Emerging Artists #21 – The History of Apple Pie

June 21, 2011 by  

You can say what you want about lo-fi twee bands but they will always have a huge place in our hearts at Addict and London quintet The History of Apple Pie have it in enough abundance to get our heart strings a fluttering. The group came onto the scene earlier this year and are set to release their debut single ‘You’re So Cool’ soon, and with such an endearing vibe to their music the least we could do is ask them to answer our usual set of questions…

Standard first question; how did you all get together, where you all from and why did you decide to make music together?

Jerome: Steph and I recorded some songs together in our bedroom. I’ve done a few bands before so I have always been at the computer recording stuff. We realised Steph could sing and I was too feared out to sing, so we made a song called ‘Out Of View’ together. ‘You’re So Cool’ was our second one and we put them up on the internet. We got contacted by people saying they were into it and we thought we should look into giving it a proper go.

Steph: We found our drummer James from putting out a Gumtree ad, Kelly, the bassist, was a friend of a friend and Aslam, the other guitarist, was from a band James used to be in. Me and Kelly had never been in bands before and we were both pretty nervous at first, but everyone’s settled in now.

What?s behind the band?s sound and how did you come to it?

Steph: Writing the songs has been a pretty organic process. It’s been a mixture of Jerome having instrumentals in place with me singing over them and us both sitting down together to write the parts. We have different tastes in music and different experiences of writing music, so the ideas that come out are both really natural to our own personalities. We try to combine the two personalities into one.

Jerome: Steph has a lot of melody ideas, but she’s unable to play any instruments. I have a tendency to go a bit too meandering on the guitar and Steph is really good at reining it all in and making it a constructed pop song instead of a big mess of guitars.

Tug by The History Of Apple Pie

What equipment are you using for recording, and is there any particular reason behind the choice?

Jerome: We’re just using a computer for the recording and some cheap mics, mainly for convenience. I can’t wait to get into a proper studio. Guitars-wise I have a Fender Strat with high output pickups into a couple of distortions. Using multiple distortions gives you a massive amount of sustain, it’s something I think Robert Fripp used to do with Brian Eno. Manipulating feedback can give you pretty interesting sounds too, my amp has this ridiculous boost channel that just creates instant, controllable feedback, which is really useful. I’m a pretty big fan of Electro-Harmonix stuff, they’re the only mainstream equipment company making really interesting effects, I’ve only got two of their things at the moment, but planning on getting a few more.

Where was the band?s first show and what was was it like?

Steph: We were really excited for it, but really scared, also. Our first show was a 500 or so capacity venue – The Hippodrome in Kingston, with Chapel Club and Summer Camp. I felt really sick with fear and excitement before we played. I remember we got up on stage when it was our turn, and the smoke machine had created this massive smoke cloud around us that I couldn’t even see through. I sort of thought, “Ahh, this isn’t so bad afterall” – thinking it’d be like playing to no-one since I pretty much couldn’t see anything past the edge of the stage. But then the clouds parted and there was a shit load of people watching and I thought, “Ahh, this is it!” But then we just got on with it. I think we opened with “Science For The Young” and before you know it we were doing the last song. I think we all came off the stage with such an huge adrenaline rush that it wouldn’t have mattered whether it sounded good or not, and our manager, Emily, was waiting at the side of the stage jumping and clapping like one of those parents at the end of their kid’s first school play.

What?s been your favourite gig you?ve played?

Steph: Up until last week it was this small show at The Victoria in Dalston a couple months ago. But then we played a show at Catch in front of all our friends last Thursday and we was so drunk with happiness at seeing all our friends who we hadn’t seen in so long, so I jumped off the stage to dance with them all during our set. That’s now my favourite show so far.

Jerome: Koko on the NME Radar Tour. The stage was amazing, it was everything a venue should be. Great sound, perfectly sized stage and Street Fighter IV on a massive TV backstage. It was just a really, really fun night.

Steph: Oh and Koko. I head banged so much during our set that I had awful neck and back pain the next day.

What bands/artists are you into at the moment?

Jerome: I’ve been listening to MBV’s Isn’t Anything a lot recently, Lose My Breath is a great song. Also Blur’s self-titled album. I was listening to some heavier music for a bit, like Deftones, but sort of past that phase now.

Steph: I’m listening to Xiu Xiu, Aesop Rock’s ‘Labor Days’, Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and have just been listening to the new Black Lips record, which is this brilliant mash up of b-movie/rodeo clown/Ode-to-Tarantino/B-52s sounds.

Some Kind by The History Of Apple Pie

What can people expect when they come to your live shows?

Jerome: Probably not exactly what they would expect, it’s louder and noisier live. The name would lead you to believe it’s all sweet and nice, but it’s not really what we’re into.

Steph: Yeah, some people seem to be obsessed with the name as though it directly represents the kind of music we’re supposed to make or the type of band we are. I think those that have come to see our live show so far have been surprised at not everything being how they assume it to be after listening to the songs that have been up on the Internet like “You’re So Cool” and “Tug”. We’ve progressed a lot in terms of live performance, too, in just the last 3 months. For instance, it wasn’t too long ago that I was being pretty awkward on stage and still hadn’t found my place necessarily as a front person, or discovered what my ‘thing’ was. But I’ve let go now and we’re really starting to enjoy ourselves as a band.

If you could get one band to reform who would it be?

Jerome: It’d be pretty interesting to see The Smiths get back together. The problem is that often when a band gets back together they’ve lost what made them great in the first place. I saw The Sonics and they had a very ‘pro’ drum sound and it was all a bit too clean. On the other hand I saw Pixies at Isle of Wight and they were totally spot-on.

When I saw the Cramps it was actually pretty mundane performance-wise. It was great seeing them before Lux Interior passed away, but like many bands the performance was probably much better back in the day. There was still plenty of microphone munching, but I felt I was more there for the novelty of seeing him in the flesh than the overall performance.

Do you have any confirmed plans for an album yet and if so what can we expect?

Steph: We’ve got lots of songs, but we’re just concentrating on the single release at the moment. Most of us haven’t released a single of our own before, so it’s an exciting time for us.

What?s up next for the band?

Jerome: Our single is coming out June 27th on Roundtable Records and we’re having a launch party at White Heat on the 28th June. Apart from that we’ve got Field Day, a show with one of our favourites S.C.U.M. at Electrowerkz, 1234 Festival, Indietracks, SWN festival and Radfest.