APES Unleashed at BIGSOUND 2014

APES have toured with the best. The first tour I saw them on tour was with English three piece Band of Skulls, where APES lashed out a sweltering set of raw rock. Their latest single, Pull The Trigger, has found love all over the globe and particularly at home with stations like Rabbit Radio and Triple J picking it up for regular airplay. I caught up with APES at Bigsound to talk airplay, touring and all things Bigsound.

APES have been enjoying steady attention from Triple J since mid-2012, with reviews from Richard Kingsmill, Linda Mariano and Rosie Beaton decorating their well-visited Triple J Unearthed page. Their biggest success, however, has come with Pull The Trigger, and Ben, the frontman of APES, had a bit to say about that.

“It was this riff I had been just strumming along with in my Dad’s garage, for about 6 months or something. Sometimes you can just smash out a song and it’s done, but sometimes you play around with it for 6 or so months before turning into something. It was pretty organic, everyone got onto it pretty quickly. Michael Belsar (of Hunting Grounds) produced it, and he’s got so many good ideas and so that’s how we got the end result.”

APES (Supporting Band of Skulls)

APES (Supporting Band of Skulls at The Hi-Fi, Brisbane.)

APES cut their teeth in Melbourne, but hail from outside the city limits at Ballarat. The four piece were taken on a whirlwind, Australia-wide tour with Band of Skulls, who came over to tour their latest album Himalayan.

“They were all really nice guys, they’d just come hang out. We learnt so much off them from the process they go through and play, just seeing a band at that level go about their business, we got to take alot from it. It was unreal. We never really felt like there is a barrier between them and us.”

APES aren’t strangers to Queensland, but this was their first Bigsound. With three shows and a whole lot of interviews, it was no surprise they were astounded by Bigsound’s rigorous schedule.

APES Live at Oztix Party

“This is our first Bigsound, and when we saw the schedule today we were pretty overwhelmed. We actually went for a bike ride this morning to get the blood pumping. After Bigsound, we’re heading over to England for a run of 4 or 5 shows, which we’re really excited for. As for coming up to Queensland, we’re touring with Manchester Orchestra so we’ll be back in Brisbane with them.”

The band certainly had an interesting story to recount about the last two times they had played on the Gold Coast on their previous east coast tours. The story, which I can confirm to be true, is something that can hardly be believed.

“Last time we were on the Gold Coast we saw a mangina in the crowd, right in front of our faces. It was at The Loft, so we felt like we were playing in someone’s loungeroom. It was like someone flicked a switch and everyone went crazy, got naked and started kicking over mic stands. They were fucking mental. That night was nuts, and to this day we still have no idea what happened that night. When we came back six months later, the owner wanted to put a barrier of chairs up in front of the stage because he was worried the crowd would go crazy again.”

There you have it, the incredible APES. Their sets at Bigsound were a sight to behold as the band belted out rock in the best way possible. I for one cannot wait for this band to return to Queensland.

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