"All About The Album" - If you'd like to feature your band/album, email: urban
AN APPLE A DAY : "Yes We Can "
AN APPLE A DAY... Will keep the doctor away but it will also satisfy your hunger for some funky music! The members of the group have been in projects such as Fred Leslie's Missing Link and AOR fans are no doubt familiar with the band's guitarist Mario Percudani, who's involved in Lionville, Hungryheart and Mitch Malloy's European live band. ¨
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
The album has only been out for a few days, so we haven’t really got anything to go on yet. We do know that our mothers like it though. And that’s really what counts.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
The actual recording process was quite fast. We spent about 5 days in the studio, laying down the bass, drums and percussion and then refined the guitar and organ part later. But from actual start to finish this album took about a year and a half. Actually close to two full years. It’s a difficult and slow process when the band is based in two different countries and the 12 featuring artist all live in different corners of the planet. Not that the people were difficult, quite the opposite, but it was quite the logistic nightmare.
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
When you dabble in the realm of old funk/soul music, things can’t sounds to polished. Luckily we all love the old gritty style that flourished way back when. So that is what we aimed for.
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
Since we produced the album ourselves, it was a pretty smooth process. We all came into the studio with a pretty good idea of where we wanted to go with this album, so we just sat down and played.
There were some changes that were made on the spot though. Two of the tracks (“Out On The Tiles” and “It’s A New Day”) weren’t originally planned for the album. We had two completely different tracks planned, but after trying them out and seeing that they didn’t fit as well as we hoped, we canned them and went with the two new tracks.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
Of course! There will always be things that you can fiddle with, but you can spend the rest of your life tinkering with an album and never get it out there. That said, I doubt that we would even consider releasing anything that we all weren’t 100% satisfied with.
Did the producer (or you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
No, we just did it the good old way. Some good microphones, some good instruments and some good hands here and there.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't?
Even though the end result was recorded over several takes, we all recorded at the same time to get that “live jam” feel. We just kept everything pretty simple trying to respect the natural sound of our instruments, no special effects or any special secrets.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Because there were so many different featuring artists on board, and none of them recorded in the studio with us, every track brought a surprise with them. There are times in the studio after the 10th take that you start to grow a bit tired of certain tracks, but then you forget all of that when you receive the vocals tracks and you get to fall in love with the song all over again. And lucky for us, we got to experience that with all of the tracks on the album.
I hate to single out any specific track, but “Troglodyte” was quite special for us. We all knew, somewhat, what we were getting with the other singers. We had, after all, heard them all perform before. But We had no idea what we would get back from Mr. Roundtree. So as you can imagine, we were all blown away when we heard what he had done with it.
Also both “Yes We Can” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” were something special because the lyrics were original. But again, we were blown away by what “Abdominal”, “BluRum13” and “Lyrics Born” came up with.
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Since all of the tracks on this album are covers, the main issue for us was to make them “ours”. Some of the songs were quite easy to approach because the originals were funky already, but some of the more rock-based tracks took some effort to funk up.
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
Out guitar player Mario Percudani owns the record label that we released the album on, so that meant that we didn’t have to worry about a label poking around.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
Recording sessions aren’t really all that exciting.
After we had everything in the can and started to plan the vocals with the all of the featuring artists. We contacted Mr. Richard Roundtrees agent to enquire about the possibility of having him do the vocals for “Troglodyte”. At first he said no, due to the fact that he personally knew Jimmy Castor (the original artist) who recently had passed away, and therefore felt uncomfortable doing it. But a week or so after, we were contacted again by his manager and asked to call Mr. Roundtree. He explained to us that he had spoken with Jimmy Castors widow who told him to do it and that Jimmy would have thought that the idea was fun. So that was huge for us to have the blessing of Castors closest family.
What's the story behind the name 'An Apple A Day'?
Well... Mario (guitar) is quite the romantic, which sounds like sounds like “Aromatic”. Paolo (organ) drives a Chevrolet El Camino, which sounds like “L-amino”. Craig (bass) drops a lot of acid. And Kapper (drums) has a lazer box on his car, which he calls The Box Car Lazer, which sounds like “Decarboxylase”.
Now, those 4 words “Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase” are abbreviated as AAAD, which also is an abbreviation of “An Apple A Day”.
That is actually not true, but the true story is boring! We simply picked out of thin air. Our previous project “Fred Leslie’s missing Link” needed a new name because we changed guitarists, and “An Apple A Day” was the first thing that came to mind. Boring but true.
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
I don’t think that you can give a perfect description of any music. You need to hear it for yourself, whether you like it or not...
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
We all come from completely different music backgrounds, I think that’s why we work so well together. But we all share a common love for all that is funky. Anything that make you move your feet.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
Keep calm and listen to the album!
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,