Ahead of their Roundhouse Rising show

After forming what would become The History of Apple Pie in relatively inauspicious surroundings (their bedroom), Stephanie Min and Jerome Watson’s project is starting to gather pace. Originally purely a MySpace page the couple were posting tracks to; they decided to start taking it seriously (and recruit a band) after they received some industry waves of approval applauding their poppy undertakings. The band, which now includes James (drums), Kelly (bass) and Aslam (guitar), are to play Roundhouse Rising on 18 February. We caught up with Stephanie to find out more.

- - -

How did you guys come to form?
Stephanie: Jerome had been in a couple of bands but I’d never done anything like this before. We started making some songs in our room together, mainly for fun, and posted them online, then we went looking for other people to play the parts.

What made you decide to make a go of it?
Stephanie: We started getting e-mails from labels and managers after posting our first track online! It was very overwhelming and they didn’t know I had no experience whatsoever and was basically just a hairbrush singer in my bedroom. It scared me a tiny bit but we decided we’d just go for it.

And you advertised for the band on Gumtree? What did the ad say?
Stephanie: I think it was something like ‘Noisy Pop Band. Want to join?’ But we didn’t really know what to say! James, our drummer auditioned and had learned all the drum parts before coming to meet us.

The History Of Apple Pie - Mallory

- - -

Since the band has been formed are you and Jerome still the principal writers?
Stephanie: Yeah, we lay down the foundations of everything and I think that will carry on because the interests of past songs have is a direction we want to continue in. But the tracks are really shaped when we take them into rehearsals and the band adds their bits which will then be tried out in live shows.

Do you and Jerome have the same influences?
Stephanie: We do now but if we looked back to when we were 15 or 16 then it would have been very different: his Dad was manager of a record store so he grew up listening to a lot of really cool bands whereas I grew up listening to cheesy pop music, which I’m still a massive fan of! He’s always been the one to introduce me to new music.

What parts do you both play in the writing process?
Stephanie: For the past year it’s mainly been that he does guitar parts and I’ll focus on vocal melodies and harmonies on top of that. I took up guitar two months ago and I’m now playing it live but it was originally because I wanted a way to interpret the song ideas in my head. Before, all I could do was hum the songs to him and he wouldn’t understand – I’m slowly getting my head around it and being more creative.

There also seems to be a few Americanisations in your music?
Stephanie: Yeah we’re all fans of Sonic Youth, I’m a big fan of all Sarah Records stuff and Galaxie 500 but my influences change all the time. I can’t stop listening to Metronomy at the minute, which is amazing. I also watched a lot of teen films growing up too but our writing doesn’t have anything to do with Jerome and I. We’ve been together for four years now but I can’t say that anything I write about is based on us – I imagine myself in high school scenarios and there’s a load of shit going down!

Is the band name an American reference?
Stephanie: No! Jerome and I didn’t think the music would come to anything and we were in our room just googling random things trying to come up with a list, the one that we were both attracted to was the History of Apple Pie, which had a ring to it and didn’t mean anything. We’re criticised a lot for the name but it’s something we never think about it – to us it’s not what should be at the forefront of a band’s worries!

Are you writing the album right now?
Stephanie: We’re laying down the foundations and aiming for an end of summer release but apart from that it’s all up in the air! People are pushing for it which is a really nice thing and I’m glad we’ve held back with a lot of our material – we’ve gave away three songs but have got loads down. We’re raring to get it out there now.

Not wanting to over-expose yourselves?
Stephanie: Yeah and the concern of not wanting to meet people’s expectations all the time. We needed this last year to finally become a proper band and be good at what we do. I used to get so many bad reviews from people who said I looked like I was about to cry on stage or I looked like I was awkwardly trying to dance! We’ve changed so much – I’m far more confident on stage now and we’ve grown tighter as a band. I used to think it was sexy but I think it was more Napoleon Dynamite.

Words by Sam Ballard

The History of Apple Pie play Roundhouse Rising on Saturday 18 February

Keep up to date with The History Of Apple Pie on their Facebook page.

Follow Clash: