The Apes of Wrath just returned from South by Southwest, calling the four-day music festival in Austin, Texas, “overwhelming, daunting, and extremely exciting all at the same time. Watching so many sets of music paired with playing our own set over and over has really helped [us] see ourselves outside of ourselves.
“In San Diego, it’s really easy to fall into playing the same local venues since they are all so awesome,” says Robert Kent. “We could happily play at the Soda Bar, Tower Bar, Ken Club, Beauty Bar, and Casbah circuit for all of our friends for forever, but over the past year we have finally ventured out.… With the way-overdue release of this album, we have something to take on the road with us that represents the past two years of writing. Some songs are as much as two years old, and others were written just before we went in to record as a three-piece.”
“This last period of change for the Apes has been really emotional and exciting,” says Jake Bankhead. “We have embraced a simplified songwriting approach yet kept our energy.… The new sound is more concise and has a strong punk energy, but the melodies and dynamics are still there.”
“Less is more has been the mantra for a while now,” continues Kent, “but it is definitely not how we started out. It is fun to challenge ourselves to write tricky arrangements and extensive riffage, but we’ve all come to agree that there is something special about bands who can quell the fire of technical ability with tasteful restraint and stick to themes in a song. We are still learning how to do this and find it much more challenging, but progress is being made.… All in all, the new sound of Apes of Wrath is not drastically changing again, but we are definitely exploring new territory constantly to keep things fresh.”
The Apes are transplants who met in SD and have been together for three years. Robert Kent (lead vocals/guitar/bass) is from Irvine, CA. Jake Bankhead (bass/backing vocals/guitar) is from Atlanta, GA. Dustin Elliott (drums/backing vocals) is from Vienna, Austria.
The Apes of Wrath are touring the West Coast this May with Hotel St. George.
Album release is this Saturday, April 3, at the Ken Club. Ten dollars gets you admission and the new full-length.