in which i chat with the appletons

so, a friend recently turned me onto the appletons, an alternative band of self-described “working class rockers” from los angeles. they’ve got this really eclectic sound that combines classic rock, blues, jazz, retro, and indie, giving it a very unique, highly-likable vibe.

markus law, the drummer for the appletons, was kind enough to answer some questions from me about the band and their music.

how you met heather: you guys have a very retro feel to your music, and yet also sound very distinctive, which I find refreshing in today’s all-too frequent cookie-cutter-sounding music environment. what are some of your influences and inspirations for your music?

markus law: One small reason for the different vibe we have is the range of influences we came into the band with. Besides having some common musical influences such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and U2; each individual member brings an array of influences that are quoted in our music. Some of these influences include: Lush, Radiohead, Queen, Cocteau Twins, The London Suade, and Joy Division as well as individual influences ranging from Art Blakey, Buddy Rich, The Edge, Bob Dylan, and Jimmy Hendrix, which are compounded by music genres that include jazz, blues, electronica, and classic rock.

hymh: the LA music scene is very eclectic yet exciting. what has it been like for the appletons “growing up” as a band in this area?

markus: Although we feel that we have not fitted into a particular phase since the inception of the band, we have welcomed the idea of standing out from many bands we have played with. We have never felt the need to sound like other bands nor the desire to separate ourselves from any scene. We bring what we like to play into rehearsal and allow everyone to add to the music as we like without limitations of guidelines of a particular sound. We like what we play.

hymh: the band is in a transition right now, looking for a new lead singer, as jeanette (the current lead singer) is going on maternity leave. what can listeners expect from the appletons in 2011?

markus: While we look for a replacement, we continue to write and play the same as we have done for years. The great thing about playing with The Appletons is that we are fans of our own music and of each other’s playing, as corny as that may sound. We plan on polishing our music and most important, have fun. We want to share our music with people and besides playing on stage, we get a tremendous joy when people approach us after shows to compliment our music.

thanks, markus!

i really dig their album, also entitled the appletons – it’s the perfect sort of music to listen to when you want to hang out with friends and relax. at times bright, others times breezy or even a bit dark, it’s filled with personable songs that highlight great guitar lines and sweet, retro-y vocals. some highlights from the album:

* half my time – slow and easy, with a bit of lo-fi goodness stuck in the middle. half the time i spent it chasing friends/while half the world was waiting for the end/and half the gods i knew i had to pay with pain

* summer days – reminds me, in a way, of being by a pool in palm springs or las vegas while drinking a mai tai. i totally could see this one being played in an aloha bar. mahalo! do you remember my name/because i remember yours was summer days

* a minute of hope – dark and bluesy with a sliver of sweetness in the chorus. you’re holding to things you’ll regret/you’re asking the questions nobody gets/you’re breathing the air that people infest/to make sure you’re right and wrong

* for your listening pleasure, here’s even when. my favorite off the album, its guitar hook is beyond catchy. love this song:

love is a story of all the things you ever wanted to feel right
and even when the world was not in tune
you always found it right
love is a worry for all the things you never wanted in your life
and it can sometimes seem so useless and sometimes vile
and when your arms entwine the edge of solace
and all the things you’ve done just fade
and no one seems to realize that loving causes so much pain
remember that i’ll never leave, know that i will carry on
even if the things in life
just never seem to match the things you’ve done before
remember that i’ll never leave, know that i will carry on
be strong don’t you worry
you make a better world by being who you are
even when the answers that we find don’t seem to be right
love is all we go, love is all we are…love

(mp3) even when by the appletons

here’s a video of them performing even when:

go HERE to buy the appletons’ self-entitled album.

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