Our July ‘Spotlight Artist of the Month’ is Island Apollo!
These award-winning indie rockers have been playing together since they were just kids growing up in Irvine, CA. Now you can hear them live all over SoCal and on KROQ, or you’re probably listening to them wherever you are since they’re one of the most heavily licensed bands around. Whether it’s touring with Third Eye Blind & Capital Cities, appearing on the new VH1 Save the Music Playlist, or having a song in a commercial with the lovely Kate Upton, these savvy veterans know how to succeed in all areas of the music biz. Check out our exclusive Q&A with the band to hear more about their newest EP, their thoughts on the music industry, and the inspiration for their hit, ‘Lion Eyes’!
1) How did you get started in music?
We’ve all been playing music our whole lives. All our parents are musicians, so we’ve always been around it. Ryan, Addam, Austin, and I (Heath) all took our first guitar lesson together in elementary school and we’ve been going at it ever since. Matt started learning drums at an early age as well.
2) How did you find out about WorldArts?
We’ve been hearing great things about WorldArts from other bands and so we decided we had to join.
3) Tell us about your latest EP? (Island Apollo)
We started recording our self-titled EP about a year ago, and spent two weeks in the studio getting it right. It wasn’t until February of 2015 that we finally released it, and we’re excited to start recording our first full-length this fall.
4) What was it like opening up for Capital Cities & Third Eye Blind?
Opening up for Third Eye Blind was great. We’ve always been fans of their music growing up so it was cool to share the stage with them. We played with Capital Cities a couple times before they hit it big–just one of those per chance things that happen when playing in LA all the time. We’re excited to have Spencer from Capital Cities playing trumpet on “Lion Eyes”.
5) What is your breakout single ‘Lion Eyes’ about?
It’s about wanting to break out from the toned-down version of yourself, and start living as the unabridged, fully fledged incarnation of yourself.
6) If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
The music industry is suffering because a lot of labels aren’t using their imaginations anymore. They’re more concerned with where artists are in the here-and-now, and they are not considering where artists will be long-term. Labels will sometimes sign artists based on YouTube views and fake social media numbers, and use those as the parameters for measuring good talent. As soon as the labels realize how much of a farce that mentality is, the sooner the labels can get back to accurately presenting real artists to the world.
7) If you could go on tour with any artist (past or present) who would it be and why?
I think we especially would love to go on tour with The Killers one day.
8) For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words:
California beach cities at night.
9) WorldArts is all about giving tools and opportunities to artists. What advice would you give aspiring musicians/artists?
Find a way to make a living with your music, or you’ll quickly get burnt out. There are clever ways to do that without being famous rockstars.
10) What’s on the radar/coming up next for you?
We will be recording our full length in Fall of this year. We are very excited about that.