Self-proclaimed rock nerds Alpha 5 are just about as goofy on stage as they are off. Their name is drawn from the robot of the classic television show Power Rangers, and they love Dragon Ball Z.
The band features Andy Garcia on guitar/back-up vocals, Joe Evans on bass/backup vocals, Nick Cortez on drums and lead vocalist Matt Assadi.
Even though there are only four members, Alpha 5 says they sometimes attribute the crowd as the fifth member, or Andy’s stepmom for letting them make noise in her basement for a year and a half.
Evans described how the band came to form, which in itself adds to their personality. Or maybe I just think it’s funny because it involves pizza. Without it, they might not have created Alpha 5.
“We started in 2011,” Evans said. “Matt and I have been friends since we were 16 and we met Andy at the Godfather's Pizza we were all working at at the time. Nick was Andy's friend that he jammed with, and Matt and I had played randomly. When we started talking about music we knew we had to try to jam together.”
As far as conveying the band’s sound, rock/pop-punk/alternative is probably the best description.
"Our songs have evolved into a more solid rock sound, but there are hints of pop-punk and alternative in there," Garcia said.
The band’s diverse blend of rock stems from multiple musical influences. For Assadi, Freddy Mercury is especially inspiring, saying his voice and stage presence is unmatched.
“He always writes great hooks into his songs,” Assadi said. “I try to incorporate some of his mannerisms into my own performances.”
Evans said Tom DeLonge of Blink 182 has been an integral part of his love of music, and perhaps is what brings the pop/punk element to the table.
“Even though Tom DeLonge is crazy, his musical influence on my life has been huge,” Evans said. “Blink 182 wrote simple, but catchy songs about love, fart jokes and never growing up. There's a reason their logo is tattooed on me.”
Garcia’s tastes span from Iron Maiden to Ed Sheeran. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum.
“I grew up listening to Maiden and it's pretty hard to pull off three guitars, let alone three incredible guitar players,” Garcia said. Ed Sheeran is very successful and he is a solo artist. He has shown you can do it by yourself.”
Cortez said his biggest influence is Keith Moon, drummer of The Who.
“Keith Moon didn't follow the rules of drumming,” Cortez said. “He was sporadic, chaotic, and it worked. There will never be another like him.”
The band says their live show is a mix of high and low energy. When the chorus hits, it’s powerful, and even when the songs are slower and more intimate the energy doesn’t dissipate. Cortez said they want to catch the crowd’s attention and make them stop in the middle of a conversation to look up at them.
Alpha 5 has played several memorable shows, recalling one of their best as the night they played New Music Monday at The Waiting Room in front of 200 people.
Assadi said their live shows are an unexpected sing-a-long.
"Pop-punk is about high energy, and we always want to bring that to our live show," Matt Assadi.
The band keeps it light on stage, and their carefree attitudes towards each other have caused some fans to do a double take.
“Matt makes fun of me a lot, and I actually had someone come up to me at a friend’s show a couple weeks ago and say ‘I saw you guys a couple weeks ago at Sokol and your singer just made fun of you the whole time, does he even like you?’” Evans said.
“That’s just how we are,” Evans said. “I’ve known Matt for over 10 years.”
The group is currently finishing up a couple songs and then recording. They haven't decided if it'll be a full length or a 4 or 5 song EP, but a photo shoot is in the works and they are looking into filming a music video, so the band is staying busy.
You can catch Alpha 5 along with The Dive Kings, Zach Attack and Bonebuckett at Shamrock’s Pub and Grill on 103rd and Fort streets this Friday, February 27. The show starts at 9, with Alpha 5 playing third around 10:30.
"Come see us live,” Assadi said. “We won't disappoint you."