Interview Dos With Four Apples
It’s super awesome to have Four Apples back on Chuck W. Dot Com to discuss, Anastasis. Interestingly enough, they will be releasing a full-fledged remix album simultaneously! It’s to be called Reminiscence and both are due out May 2nd, 2021. I had the pleasure of receiving some tracks in advance.
To not give a listen would be stupid, at best. Four Apples continues to grow musically, and it’s fascinating. What I find equally cool? Their ability to also get you thinking. Not even about music. There’s a hypnotic vibe about them. Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of that feeling here!
Thanks for coming back around to do another interview Four Apples! Honored to have you interview twice. A select few have provided me such an honor previously.
Thank you for this opportunity to interview with you for a second time! The first followed our 2nd Album! It’s certainly become quite a strange World since we were last on. We hope you, your family and friends are living well in this serious era.
This time, we are here to discuss not one, but two releases! First, we’ve released the remix album “Reminiscence.” This album is a ‘re-arrangement’. A re-arrangement where most of the tracks originally came from our 1st EP (# 1) from our 7th EP (Dear Kitty). And “Anastasis,” our 3rd Full Album. This is a completely new album.
We really like both albums and can only hope the same for everyone who listens. We do feel confident in the songs; Good structure, approachable and still experimental. But this is our opinion. Our opinion is not as important as that of the ones who know us, don’t know us, or even just enjoy music.
And, by the way, we also updated some music videos on YouTube! Please check them out as well!
Awesome! I’ll be checking that Youtube, for sure. Great job on all the new/remixed material you’re releasing. Readers that don’t know, ‘Anastasis’ will be Four Apples’ 3rd studio full length. With Reminiscence marking a unique take, with the release of a Four Apples’ remix album.
What do you attribute your large catalog to? You’ve built it extraordinarily fast.
Good question! We often get this question from our friends and people who listen to us. The regularity with which we release music is attributable to a large back catalog. Similar to yourself, Chuck, songs will sit in storage a while prior to release. This is despite the fact we are always writing, recording and cataloging new material. When we feel we have enough good songs, ones good enough for release, that’s when we do so!
We make new tracks almost every week. This gives us some freedom. “Do we want to release an EP?” – Sure, why not? – “Album?” – Absolutely. If the timing is right, that is! The art of music production is something we find enjoyable. There is no time for us to stop composing. It all comes down to enjoying what you are making and hearing what you what to be hearing from the material you release. Not sure if this approach suits everyone, but, in short, there is no other greater pleasure than to create this music for those willing to listen.
Awesome! Why exactly is it that you work so fast?
The answer is not dissimilar to the one provided for your first question. Because making music is all about us. We make this music, it excites us, and from this point we can never hold back from releasing. There’s this need to share what we have created. There’s not much all else, in the grand scheme of things, that we find to be as uniquely important as music, art, and combining the two into something which is marked with a beautiful and unique flair.
Your timing is always impressive. Transitions, key changes, tempo changes, etc. What’s funny is they almost always happen PRECISELY at one minute intervals – is this intentional?
This is a very interesting question! It’s not something we’d consciously decided previously. This would honestly be coincidence. But, I think I know why it exists. This is thanks to our love of a broad variety of music, and not just techno.
I cannot say I was aware of this minute-by-minute transitioning. But, maybe it stems from our listening habits. We frequent old music as well as new in our listening rotation. This massive combination might have brought you to this conclusion and thanks for noticing!
Regarding the track Bethesda Fountains Daytime – Song is both experimental and normal. How do you achieve weird and normal the way you do so well?
Thank you for noticing! Bethesda Fountains Daytime is our favorite track, so we appreciate the kind words! Sometimes our music is referred to as experimental but this genre is not always a 100% match. We haven’t done anything unusual. In fact, as usual, it’s an ambient / chill track made with our special pinache.
This is because we also love Lo-Fi Hip Hop. But this track, in particular, was created with the intention of making our own Lo-Fi Hip Hop.
It’s boring to do the same thing as other great Lo-Fi Hip Hop musicians all the time. So, Bethesda Fountains Daytime is an image that mixes ambient elements, Hip Hop elements, silence and a touch of anxiety…
Regarding Bethesda Fountains Daytime – The conversation had when listening to the track. Was this a real life conversation, or recorded from TV?
We used free material for the voice part. It’s a real conversation.
Regarding Bethesda Fountains Daytime – Why include this conversation? And why in English?
The answer to that question comes from the fact that the virus that hit us in 2020 has eliminated the everyday routine that used to exist. There was such alteration to the daily life most people enjoy, we found the use of a human voice in this portion to be absolutely necessary.
We chose this conversation simply because the sound of the conversation matched this track.
Regarding ‘Conifer’ – First word that comes to mind when listening for me is playful. Thoughts on that?
Thanks for this question about ‘Conifer’. Playfulness is an interesting expression for describing this song! The playful aspect is probably born of the fun that you can feel in the woods as a kid. Or, it can be found in the general feeling that is exhilaration.
Regarding ‘Conifer’ – At 2 minutes I stop feeling playful. I feel ‘thoughtful’ or ‘brooding’ – Did you intentionally take this from very happy to serious in this short time frame?
