Alba Varden
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Alba Varden


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Storytime - Amelie sits down with 'Alba Varden'"

theres nothing I love more than a good story, perhaps why I feel compelled to write so much these days….and it seems I am not the only one who shares this passion. after sitting down with the talented boys from alba varden I learnt just how prevalent the concept of story telling was in the creation of their EP ‘down the rabbit hole’.

Daniel Zampaglione (vocals), Ryan Caswell (guitars), Matt Pinxt (bass), Sumner Fish (drums) and the newest addition Jules Tsakirakis (Percussion) together form ‘alba varden’ – one of the most refreshing acts to come out of the Melbourne music scene in quite some time. after several failed attempts to liken them to existing bands when describing them to friends, i came to realise that I had stumbled across a rarity – a truly ground breaking, unique sound.

the story of how alba varden came to be is an interesting one. the four original band members who had been playing together for several years under a different alias, literally reached a point in their musical careers where they realised they were playing in a “nothing band” as caswell described it. the boys, avid on continuing to create music together, decided to scrap all of their material, take a year long live gig hiatus and go underground to essentially rediscover who they were musically and create an entirely new band.

a year away from the stage proved more difficult than first anticipated for natural performer and lead singer zampaglione, whose longing for the stage culminated in a drunken late night karaoke rendition of jeff buckleys ‘last goodbye’. the performance, needless to say, spurred along the boys progress, making them realise just how much the missed performing, with caswell stating that they may have even jumped the gun a little soley because they were so eager to get back out there. but i have to beg to differ…. their carefully crafted EP ‘down the rabit hole’, which tells the tales of a character ‘alba’ – a paranoid schitzophrenic dealing with his overbearing and morbidly dark alterego ‘varden’ will literally catapualt you into this his twisted little world. The album, and accompanying written story (which is incredble) centres around the boys fascination with the two polar oppostites present in everyones personality, is made even more interesting because of its literal living, evolving state – ‘alba could go anywhere from here, thats the beauty of it’ caswell suggests, ‘we didnt want to be locked into anything that would limit us creatively’.

with the concept decided on and the new tunes perfected, it wasn’t until last new years eve rolled around, when the boys were anxiously awaiting to play their first gig with jules at the iconic espy, that for the first time the odds were stacked against them. admittedly, most of their prior shows had been filled with friends rather than objective strangers. but on this particular night, after jumping in a van and leaving their friends behind at the falls festival, the boys appeared on stage to an unforgiving crowd, most of whom had never heard of alba varden before…as if sharing the stage with the likes of pete dempsey, the drones and regular john wasn’t nerve wracking enough. what happened next was nothing short of electrifying and as the boys described the “better than sex” show i felt insanely jealous that i hadn’t witnessed it first hand for myself.

this firmly cemented in their minds (and those lucky enough to witness the awe inspiring show) that they were on to a good thing. from here the boys went on to launch their wicked single ’soul digger’ in march at revolver to rave reviews.

i wondered how receiving literally nothing but incredible reviews from industry heavy weights was affecting the boys, but taking it all in their stride, the boys admitted whilst it was flattering, the most important thing was how they themselves felt about the music they were creating – ‘its too easy to get caught up in the hype and you think you have become all you can be if you listen to what everyone else is saying’ caswell stated with the rest of the band nodding in agreement…’theres always someone better than you’ zampaglione pipes in.

so where to from here? this incredible band are playing alongside a plethora of local talent at the much anticipated spook magazine launch this friday, may 7th at oakoffchapel, home to some of melbournes best underground parties of late. also keep your eyes peeled for details on their ‘down the rabbit hole’ launch which is set for july….from what the boys told me, it is going to be like no launch you have ever seen before….think alice in wonderland on acid and your getting somewhat close.

and now for 30 seconds with amelie:
q. where do you never want to hear alba varden played?
a. “nova haha!…..or on a footy commercial…no no a maccas ad…never a maccas ad!”

q. if you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
a. zampiglonie – no surprises here, the self confessed jeff buckley addict would happily listen to any of his tunes.
caswell – a jimi hendrix guitar solo, it fits any mood ….surprising for a man with a self confessed hatred of guitar solos.
fish – stairway to heaven. solid choice.
tsakirakis – a toss up between guns n roses ‘estranged’, lenny kravitz ‘heaven help’ or and old doors tune.

q. describe the soundtrack to your life.
a. caswell – “the avalanches. its happy, dark…it fits any mood and describes all the emotions we experience in life”
tsakirakis- “lenny kravitz – are you gonna go my way. it was the first album i ever bought with my own money and i will listen to it til the day i die”
zampaglione – “nick caves back catalogue…its so interesting to hear the changes he goes through, and well we all know i go through a lot of changes”
fish – “any incubus album…but particularly science, i base my drumming around this” – which lead to a lengthy discussion on one of our favourite gigs of our youth, incubus at festival hall in 02….ahh the memories. - Amelie


Down the rabbit hole - Radar radio

"Down the Rabbit hole" - Debut Ep set for release in July 2010



A union of individuals with strong and particular ideals is usually a recipe for the beginning of the end, but in this case, a group of best friends are able to fuse each influence in harmony and as a result, craft a collection of effortlessly timeless songs, ready for release. The band have just finished recording their Debut Ep with Burke Reid from Gerling, (The Mess hall, The Drones, Jack ladder, Pivot), and are planning to release early in the new year.

The musical texture which follows combines a dark, brooding pulse in the midst of angular, shoe-gaze guitar work and an intensely powerful, yet delicate and impulsively frail vocal that is nothing short of breathtaking in a live encounter.

Beyond the relentless energy and captivating live performance, there is a depth of creativity conceptualised within the lyrical content of the Ep. A ‘work in progress,’ set in a fantasy world, depicting the eccentric, peculiar story of a fictional male character, ‘Alba.’ A paranoid, schizophrenic who grapples with his dark and overbearing alter ego, ‘Varden.’ The narrative evolves with each song, and stems from a fascination with human nature, and its ability to corrupt even the purist of character.

With a light-hearted, emotive approach, the band discloses their lust and desire, along with the anguish and triumph of everyday life within each song.

“the single most electrifying, engrossing performance I have ever seen an unsigned band put on. The name of the band is Alba Varden.”

“Alba Varden were the absolute highlight of the night. They sounded like indie-electro-pop-rock all mashed together deliciously, and their rather dapper singer Daniel Zampaglione was dressed just like Frank Zappa.”

“Alba Varden are in a league of their own” Inpress Magazine

“Passionate, intense and colourful music; engaging visual experience; and above all, high-quality tunes commanding attention”