Pop is not a rude word for I Am Apollo

IT HAS been a huge year for I Am Apollo. The five-piece band, who formed in 2008, released their debut record Rave On, two music videos and had a string of shows.Now they have been booked to perform in their biggest show to date, at the Peats Ridge Music Festival on December 29 to January 1.

The Leader spoke with band members Grant Cuthbert (Cuff) of Brighton-Le-Sands, George Georgiadis of Sylvania, Jez Strother of Cronulla, Mitch Griffiths of Sylvania, Dan May and Pete Mulas. They spoke about their sound and influences and why they like being independents.

Where did the name I Am Apollo come from?

Jez: It’s a band name that’s loosely associated with the Greek god Apollo. But it also means that we could be what we wanted. No rules, just create.

What makes your band different to others on the music scene?

Cuff: I guess we don’t really subscribe to any sort of scene or genre, we just let the music flow and see what happens. We like to change up our live shows every time, often we really don’t know how it’s going to pan out. But it’s good to stay on your toes, it’s more fun that way.

How would you describe your sound?

Jez: When we write songs, it’s almost always one acoustic guitar and the vocal melody. If the song doesn’t work when it’s stripped back to the basics then it’s not going to work filling it up with a full band. We write and play pop music and tell stories of us. It’s sad that as soon as you say “pop” people run for the hills; but I think the best music in the world was played under that banner.

Who are your musical influences?

Cuff: Anyone who put out records that make us want to call each other and say, “Dude you gotta hear this!”

Right now we’re big on a lot of those classics from the ’70s — Lennon, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zepplin — but also some great artists out there now like Donovan Frankenreiter and Gotye.

What was it like to organise the launch of your new single Jony and Jaq?

George: It was the first show where we’ve really had to do everything ourselves. Organise lighting, sound, promote, publicity; so we felt the pressure of being an independent band, but it was really satisfying to see it be such a success. It was great to finally show our new film clip for the new single Jony and Jaq on the night, too.

Are you interested in being signed?

George: If the deal is right, sure. I guess there’s benefits of both staying independent or signing to a label and we definitely don’t expect someone to come along and do all the hard work for us. At the moment we’re independent, and while it can be tough at times, there’s a great feeling when things work and you know that the hard work is paying off.

Where do you see the band in five years?

Jez: It’s a scary question. But I think our focus will always be on writing great tunes, recording them and getting them out to the people. We will be in LA next year playing some shows which we’re super pumped for. We’ll see what roads open up for us.