We’ve featured the floor filling indie dance music from Leeds band Apollo Junction before on Alternative Friday, but now they face a ‘grilling’ in our Q&A, so read on to find out how, er, talentless they are, and what Rocky Balboa and Homer Simpson have to do with rock ‘n’ roll…
~ How would you describe your music for those who may not have come across it?
That’s a tricky one, we have quite a diverse range of music and we have been compared to so many different bands from U2, Oasis, Biffy Clyro, 80’s stuff, someone even said REM once. We have guitars, synths, pianos, drums, strings and lots of vocals. We think the best bet is to go here and listen!
~ Your website says you were “former band rivals” when you formed in 2012. What was going on there then, and if you’d remained in different bands, which would have been most successful, and why? *attempts to encourage a punch up*
It was 3 bands, and I think we all know they wouldn’t have been successful, as the other members were stopping us from going in the direction we wanted to go individually, not musically, but more directionally. Individually we want to be in the biggest band in the world and when you have someone in the band who is satisfied with less you will never achieve your goals. We all have the same directional goals, one direction… good name for a band that.
~ Do you have any band rules / touring rules?
We don’t get drunk before we go on stage, we see that as an insult to the fans they come to see us at our best so we deliver that. We make sure we keep the backstage and bus a really positive place to be, no negative vibes and 1 hour before we go on stage we all do our warm ups and that’s it then we are on. As we said, any rules we have are there to give the fans the best show, they’re our main focus.
~ What’s the best advice you’ve received about making music?
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how the winning is done.” – Rocky Balboa
~ If you could claim one song as your own – wiping the original from all memory – what would it be?
Below are the top ten grossing songs of all time take your pick.
10. ‘The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)’, Mel Torme/Nat King Cole.
9. ‘Pretty Woman’, Roy Orbison.
8. ‘Every Breath You Take’, The Police.
7. ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’, John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie.
6. ‘Stand By Me’, Ben E. King / Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller
5. ‘Unchained Melody’, Alex North and Hy Zaret/The Righteous Brothers.
4. ‘Yesterday’, The Beatles.
3. ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, The Righteous Brothers.
2. ‘White Christmas’, Irving Berlin.
1. ‘Happy Birthday To You’, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill/Warner Chappell.
Other than that I think Suspicious Minds would be a nice one to finish the set with.
~ Who are your musical Guilty Pleasures?
We caught Jamie listening to Ed Sheeran recently, Jonny listens to a lot of Country and Western, and Matt likes a lot of early house stuff like A Guy Called Gerald. It’s not guilty through, we would rather someone called us musically un-sophisticated than musically ignorant. You can take influence from anywhere, and when you stop doing that, your music goes very stale very quickly.
~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician, who would it be?
We have discussed this and we have a list: Sir Paul McCartney, Prince, Noel and/or Liam Gallagher, Robert Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Paul Simon, Damon Albarn. It would also be great to work with a Calvin Harrisesc person, or someone like Jay Z or Kanye just to see how they would drive our sound. We wouldn’t want to do one of those patronising tripe collaborations though, as that’s embarrassing for everyone involved (mentioning no names *Cough* Paul, Kanye and Rhianna *Cough*).
~ Do any of you have any hidden talents?
No, we are truly talentless outside of music, it’s quite funny… we were asked to enter a band footy tournament and whilst we all love football we just didn’t want to embarrass ourselves so we gracefully declined. Musically though we are all pretty impressive! Hmmmm just thinking if there is anything, Jamie thinks can draw Homer Simpson quite well, and Matt can quote every word of Ace Ventura Pet Detective… as we said, pretty talentless.
~ Are there any other new local bands or musicians from Leeds you that you recommend we check out?
~ What’s the most rock ‘n’ roll thing you’ve ever done?
Formed a band with our best mates, toured all over the country, sat in a room together listening to our tracks being blasted out on a national radio, then woke up the next day with hangovers from hell, and picked up a national newspaper to see they have describe our song as “magnificent”!
~ If you could curate a festival stage, what five bands/artists would you invite to perform?
Matt – U2
Sam – Arcade Fire
Jamie – Noel Gallagher (but he is begging him to reform Oasis)
Jonny – Fleetwood Mac
Ben – Prince
~ What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Well we have just signed to a local label and we are planning a release through them, the new one is a belter it’s called ‘Born For Now’, then the boat is sailing down the river nicely, it seems a shame to rock it too much.