Interview: The History of Apple Pie
Published on July 6th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Since making a splash two years back with debut single “You’re So Cool”, The History of Apple Pie have been the subject of much hype. Seemingly unfazed, the band have released a second single, “Mallory”, and have had stints supporting such acclaimed talents as The Drums, Male Bonding and The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Now with the release of their eagerly awaited (and by the looks of it very good) debut album imminent, it’s time for the band to take the limelight themselves.
Rocksucker fired some questions over to the History of Apple Pie camp in anticipation of their splendid new single “Do It Wrong”, to be released on 6th August through Marshall Teller Records. Why, here it is for listening pleasure…
Firstly how did you guys meet?
Steph and Jerome were together for years prior to finding the other members, but we pretty much all met through either Gumtree or friends of friends. In a year, we’ve become like family.
I read that you like American-sounding indie when played by British guitarists, like Graham Coxon on Blur’s 13 album. What is it that attracted you to this specific sound?
We were just keen to re-pave the way for young British guitarists to become known. Someone wrote on YouTube once under one of our videos that Jerome and Aslam were like the Malkumuses and Moores of our generation, and that’s what it’s all about for us: bringing back the guitar.
Are there any genres in particular that you feel your music fits into? Or do you prefer to avoid such categorisations?
We don’t really focus on fitting into a particular genre when writing our songs – but we do try and keep it poppy and immediate. The songs are just a result of what we’re listening to at the time, which could be anything!
When can people expect your debut record, and what can we expect from it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like!) And are there are any lyrical themes that you feel define it?
We hope to release the record this side of the year if not early next year. We’ve spent a good few months preparing it and its really opened our eyes to the variety of directions that the record could take. The record is going to be really exciting for us as we’ve only given listeners a handful of tracks since we formed, and we can’t wait for everyone to be able to hear the full body of work.
We’ve always tried to write riffs and melodies that evoke emotions. Lyrics tend to be the very last addition to our songs and its just a coincidence that they end up fitting well with the song. The B-side for our new single “Do It Wrong”, however, was the first song we wrote the other way round completely and we were really pleased with how it turned out. It’s one of our favourite tracks as it’s just raw and full of feeling.
In terms of writing, arrangements and production, whose music would you say influenced you most in the process of making the record?
We listened to so many different records. Stuff like OK Computer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blur’s self titled, and The Bends… We’ve always wanted to produce a record that sounds like The Bends. But applying that kind of technique to our own arrangements didn’t work for everything. We’ve had to go back to the drawing board a lot to try and capture our own sound perfectly. We’ve always felt its important to replicate the raw energy that our demos had, for instance, but said we’d step it up with the production for our full-length record.
It wasn’t until just recently that we realised we couldn’t be too polished, though, no matter how much we want to experiment. For us, it’s been about finding the balance between lo-fi and, say, Trevor Horn!
I saw you support The Horrors in February and was struck by how you didn’t play your first single “You’re So Cool”. Do you feel you’ve since progressed from that track? And if so then in what way?
Yeah, naturally we have progressed from that track. We’d be worried if we didn’t! “You’re So Cool” was the third song that we had written before THOAP found its other members – before we even decided to form a band. We had only just realised our own abilities, so – of course – over the last year we wrote more and experimented more… We spent a lot of time exploring our ideas and eventually we honed our sound. It was important to use that year to find our sound and make sure that we were writing and performing music that we enjoyed, too.
Since “You’re So Cool” a year ago, you’ve only released one more sngle, with third single ‘Do It Wrong’ due in August – is there a reason for the sparse nature of your releases?
“YSC is a symbolic song for us as it got our band recognised, but it’s so easy to be a buzz band with one known song under their belt. The industry is tough and it’s very easy to get sucked into the excitement that comes from receiving masses of attention in the first few months of becoming a buzz band – we know, we’ve been there. It’s fun, but it’s also a shit load of pressure on bands that actually enjoy making music and want to release a record.
One thing we’ve always tried to avoid from the very beginning is giving away too much too early on. We like the idea of giving everyone a bit more insight into our band with each release. The releases show progression and hint at what’s to come. It’s difficult not to feel pressured to constantly release stuff and do what others expect, but we’ve found a lot of people are more excited by the unexpected. A year down the line and we feel like it’s the beginning, and we’re really glad and lucky to be able to say that.
What was it like supporting Graham Coxon? How did he come across you guys? Do you like his recent A&E album? Have you heard the new Blur stuff?
Supporting Graham Coxon was an incredible opportunity. We had become friends previously, but that didn’t stop us from applying for the spot to be his A&E tour support via his website just like the thousands of other unsigned bands. It was just a great suprise when we found out he actually chose us.
Playing the Forum was overwhelming for us. We had played big venues before but not to this scale and were happy that the venue was heaving early on for us. We haven’t heard the full album yet but really enjoy his new track “Ooh, Yeh Yeh”. We’ve been hidden away all week in the studio and haven’t heard the two new Blur tracks either! (Rocksucker says: Step right this way…)
Are there any up-and-coming and/or obscure bands that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There are a ton. Some known, some unknown… Our friends’ bands are the ones that we support the most as likewise they’ve continuously supported us no matter what. Novella, Advert, Weird Dreams, Gross Magic, Boneyards, Hatcham Social to name a few. Our drummer, James’ side project Parakeet. There are also a couple of bands we’d never heard of before but have shown their support to us for which we’re thankful (Kulaks, Bear Driver..)
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your days with the back catalogues of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?
Probably the usual: Radiohead, Portishead, Add N To (X) and Pixies, Blur.
The History of Apple Pie, thank you.