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The Life of APRE

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

From writing songs for fun in Charlie's grans front room to now being tipped by critics as one of the breakthrough acts of 2020.

Photo courtesy by Chris Bellam (Underplay Management)

The indie alternative pop duo formed by Charlie Brown and Jules in 2018 after realising at University their own songs "sounded much better" than any band they worked in. With only forming in 2018, they've already had a great start in the music scene.

Apre seemed to be taking their music into their own hands in 2019. From supporting the likes of Friendly Fires and Inhaler, appearing at a range of festivals including Glastonbury and finally releasing two EPs in such quick succession.

They also undertook their first ever UK headline tour at the beginning of 2020, staying at some "fancy hotel (Ha, we wish *cough* Travelodge)" and "eating five curries last tour". With a sell-out gig at Scala, London

With such a busy start of the year and constant attention, I had the chance to ask Jules – a member of Apre - a couple of questions about how they are coping in the music scene.

Photo courtesy by Chris Bellam (Underplay Management)

How did you first meet and form Apre?

We first met at university in the hope of meeting like-minded musicians, we found each other in the first week and played in many different bands for years together until we realised our own songs sounded much better than anything we were playing in. We just wrote for fun every day together in Charlie’s grans front room until we had so many songs that it seemed silly not to start releasing them.

How did the name 'Apre' come together and how were you influenced to create music?

We have always had an interest in the concept of time, you can see that within our past EP titles and a lot of the lyrics. Team that with Charlie visiting Paris and our love of the French language and we somehow came up with APRE. It doesn’t mean anything technically because we lost the S from the French word ‘apres’ (meaning ‘after’) because some tit already had that name on Spotify. We like that it means nothing. Growing up we were both surrounded by musical dads, Charlie’s been an avid Beatles vinyl collector and my own (Jules) being a keyboard player in an Irish-folk/electro-synth band (revolutionary and genre-defying, not sure why this crossover never quite took off) so we were always subject to constant music, hence our constant and relentless love for it now.

What was your proudest moment of 2019 and the most challenging one?

Glastonbury. That’s one for the bucket list of any musician really. Our most challenging would probably have to be the wonderful mess that is SXSW festival in Texas, we had 8 shows booked in for 3 days, two of which were at the same time on the same day (blame the management I say), not quite sure how we pulled that off but we laughed in the process.

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You've recently released your latest single 'You're Heart's Like a Jungle'. How did that come along and how have fans responded?

That song came to life about two years ago now and we pretty much hated it up until a week before it was released. It came about around an almost grunge loop from the drums that now make up the chorus, we chucked some chords over that and Charlie’s melody came quick soon after. We could just never nail the production, so it sat on our computer for years until a few months ago where we decided to revisit it. We have come on as producers more than anything in the past few years so with everything we now know we could update it to sound exactly as we vision it. The massive indie-pop banger it is!!!!! It’s gone down the best of any of our songs so far, especially live.

Last week you announced that you will be creating a podcast once a week. How was that decided and what can people expect?

I mean aren’t you bored too? This quarantine got us thinking differently about how we can connect with people now that we can’t go out on tour. And we like talking, often too much. We’ll do one of them once a week picking apart one of our songs and how we made it and chuck some banter in there too.

What have you done to pass time through these circumstances and what advice would you give to other people?

Structure! I know it’s not very rock’n’roll but get up early, do some exercise and have an agenda for the day. We have been writing and sending each other ideas constantly and working on new exciting things that can happen when all this has gone away. Also just live in the present, there is no point worrying about anything that is going to happen because we simply don’t know. Treat your home as a smaller version of your already wonderful world, not as a prison. Read a book, listen to music, cook. I might do an online course in astrophysics because I watched Interstellar last night, banging film would highly recommend.

This February you went on your biggest headline tour to date across the UK. What would be your daily routine before a show and what was your favourite gig?

That tour was the best two weeks of our lives. We had only ever supported other artists up until that point, so it was amazing to see a proper reaction from proper fans who knew all the lyrics. We would get up in some fancy hotel (HA, we wish *cough* Travelodge) and get into the van and drive to wherever we need to be. Then we would load all our gear in, do soundcheck and then hunt for somewhere nice to eat, trying to avoid burgers or pizzas (we had 5 curries on the last tour). Then head to the dressing room and have a few beers, play a show, go back to the hotel, and have some more beers there. Simple really!! Our favourite show would have to be London Scala just because of the sheer amount of people who turned up to see us. It blew our minds, will remember that night for the rest of our lives.

In total, you've released four EPs - what was the hardest one you produced and what would you say your best one was?

The ‘Everyones Commute’ EP was definitely the hardest to finish, there is a song called Gap Year 2008 that we toiled over for weeks because we couldn’t get the structure quite right. I would say the next EP or perhaps Mini album is our best, we are most proud of it by far. It’s our most ambitious set of songs to date and we are so excited to let people hear it.

Who would you say the best singer is out of you two and who is the fans favourite? Have you always got along, or have you ever fallen out?

Obviously, Charlie! He sings all the lead and I just mumble in the background occasionally. I think we adhere to very different crowds so there isn’t really a fan favourite, we are very very different personalities, but I think that’s why it’s always worked so well. We have never had a proper fight no! The only thing that ever creates a bit of tension is when we pick the setlist before a show, everyone has their favourite songs to play. Obviously, all the ones with guitar solos are the best…

Finally, critics have tipped you to be one of the breakthrough acts of 2020- what can fans expect in the future?

Right now, its new tunes. We are still hoping to tour later in the year but obviously that is dependent on the current situation. We have a new song 'Go Somewhere' coming out very soon and then working towards a mini album later in the year so eyes and ears peeled!

With such an amazing start to their career, it's no wonder they are being tipped by critics and hopefully see them burst into the music industry.

If you want to find more about Apre or listen to their latest single, then click the links below: