Bass Interview #30 : Apashe

For our 30th Bass Interview, we decided to interview the legendary Apashe ! Discover throughout some questions a little piece of te life of this artist for whom we have a personal attachment.

01. Hi, Apashe ! We’re going to start with a question that we ask at the beginning of every interview, why choose the name Apashe? What does it represent for you?

Well that’s the question that everyone asks, not always straight away, though. I say something different every time but I don’t have any ideas right now… It’s always the tricky question because you can ask it to anyone and each time the artists are perplexed and end up saying something dumb. Very few artists have a cool response to that question.
When I was born I took myself for a helicopter, I wanted to fly, I felt like a machine, so I wanted to find a name that would represent what I would like to be. I would like to be something that flies, like a bird or a helicopter; so an Apashe helicopter! Or even a dragonfly or a butterfly…

02. In september 2016 you released your first album. What made you want to release something in a long format? Could you tell us a bit about the process of production for the album, the inspiration, etc…?

I was getting fed up of always making tracks that DJs can play and that people just appreciate. Basically when you release a single or an EP, you have the feeling that every track has to be just as good as the others, an album is completely different! You can do a bunch of different stuff with an album and people don’t necessarily expect the same thing. You have more freedom, you can switch up the style, it was a way of putting all of the projects that I may never have released into a long format without having to start a new project.

03. Let’s flash back a little bit, how did you discover Bass Music and how did you get into producing it?

When I was nine or ten I was a bit of a geek. I loved going on Limewire, Kazaa and I loved Prodigy! When I was looking for their tracks I fell onto Pendulum, Dillinja or even Aphrodite. It’s from there that I got into Drum and Bass. When I was old enough I started going on nights out, mostly DnB but also Hardcore, Breakcore and Hardtek and it’s from there that I started producing that kind of music. I was really not great in the beginning, but that’s how I got into that « universe », haha!

04. There’s a question we have always wanted to ask you, why call one of your tracks « Poutinestep »? What does that signify?

Oh it’s just a joke, you know what « Poutine » is?

We know who Mr Poutine is, but the poutine…

So, basically, I had just moved from Brussels to Montreal, and in Montreal they have this dish called « Poutine »! It’s like fries with a kind of meat gravy and « squish squish » cheese (that’s what they call it because it makes that sound in your mouth), and that’s called a Poutine.

Anyway, when I got there, we went out and then went to eat Poutine. It’s the kind of thing you eat at 6 in the morning after a night out, like you would eat a kebab, to refill your stomach. Basically I found it pretty funny and that’s why I decided to call my first track on Canadian soil « Poutinestep »!

05. Did you study music or learn to play an instrument before producing?

I learned to play the drums and also classical music theory when I was little. I was the one who did the least amount of music compared to the rest of my family but my parents kind of forced me with the classical music even though I was more into percussion. Later on, when I started to get more interested in music, i was at the University of Concordia in Montreal and I re-studied everything in electro acoustic.

06. Which artists inspired you when you started producing music?

The first to really have an impact was Prodigy when I was a kid. Ten years later, I discovered Noisia, and that was a revelation! There are plenty of others but it’s mostly them who inspired me.

Apashe and Martijn van Sonderen of Noisia

07. Is there a Trap producer in particular that you admire?

That’s a bit more of a tricky question because Trap isn’t a very complicated style and it’s quite minimalist. Even if I love it, there are very few producers I admire. Some have genius ideas but I don’t think they’re particularly amazing producers, I’m thinking along the lines of Troyboi and Stööki Sound who do really simple things but that I love!
Otherwise I don’t know if it’s real admiration but I more admire artists from other styles of music.

08. What’s the style you prefer to produce and why?

I don’t really know, I like all styles. I have a big soft spot for all things orchestral, I love composing orchestrations with loads of instruments and kind of weird harmonies!

Hence the choirs in « Battle Royal« ?

Yeah, totally! Or even « Black Gold« .
Classical music motivates me and inspires me 100% in Bass Music. After a while solely producing hard drops gets a bit uninspiring and, bizarrely, classical music picks up the slack.
You see tracks like « Commander »? All of the chord progressions in the track are Baroque chord progressions.
It’s something that, when you hear it, you don’t think ‘classical’, but those who studied it will recognize the Baroque harmonies and I transformed that into pretty violent electro music! It works really well, too, except that nobody uses them!

09. How do you judge the Trap evolution in France and the « acceptance » by the French public compared to other countries you’ve played in?

You French are a bit weird. On one hand, when you do a Trap-specific show, 2000 people are going to show up and it’s going to be cray. But when you’re playing a more Dubstep-style event and you slip in some Trap, you’re going to be hated.
I still haven’t understood how that works in your brains, but it’s sort of like everyone stays in their own « box »

10. The end of the All Naked kind of marked the end of your regular trips to Paris, can you tell us a bit more about which relationships seem strong, which link you to their organizers?

Oh, it’s simple, I love to get naked! There’s your answer, haha!

11. Who would be the person you would dream of collaborating with?

Someone current or literally anyone?

Up to you!

I would say Hans Zimmer for someone still living, otherwise I wouldn’t mind rewriting Mozart’s Requiem with him!

12. What’s the best show you’ve played? Where would be your dream to play?

I’d like to play in Japan. I’ve never had the chance to go there and it’s one of my dreams! After all every country is so different that you can love one place for one reason and then the next for something completely different. Playing Electric Forest would be just as awesome and playing for a room of 300 people in Montreal or immense festivals like Dour. Everything depends on the vibe, the people. Basically, it varies, it’s impossible to state just one!

Apashe – Electric Forest 2016

13. Could you tell us a funny anecdote about something that’s happened to you during a show?

I’d have to remember them first… I have loads but I always get stuck when I get asked that question.
One day I had a drop in blood pressure. Basically I fell asleep backstage and then I woke up, saw the time, and I was supposed to be playing. So I get up, I go onstage, I shout into the mic and, I don’t know, the fact of sleeping, then waking up suddenly, then screaming into the mic like an idiot, everything went dark and I fainted, haha!
I didn’t fall on the ground, but I really blacked out. I managed to get myself together but people must have noticed. Afterwards it passed, but it was a pretty intense hit, it was in the middle of the US during the tour with BTSM but I don’t know where exactly.

Do you have any final words to share with our readers?

Yeah, well, get naked and we’ll party, haha!

A big thanks to John aka Apache for this great interview, and let’s see each other again for the 31st Bass Interview

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