On the afternoon of September 2nd I was lounging on the couch at the CHSR 97.9 FM lobby, and when I looked up there were three gentlemen standing at the door in their aviator sunglasses and rockstar demure. I knew Labut’ had arrived.
Labut’ is a Fredericton rock band who describe themselves as being based off a 70’s rock/90’s grunge combination, although they haven’t been compared to any one band specifically. The perfectly styled frontman Alex Von Alstyne gets his influences from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham among others like Babes In Toyland, Hole, and Mudhoney.
Fairly new to the playing live scene, Labut’ began playing live shows about six weeks ago mainly within Fredericton but are looking to expand out into other music cities in The Maritimes like Halifax.
Labut’ was originally intended as a solo project until about a week before their first show when Von Alstyne thought they as a band worked really well together. Guitarist James Morrison and drummer Mike Allain would agree.
Being a rock band like Labut’ in Fredericton can be challenging at times. They find there isn’t much of a rock scene here and are put onto many metal bills, which they still appreciate, but would like to see the rock genre expand more. Another challenge being a newer band is marketing, getting their name out there, because it takes a lot of energy and commitment, and is time consuming when you have a day job to hold down as well.
A lot of the songs were written by Von Alstyne and Labut’s producer in Toronto Matt Sprague, but are continuing to create new material as a band. Some plans for the near future include releasing an EP and they’d like to get a full album and video out by the new year. When asked about themes when writing their songs Von Alstyne used dramatic Austrian and German imagery, being that’s where he has spent a good amount of his time.
I first noticed this as the band walked into the studio, but it became more evident as the interview went on. The three members of Labut’ are all very different. Von Alstyne is a self described eccentric, Allain is the happy-go-lucky guy, and Morrison is… well, a guitar hero. But although they all come from different places they get along very well and try to practice at least once a week.
Von Alstyne’s is something that you soon won’t forget, nor would you want to. It’s dark and husky, with almost a hint of Manson. When complimented Von Alstyne was pretty shy about it and admitted to heavy smoking to get a gruff voice like Kurt Cobain’s. Labut’ is definitely a band that could stand out. They have a distinctive sound and give the reason that it’s because of Von Alstyne’s less traditional influences than most male vocalists.
Von Alstyne’s last words of wisdom were short but powerful. He feels liberated by getting positive feedback when considering that only a year ago he was wondering if this was all a joke. He believes that if you are doubting yourself then go do it anyway. Even if people hate it still go do it, ’cause that’s what rock n’ roll is.
Check out Labut’ opening for Genre and Bloody Diamonds on October 11th at Fusion in downtown Fredericton.
Also check them out on FB: http://www.facebook.com/vonalstyne