Local Band Alumine Talks Friendships, Music and Gas Station Bathrooms
Local Gainesville band, Alumine (uh-LOO-mi-nay), talks about everything from friendships, how music can be a healthy outlet and Taj Mahal gas station bathrooms. I had the pleasure of sitting with the band’s guitarist and singer, Alumine Soto, and his story didn’t just begin in the 352 area code. He was born in the small town of Neuquén, Argentina before moving to Miami Beach, Fla.
Soto first started performing in bands when he was 13 years old. He moved to Gainesville with his friend Vi Viana; they both wanted a change from the Miami traffic and culture. Soto has been in Gainesville for three years now and is attending Santa Fe College for his AA in sociology.
Alumine consists of lead singer and guitarist, Alumine Soto; drummer, Pedro Sanchez; bassist, Andrea Bonveccio; and guitarist Lauren Leshansky.
Their music and self-titled EP can be found on bandcamp. Alumine is also on a record label called Whelmed Records. They’re heavily influenced by math rock and they classify as indie. However, Soto encourages listeners to listen to his music before jumping the gun with labels and genres.
Their lyrics are filled with fiery compassion, and love for their friends, family and band members. “Lele,” from their self-titled EP, is dedicated to their band mate, Lauren.
Aside from their melodic instrumentals, Alumine incorporates truthful lyrics. It’s all about reaching out to the people and things that inspire you daily.
“Be honest and hold people accountable for the things they do. Protect your friends and make sure that the people you care about are ok,” said Soto.
“Be a good friend. It’s important to communicate.”
As a local musician in a college town, Soto has made friends with other local bands such as Insignificant Other— a group which continues to inspire and influence his own music. Soto is also heavily influenced by his Tallahassee friends, Winded. He also had some sound advice for fellow aspiring musicians in town.
“I had such a long time to define what music means to me and what I get out of it. For me, music is a really big outlet,” he said. “Figure out what music means to you and what you’re trying to accomplish with it. Write down what you’re trying to accomplish and tackle your goals.”
“If you read my lyrics you will notice that they’re very honest. I always try to present myself in an honest and vulnerable way. I feel comfortable doing this in music because I feel like I’m giving it some kind of purpose.”
Soto encourages musicians to look past making it famous and to just concentrate on music as a hobby and an outlet when first starting out.
It’s not always about making it big, going on tours and making a lot of money, according to Soto. He’s happy when he makes enough money to pay his $330 rent.
He’s had a very positive personal experience in Gainesville. Alumine recently performed at The Atlantic on May 10. They performed some new instrumental songs that will be released on a future EP.
“Gainesville is a good place for you to grow as a musician,” said Soto.
His best memory with the band so far is whenever they go to Tallahassee.
“Whenever we go to Tallahassee, we really make it a point to stop at this one gas station called “The Busy Bee.” It’s huge, super clean and the bathrooms are the most amazing bathrooms I have ever seen in my life,” he said.
“It’s the Taj Mahal of bathrooms.”
Lastly, check out more of their music on bandcamp, Spotify, or look out for live performances this summer at venues in town.