Interview with Cat, Jay and Alex of Alteration
In 2012, Cat Stevenson started a band based on some demos she'd recorded at home, whilst playing guitar and bass in various local groups. The tracks featured Cat on vocal duties for the first time.
The following year, guitarist Alex Wrigley joined Cat, who settled on bass and vocal duties. They clicked right away, despite playing very different styles - Cat's straight up "no effects" punk style of playing versus Alex, who incorporated layers of pedals combined with powerful riffs, fills and solos that brought Cat's home recordings to life. Their unique blend of blues, rock, grunge and punk was just the beginning of their own sound.
After playing one show, their original drummer left. 2014 saw Alex bring Jason Brett and his double kick pedal into the fold, the final piece of the puzzle with his energetic drumming style and heavy metal influences. Alteration was born!
The band honed their craft for a further 12 months before hitting the live music scene in 2015. They quickly became regulars on the Kent/SE London circuits whilst continuing to write songs as a band, combining a plethora of influences to create a genre-spanning sound, topped off with Cat's distinctive vocal style.
Alteration's music is an avaricious blend of weighty heavy metal, schizophrenic punk energy and gritty grunge melodies.
In 2018 the band released their debut self titled EP and gained a following within the punk and rock scenes, easily catering to a wide variety of line-ups thanks to their diverse sound.
They delivered their debut album 'Forget Everything You Know" in 2019 to positive reviews, following it up with several energetic live shows. The band continue to develop their sound and are currently working on new material for 2021.
First Punk Rock band you ever saw Live? And where/when?
Cat: Mine was Skunk Anansie at Brixton Academy 1999
Alex: Are they punk?
C: Yeah, definitely! First 3 albums are anyway.
Jay: First Punk band? Probably Towers of London, I swear it was them… I used to go to the Sunday Subversion rock shows at Camden Underworld. They had 5 bands every Sunday.
A: Less than Jake, 2001, London Astoria.
C: I loved that venue.
First Punk Rock Record you bought? What made you buy it?
A: Capdown - Civil Disobedients. I saw them live and they have that infectious sax, as well as being heavy. I must have seen them 7 times now.
C: Hard to remember as I used to steal my brother’s CD’s, or tape them! I think the first punk album I bought was Green Day’s Nimrod – I was a big fan when I was a teenager, I taught myself guitar by playing along to Dookie and Insomniac.
J: I know this because it’s one of the first CD’s I ever bought: The Offspring – Smash. I saw “Come Out and Play” on MTV and wanted to check them out
Favourite Venue to play in? UK or abroad.
All: The Bird’s Nest, Deptford.
C: I just feel at home there – always a nice bunch of people, friendly vibes and it’s always buzzing.
J: Yeah, we always get a great crowd in there.
C: We all have very different influences, which really shows in our music. Jay loves his thrash and death metal, he’s a massive Iced Earth fan. I love all the old school bands – The Clash, Pistols etc. but I also love stuff like System of a Down, Machine Head, IDLES, Faith No More.
A: I was Initially influenced by classic rock and blues, Led Zeppelin, GnR, Free etc. My playing got heavier through the years as I listened to more and more punk and metal. I’ve been told I sound like Zakk Wylde on several occasions, take from that what you will!
Any new bands impressed you and worth a shout out?
C: Not been to many gigs lately! But I’m always listening to new bands, Spotify is great to lead you to new artists based on what you like. I’m loving Bob Vylan at the moment.
A: Miss Kill, they’re not brand new but they’re young and talented and worth checking out.
What’s the future look like for Alteration?
A: Pick up from where we were before lockdown – we had some great gigs lined up, so getting those booked again and playing live as much as we can.
C: We’ve been working on new music during lockdown and there’ll be an EP out in 2021, it’s been a year since our album came out so it’s time for something new.
Where does the name come from?
C: We’re named after our oldest song, which I wrote in 2009 before I started the band. When Jay joined in 2014 we still didn’t have a name and he suggested Alteration, as it represents our music pretty well - changing, evolving - something different.
What is the craziest, most memorable thing which happened on Tour?
C: Haha we’ve not done a tour….yet.
A: Not that we’ve been on tour but we did go to HRH Ibiza followed by Breaking Bands Festival in quick succession, felt a bit like a tour even though we weren't playing. Got to hang out with lots of bands we’re friends with, most notably Vain Galen, WARD XVI and Pulverise, which was a great laugh.
Horror Movies or Science Fiction?
C: Definitely a question for Jay.
J: (our resident horror movie expert) – I have a YouTube channel about horror movies. So I guess that answers that! But Alien is one of my favourite movies and that’s horror and science fiction…
A: Massive horror fan too!
What do you dislike?
C: Being cold! Injustice. And cunts.
A: People loading out during our set!
J: Potatoes, I don’t like potatoes.
C: Alex and I have a mutual love for Little Mix.
A: But we don’t feel guilty about it! I’m not sure Jay feels the same way though.
J: I don’t feel guilty for what I like! Remember that Spice Girls cover?
Is Punk Rock Dead?
C: Absolutely fucking not!
J: Punk was more mainstream for a time but now it’s gone back underground and it’s thriving.
A: Proper old school punks are still coming to gigs! There’s such a loyal following that it can never die.
C: It will never die coz we keep doing it. Nothing will stop the punk spirit!