EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH ALAMO ALEX
BY: JOEY SCAMS
On my own personal journeys in life, I was able to meet some interesting and very talented musicians. It was in Bridgewater, New Jersey where I met Alex Natale (aka Alamo Alex) through a mutual friend. He is a solo artist, playing one of my favorite genres; Folk Punk. Alex, a Somerville, NJ native, currently lives in New Brunswick, NJ.
Born September 4th, 1995 – Alex graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan HighSchool and currently is attending his 4th year at Rutgers University studying Visual Arts.
I was unable to meet up with Alex in person so we scheduled an over-the-phone interview on September 28th, 2016. He was cleaning up after working on a current painting of his, when I called.
PoGo City Radio : Hey Alex, it’s Joey Scams, from Pogo City Radio. How are you?
Alamo Alex : Joe, I’m great. I was expecting your call but one moment while I wash up quick. I’m just cleaning up a painting right now.
P.C.R. : Ok, thanks again for taking time to speak with us. It’s much appreciated. So let’s start with the name. Where did the origin of Alamo Alex begin?
Alamo Alex : Well, I tried on a few names before I landed on Alamo. Then after my roommates and I started putting on private venues at our house we ended up naming it. The house became known as The Alamo, and to trace my beginning back to this house I started going by Alamo Alex, and it just stuck.
P.C.R. : So before the Alamo began, when did you start playing? And how did you fall into punk?
Alamo Alex : Well, I started playing guitar in the 6th grade. I was kind of an asshole, not taking things seriously and not really pursuing anything with much effort. I listened to a lot of different types of music, until my Dad came home one day from work. He was a union worker, and his one buddy from the union happened to be a part of Hiednik Stew, and started sending my Dad home with music for me. I know I am going to sound lame for this, but it all started with Greendays “American Idiot” album.
I thought to myself, “this is fricking awesome.” I didn’t realize at the time there was more. Then Dropkick Murphys fell into my lap, and I found my love of OI. My first show was just this past March, at Flemington DIY with Patty Delagdo. It was a terrible show. Even though the only people who attended the show were people performing that night, it was still a terrible moment for me. I was more excited when it was over. I landed the gig from a friend, Josh Cruise. It was last minute but looking back it was best thing for my first show because no one could hear how bad I must have sounded.
P.C.R. : What was it about OI punk that pulled you into the style? Who are your major influences?
Alamo Alex : Dropkick Murphys song “Boys on Deck” was my first real taste of Folk Punk. It brought to life the working class in my eyes, with its style based on acoustic styles, and raw lyrics- it’s the basis for Folk Punk. I started wearing tight plaid, bondage pants, had my hair in a Mohawk and became that punk “asshole”.
Summer, before sophomore year, I remember someone showing me Mischief Brews “Thanks Bastards” and hated it! I find it funny because today Mischief Brew is one of my biggest inspirations and favorite bands. It was the first official Folk Punk band that I fell in love with. “Nomads Revolt” caught me.
From there I found Pat the Bunny, Taxpayers, Andrew Jackson Jihad, all well known Folk Punk bands. After Eric Peterson died I stopped really listening to Mischief Brew as much.
Today, I find myself listening to a lot of Tom Waits, and Credence Clearwater Revival. G.G. Allin, and the album Carnival of Excess, actually had a big influence on me. You can say what you want about G.G. & the fucked up shit he did, but musically that album you can’t pass up.
P.C.R. : So, you’re attending Rutger University for Visual Arts, what styles have you picked up there?
Alamo Alex : I am a painter. I have many creative outlets I like to express myself with, but now I like to try and keep my painting and music separate. To me, they don’t co-exist, they’re very separate.
I take different approaches towards both, and at the end of the day school almost becomes work to me. Music, on the other hand, is true freedom; no one really judging or grading me, which allows me to really express myself.
P.C.R. : Nicely put. Now, I heard you just did your first tour, too. How was it?
Alamo Alex : It started at the end of July this year in New Jersey, and was supposed to end in Boston, Massachusetts. Those are the only two shows that weren’t canceled. It didn’t discourage me and at the end of the tour, before we turned to head home I got an offer to play a show in Austin, Texas.
After driving 27 hours, I finished my tour after playing a house show that I got through Facebook. The best parts were mostly on the road, Playing the role of a drifter musician, finding real folk roots. It was an awesome experience and I can’t wait to do it again.
P.C.R. : Sounds like a good time. So what does the future hold for Alamo Alex?
Alamo Alex: Well, I have a horrible memory, but let’s see. October 30th this year I’ll be playing a show in the abandoned ghost town Centralia in Pennsylvania which starts that day around 3pm.
November 17th I’m playing somewhere in Philadelphia and on November 26th at my house in New Brunswick I’m hosting and playing in a line up of all Folk Bands for a totally free show, along with; Joe Billy, Tailpipe Distillery, Alamo Alex ( me- myself), Johnny Guantanamo, Squid Subject A, Ape of the State, and Ankle Grease. Like I said it’s a free show, we just ask that anyone attending brings canned food for donations, and of course it’s byob. If anyone wants to check on any of the events I listed they can check me out on Facebook at Facebook.com/Alex.d.natale
Once again, Alex Natale, on behalf of Pogo City Radio I would like to thank you again for giving us the time to pick your brain for a little bit. I love hearing the up and coming rise stories of jersey local punks, and what’s happening in their musical careers.
Alamo Alex, we all wish you the best of luck in your future ventures and hopefully we cross paths again soon. It was a real pleasure as usual. You are one of the realist guys I’ve met in the industry, and today that is truly a rarity. Your musical talent is truly one unique sound and an inspiration to other young punk musicians to follow their dreams.
So readers check out some of Alamo Alex’s music or fuck off and die!