Who is alistair?
(Written by Lorne Behrman)
As teens, members of alt-rock band Alistair played together in a myriad of configurations, exploring a variety of genres. It would be processing heartbreak that focused the guys, and galvanized the Phoenix, Arizona-based quintet into forging a signature, urgently-emotive sensibility that fuses 1980’s new wave and 1990’s alt-rock with a sleek modern rock sensibility.
Alistair is Collin Bashaw lead vocals/songwriter, Nick Antonucci guitar/songwriter/vocals, Jack Croom guitar/producer/songwriter, Jake Randall bass/vocals, and Jared Denham drums. The guys are in their early 20s, and band bonds reach back to high school. The five-piece band’s name is Gaelic, and translates to mean defender of mankind which speaks to the quintet’s desire to connect and uplift.
Alistair fuse the wall-of-sound artiness of bands like The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, and Sonic Youth with a contemporary, passionate, pop-rock perspective. Within their songs, the band grapples with issues of substance abuse, toxic relationships, isolation, and sexual aggression. The quintet’s debut is 100% DIY with their guitarist Jack producing and mixing alongside the aid of lead singer Collin—both have certifications in audio engineering.
The Alistair guys set out on their musical journey as high school kids exploring prog-rock, and playing in cover bands. Early on, Collin’s heart was more into the arty, accessible, and vulnerable sounds of the 1980’s and the 1990’s, and, eventually, it was Nick who suggested the burgeoning band shift to a music that was more emotionally visceral and aligned with Collin’s tastes which he also shared.
Central to this transformation was Nick getting out of a toxic relationship, and reaching out to Collin who he knew had gone through the same turmoil years before. Throughout the summer of 2018, the two bonded over their shared experiences with heartache and a mutual love of new wave and alt-rock. Each day they wrote together, and in three months the pair had almost written a complete record.
The songs are richly layered with textural touches of Nick and Jack’s guitar playing. This alt-rock and dark wave interlace is fortified by the meaty support of the rhythm section. Within this sonic tapestry, Collin’s vocal melodies shine through with a pop sensibility that’s both infectious and vulnerable.
Where you can find us next...