ARTIST PROFILE | Alter Boy
Alter Boy is a community collective fronted by trans/hard-of-hearing vocalist, Molly Priest. “The band works between sound and silence, voice and Auslan to express music and convey storytelling,” she explains.
Indeed, an Alter Boy performance combines heartbeat-like rhythms both pounding and pulsating with visual storytelling and bespoke lighting in an otherworldly way that is very much of this world. Priest bears herself, literally. Her uniquely tattooed chest reclaims the cross as she wears, lives and breathes her art both physically and in song.
The senses themselves are enlightened, not only by the unexpected feast of sound and vision, but towards the d/Deaf experience as it is presented to us to embrace and (potentially learn to better) understand. Priest leads with vocals that ululate on a lived, dual trans/deaf reality backed with Auslan signing that adds not only an evocative physicality to the music but opens up a world of inclusiveness to an audience who are not able to enjoy (and therefore attend) a traditional gig.
In WA this has resulted in Alter Boy evolutionising a re-education for live venues, booking agents, promoters and artists in terms of accessibility for deaf, disabled and trans people.
Already and in spite of the times Alter Boy have enthralled audiences at WAMFest, Wave Rock Weekender, Perth International Arts Festival, Nannup Festival, Fairbridge, State Of The Art and more. They were nominated for Best Pop Band at the 2020 WAM Awards, made a feature artist on triple j Unearthed and owned the station’s Like A Version session with their take on Lil Nas X’s Call Me By Your Name.
Musically, Alter Boy are also evolving their art as a contemporary and experimental artform. Priest fronts a band consisting of Josh Terlick (bass), Josh Hellis (drums) and Andrew Wright (keys/synth). With several singles and an acclaimed EP, Act Of God, already released, they plan to expand on their dream pop sound, as well as collaborating with Auslan and hard-of-hearing artists on a national basis.
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