By O’Hara Shipe
In 2013, Chris Alsup got his band, Undercover, their first gig. The only problem was, he didn’t actually have a band at the time, and the gig was in a month. For most people, this would be a sign to fess up, or at least come up with an excuse not to play. Luckily, Alsup took it as a challenge.
“I had been sending Facebook messages to Kyle [Wilson] because I had jammed with him before and knew I wanted to play with him again,” explained Alsup.
Wilson wasn’t as keen on a reunion.
“He literally ignored every message I sent him. Like, you can look back at the message log, and he literally never wrote back. So, I started writing to his sister and was like, ‘I see that Kyle is online, can you tell him to write me back,’” Alsup said with a laugh.
Pulling the sibling card proved fruitful, and Wilson became the lead singer. All that was left was getting a bassist. The duo turned to friend Jeffrey Adkerson, and the lineup was complete for their first big gig—a low-rider car show at an old folk’s home.
“It was really funny because we were up there playing Blink-182 and Green Day, but the guys in the car show seemed to like the music, and we got paid in corn dogs,” laughed Alsup.
OK, so it wasn’t exactly the gig most bands aspire to, but for a group of high school kids, it was still a pretty big deal.
For the next two years, the band continued to practice and gigged at birthday parties and played a few high school showcases. But things changed when Wilson—the band’s youngest member—graduated.
“We all had to wait for me to graduate before we could play a lot of places, and then they had to wait again until I turned 21 to really do anything fun,” explained Wilson.
But aging wasn’t the only change happening in the band. Wilson switched from guitar to bass. Adkerson took up the drums. Nick Greene was added to the lineup, and they had a new moniker—The Nameless. Finally, after years of practicing and occasional gigs, the quartet was locked in.
Their next move? Produce an EP.
In 2018 the band spent two weeks recording and self-producing their debut EP. But when all was said and done, they decided to release it, but not promote it.
“I mean, I had never mixed anything before, so considering that it wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t going to put any money into promoting it, and I was moving out of state anyways,” said Wilson.
For the next year, the band lay dormant, but when Wilson returned to Alaska in the fall of 2019, things began to click.
The Nameless started growing an underground following. By January, they were the name on rolling off the tongues of music bookers across Anchorage.
Touted as much for their explosive live performances as their original songs, The Nameless were poised to become Anchorage’s next big band—and then COVID-19 hit.
Although Anchorage’s bars are beginning to resume normal operations, it may be a while before The Nameless are able to retake the stage. Adkerson recently underwent heart surgery and is highly susceptible to infection, as is his wife and his grandparents with whom he currently lives.
“We usually have band practice at my house, but with all of us being immunocompromised, if one of us gets sick, we all get sick. It’s kind of like living in a ticking time bomb,” Adkerson said.
While the band is unable to safely practice or perform right now, they are continuing to write new music that they share with each other via Dropbox. Their hope is to record a new EP and this time, even promote it.
You can check out a recording of The Nameless’s last performance at Koot’s by visiting AnchoragePress.com.