An Awesome Wave’ was initially the bookies’ favourite for the gong and, even though its odds have now slipped to 5-1, their reputation has still skyrocketed since picking up a nomination for the award.

Earlier this month a spokesperson for Ladbrokes compared them to Radiohead but, in an interview with the Independent, singer Joe Newman said the label was “premature” and that the hype surrounding them had put “quite a lot of pressure on us”.

He went on to say: “Radiohead have had an amazing career and we’ve only just done our first album. We don’t ever want to find ourselves writing an album that we don’t feel comfortable with.”

He added:

It’d be horrible to hear anyone say, ‘Alt-J: First album was great, second album was really good, third album – they just blew it.

Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton, meanwhile, dismissed detractors who have criticized the band for being pretentious, stating: Some of the greatest people in music have been pretentious, and isn’t that what being in a band is all about. Plus we’re writing songs about what we think – that’s pretty pretentious.”

Alt-J recently announced a brand new UK tour for May 2013. The four piece will follow their autumn tour and January dates at London’s O2 Shepherds Bush Empire with a 10 date tour.

The May tour kicks off at the O2 Academy in Birmingham on May 5, visiting Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and more, before finishing up at the O2 Academy in Brixton in London on May 16, which will be their biggest ever headline show.

Alt-J release their new single ‘Something Good’ on October 1, which is taken from ‘An Awesome Wave’.

To check the availability of Alt-J tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0871 230 1094.