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So let me set the scene for this dynamic duo…
April Towers are the Nottingham based Alex Noble and Charles Burley. I first met Alex and Charlie whilst at University in Nottingham; they were passionate, energetic and just lovely guys to know. At the time they were working on another project; ‘The Frontiers’ were a 4-piece indie band with angelic vocals and incredible instrumentals. Despite the curtains closing on ‘The Frontiers’ chapter, Alex and Charlie have returned re-energised with a whole new sound and they really have produced something diverse and special.
April Towers only formed a year ago and they have gone from strength to strength. With Alex’s stunning vocals and Charlie’s technical ability on guitar and production, I really haven’t heard anything this innovative in some time. Now, working with some amazing names within the music industry they have released their first single, ‘Arcadia’. The 80’s synth sounds and contemporary electronica it almost ‘Simple Minds – Don’t you forget about me’meets ‘Hot Chip – Over and over’.
Check out their stuff one Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/april_towers
April Tower’s recently played at the Thekla whilst they were supporting the superb Kyla La Grange. I was lucky enough see there set, spend some time with the guys for an interview and really catch up with some old friends.
The performance an audience gets is also unlike most; you feel as if you are watching them perform live in a studio, portraying the musician and the producer. The divide between the two on stage is notable; Charlie makes you feel you are at a indie gig; clearly feeling the music, whilst Alex maintains an almost serene composure – April Towers really can cater to a wider audience with this kind of captivating stage presence.
Don’t believe me, check out their latest single below – It comes highly recommended. If you like it, you can also buy it on iTunes!
April Towers is definitely a band to keep your eyes open for over the next couple of months (years even)! If they continue being as determined, passionate and releasing songs like ‘Arcadia’ – great things will be coming from them.
Now, lets get down to the fun stuff! The exclusive interview!
H: What initiated the move from ‘The Frontiers’ to April Towers?
A: So, the Frontiers fell away a bit in 2012 and we all went our separate ways. Jacob our bass player went to America and Johnny who we met at university went back down south. Charlie started DJing and April Towers was initially a solo project for me. I wrote a song call ‘Peaks’ about a year and a half ago. I played it to Charlie who was kind of up for it, but I still wanted it to be a solo project, so we were a bit unsure what to do. Charlie was involved with a lot DJing; he was creating his own music so it felt natural that I was going to do my own thing and Charlie was going to do his own thing. But, then I wrote a song called ‘Tel Aviv’ and Charlie said ‘lets do it’. About a year about we finished with the track and put it online not expecting anything, it was just an experiment to see what would happen.
C: When we had written the song, we thought ‘we needed some content for online’, we had nothing. We came up with the name ‘April Towers’, which you (Alex) came up with a while ago.
A: Someone I worked with tried to say ‘April Showers’ and they got it wrong and said ‘April Towers’. I thought that was quite an interesting name for a band so I looked at it online and there was no one in the world called ‘April Towers’.
C: I think the day before we put the song out we were like ‘we better take a press shot’. We literally went out, put a pair of sunglasses on, took a photo and that was it. We put it online to see what people thought. From there, a lot of blogs got involved.
H: Have you found that the loyal fans and success of ‘The Frontiers’ have helped?
C: Not necessarily, but we learned so much about the music industry with ‘The Frontiers’, how to deal with the industry. It is quite unforgiving at times and if you take things to heart you are not going to get very far. We learnt the ropes; we learnt how to play live, we got comfortable playing different instruments in front of an audience. In that respect we took a lot from it but we had such a break between the two that everything settled down and nothing really followed on, it didn’t feel like a continuation. Did it?
A: No, we had a lot of people who championed ‘The Frontiers’ in Nottingham who we could then rely on to help us out with April Towers. That was only as a result of the music being good. There is so much great music coming out from Nottingham at the moment, you have to be fantastic to get recognition in the city now. We are lucky that people who helped us with ‘The Frontiers’ were able to translate to April Towers. It has been helpful, but we have really grafted hard with this.
H: Describe April Towers in three words?
C: Indie, Electronic, Pop
A: That’s a bit boring isn’t it?
C: But that is what I would describe it as…
A: I am going to do a more exciting one; Danceable, Thoughtful, Tunes
C: That’s embarrassing.
