Interview: Silver Apples
Published on September 3rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Silver Apples legend Simeon Coxe III honoured Rocksucker with this fascinating interview one year ago, and now he’s set to tour the UK and Europe, starting in Berlin this Saturday and ending in Bristol on 2nd November…
…then…THEN…not only shall the world receive a vinyl reissue of Silver Apples’ once-‘lost’ third LP The Garden, but also a brand new single, namely the wondrous “The Edge of Wonder”. Suffice it to say Rocksucker was keen to find out more, and learned in the process that The Garden was less of collaboration between space and time than we’d been led to believe. First, though, check out this choice cut from The Garden…
When did you write “The Edge of Wonder”, and what if anything brought it on? Have you been writing other new songs, and if so will we get to hear them on the forthcoming tour?
I wrote “The Edge of Wonder” about a month ago and tried it out during a couple of live sets, both of which were recorded off of the soundboard and that’s what is on the single. I haven’t even had time to go into a studio with it- maybe just leave it like it is… I have several songs in different stages of completion- maybe I’ll try out one or two during the tour- dunno.
Are there any dates on the tour that you’re particularly looking forward to? Can it be hard to stay sane when you’re out on the road for that long?
Sanity has never been my strong suit.
When you were putting the finishing touches to The Garden some thirty years on, were you conscious of how much or how little you were sounding like Silver Apples as you were in the late ’60s? Or was this of no concern?
I would have to say I wasn’t as concerned with continuity with the past, as I was with being true to the original tracks recorded all those year ago with Danny that don’t exist anymore- all we had to work with were the 2-track, reference mixdowns by the engineer- just for us to review. Never meant for release.
Which tracks did you have to finish later on, and which were already finished? Or should this be obvious from the sound of the tracks? If so, I’d guess that all of the ones with ‘noodle’ in the title had to be finished later…
The songs were all done in 1969- nothing added later. All the “Noodles” were of Danny’s practice tapes of 1969 to which I added oscillators in 1999 with Danny looking over my shoulder.
What brought on the “Mustang Sally” cover? It’s absolutely inspired!
It was a song that Danny and I did with our pre-Silver Apples band- The Overland Stage- that we thought would be fun to resurrect.
Who played the banjo on “John Hardy”?
Getting a bit carried away perhaps but can you see this latest wave of activity resulting in a new studio album eventually?
I’ve got a bunch of material- it just needs to be cleaned up and organized…
How’s the Silver Apples opera coming along?
It’s like pushing a wheelbarrow full of bricks through mud.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming artists that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
“Hello!” to the Offset: Spectacles in Beijing.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the entire works of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?
Bela Bartok, Portishead, Fats Domino, John Cage, Wilson Pickett.
Simeon Coxe III, thank you.
A Side: The Edge of Wonder 4:01 AA Side: Fractal Flow 4:30
Tracks recorded at performances in New York and New Orleans 2012
The Edge of Wonder: words and music by Simeon Coxe
Fractal Flow: words by Simeon Coxe, music by Simeon Coxe and Xian Hawkins
Performances by Simeon Coxe 2012
Painting: “Sunflowers” Acrylic/silkscreen on canvas 1998 Simeon Coxe
Layout by Jesse Holborn ©2012 Magic Theatre Music
1 I Don’t Care What The People Say – 3:09 2 Tabouli Noodle – 4:18 3 Walkin’ – 4:08 4 Cannonball Noodle – 5:30 5 John Hardy – 2:24 6 Cockroach Noodle – 2:24 7 The Owl – 3:24
1 Swamp Noodle – 3:00 2 Mustang Sally – 3:16 3 Anasazi Noodle – 3:19 4 Again – 2:59 5 Starlight Noodle – 4:40 6 Mad Man Blues – 3:14 7 Fire Ant Noodle – 3:44
All Lyrics by Simeon, all music by Silver Apples except “John Hardy” (Traditional) “Again” (Traditional) and “Mustang Sally” (Bonnie Rice) “Garden”, tapestry, by Eileen Lewellen
Layout by Jesse Holborn ©1968, 2012 Magic Theatre Music