An ongoing Vox Informi series dedicated to letting people know something about the vast and talented array of indie artists out there. Covering who the band are as well as their music, these interviews are designed so you get to know them in new ways.
Today’s band: Apollo Junction
Coming Soon: Free EP to be released March 2013
Jamie, Matt, Sam, Ben and Jonny Age range 23-27
Band home base city:
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Role of each member:
Jamie (Singer, hair guru) Matt (guitarist, philosopher) , Sam (Keyboard, love doctor), Ben (bass, our own paparazzi) and Jonny (drummer, accountant)
When was the band formed?
The band was formed in September 2011 after Leeds festival.
How did you choose the name?
We were in a pub called the Junction and we discussing our favourite Rocky film. Some girl came up and asked if we were in a band and Jamie said we were the Apollo Junction…pretty cool actually.
List of formal songs/albums/EPs:
Pictures, Ending, Carry On, Mystery, Here come the Zombies, Begin, Almost There, Born for Now and Place your Bets (On Stormy Weather). These are accessible if you get in touch or you can come to our place and hear the other 10 we have written
Anyone learn or play any funky weird instruments?
Matt learn the kazoo once but we had to smash it as he kept us up all night doing covers of ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ on it
About how many live gigs have the band done?
Honestly we have only done four real gigs!!!!! In our previous bands we had gigged all over Europe and with some massive artists at and all worked our way up through the toilet circuit of gigs.
Methods of travel to get to gigs:
Bit cheesy but it has to be a van every gig…it is just ace on the way down the laughs you have. Jonny now enjoys the journey’s so much that he wears headphones for the entire time and an eye mask…
Favourite food dish of each member:
Jamie (His mother’s Parkin), Matt (Sausage, egg and Chips), Sam (Bacon sarnie with brown sauce (must be accompanied with a hangover)), Ben (oddly enough tinned tomatos…don’t ask) and Jonny (prawn sandwiches and sea salt and chardonnay white wine vinegar crisps)
Favourite band/artist of each member:
Jamie (Holland–Dozier–Holland, Burt Bacharach), Matt (The Beatles/ Daft Punk), Sam (Bob Dylan/ Arcade Fire), Ben (Bob Marley/Madness) and Jonny (Foo Fighters, Jessie J)
How do you describe your sound?
What bands/artists does the band list as influences?
Our sound is our own so I guess the big artists around us push us on from Coldplay to Calvin Harris. We want to be the best band in the world. We all listened to 90’s band and our parent’s record collection.
3 current favourite songs of each band member (not your own songs):
Jamie – Bastille have been doing some really cool things lately – David Bowie’s ‘Where are we now?’ was a very welcome song that took me by surprise – Candy by Robbie Williams is a classic slice of modern day pop.
Matt – Sorry to sound miserable but I struggle to find one…
Ben – Strange South View Juniors, I Can Lift a Car by Walk The Moon and Manners by Passion Pit
Jonny – Big fan of Two Door and their latest track Sleep Alone which is pretty awesome. Andy Burrows (Razorlight drummer). His new solo stuff is amazing especially Hometown. My current guilty pleasure is Lawson’s latest release – Learn To Love Again. Great track.
Sam – Lonely Boy by Black Keys – Ready To Start by Arcade Fire
3 all-time favourite songs of each band member (I know this is hard):
Jamie – ‘Slide Away’ by Oasis is beautiful – ‘I Say a Little Prayer For You’ is a song that just should be played to stop wars – ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ by Paul McCartney is the song that made me want to write songs.
Matt – A Day In The Life by The Beatles it’s the best song ever – Digital Love by Daft Punk private reasons – Inner City Blues by Marvin Gaye just a great song that album changed Motown forever
Ben – Light and Day – Polyphonic Spree, Champagne Supernova – Oasis and My Daily Food by Toots And The Maytals
Jonny – Walk by the Foo Fighters is my favourite song of all time. Has everything I want in a song. Big drums, phenomenal lyrics and melodies and great guitars to die for. The song moves me every time – Good Old Fashion Lover Boy by Queen never grows old on me. There’s not enough romance in the world, kinda reminds me of myself! I do love to Tango – Let It Be by The Beatles is a timeless classic. It was the first song I learned to play on Piano.
Sam – Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan – Give Me Shelter by The Rolling Stones – Roll Over Beethoven by ELO
If the band could play one gig anywhere before you died, what city/venue would that HAVE to be?
Jamie – For now the dream is to headline Leeds Academy. we have desires to headline festivals and arenas but for now as a starting desire – Leeds Academy is a common dream that reoccurs.
Matt – Half time show in the world cup in the Maracana in Brazil
Ben – Glastonbury.
Jonny – The ultimate for me would be a headline slot at Glastonbury. But for sentimental reasons a show at Elland Road would be pretty special.
Sam – Half time show at the superbowl
Best gig ever? Why?
