Apey and the Pea are rising stars in the underground, the Hungarian three piece are an excellent addition to the burgeoning sludge scene with their high octane excellent live shows. Before they jetted over to the UK for Desertfest, I had a lovely chat with Andras Aron “Apey” about the band.
Jack: Hi Apey, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
Andras Aron “Apey”: (Guitar/Vocals): Well thank you for having me, doing great, just released a lyric video few hours ago for ‘Frozen Tart’ which is one of my fav tracks from my latest solo album Foxes which I released last year, so I’m pumped at the moment. [Laughs]
Jack: What was the first instrument you picked up?
Apey: I think it was the flute… still have it to this day, but then my mother forced me to play the piano, didn’t really like it too much, I was more into drumming but I was such an inpatient kid that by the time I had a drum teacher I couldn’t wait until we sat in front of an actual drum set, so I just said fuck this shit, and quit early.
Jack: What bands got you into music?
Apey: I’m a 90s kid, so like everyone else I was very into nu-metal, Korn, Deftones, etc. I was also very attracted to grunge but I didn’t really know much about it back then.
Jack: Were you surrounded by music growing up?
Apey: Not really, my father used to listen to the Beatles and Rod Stewart but that’s pretty much it.
Jack: What’s the music scene like in Hungary?
Apey: It’s quite unique, and colourful, we used to have huge scenes in all different genres, especially in heavy metal, some amazing bands got really far, but now days there are not much ‘classical’ heavy metal bands that move people, most metal bands are soft or trendy, and people just don’t have the same interest and time for it anymore, anyhow I’ve been a part of it for 13 years now and I’m still in love with it.
Jack: What was the first metal album you bought?
Apey: I think it was Follow the Leader from Korn, or Issues I don’t remember.
Jack: Did playing in a Pantera tribute band before Apey & the Pea help in the long run?
Apey: In some way yes, a lot of people got to know us from there, or remembered, but all three of us been known in the underground for bands like Superbutt or Neck Sprain, both were very accepted and popular in Hungary since the 90s.
Jack: How did you meet the other members?
Apey: I actually met the guys when they were doing a Dimebag Tribute party celebrating Dime’s legacy, and one of the singers dropped out so I had to fill in.
Jack: As you’ve played solo before, are the other members a backing band or are you all equals?
Apey: Nope, when I’m doing my own I’m on my own, I’m a one man army, we are always trying to separate the band from my stuff as much as we can.
Jack: Your album Hellish came out in 2014, are you happy with the response?
Apey: Ah absolutely, we had such a giant response in our tiny little country and from outside, we basically won everything we could in Hungary that year, even the “poorman’s ‘Grammys” I like to call it; for the best heavy metal album of the year, we were the only band in the category that didn’t have a label [Laughs]! That was a very emotional moment for me, especially because I said ‘Hail Satan’ live on the Hungarian christian no 1. National TV channel.
Jack: What was the recording process like?
Apey: We always evolve from album to album, but one thing doesn’t really change that we don’t really like to fake ourselves by editing everything to death, so we usually record our tracks like we play it live or in our rehearsal room. We separate our rigs in different rooms but all three of us are in the same room, we don’t use tempo at all just the natural flow, and mistakes are sometimes the most beautiful things that can happen on a recording.
Jack: Have you started work on a follow up?
Apey: Yep, we are currently finishing up our third LP titled Hex which will drop this September, we just released our first single and a video for the track ‘Slaves’.
Jack: How did you find playing with Weedeater in Camden last year?
Apey: That was just unbelievable, not only the amount of love we got from fans and from our Hungarian supporters out there, the love from Weedeater and the entire Underworld, Patrice (Nightshift Promotions) our good friend, it was just ridiculous, one of the best nights we had yet.
Jack: You’re returning to Camden for Desertfest, had you heard of Desertfest before?
Apey: Yeah I did, been drooling on the UK Desertfest lineups for a long time.
Jack: What are you looking forward to the most about Desertfest?
Apey: Meeting our fans and friends, and dying on stage.
Jack: You’re also returning to Camden again in June to open for Bongripper, what keeps bringing you back?
Apey: Like I said before, the amount of love we get from Underworld staff and from our very good friend Patrice is just unbelievable, they just spoil us with these great opportunities. [Laughs]
Jack: What else do you have coming up this year?
Apey: We go on a festival tour from June, more singles promoting ‘HEX’, releasing the album in September, do a Hungarian headline tour with our good friends The Southern Oracle and Stubborn, then we’re doing another two week short EU run around November.
Jack: Finally, what is your favourite album and how has it influenced you?
Apey: Shiat… gotta go with High on Fire’s ‘De Vermis Mysteriis’. In like all ways, Matt Pike is currently my God since that album, such a fucking legend.
Jack: Thanks for your time Apey, see you at Bongripper!
Apey: Thank you very much, it was a pleasure.