APRE took to the stage of Brudenell Social Club last week, and we caught up with them before their stunning performance to talk about touring, new music, and lyrical importance.
The pair are notably easy-going; even in their pretentious moments, they are self-aware of this nature and seemingly parodying their answers as they give them. Drum Machines Killed Music is the perfect example of this characteristic; the title is “taking the piss out of itself because it’s all got drum machines in it anyway”. The EP is one of their more optimistic and joyous bodies of work, but this wasn’t a conscious decision. Charlie explains that “it just happened. We never set out with any plan at all with music; I think if you write to some sort of brief then it never works to that brief. We didn’t write the songs with that title in mind, we just fused them together and thought we’d sort of take the piss out of ourselves.”
Despite modern streaming services insisting on an importance to genre definitions, APRE remain apathetic. “Don’t give a shit,” is the exact way they’d put it. “I think these days genres are just a bit … a bit bullshit, really. Everyone asks what kind of music we play and I go, indie alternative synth … pop … with influences of rock. It’s a bit impossible. I like that. We’re ambiguous,” they conclude.
The duo are also relatively pessimistic about the current music scene they’re surrounded by. Jules’ optimism that he likes “that the guitar’s making a slight come back” is met with Charlie’s note that “I think it’s relatively bad to be honest with you. Like new music, I’m struggling to find something that I genuinely like. We’ve done lots of festivals over the summer and I’ve tried to find new music but … I don’t know. I think it’s a little bit of a weird time. Nothing’s blown me away.”
This is perhaps why their music, though electronic and innovative, has a definite nostalgia to it: a clear influence from the past. They reference Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and other similar mid-2000’s indie-scene favourites throughout our chat as bands that they admire.
APRE toured with Sea Girls last year, expanding their fan base and complimenting the group as “really nice chaps”. Talking of the tour, they note, “You learn a lot about yourself, not just as a musician – like how you play- but how you are as a people. We were very sensible on that tour come to think of it. We’ve not been very sensible on this tour. Last night was the first night I haven’t drank anything – in two weeks. That’s quite bad.” In the midst of debating who was the most tired and hungover, Charlie mentioned, “We were in Belfast, and I’m quite good mates with Liam Gallagher’s bass player – I am!”, he exclaimed, when it became obvious none of us believed the name-drop. “You went for one drink with him and now you’re best mates? What’s his name?” “Jim.”
They ask their manager what Liam Gallagher’s bass player’s name is, and of course, it isn’t Jim. APRE seem to admire any artist that doesn’t take themselves too seriously; that isn’t let into the all too common pit of arrogance, and it’s clear that the reason for this is because the boys themselves refuse to lose their sense of humour.
Throughout their tours, the pair have seen each other develop musically, but also as people. “This guy’s turned into a massive prick,” Charlie laughs. “He’s definitely changed the way he dresses,100%. And in the way he walks as well; he walks differently.” Generally, however, the band refuse to care too much about their image. “I don’t really give a shit,” Charlie explains. “I just wear black on stage, I don’t give a fuck. It’s not really about that. I think there’s a lot of bands especially that aren’t doing too well and they dress like they are; like they’re fucking legends, you know? But they’re just shit. So that’s what I try to avoid. Because we’re doing alright but we’re still on the way up, still doing the groundwork, so I think at this point I just need to dress appropriately for where I am at. That’s what I think. I’m wearing a full leather bodysuit tonight.”
APRE make their listeners fall in love with instrumental tracks, perhaps because they value their sound far over their lyrics. “Lyrics definitely come last,” they explain. “I don’t give a shit. I think because I was a drummer before I did this, I didn’t really think about lyrics that much. I think we spend the most time on melody; we spend ages on that. I think when you start getting a fan base you start realising lyrics mean something to people; you become more inspired to try and get something that people can relate to. Because there’s no point singing to a bunch of people that don’t have a clue what you’re going on about.”
“Some of the tunes I don’t even know what they’re on about, you know? That ‘Backstreet’ song, what the hell is that about? I have no idea. And ‘Everybody Loves You’, what the fuck is that about? Not a clue mate. ‘Without Your Love’ I understand what that’s about. ‘Heaven’, I understand that one.” More than most groups, the duo seem ready to admit that their some of their music has no real meaning or message. However, that isn’t to say that none of the songs have a story behind them. ‘Gap Year’ is about their mate who, you guessed it, went on a gap year, “and came back a dick”. The pair laugh about how he suddenly found religion and married really young, before returning from his travels a changed person. “What else … ‘All Yours’, I understand that one. Although the verse is complete bollocks.” The pair simply enjoy making music that they can appreciate the sound of – there’s no hidden agenda; no political message embedded in the corners of each song.
Following the success of their latest EP’s, the duo are getting ready to release their next project; “it’s going to be called As The Crow Flies,” they reveal. “No one’s heard that yet, actually. Very exclusive.” The collection will feature ‘Come Down’, ‘5 to 5’, ‘Go Somewhere’, which isn’t released yet, and a song called ‘Dream World’. “It’s all about just fucking off. Being free. I think like living in London where everything’s manic and everyone’s mental, it’s kind of about just… escaping that. Whether that’s forever or just a small period of time. It’s all about being a crow and flying away”.
APRE have an incredible body of work already available for you to have a listen to before this release; check out ‘After You’, ‘Don’t You Feel Like Heaven’, and ‘All Yours’ if you’re new to their chess-club born tracks.