Introduce yourselves and tell us what you've been up to recently?
I'm Tom from Apollo's Heir. We've just released our debut EP and our first single - Vincible - is now available on iTunes. Since our EP launch we've been trying to spread the word and get as many people as possible listening to our music. We had a great time the other week playing an acoustic set on The Parisa Show on North Manchester FM and we're going to start releasing acoustic videos on YouTube soon.
And how did you get together?
Tom G and I used to play a lot of football together and once we got talking we realised we have a mutual love of music. We decided to set up the band with our old bassist Edd and then got my brother, Ben, in on drums and my old school friend, Marcus, on guitar. Marcus and I have been in bands together since we were about thirteen, so it's great that we're still playing music together. When Edd left, John completed the line up after responding to an online ad. Apollo was the ancient Greek god of music (amongst other things), so the band name is our very modest claim to be heirs to his throne!
Who are your biggest influences? (hint: are there any that aren't obvious or bands that people compare you to that you just dont get?)
In terms of song writing my biggest influences are Thursday and Thrice, but each of us in the band has a different range of influences. John's a big fan of The Stranglers and Buzzcocks, Marcus likes RX Bandits and U2, Ben likes Rage Against the Machine. There's quite a lot of variety there but we manage to find common ground in our songs. Our live act has been compared to Queen, which we're pretty chuffed with!
Here at Designer Magazine we're all about supporting the scene.. which are your fave local bands and why should we check them out?
First of all I've got to mention System Fault - they're good friends of ours and recently signed to ROP Records. Go and see them live! Their front man looks like he's escaped from a lunatic asylum when he's on stage, you can't take your eyes off him! Secondly, Idol Minds, probably my favourite unsigned band, incredibly catchy song writing and extremely tight. Finally I'd like to mention The Gentrymen and Kat Mullen who we played with at one of your gigs. I loved both acts; it was an awesome night and we hope to play with them again soon.
What's your biggest promo tips you can give to other local bands? How do you push your band forward?
Don't over gig. Make every gig an event and bring as many people as possible, get to know the other bands and support them. The best gigs we've played have been when every band on the bill cares about the music and stays to watch the other bands. The most important thing is to have energy though - go and promote yourself anywhere you can, make sure you have an online presence and keep your social media updated regularly.
Where do you go for pre gig food and where do you go post gig clubs in Manchester?
Before our gigs we normally have a sandwich - usually made by Tom G's dad! We don't like to eat too much before we play, so we often grab a take away after the show instead. Before that though we stay and watch the rest of the bands on the bill and then normally have a few drinks in the venue before maybe moving on to another bar in the Northern Quarter. The Dry Bar gigs are always good as it's open until 4.
What do you like most about Manchester?
I'm a very proud Mancunian. Manchester has the richest musical history of any city in the world when it comes to rock. Joy Division, New Order, Happy Mondays, Stone Roses, Oasis, the list goes on... How many other cities can boast of having so many great bands? You only have to step out of your door to bump into a rock star. Just the other weekend I ended up lending my guitar to Mark Collins from the Charlatans at Dave Haslam's birthday party.
Best gig you've been to of all time?
The best set that I've ever seen was probably Muse at Glastonbury, what a musician Matt Bellamy is! In terms of gigs I've been a part of I was lucky enough to go on tour with James last year. I was singing in the choir on their UK tour. There were so many highlights from that tour, but performing at the Royal Albert Hall had to be one of the best. Having six and a half thousand people singing Sometimes with you at the tops of their voices is something you'll never forget.
Fave movie or TV show of all time?
Marcus is a big fan of Clockwork Orange, I'm not massively into film and TV though. I watch a bit of Come Dine With Me sometimes - the sarcastic narration really makes it. I loved the Lord of the Rings films. Not as good as the book though.
Which football team do you support?
I support United, as do John and Tom. Marcus is a City fan though, so there's sometimes a bit of tension there. If we have a gig or rehearsal on derby day all talk of the match is banned! One of my favourite matches that I've been to was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's testimonial as he's one of my favourite players of all time. I hope he goes onto great things as a manager too after his recent success with Molde.
And finally we're all about the live sweaty gigs - final chance to say why we should check you out live?
We think we're one of the most exciting live acts you can see in Manchester at the moment. If you like intricate guitar music with catchy vocals and lots of energy, you'll love us. Our next gig is supporting Mr. Tom at Dry Bar on 24th February with you, Designer Magazine! We can't wait. It should be a great night!
And if we want to know more whats your facebook / twitter addresses?
AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS...
Apollo's Heir's next gig is at Dry Bar Manchester on Feb 24th with Mr Tom
Tickets available here
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All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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