The History Of Apple Pie: ‘We’ve Always Been Gearing Towards This’
The History Of Apple Pie's Stephanie Min talks 'Out Of View'
They’re riding that constantly ‘reviving’ wave of fuzzy, slacker rock bands, but The History Of Apple Pie’s debut full-length ‘Out Of View’ proves that the raucous, retrospective London five-piece are doing much more than simply aping their shoegaze heroes.
By Huw Oliver
Posted 24th January 2013, 1:00pm
In anticipation of their DIY Presents gig at the Old Blue Last on 19th February, as well as the release of 'Out Of View' on 28th January of course, voluble vocalist Steph debriefed us on how they went about creating it.
Why ‘Out Of View’?
We went through a bunch of names which we didn’t like, and then we decided to go with the name of the first song me and Jerome ever wrote together, before the band had even formed. It seemed significant in that sense, so that’s what the album’s called.
How long have you been focussing on it?
A long time. Since Jerome and I met the rest of the band, we’ve always been gearing towards this. It’s been the main thing we’ve wanted to accomplish. But in terms of actually writing the record, we’ve probably been working on it for the last eight or nine months. We went and recorded it once earlier on last year, but we weren’t very happy with it, so we decided to record it again.
Is it you and Jerome who write most of the songs?
Yeah, it’s mainly us two writing it. I think we tried to get the band to write before but they seem really happy with just playing what we write, which is great. And then when it comes to the live situation, they contribute there, coming up with all the fills and stuff.
Who writes the lyrics?
I have to tackle the lyrics. It’s just me; I don’t think Jerome has come up with anything. He mainly does the guitars and the instrumental side of things. But some other songs on the record are from when I started learning guitar earlier on in the year. I was putting my songs down in basic power-chord form, and he would interpret them.
I read in a press release that you write about “medicated teenage heartache”. What else?
I don’t know, really. In terms of the lyrics, that probably comes right at the end, as I get an idea of what I want the lyrics to be depending on how the song already sounds. If we’re going for an upbeat song, then I’ll obviously go for some sort of upbeat story. There’s nothing specific that I write about. I just like real feel-good songs, and also really heartbreaking ones.
What I’ve noticed about the album is that it really seems to capture the feel of your live shows much more faithfully than your earlier recordings. Was that your intention?
Absolutely. The second time we went to record it, we definitely wanted to do that. First time round, we had wanted it to be really well-produced, not at all lo-fi, going against all the usual rules of being a slacker band. But then we realised that a bit of the spark was missing from our earlier demos, and so eventually we managed to find a really good balance. The main thing was to keep the energy and rawness of the demos as much as possible, because that’s what everyone enjoys.
The album is self-produced. Would ever have considered doing it any other way?
I think it was more because we were sort of forced into doing it ourselves because we didn’t really know anyone else who would do it. It was just the situation we were in. We had to put the record together really quickly, but luckily we had access to the Horrors’ studio. We were friends with Josh, who helped engineer it. We’ve been learning about production and engineering from him. He just decided to go with it. We were pretty scared the first time we wrote the record, but much less intimidated the second time. I think Josh contributed to calming us down a bit every time we got stressed out.
Favourite bit of kit you used?
There’s actually quite a lot of synth on the record. We ended up putting in this really cool synthesiser sounds. It was one of Tom from the Horrors’ synths. We put it through the guitar and I’m actually playing it on ‘I Want More’. I really enjoyed doing that, but there are tonnes of sounds which Jerome made that I couldn’t begin to describe. I have no idea how he made them.
You’re big My Bloody Valentine fans. Are you going to see them at the Apollo in March?
Yeah, we are. We’re all really into them. I bought tickets for the band for Christmas, so they’re all pretty happy about that.
THOAP are touring for the first time in over a year in January. How would you say your live show has changed since then?
We’re a lot better than we were when we started, so that’s a massive change. We all gave ourselves a big kick up the arse. We told ourselves we had to get better. It’s brilliant now. The first time we really saw that there had been a massive change was when we played shows last year. In the first year, we were playing so many that you couldn’t really tell if we were progressing in any way. I was still trying to find my place as a lead singer, you know, what kind of style of front-person to be. But last year it all sort of fell into place, especially when we were playing with Graham Coxon. We felt a lot more comfortable. We’re a lot happier on stage now. You can tell that we’re enjoying ourselves.
Following the album release and tour, what have you got planned?
I really want to do some festivals. We all do. We’re going to play in France, and I hope that we get to do some European tour as well. The main thing is that we’re just going to keep on writing. I feel like we’re a year ahead, considering we had pretty much written all the songs on our album about a year ago. We’re starting to write all the rest of the stuff now. We’ve already started looking into a sound for a new record.
The History Of Apple Pie's new album, 'Out Of View' is released on January 28th via Marshall Teller.