“KC Zombie” — Wildcat Apollo
We’ve been busy over here at sharx, but we wanted to take a minute and bring you some new music and an interview with the band Wildcat Apollo, a Brooklyn/Austin based band that moves between shoegaze, psychedelic, pop and dance rock to create a unique sound that fully develops over the course of a track.
Band members include Cat Tassini on synthesizer, percussion and providing vocals; Taylor Eichenseer on guitar and singing; Aaron Eichenseer on guitar and bass; and Alex Margolin on drums, percussion and synthesizer.
Wildcat Apollo is playing a show Dec. 18 at Arlene’s Grocery at 95 Stanton Street in Manhattan. Wildcat Apollo goes on at 10 p.m.
Take a listen and follow the jump to see the interview in its entirety.
So tell me how the band got started, how you met and how you decided that you were a band. When did everyone meet and decide that a band was the thing that needed to happen?
Taylor: I guess it goes back years. My older brother Aaron has been playing guitar since he could walk. In high school, I got a little disinterested in sports and found my way back to music after many years apart. Mostly because of Aaron and also because of our parents encouraging us. We quickly wanted to get Alex in the loop, so I got him started off on drums and I started playing guitar.
We all sort of split up for college and had various experiences with other groups. Cat went to theater school and she wasn’t playing music.
Then, we all met back up in Brooklyn about a year and a half ago.
Cat: I’m not from Austin so I wasn’t part of the band ever before, or any other bands. I happened to move in to Taylor’s apartment as the band was forming, and I joined it.
You seem to move between genres pretty easily. You use both real and electronic drums and you use multiple singers. We really wanted to ask you why you have so much variety in your music and in your songs, and how did this come about? How did you decide to have so much variety?
Alex: I think we all appreciate different types of music and we listen to many types of music, so it’s really natural for us to try things, and have different ideas.
Taylor: We get to see a lot of indie groups here in Brooklyn and when we’re in Austin–we were in Austin over the summer. It’s great to see what our peers are doing, but we very frequently get frustrated when we see a band that seems to play the same song over and over. We’re motivated by that and always looking for that thing we’ve never heard before.
Cat: I don’t feel like we’ve decided to sound a certain way. I think our feelings just came through naturally but we never set out to sound a certain way. We just have fun playing together or if someone comes up with a song idea we don’t set it out that black and white.
The album you just released, self-titled, is your first full length album. Let’s talk about that real quick. One of the things we liked about it was a lot of the tracks were a little longer–they’re more than four minutes–and that’s really refreshing. It really allowed you to develop each song. Did you set out to record longer songs, or is that just how the songs came out?
Cat: A few of our songs were even longer than that. Those are like the edited versions.
Taylor: The album is largely song focused as opposed to it being more of a concept type of album. I guess there’s only one song that’s at three minutes. But I guess brevity would be important.
Cat: Brevity is the soul of wit.
Taylor: We want to get more into experimental song structures, so I think we’ll be pushing even more into that realm into the future.
Were you aiming for anything in particular with this first album or did you just lay down the tracks you had already done together? How did this album come together?
Taylor: Two summers ago, we declared ourselves a band and we were working on garage songs I’d written by myself before we started a band and we just weren’t very psyched about the material. Having gotten just more than my mind working on the creative process, we started writing more as a group.
We had about half the album pretty well put together by the spring, and we decided to go to Austin for the summer, which is where me, Aaron and Alex grew up and where Aaron lives currently. We had the belief that we had a good combination, the four of us, we just needed to focus on what we considered better material, so we spent the summer rehearsing songs and writing about half the album which came together when we were living in Austin.
Cat: Most of the songs that were written before the summer were radically rewritten.
Did the vibe of Austin help the album come together or was the city just a place where you were comfortable, so you came down here to record?
Cat: I think being in Austin definitely affected us. We were renting a house there, so we could just practice in our living room. Where, like, in Brooklyn we were going to a really tiny box in a dingy basement to record, and we’re paying a lot for it, and we have to go through the cold to get to it.
Austin was much more laid back and comfortable. It probably helped us relax into our songs.
Taylor: It was very nice to be in a more relaxed setting where if something wasn’t working, you just set it aside, relax and come back to it. It’s kind of stifling to be in New York sometimes.
Alex: We also got to see some really great live music like Blues on the Green. We got to go to Hotel Vegas and see some cool bands and different styles of music than what we might see in Brooklyn, which I think influenced us a little bit.
Cat: Taylor and I went to Psych Fest, and we were very very inspired by that.
Now that you have an album under your belt, what are you doing to stay busy and what’s next?
Cat: Playing lots of shows.
Taylor: We’re independent–not associated with a label–so we’re learning what you do now that we have an album…
Cat: Learning to promote ourselves…
Taylor: And trying to get the word out. The next thing to do is to really work on our live set. We’ve really focused on, the first year and a half of the band, on the writing and we ended up with this record. Now it’s a different approach.
We’re shooting a music video for K.C. Zombie in December, and we’re moving to Austin in January. We’re very excited.
Cat: We worked really hard on the album. We put it out there to connect with people