ListenSD chats with Viva Apollo

We got the chance to chat with Vivo Apollo about their progression as a band, what’s on their ipods and what’s coming up next for them! Check it out.

How have you progressed as a band in creating the new EP?

Before we walked into the studio, most of the time spent together as a band revolved around preparing for and playing live shows, so sitting down and recording these songs turned out to be pretty challenging. Knowing that these songs were going to represent our entire music portfolio, it was tough even deciding which songs to record. Balancing the pursuit of perfection with our limited time and budget, learning how to cooperate and communicate as a band, and simply staying on top of your game as a musician, are all challenges unique to the studio environment.

Luckily Chris Hoffee really knows what he is doing, he adapted to our style really well and made sure we all walked out of there happy. We are already starting to itch for more recording time, but I think this EP was a great start for us! Next time around will be even better.

Blues as a genre has strong elements of traditionalism. Where do you find room for innovation?

Viva Apollo: We don’t consider ourselves a traditional blues band by any means, but there are undeniable blues influences in a lot of our music. We avoid the standard chord progressions and structures of traditional blues songs, and instead emulate blues as sort of a feeling or a style. Like Ryan’s guitar solo in the second half of Take It Out, or some of the melodies and lyrics in Should’ve Known, I think we really capture a bluesy vibe, but then we can still throw in a totally different rhythm and structure and make it our own.

We really enjoy exploring genres as well. We’ve considered maybe sticking to a specific well-defined genre like the majority of bands do, but we just can’t help going in all sorts of different directions when we jam. We always make sure we have a diverse set list- fast, slow, soft, heavy, of which blues is just one element.

What are some challenges for an aspiring band or artist that didn’t exist in the past?

Viva Apollo: I think the importance of having an internet presence is tough for some bands to accept, and tough for us as well. It seems now that the most successful bands have had to rely on viral youtube videos, sometimes gimmicky, just to get people to listen and pay attention. It’s understandable though, since there are so many bands and musicians making so many types of music, and probably a few hundred different live bands playing around San Diego in any given month. With youtube and Spotify alone people can listen to a lifetime worth of music and never hear the same band twice.

Nowadays success has to come entirely from the ground up, there is no ‘getting discovered’, no point waiting around for something to come our way. Despite all this, we will just keep doing what we enjoy, and push ourselves to make the best music we can, and keep thinking of new ways to reach more people and find some more fans.

What’s on your iPods that people might not expect from hearing your music?

Viva Apollo: If we all shared one iPod you would see… lots and lots of jazz, some german rap, and shakira.

How do your songs come about and get finished? Are you a jam band?

Viva Apollo: They almost always start out as improv jams. We mess around, record everything, listen back, and try to make a real song out the best stuff. By the time they are finished and brought on stage, they are hammered out into something very different from how they started. I wouldn’t call us a jam band though, because we spend a lot of time thinking through every part, and by the end we leave very little room for improv in our live sets.

What’s next for Viva Apollo?

Viva Apollo: Like we mentioned before, online content is really important these days, so we are thinking about doing another single with a video as our next big release. We have some really fun shows coming up, at the Typhoon Saloon in Pacific Beach, at Harborfest in Chula Vista, the Shakedown Bar, and then the Adams Avenue Street Fair in September!

Keep an eye on us and find links to all our music, social media, and show dates at www.vivaapollo.com!

Interview By: Dennis Moon