The Cockpit in Leeds to 400 people. From start to finish the gig was special, the crowd and band were all there to have a good time. It was a gig as it should be. It was an amazing night, ending with the whole band being carried from the stage across the room.
Worst gig ever? Why?
Our own – in a carpark on the back of a van to a load of drunk people, someone fell off somebody’s shoulders half way through and totally ruined the atmosphere, they were okay though – the alcohol cushioned the fall.
For each of you, any obsessions outside of music?
Jamie – I’m obsessed with films, I studied it at university and love the whole process from concept to the big screen. I am definitely a geek that way.
Matt – I am in to philosophy, religion and science. I sometime stay up late watching debates and enjoy listening to people trying to tell me their opinion, we are all so interesting but not as interesting as the Universe.
Ben – Travel and football
Jonny – Sounds really boring but I don’t have any obsessions with anything other than music really. Apart from Twitter. I am thinking of de-Twittering.
Sam – Music music music
Do you play better or worse while drinking?
Jonny – Do your drink and drugs after the show – people have paid and want to watch an amazing set. It’s so tragic when you see bands perform badly because they can barely stand. We sometimes crack open a beer during a rehearsal to loosen up a little but we don’t rely on it to become more creative. Our music speaks for itself.
Alcoholic beverage of choice?
Our band drink is mead…there is a story – it dies with us
Favourite venue to see live music?
Jamie – The Cockpit, Leeds has an intensity that really makes a gig good.
Matt – I like Preston Guildhall good little venue
Ben – Josephs Well in Leeds.
Jonny – It was the Town and Country club in Leeds before it got closed down but there were some great gigs there – Bowie, Blur, Stone Roses to name a few. Why does the modern world always ruin a good thing?
Sam – Got to be The Cockpit
Favourite book and movie?
Jamie – I’ve read everything by Danny Wallace, probably ‘Join Us’ as it’s brilliantly nuts. All sorts of movies. I love the Rocky’s, I find that if I have 90 minutes spare then I often go back to Will Smith films for throwaway fun. ‘I Am Legend’ is a brilliant one to switch off too. Other than that films like Groundhog Day I can watch on repeat. I’m a member of Lovefilm and find that I watch about 3 films a week so I see a lot of dross also.
Matt – Book – Fantastic Mr Fox, Film – Le Diner de Con classic french comedy
Ben – Shawshank Redemption and book I like Peter Kays autobiography.
Jonny – Favourite book is probably the Collins UK Thesaurus…However I lent it to Ben so I can’t think of any words to describe it. Favourite film there are too many to describe but the first thing that comes to my head is Senna. What a remarkable production of a truly legendary bloke. Alain Prost – what a bastard!!
Sam – Book – The wasp factory by Iain Banks, Film – Anchorman ace film
Ever meet a hero of yours? If so who is it and how did it go?
Jamie – I met Noel Gallagher in a music shop in 2001, he was great and told a friend of mine that he should stop stressing about things and just get drunk and shag women.
Matt – Everytime I look in the mirror, it always goes well.
Ben – Never met Noel Gallagher im afraid
Jonny – I know it’s cheesy but my father is my hero
Sam – Never going to meet Bob Dylan
What song would you want played at your wedding?
Jamie – Songbird by Oasis.
Matt – Heaven Knows I Am Miserable Now – The Smiths
Ben – There She Goes by The La’s
Jonny – The End Of The World As We Know It by REM would be very funny. Failing that I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. What about David Bowie’s Lets Dance? Now that would be awesome.
Sam – I Want You by Bob Dylan
What song would you want played at your funeral?
Jamie – Number 9 Dream by John Lennon.
Matt – Ave Maria – Beautiful hymn
Ben – Light and Day by Polyphonic Spree
Jonny – Tragedy by the Bee Gee’s. But if I wanted to go all emotional My Way by Frank Sinatra. What a moving piece of music.
Sam -I Started A Joke by The Bee Gees (jonny is an idiot)
Any stupid talents?
Jamie – I have double jointed thumbs that can scare small children.
Ben – I can bite my toenails and dance
Jonny – Beat boxing. If all else fails I know I have a career in this industry.
Sam – I can do a cover of the Rocky music that will blow your socks off
Bass – style? Finger, slap, both?
Drums – Banger or player? Do you have a favourite piece in your kit?
I’m definitely a bit of both (sorry to be awkward)! I love the fact that I can thrash the shit out of the drums but play as groovy and sexy as it comes. As for favorite piece – it has to be my faithful drum stool. I have only ever owned one and it has been all over the world with me.
Singer(s) – special effects or no?
Only the usual things like reverb, nothing silly. I have a robot setting on my effects box and I use it sometimes in rehearsals in between songs just to upset the rest of the band. It’s amazing how someone talking to you in an electronic robot voice can really put you off during a conversation…