Alberta Cross are an English formed, Brooklyn, New York–based rock band formed in 2005 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Petter Ericson Stakee & bassist Terry Wolfers.
In 2013 Wolfers left the band, leaving Stakee as the only permanent member of the band. The band's official Facebook page lists band members as "Petter Ericson Stakee and friends!".
Petter Ericson Stakee, originally from Uppsala, Sweden, and Terry Wolfers, from Waltham Forest, North East London, met at Strongroom Bar & Kitchen in Shoreditch, East London in the early 2000s. Stakee grew up in a musical family with his father and older brother leading the way before him. Wolfers joined Stakee's band Historia at a time when Stakee was writing new material that didn't suit the band, leading to the duo to work on the songs together in Wolfers' home studio in Highams Park, Waltham Forest and ultimately to them leaving that band. They began playing acoustic gigs together across London before forming a live band with drummer Sebastian Sternberg and Stakee's brother John Alexander Ericson on keyboards. After four gigs together as a band, they signed to Universal subsidiary Fiction Records in the UK and Europe and Geffen Records in America. In April 2007 the band released their debut 'Mini album', The Thief & the Heartbreaker, a collection of self produced demos. In October 2007 the band, now with drummer Paul Cook, released the single/digital EP Leave Us Or Forgive Us.
In early 2008 Stakee and Wolfers re-located to Brooklyn, New York to begin work on their debut full length album,. Once there, they decided to re-locate permanently to New York City calling Brooklyn their new home. After a few low key shows they caught the attention of ATO Records. In April 2008, with a desire to turn Alberta Cross into more of a band, the duo recruited new members drummer Austin Beede, guitarist Sam Kearney and keyboardist Alec Higgins and the band began work on new material together as a unit. After parting ways with Universal the band signed to Ark Recordings and PIAS in the UK and Europe.
The band recorded their debut album Broken Side of Time in Austin, Texas with producer Mike McCarthy, with Stakee describing the album as "kind of a desperation album, a darker album; it's definitely angrier" in relation to their debut EP. The album was released in the US in September 2009 via ATO Records and in the UK and Europe in October 2009 via Ark Recordings/PIAS. The band toured the album extensively across the US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia and Japan, supporting bands such as Them Crooked Vultures, Oasis, Neil Young, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bat For Lashes, Mumford & Sons, Portugal. The Man, Ben Harper, Phosphorescent, Dave Mathews Band and The Shins as well as playing festivals including Coachella Valley Music Festival, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Austin City Limits in the US, Reading and Leeds Festivals and Glastonbury Festival and Latitude Festival in England, Malmöfestivalen in Malmö, Sweden, Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and the Splendour in the Grass festival in Australia, Lowlands Festival in Holland, Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium, Rock En Seine in Paris and many many more. The band also played many of their own successful headlining tours in the US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia with many of the shows being sold out.
Having toured the first album, in Winter 2010 the band began rehearsing new material in an old closed-for-the-season artists' hotel in the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in the Catskill Mountains above Woodstock, New York, Petter has described it as "something out of The Shining". In Early 2011 Stakee then re-located to Silver Lake, Los Angeles to continue writing for the next album. Shortly afterwards, Wolfers and the rest of the band joined Stakee in Los Angeles and began recording sessions with producers Joe Chiccarelli and Mike Daly at the legendary East West and Sunset Sound studios. However, Stakee and Wolfers were not happy with the results and parted ways with drummer Austin Beede and guitarist Sam Kearney from the band to return to the original set up, with Wolfers stating that "bringing other guys into the band on the last record changed things. I think we became aware that we wanted to bring back some of our original sound", and Stakee adding that ""we always wanted to be two". Keyboardist Alec Higgins remained as an additional musician. They returned to Brooklyn and worked on additional material with producer Claudius Mittendorfer and revised the tracks recorded earlier with the band in Los Angeles. In September 2011 the band released The Rolling Thunders EP as a tour/US indie record shop only release.
The second album Songs of Patience was released in the US in July 2012 via ATO Records and September 2012 Ark Recordings/PIAS in the UK and Europe, with Stakee describing the album as being "more colourful and a little less dark than our last record. It's a little warmer, maybe". Wolfers admitted that it was a struggle to make the record and that they had a hard time finishing it due to problems with their management, label and other band members. The then vacant live band members were replaced by former Jeniferever drummer Fredrik Aspelin, from Stakee's hometown of Uppsala and guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan. The band toured the album extensively across the US, UK, Europe.
In September 2012, Wolfers revealed that he and Stakee were already working on songs for the next album and hoped it would be released as soon as possible as it had "been far too long between releases and we're not going to let industry or anyone get in the way again". Stakee also stated that "I already have about 20 new songs and I feel for the next record I just want to bash it out". However, in March 2013 Stakee debuted a new lineup featuring drummer Fredrik Aspelin and members of New York band The Candles, bassist Josh Lattanzi, guitarist Jason Abraham Roberts and keyboardist Pete Remm at a low key gig at Drom in New York. In May 2013, new press shots taken to promote their tour of mainland Europe in June and July 2013 were posted online featuring the new lineup and it was finally announced in June that Wolfers had left the band amicably and that Stakee was now the only permanent band member.
Stakee originally claimed that the name "Alberta Cross" was an anagram, but wouldn't reveal what for. Former drummer Austin Beede admitted he wasn't aware of the names origin, but stated that there had been rumours that it was taken from a street name. Wolfers insinuated that the official story of the name being an anagram wasn't true, stating that they had "kind of been toying around with what it is. We've been saying it's an anagram – we don't want to give it away you see, it's nice because it's quite a strange name". In 2011, Stakee admitted that they were "just saying it's an anagram to piss people off".
The song "Low Man" is heard at the end of episode 8 of Season 2 of Californication, when Karen tells Hank she has to see a man about a horse. This song is also used in episode 2 of Season 2 of the FX show Sons of Anarchy. The song has also been used in Season 1, Episode 4 of Longmire.
The song "Lucy Rider" is heard in the series premiere of the BBC One series Survivors, as well as episode 3 of Season 1 of Dirty Sexy Money.
The band performed "ATX" and "Rise from the Shadows" on Last Call with Carson Daly. "ATX" was also used as the rejoiner bumper during the telecast of the 2009 BCS Championship Game
The band appeared on the Cinemax Tour Stories program, which featured an interview and live performance.
"Money For The Weekend," a song from their last record "Songs Of Patience, was played live by the band on the legendary "Late Show With David Letterman." in 2012.
Alberta Cross have also played on TV shows in France, England, Germany, Holland, Belgium and more.
Their song "Money for the Weekend" is featured on the soundtrack to Madden NFL 12.
"Money for the Weekend" is also featured on Ketel One commercials that began to air in May 2011. Stakee is featured prominently in the commercials, wearing his trademark hat, and sipping on Ketel One on the rocks.
"Bonfires," a song from their upcoming album, is heard in episode 5 of season 1 of "Off the Map."