A: That’s better than yours.
H: So you have just released ‘Arcadia’, what was your main influence behind that song?
C: Well you (Alex) came up with the melody, the piano and the keyboard
A: Lyrically, I wanted to write a song that was a contrast between real life and a wider sci-fi feel. The song it about someone who is incredibly bored with their life and seeks this place called, ‘Arcadia’ which is a place they can go to whenever they feel the need to get away from it all. That is really what the song is about and what the video reflects – an out of world experience but being real at the same time, which is what we want to do with our music.
C: I think the chorus brings it back to life again, it goes of in a tangent at the verse and you explore these weird things.
H: Do you know what it reminds me of?
C: Don’t say Duran Duran.
H: ‘Breakfast Club’ – every time I listen to it I think of the ‘Breakfast Club’.
A: That is good!
H: Next up: Who is your biggest musical inspiration?
C: For me it has always been Radiohead, undoubtedly, then more recently Jon Hopkins. I am obsessed with Immunity; that is the most important album that has been released in the last 5 years for me.
A: I know a so many people say it but I grew up listening to the Beatles and it is big classic songs like that.
Before ‘April Towers’ I was very much into indie guitar music but LCD Soundsystem; I discovered them quite late on actually. They kind of helped me make the decision to do ‘April Towers’ – so I would say an album called ‘Sound of Silver’ by LCD Soundsystem tilted me towards electronic music and what we can do with it. It is an amaing album that combines electronic music, the pop element, the indie element; they bring so much to the table. Those two are the most special.
H: All time favourite song????!!
C: This is really difficult!!!
A: This is a horrible question! I think on a family level, what I grew up with and what reminds me most of family and home it would be ‘Hey Jude,’ by the Beatles. Just because that’s the song I loved the most growing up…
But there is a song called ‘All my friends,’ by LCD Soundsystem that I think lyrically encapsulates everything that I would want to say about the world in one song.
If I could have those as a joint number one than I would.
C: This is killing me! Oh my god!! I think ‘Where is my mind,’ by the Pixies because it is also my favourite film of all time as well. Then any Radiohead song because there are so many.
H: If you could have one diva request what would it be?
C: Absolutely to have a burritos chef on tour with us, someone that makes burritos and is there with us at all times. I would also demand that at a venue.
A: Is that divaish?
C: It is kind of divaish to be demanding burritos at any given time on tour.
A: For me some form of cocktail professional would be good. Or some form of EA Sports/FIFA Professional because when we are on a tour bus we will play a lot of it.
C: That is not divaish; having an XBOX.
C: That is not divaish!
A: I am not a diva though – you’re a diva!
C: I am not a diva!
H: Moving on! Have you ever had anything weird thrown of stage?
C: Honest to God, I don’t think we’ve had anything thrown as ‘April Towers’.
A: In ‘The Frontiers’, I had a leaflet thrown on stage for a book signing for Steven Fry? That was the weirdest thing I have ever had thrown.
C: I don’t have anything thrown but I have something weird. We played a festival called Deerstock and there was an 11 year old child stood on the front row holding a sign up sign saying ‘Get your T***s’ out’?
A: It was a festival that was a lot of acoustic, folk and sca acts, and we were the token electronic band.
H: What is your favourite cheese?
C: Ohhhhhh okay, okay, okay…This is a good one! Personally I eat a lot of goats’ cheese! It is my go too meal!
A: I am Brie every time! Brie goes with everything! Meat, fruit, everything!
C: Also, another recent discovery of mine was Hallomi! Which is fantastic!
A: Hallomi convinces you that being a vegetarian is okay.
C: It does, but then you combine it with chicken and you realise being a meat eater is better.
H: Finally, what can we expect from ‘April Towers’ in 2015?
C: Hopefully some form of tour…
A: Hopefully another single, actually definitely another single and that is a world exclusive for you! We might even release an album.
C: That is the ambition.
A: We have a lot of love going for us this year and hopefully that will translate into next year and we can really take over the world.
C: Or just the UK, or just Nottinghamshire
Well there you have it – my interview with the wonderful ‘April Towers’.
Do you want more… Then check out there channels below!