Another interesting question! This sonic atmosphere changes because we want it to feel like you are walking in the woods. The deeper you go into the forest, the more the sounds and information of the outside world will disappear. And that is what is reflected in this song; A meditative-like sensation.
It’s also worth mentioning other broad concepts that brought this song to life – The sound of nothingness, the beauty of life, and the feeling of opening a door, as if on the other side was your own spirit waiting for you. Overall, the atmosphere of the song changes as it is heard because it expresses the spread of all the emotions we could think to write about with sound or music.
As you continue to release new music, do you now go by a different genre than you may have one year ago?
Well… First of all, we have never cared about genres (My kind of answer! Chuck screamed to himself upon reading this :)).
Like John Lydon of our beloved Sex Pistols/Public Image Ltd., or Taro Okamoto, we only think about making what we want in the way we like it.
We are unaffected by the movements of strangers and the world.
At the same time, we are constantly looking for new ways of expression. We’re plenty keen to come into contact with music that we do not yet know and learn from it. We are not interested in such a rigid classification. I feel that rules are unnecessary and stifling. There’s no reason to be bound by them.
“Techno has to do this, Rock has to do this, Punk has to do this…” Most people will attach great importance to that rule and make art according to it. It feels very boring and ridiculous for us. Who decided on these selfish rules and why are we listening to this advice?
We find our music “experimental” because there are many other great old artists who helped shape the sound that became four apples. We are so influenced by punk rock, post-punk, early alternative musicians, big beats and old psychedelic music, among so many others. Famous acts within these classifications have always broken the existing concept, expressed their own music, and pursued it. We wish to do the same.
We want to continue evolving in a good way. In a unique and respectful way…
Regarding Drive under the neon – This song is awesome! At 2 minutes, you really drew my attention. Care to talk about this really awesome transition?
Thank you for such kind words for “Drive Under The Neon“! The transition into this track is like driving in the city at night.
The first half is like looking at the city while driving quietly. It’s dark on the streets with only the shimmer of the lights from utility poles to guide us.
In the second half, we made sounds with the following in mind; The suddenness of human emotions and desires, fears of being in danger, bitter painful sensations, Desire for destruction etc… This is why the tone of the song changes so suddenly throughout. It changes with intense sensations and speed.
And discrimination issues and conflicts in modern society, meaninglessness, criticism and conflict on social networks.
We also have the feeling of giving our own warnings about such things.
Regarding Drive under the neon – How do you manage to make a recording feel so much like a live experience? Because that’s definitely a part I always enjoy about your music.
We record almost all sounds to a PC using external synths. It’s a very analog method where we don’t use any quantization or MIDI. So, it’s close to a machine live or band recording. Upon second thought that may be exactly why you are getting this live feeling.
We don’t like the notion of ‘perfection’. Music and paintings are not perfect by nature. They are attracted to things that are a little distorted, dirty, and intentionally unstable. And they are the kinds of things that make the Humanities really beautiful and memorable.
For example, our beloved Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Nirvana, Led Zeppelin,The Vaselines,The Ramones and so many great punks, post-punks, and influential musicians of all time.
We think their good point is that not everything is perfect.
The same can be said of Van Gogh, Picasso, Jackson Pollock, etc. The works they produced are by no means perfect techniques as taught in art schools… But they created something forever beautiful because they weren’t perfect.
Our songs may not be the “perfect” pieces that critics and enthusiasts want as well.
But that is the aesthetic that we all have in common.
We would be happy if our songs and interviews could have an impact on the lives of strangers.
Regarding Drive Under The Neon – This song gets chaotic. But never lost. How do you always keep control?
I don’t know if we DO know how to keep/control it in the same context as the way you’re putting it. It’s kind of you to say so! We feel it’s more of a sign of the transition from normal to chaos, that places it in this context for you. Humans try to stop the madness somewhere in their minds, even if their senses are eroded by various desires. The above explains why you are receiving such a strong message of ‘chaos’ through the track … It controls it.
Regarding Silent Seaside – The word coming to mind here is lullaby – but I dont think this should be played in nurseries – agree or disagree and why?
We think Silent Seaside is more of a view of both the beginning and the end of a story, rather than nature and finality of a lullaby. The title of our 3rd Album is “Anastasis“, which means resurrection. Thinking on the word resurrection, it ‘governs the end and the beginning’… of anything, really. We think this is a song that praises both of those things; beginnings and endings.
Regarding Silent Seaside – This song is mixed much different! In the other songs, you went for ‘lush’ or ‘full’. Here, we get ‘punchy’ and ‘quick’ – Why the change?
As for the mix, we are always thinking about what serves the song the best. The production compliments the playing and not the other way around. This track is ambient and, as stated above, stands for the ‘beginning’ and the ‘end’.
To compliment the two, I aimed to make the sound a little dusty. This was to elicit feelings of nostalgia and warmth. The instrumentation obviously came first, but when it came time for post-production, we found it important to already be considering what we would do well in advance.
Future Four Apples Material ALREADY in the works ?
We are already working on the next work.
We never stop production.
Our life is to keep writing songs.
CW: I’m not even going to touch that grammar because, dammit, it’s beautiful
Onto Reminiscence! The New Remix Album From Four Apples !
Another impending Four Apples release is fortunately hitting us the same day as ‘Anastasis‘. We will have the joy of hearing their remix album, Reminiscence, at the same time (literally at the same time, if you wanted to get weird with it). Let’s get into some finer points with the Band themselves!
Why a remix album?
We’ve released many EPs and so on. Many of our old sound sources had subtle developments and sounds when we think about them now, so we always wanted to reconstruct them.
Therefore, this time, it only makes sense we release a Remix Album.
Regarding ‘Dive In Time’ – Why was this song selected for a remaster and inclusion on ‘Reminiscence’?
There is no particular recognition that it is this track.
What about ‘present-day’ Four Apples made you want to bring attention to this older track? To be on the nose, why is this song Reminiscent for you?
“Dive In Time” is one of our favorite tracks.
We don’t know if it’s a song that is unique to us, but we wanted to create a cool dance track that combines ambient and beautiful melodies with bouncing beats.
In this remix, we made the beat bigger, cut a part of the melody, and changed the effect.
By doing so, beauty and light beats are synchronized.
Regarding ‘Trick Art’ – I love the driving bass of this song. You have a gentle touch often times. Not that this disregards that, but I like it when you play heavy. Was this possibly a reason to re-visit Trick Art? To emphasize more driving elements inside your music?
Thank you for loving the heavy baseline of ‘Trick Art‘!
The reason for rebuilding this song is the same as the for other tracks.
However, this song is also one of our favorite songs. We think the remix makes it even more spectacular, mysterious, and danceable. It’s a cool addition to an original we were already fans of ourselves.
Regarding Trick Art – Around 2:00 the bass all but disappears into a sea of various synth sounds. The song never stops driving, though. Or, staying fast-paced and attention grabbing. How do you switch out ‘lead’ melodies with such ease? It’s honestly something I struggle with often in my music. It never seems to be an issue for Four Apples, though. Thoughts?
First off, let’s discuss the concept for this song, as developed while making this track.
This track consists of four parts.
This may be more like classical or opera than techno. We made this track because we wanted to put four developments in one song and bring out the fun of changing what looks like ‘trick-y’ art.
The bass disappears along the way, changing the melody and creating a synth sound whirlpool because we wanted to give a surprise. Letting the light disappear for a moment by pulling back on the music is similar to a light being reflected off of a camera lens.
This ‘whirlpool‘ effect can be heard, for example in the works of The Beatles, Pink Floyd in their earlier days (We mean original, Syd Barret, Pink Floyd), and some of The Prodigy’s works in techno.
It may be like a dream.
A pure feeling like a child.
That is also one of the important elements in our production activities.
Regarding Trick Art – By the end of the track, you’ve painted quite a picture. All elements fold-in on each other and the sea of sounds become an ocean. How did you keep the audiences’ attention so well, despite moving all across various parts, notations and melodies?
That’s an interesting question. We mentioned earlier that this track consists of four phrases. As with classical and opera, it concludes after moving through these various phrases. And this is also one of the important elements of this song, although it is titled “Trick Art“, this song also shows the influence of action painting.
This technique, represented by Jackson Pollock, has a number of overlapping colors and phrases.
And the finished product becomes one big work and gives us a strong impression.
You mentioned the word “sea” earlier, but you can see that this song may be the image of a large picture in which various elements are mixed so that the river eventually connects to the sea. ..
Regarding ‘Devil’s In The Floor’ –
Another Banger! When I think Four Apples, I USUALLY think calm, serene, ambient. Those are some initial adjectives. It’s not like I DON’T know Four Apples can go HARD, but I think this song is a great place to ask –
Why this track to remind people of this fact? That Four Apples can go from light, to dark, fast to slow, and everything in between?
We like beautiful songs, dark songs, noisy and poppy melodies. Basically, most of the sounds! EPs may be composed of only dark songs and only bright songs for each concept, but the album is basically mixed as you say.
We think of an album as life. Sometimes it’s bright and sometimes it’s dark and spicy. That’s why it’s beautiful. We have a desire to express this.
Finally, why were these tracks chosen as a parallel to the tracks being released on ‘Anastasis’? Why choose these particular ‘older’ Four Apples songs for a remix, while releasing these other songs? What makes them a nice fit for each other?
There is no particular reason. As mentioned at the beginning, we wanted to reconstruct the arrangement and sound that we think are most suitable for us now. Thus, the title of the album says, this is “Reminiscence“.
We also wanted to organize our past works to look back at childhood albums. We want people who listen to our work to know our sound now, and we think it’s easy to get people who don’t know to know it.
There is also an “Anastasis” because there is Reminiscence. Both are our current collections of sounds and songs. Please listen to each! Thanks in advance for any listens. We hope you, your family, friends and love ones are safe and well!
Ladies and Gents, that’s been Four Apples, again! Be sure to check out both Anastasis and Reminscence May 2nd, 2021! Whoo!!!