ATP Week - Apse Interview

The experimental rockers on joining the ATP family...
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Connecticut-based outfit Apse weave textured shoegaze patterns into semi-metal shapes via folk-inspired interjections and primal percussion, exploring the outer limits of rock excess while always retaining control of their projections. As the title of their one and only LP to date, ‘Spirit’, suggests, this is music to reach deep inside you, stimulating more than the mere tapping of a toe or nodding of a head.

The band formed back in 1999 while in college, expanding over the years to its present formation via a series of member comings and goings. An untitled EP emerged in 2001, followed swiftly by ‘Cloud’ the year after and then ‘Three Dialogues’ in 2003. ‘Spirit’ was originally released in 2006 and picked up by ATP last year, re-issued with a bonus track. Hugely acclaimed, the album is among ATP’s very best.

With a new album, ‘Climb Up’, scheduled for later this year, the band’s frontman and sole founder member Robert Toher answers our ATP-related Q&A…

(Listen to Apse’s ‘Legions’ on the audio player above.)

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Apse – ‘Wind Through The Walls’


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How did you come to work with ATP in the first place?
They contacted us via the Internet after hearing tracks from the original release of our album entitled 'Spirit'. They asked us to send them a full copy, which we did. After a few weeks they offered to re-release the record, which came out last summer with an additional track and revised packaging.

What do you think the label’s reputation is, amongst the music-buying public? What does it ‘stand for’?
I think ATP is very well respected amongst music fans, musicians and critics alike. It’s unique and it has a mom & pop, grassroots feel that makes it outshine the corporate festivals and events. It is what a festival and a label should be in this respect.

Do you feel the label stands alone from the festival, or should the two be seen as connected? Could one exist without the other?
Of course. Both could exist without the other. However it’s nice that such a well-respected name - first for the festival - has created a label, putting out the works of the bands that they enjoy. Bands picked by the label get a different sort of specialty 'podium' of sorts. Being an ATP band is unique in contrast to being on a regular independent label.

Have you played an ATP festival, home or abroad? If so, what was that experience like for you? Is there a festival that comes close to what ATP does?
We played ATP Vs Pitchfork last year in the UK, as well as ATP NY in upstate NY. Both were respectively wonderful experiences, and of all the festivals I've played and/or attended, certainly they have their own thing going to say the least.

Does working with ATP give you a degree more freedom than another label might, do you think?
Not sure how to interpret this one exactly. Certainly there is more freedom than if we were working with a big ol' corporate label. But creatively there has never been a point in my mind where I questioned if something would be okay or not. We make what we make, send it to them and get their feedback. Thus far it’s been well received. I suppose if they had a major issue with something I would first re-evaluate the work before contesting their comments. I respect their opinions and I don't think they'd have any unreasonable requests. Their advice and the way they do things has always been rather wise and insightful in my mind.

Can you tell us about your latest release for the ATP label?
As I mentioned, ATP re-released our 2006 record entitled 'Spirit' last year. They thought it would be a good place to start and we agreed. The material was written in 2005, so we're ready to catch up with a new LP this fall. In the interim we've released an intermediate full-length EP via a small vinyl-only label called Equation Records. That record is called ‘Eras’. It was a specialty thing and in discussion with the label it was decided that it made sense to keep it outside of ATP. Only 500 copies were pressed to begin with. We are presently finishing up our new LP to be released on ATP, entitled ‘Climb Up’. It is ten tracks and roughly 50 minutes; a much different approach, and much different material. But I suppose Apse is a band that likes to change very considerably from record to record, and this is the next step for us.

Do you have an appreciation – a love, even – of other act/s on the ATP label, and if so did their involvement with the label lead you to signing with ATP?
While they didn't lead us particularly to sign with ATP, there are other acts that I enjoy on the label. I'm particularly fond of Sleepy Sun right now. I've enjoyed Fuck Buttons’ live performances and they're nice fellows in person. Of course I like some of the other acts too, like The Drones, The Scientists, Alexander Tucker, Deerhoof. But Sleepy Sun is probably my favourite act on the label right now.

If ATP didn’t stand for All Tomorrow’s Parties, it would stand for… what?
Candy Says?

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‘Spirit’ is out now. Find Apse on MySpace HERE, and the official ATP website HERE.

More ATP Week content…
* Alexander Tucker Interview
* The Drones interview
* Interview with the first ATP curators, Mogwai
* Fuck Buttons Interview
* Deerhoof Interview
* A Brief History: interview with ATP founder Barry Hogan
* ATP: A Beginners Guide

Tomorrow: Super Furry Animals, HEALTH, Grizzly Bear and more.

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