The History Of Apple Pie are finally about to release their debut album Out Of View. With a few bumps in the road and having to record the album twice, THOAP have got it right and made it worth the wait. The London quintet are ready to unleash their brand of fuzzy indie noise pop to the masses. The record is loaded with singles and should please their dedicated fan-base as well as a slew of new listeners. Steph and Jerome took the time to speak with AMBY about influences, their live shows and cool songs to cover.
AMBY: For those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing you, how would you describe The History Of Apple Pie’s sound in three words?
THOAP: Noisy, melodic, bittersweet.
AMBY: Your debut album Out Of View will be released in January 2013. How was the experience recording it?
Steph: We ended up recording the album twice. The first time felt rushed… Jerome and I felt incredibly pressured. It was mainly down to a lack of resources and we were essentially left to produce and mix it ourselves. Based on that experience alone, we don’t recommend any band. That wasn’t because of a lack of production experience – Jerome did a great job. But in terms of actually making decisions and being happy with our output – we were terrible at that. We felt there was so much at stake if we didn’t make the right decisions. We wanted amazing production – you know, the Butch Vig drums and ‘The Bends’ guitars – but the problem when we tried to apply those techniques to our songs they just sounded unbalanced. We experimented with so many different directions. It was only when we recorded it the second time that we realised we had to embrace the energy that the “lo-fi” demos had that people initially fell in love with. We needed to find the balance. Once Josh (Horrors) got back from tour we went in and re-did it all in their studio. We got our old friend Charles “Chicky” Reeves to mix it.
Jerome: He does a lot of pop music and literally knows everything there is to know about sound. They both really helped us to make the album we wanted to make! The production side of it was a gradual process. We did lots of versions of the songs as time went on and picked the best bits from each one. A couple of the guitar parts are from the original demos mostly because Jerome forgot how he made half the sounds. It’s great to have a finished album and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Steph: And the final sound of it is just so… “us”. I don’t know how to describe it, but it just works. We are glad that we got away with not having a lo-fi produced record but carried the rawness of the demos through to the final output.
AMBY: Who influences THOAP as musicians and songwriters?
Jerome: I really believe in kind of passive influence, if you just listen to something enough it starts to seep in and just comes out in the songs you’re making. We kind of just write songs out of nothing and then embellish them with sounds from things we like. It’s usually after that we realise where it came from. When we were writing the songs we were listening to all sorts of stuff, but probably mainly Radiohead’s ‘The Bends’, Elliott Smith’s ‘From a Basement on the Hill’, Blur’s ’13’ and My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’. I guess you can hear a bit of those records in it, but we rarely specifically draw from them. Steph sometimes takes from totally different stuff to me, I think that’s what gives it a nice contrast. She’s more into straight-up pop stuff and I come from a bit of a noisier guitar angle. I think that conflict of aesthetics is really great, they kind of fight, but combine in a cool way.
AMBY: How did the band come to form?
Jerome: Me and Steph just wrote some songs together at home, just out of boredom. We put them online and got a good reaction. We never knew if we’d ever release anything or play shows or anything. We got enough interest that we thought we should probably play some shows. We got James off Gumtree and met him at a local pub, we met Kelly at a Tame Impala in-store gig as she knew Kurt from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart who was staying at our house and Aslam was in a previous band with James and was suggested by him.
AMBY: I adore the song You’re So Cool, what is the story behind it?
Steph: The song was in homage to my old best friend from my hometown She was a huge film nut. Really into Tarantino films especially. She fell in love with this Tony Scott film True Romance, and by the end of one lazy Summer watching it together non-stop she was pretty much able to recite the whole script – most notably Alabama Whorley’s speech at the end. That film really reminds me of when we used to hang out and do all the bad things girls do to rebel against parents at that age… So I decided to write a song that reflected those Summers together. Apart from the obvious amazing storyline, my favourite things about the film are: Gary Oldman and Hans Zimmer’s You’re So Cool… hence where the song title came from. The romantic lyrics are coincidental. YSC was mainly written to encourage people to think and make up their own scenarios for the song to act as the soundtrack to.
AMBY: If you could cover any song, which would it be and why?
Steph: At the moment I’ve really been wanting to cover Bled White by Elliott Smith. And Goodbye Horses by Q Lazzarus – isn’t that song just incredible and spine-chilling?
AMBY: The new single Glitch has some interesting stuff going on sonically, is that an intentional tip of the hat to some of your influences?
Jerome: Someone pointed out the drums are kind of just a sped-up version of the beat from Fix Up, Look Shar’ by Dizzee Rascal. I’m not sure if that intentional or not, I totally can’t remember. The lead guitar is definitely pretty Pixies-style. Aside from that I’m not really sure, the backwardsy guitar part is just from a period where I was reversing everything I could and it just made the cut on that song. and there’s a little bit of Kevin Shield’s type bendy stuff in there too. There was actually a version of it which glitched-out drums, but we decided (I think rightly) that it was waaaay too cheesy considering the song title!
AMBY: Which three albums changed your life?
Jerome: When I was a kid I basically only had three albums, Blur’s ‘Great Escape’, Pulp’s Different Class and Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?. I guess that must have been 1995/1996 and I would’ve been about 6 or 7 years old. Those are the records that got me into music and that sound has always stuck with me. My dad worked in Reckless Records in Soho (which is actually on the front of the Oasis record) so he used to bring them back from work for me. I had the Japanese version of Great Escape which has the bonus tracks Ultranol and No Monsters In Me that I only just rediscovered, having had them in my head for 15 years and not knowing what they were!
Steph: Placebo Without You I’m Nothing, Portishead Dummy and The Birthday Party Hee Haw.
AMBY: What can people expect at your live shows?
Steph: To have fun, and hear lots and LOTS of guitar. The band really feed off each other’s energy. I think when there’s a lot of positivity and enjoyment coming from what’s going on on stage it naturally gets picked up by the audience. It’s great to see and hear fans singing and bopping along to the tunes they’ve heard/seen on YouTube of us or whatever.
AMBY: If you could invite three people to dinner who would you choose?
Jerome: Nikola Tesla, Alan Turing and Orville Gibson.
Steph: Justine Frischmann, Gary Oldman, and Dave Grossman or Tim Schafer (creators of my favourite point-and-click adventure Day Of The Tentacle).
AMBY: What is the best song of 2012 so far?
THOAP: Elephant by Tame Impala.
You can listen to THOAP’s single Glitch below, and of course keep an eye out tomorrow, for their debut album will be released! Lastly, thank you THOAP, for giving us your answers!
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Alicia & Yaz Atout