I interviewed Apollo Heights for my favorite music magazine, Mstation. Read it:
Dubbed the "best live band in New York" by FADER magazine, Apollo Heights is an unorthodox set-up: three guitarists and a bassist, backed up by modern hip-hop style drum beats. At the core of the band are Danny and Daniel Chavis, two brothers who spearheaded the creation of the band, Honeychild Coleman and guitarist Monk Washington. I was able to talk with Daniel, singer and guitarist, and Honey, rhythm guitarist, on the eve of their January 4 show in San Francisco.
When and how did Apollo Heights come together?
Daniel: We actually came together in the early part of 03' 04' as a legitimate lineup.
Honey: I've known these guys since '93 but when I saw The Veldt Reunion show at CBGB's in 2002 I felt a kindred spirit musically. After that Danny started asking me to play, talking about Lush and Swervedriver and what not. Eventually I got bored (just singing) in my other band and said yes!
Why the name?
Daniel: It was the name of our neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, where we are from. It was built around the time of the Apollo Jupiter missions in the late 60's
Why the album title, White Music for Black People?
Daniel: It's kind of a hats off to the criticism we have been receiving from everybody since we started playing music. So people don't ask us if we rap or play reggae music. We figured we could win that way.
How did you end up working with Mos Def?
Daniel: It was by default actually. That track was a throw away track and somehow a copy of the instrumental got over from Paris and he spat on it unbeknownst to us. He's actually a big fan of ours.
How was it working with him?
Daniel: We didn't actually do it in the studio with him. But we talked several times and he was OK.
How has being a black rock band affected the process of marketing your music?
Daniel: Dunno. As of late there are not many of us so I guess it's kinda hard but the reception has been good.