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artist information

Apse

Apse is an American rock band signed to Spanish label Acuarela Discos. The band has has moved through many different musical styles since its inception, weaving together at various times shoegazer, heavy metal, gothic rock, post-punk, prog-rock, industrial, and post-rock influences; while at the same time dabbling in tribal, experimental, ambient and ethereal atmospheres. The most common lyrical themes have to do with spirituality, relationships with others (human as well as paranormal or divine), paranoia, power, and control.

Biography

Apse was formed in 1999 in Newtown, Connecticut. Robert Toher (guitar), Ezer Lichtenstein (drums), and Ryan Todd (bass) were three high school friends who would form the core of what the band would become in the next few years. Already used to playing with each other in a previous band, but wanting to shy away from what they had already done, they decided to forgo lyrics and pop structure altogether in exchange for heavier experimentation.

The three members were, at this point, in college. Over the next few years they continued to play shows in and around the Connecticut and New York area, and by 2001, Apse had enough material to record their first EP. Also in this year, high school friend Aaron Piccirillo joined the band. Originally added to play keyboards, Aaron very shortly moved to guitar before any shows were played with him.

With this new lineup Apse went on to record their next album, 2002's Cloud EP. The final cut of this short album was taken from a lengthy recording session spanning many months and many songs. While similar in sound to the first EP, Apse had begun to incorporate more elaborate structures and atmospheres. Compositions were becoming longer and acted more like orchestrations than rock songs.

For their next release, Apse was eager to move forward in their sound but unsure of exactly what direction to take. They ended up recording Three Dialogues in the early months of 2003. This recording was an attempt to incorporate different styles of music into Apse's repertoire, and each of the three separate tracks on the album had its own style and atmosphere. It was also the first Apse recording to truly incorporate a vocal and lyrical element.

In the spring of 2003, friend Michael Gundlach joined Apse to play guitar, making the band a five piece. It was also around this time that Robert Toher began to take on the role of lead singer. In late 2003 Apse was signed to Spanish label Acuarela Discos, based in Madrid, Spain. Apse immediately started work on their next album, the writing process of which would take nearly a year. The end result was Apse (a self-titled, 34 minute EP), released internationally in the spring of 2005. The self-titled EP was received positively by the press, and Apse went on two short tours in the United States in support of the album. During these tours, Matthew Wick was added to the band as a second drummer.

In the late summer of 2005, Ryan Todd and Matthew Wick left the band to pursue other interests. To fill the space left by Ryan's departure, Aaron Piccirillo switched from guitar to bass. The band then recruited a new member, Albert Gray, to play guitar. With this new five piece intact, writing sessions and rehearsals began in the fall in preparation for their next recording.

Over the course of the next few months, Apse would begin to write and record their next album: Spirit. Spirit Incorporated a much heavier focus on the rhythm section and tribal atmospheres, and had much more of a lyrical presence than any previous recording. On November 21st, 2006 Spirit was released internationally, and Apse toured Europe in support of it throughout October and November. Most notably, they played the Tanned Tin festival, which commenced November 9th, 10th, and 11th, 2006 in Castellon, Spain.

Apse are currently writing and recording their next album for Acuarela Discos, set to be released in 2007. They will tour Europe in the spring, and again in the summer.

Discography

Albums

Spirit

(2006)

Acuarela Discos

Extended Plays

Untitled EP
(2001)
Cloud EP
(2002)
Three Dialogues EP
(2003)
Apse EP

(2005)

Acuarela Discos

Singles

Dornier

Three Dialogues EP

(2003)
Marrer

Apse EP
(2004)

Acuarela Discos

Related Projects

Besides their work in Apse, members Robert Toher and Aaron Piccirillo have projects outside of the band. Robert writes solo material under the moniker Alms, and Aaron writes under the moniker Somnolent. In September of 2005, Somnolent released two tracks on a sampler CD entitled Nothing Concrete.

The sampler was released on 99xoutof10 records, a label created in 2005 by Roger O'Donnell, former keyboardist for The Cure.