The band Apartment 26 was on tour as a support act for the bands Flaw and underground heroes Life of Agony. They stopped by Hartford, Connecticut at the Webster Theatre on January 25th, 2004. The band pulled up in their bus and walked into the venue hours before the show started. I was introduced to A.C. Huckvale (keyboards), Louis Cruden (bass), Jeremy Colson (drums), Jon Greasley (guitar), and the son of legendary rock bassist of Black Sabbath Geezer Butler’s son Biff Butler who is the front man of the band. We sat and I talked with the band while playing pool and just hanging out with them. The interview was a very mellow sociable event. All of the members are very easy going and have a good sense of humor. This is what took place when we weren’t having fun playing pool.
Travis: So, how’s the tour going?
Biff: It’s going good. It’s like the third show of the tour and everyone is really nice. The bands are really cool. The people like us and show up at the doors to listen to us play.
T: How did you guys get signed? B: We were just playing and playing.
Jon: We showcased for a few labels. It was hard because we sounded different and the labels wanted us to be the same as everyone else, ya know. So after a while we signed to Hollywood Records.
T: What doors did “Hallucinating,” open for you guys?
B: Well, it brought lots of things. It brought touring and ozzfest and promotion. It made people go out and buy the CD even more.
T: I know that after that record, there were some internal problems with your record label, Hollywood Records, and at the same time there were problems with your drummer. Tell me about that time period.
B: It wasn’t a very good time for us. J: I mean basically Hollywood Records went under and then we started something new. We recorded a demo in L.A. with this producer who I don’t wanna talk about, oh god, (laughs). We basically went to a few labels and a guy at Atlantic liked us and signed us. Louis: And then we met Jeremy our drummer. Jeremy: Yeah, I was in a band and just playing clubs and stuff like that. My band had management that was the same management as Apartment 26. We talked and hooked up for me to just record the record, sort of like a session player and ended up staying, because I liked the songs a lot. And that’s basically it really. And now we’re all good.
T: Has your opinion of the music industry changed at all?
B: I mean it’s a business, that’s why they called it the fucking music business. And any guy that’s in a band who doesn’t know that or that thinks it’s too corporate or whatever then they’re at a disadvantage and their thinking is wrong. People in the business are obviously very successful at it and are powerful and making money.
T: So, tell me about your new record Music For The Massive and how is it different then your previous record?
L: (Laughs) It’s a lot different.
B: It’s definitely different from the first record. It has a lot more to it and is a growth.
L: The last record we did what was the thing to do like going with the trends and going into the studio and just blasting out a full albums worth of songs and material.
J: Now, we want to stick out and to have a different sound then everyone else pretty much, ya know.
T: What’s the song “Stupid World,” about? – B: Fuck I hate these questions. When we recorded the whole song, it felt like a conversation between two people, but isn’t really clear as to which person is which. It’s a rock star situation. It was written for a more specific person but at the same time a realization of when you get caught up in the cycle of being in a band and being a singer and the band getting some fame. It’s like saying, “oh look at me, I’m a singer.” So, I guess it sort of reflects on that. I’ve been called selfish by people whether it’s my girlfriend or my best friend or whatever. But it’s really about when you get caught up in this fame thing. I don’t know if it reflects anything to do with the song.
J: I think it does.
B: It skips around a lot but I think it’s about the whole rock star thing like “look at myself,” but really you’re not doing fuck all, you’re just having a laugh with your mates. I think that it is also a dedication to my girlfriend as well which is the first I have ever done something like that. And it’s about the fans and anyone really. I mean say you’re sitting down on a couch and you’re writing about something very specific and then after a couple of shows it could be about something else now. So, it has a general theme and message. It’s like a whole thank you which is kind of what Music For The Massive is about and is a dedication to everyone that has been around that works or supports us or anything. This isn’t music so that we could get fucking famous; it’s music so that everyone can have a good time.
T: What kind of advice would you give to unsigned bands?
Louis: Look out there and see the wealth of bands doing tons of different things and to try to form your own ideas and sound because there is just so much.
J: Give people a reason to listen to you, give someone a reason to sign you, and a reason to believe in you. Don’t just go, “oh, well that works, do that,” I mean people started like that, that’s how we started out once upon a time like ten years ago or something. It was like “I wanna do this like grungy early 90s rock thing or whatever.” Don’t conform to the trends.
B: Just think of it as like if you’re going to be in a band it’s like showing up to a big dinner and if everyone is bringing a casserole then check to see what else is on the menu already and just bring along some fucking friend carrots (laughs.)
J: And also just look around and keep your eyes open.
JC: And play as much as you possibly can and tour as much as you possibly can. Get ready to play for $50 and a pizza if you’re lucky. You will be broke for several years.
B: And don’t have a fucking girlfriend either man (laughs.)
T: What is next on the agenda for the band?
B: Just gigs and more gigs.
J: Yeah and the record is going to come out next month. We’re at radio now and just general promotion and playing is a on our list of things to do.