Tagged: teenage fanclub

Interview: Appletop

All the way from Toulon, in the sun-kissed South of France, Appletop have been pleasing our ears lately with their forthcoming album, Brave Mountains which will be released through Armellodie Records, on March 10th. Drawing on influences from Teenage Fanclub to Pavement, this is alt-rock at it’s most catchy. It’s easy to see why not only I love it, but also why 6music have taken an interest too.

Appletop - Promo 3

We had a chat to singer Pierre (in impressive written English, très bien!) who told us a bit about their music, their forthcoming album release and details of a Glasgow gig which is happening in April (further details to follow soon). You can also grab yourself a download of Madonna in Love, taken from their forthcoming album, at the bottom of the interview.

This is your first UK release, how long have you guys been making music together, and how did you meet?

We have been making music together for a looong time. We’ve been friends since high school, and released our first EPs in 2008/2009 and our debut album in 2010. Quite a classic story. Friends before bandmates, meeting at schools and gigs we were going to.

What’s your local music scene like?

It’s…unexpected. In the south of France, there is not quite a genuine rock n roll tradition. To be honest, not many people are into indie music or just music (if they are, it’s mainly reggae/rap), so it’s quite hard to find an audience, and in this respect, we’ve been relatively lucky I’d say. On the other hand, we’ve seen some quite amazing bands (in quite different styles), coming from our hometown, writing/playing fantastic music : Mina May, Mystik Motorcycles, Hifiklub, Tatiana Sauvage and Bokanosvky. Well, okay, even if they have remained (for now) rather confidential, these are brilliant bands, we grew up amongst them, which is definitely an inspiration.

On top of this, we now have good festivals, and in particular two great festivals directly in our hometown (Midi Festival and Rockorama) with outstanding line-ups every year.

You’re co-releasing the album on A Quick One Records in France and Armellodie in the UK. How did the link with Armellodie come up and why did you want to work with them?

Our first album was released on quite respected French label, but for reasons beyond our control it closed. At the same time, we were playing our first gigs in the UK, and somehow, we felt like we really wanted to give it try over there. Olivier Cancellieri (bass), who has also been mixing most of the album, is a total nerd. He’s often buying and selling gear online, and I think at some point he traded something with Scott Maple from Armellodie, and we started checking out their roster, so finally sent some sounds. They were cool enough to give us a shot.

We reckon we can hear a bit of Teenage Fanclub in your sound, which for us is never a bad thing. Are they an influence? Who else influences your musical style?

There is probably no point hiding that we are HUGE Teenage Fanclub/Pixies/Breeders fans. Well, we grew up in the 90’s, and it’s definitely the kind of music we all love, and where we met. At the same time, I don’t think we are really trying to write/play/produce music from the 90’s. We don’t make music to pay tribute to the past. To us, we are just trying to make music we like, it’s not like we thought about it and gathered saying “let’s make this kind of music”. Its just what happened, it’s selfish : us making music we like!

What are you listening to right now?

We all really dug the latest Mac Demarco, all three of us fell in love with St Vincent, so we’ve been checking out her new album. I heard Olivier (Cancellieri, Bass) is into Holograms, and Nicolas (Faou, drums) really enjoyed the latest Kurt Vile and Violators. (I also recently discovered Vampire Weekend, years later, so it’s a bit in my ears right now)

Have you got any plans to visit the UK? What about a summer holiday to Scotland?

This is happening pretty soon. I heard we might play Glasgow on Monday April 14th – check out www.appletop.eu, we’ll put that on very soon!

Finally, we have to ask, where does the name come from?

This is too silly to give an honest answer. For the most curious reader, the answer is inside our new album “Brave Mountains”, so I guess if you purchase it, you’ll know. HA! (Or maybe I’m just lying, and then you’ll never know. I guess you’ll just have to give it a try)

Brave Mountains is released by Armellodie Records on March 10th. You can pre order your copy here.

Appletop will also be playing in Glasgow on April 14th but as this is just ‘hot of the press’ news, we’re not entirely sure of all the details, I think it’ll be in The Roxy though! So yeah, keep your eyes peeled and definitely go along.

Teenage Fanclub at the O2 ABC, Glasgow – 02/06/2010

A friend commented to me before this gig, that going to see Teenage Fanclub was “just like catching up with old friends”. He’s not wrong. The room is filled with couples and groups of men who clearly have been acquainted with Teenage Fanclub from the early days, probably even before the release of their first album ‘A Catholic Education’. Nobody appears to be able to get around the room without seeing a face they haven’t seen since, well, probably the last Glasgow TFC gig! It’s a nice atmosphere and an atmosphere which I’ve experienced every time i’ve seen TFC.

Indeed, I feel that in my mid-twenties that I’m a youngster in the room, something that doesn’t happen often at gigs these days but despite my age, I remember Bandwagonesque as my earliest TFC memory. Growing up with a brother eight years my elder, I always wanted to listen to whatever music he was listening to. (Incidentally, just done some research and I would have been around 8 when Bandwagonesque was out. Are kids these days listening to The Phantom Band or even the new Teenage Fanclub album. I kinda hope so!)

The sun was shining again on Wednesday evening and really, there is no better weather to get you in the mood for a bit of Teenage Fanclub action. Veronica Falls kicked off the evening as support and it took me a while to decide on them. I think a few sound issues and the slowly filling up venue took it’s toll but the songs sounded good and I’ll definitely be trying to check them out again, maybe in a smaller venue.

The TFC set was mainly made up with songs from the new album ‘Shadows’ as well as a collection of classics from Bandwagonesque, Grand Prix and Songs From Northern Britain with a few others added for good measure. New songs Shock and Awe, The Past and recent single Baby Lee sounded just as good as you would have expected all the old classics to sound. Personal favourites for me on the night were the tracks from the ‘…Northern Britain’ album. Perfect for an early summers eve. Possibly a surprise for me as I regard Grand Prix as my favourite TFC album.

The main set ended with fan favourite Sparky’s Dream but the encore was a real treat. ‘Howdy!’ opener I Need Direction and Everything Flows from first album, ‘A Catholic Education’ finished off proceedings…or so we thought. After the house lights began to come back up we were treated to a rendition of Star Sign. A perfect end to a perfect evening!

Setlist:

Start Again
Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything
The Past
It’s All In My Mind
Don’t Look Back
Baby Lee
Can’t Feel My Soul
Shock and Awe
I Don’t Want Control Of You
About You
Sweet Days Waiting
Your Love Is The Place I Come From
The Concept
Ain’t That Enough
When I Still Have Thee
Sparky’s Dream

Today Never Ends
I Need Direction
Everything Flows

Starsign

The new album ‘Shadows is out now from all good retailers!