The Appleseed Collective is an awesome roots band from Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have a new live CD out, and they’re playing a few local shows so we chatted with Andrew Brown about it all.T
Yellow Scene: What’s the current state of the Ann Arbor scene? The Denver to Boulder relationship reminds me a lot of Detroit to Ann Arbor…
Andrew Brown: It’s looking pretty good. Ann Arbor, for being such a small town, has a large amount of arts and culture running through its veins. At this point, we’ve established ourselves enough there that we only play there two or three times a year and do big shows. There’s a lot of really good bands coming out of Ann Arbor, and coming out of Michigan in general. We’re just happy to be a part of that family, with the Ragbirds and many more. The Ann Arbor scene is good. To be honest, we travel so much, I don’t get to experience it too much. When we got into Boulder before, we went, “Oh wow, this is totally the Ann Arbor of Colorado.”
YS: You have a new CD out, recorded at the Ark in Ann Arbor. Are you guys happy with how it turned out?
AB: We are. Right now, we’re actually working on some new material because we recorded that more than a year ago, and so we’ve got all of this new material that we’re working on, so we’re working on a new CD. At this point, I’m looking forward to the future, but am definitely happy to have that as a documentation of that special night at the Ark.
YS: Do you like playing Colorado? Your style certainly fits the vibe here…
AB: We have been to Colorado a few times before, and we absolutely love Colorado. We’ve only been through a few times, so the crowds can be hit and miss, but usually we’ve been pretty danged surprised by the amount of people that show up and how receptive they are. Colorado seems like they really love what we do musically. We love the nature, we love the people, we love everything about it. It’s also a very competitive market for this type of music.
YS: What can we expect from the sets?
AB: We’re playing a lot of new material. We’ve been working on our set and exploring all the different genres that this band has been and can go. We’ve been hearing from people recently that we’ll be seven or eight songs into our set, and they’ll still be guessing as to what sort of band we are. We really have a wide range of styles. We’ll be playing everything from swing-sounding stuff to bluegrassy stuff to punk-sounding stuff, to Argentinian tango waltzes. We like to keep people guessing in terms of our live show. We also recently have been having a complete blast playing music. When we’re having a party on stage, everyone else is having a party in the audience because they feel that vibe. One of the funnier things that happened recently is that we were playing a show in Chicago and this guy afterwards was talking to us and he was like, “Man, I never even thought I liked folk music, but you guys make me like folk music. You guys are almost kinda hip.” Almost kinda hip. He meant it as a high compliment. People who already like roots music will think this is sweet and crazy. For people who don’t, it has this edge to it with more of a funk feel that gets them grooving a little harder than a lot of traditional folk or bluegrass bands might do. They really like it, so we’ve been getting that response which is really nice, because we definitely are trying to be progressive in what we do. We have a lot of old roots influences, but we don’t want to stay stuck in that. We want to write our own songs and fuse all these modern and vintage sounds together.
YS: That should be the title of your next CD – Almost Kinda Hip. When this tour’s done, what’s next?
AB: We’re going to be going to New Mexico and then Arizona, and then we’re heading back to Kansas, then Chicago, then back to Michigan. The tour ends August 22 in Detroit.
The Appleseed Collective plays with Darlingside at 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 6 at Swallow Hill Music; 71 E. Yale Ave., Denver; 303-777-1003; $18-$20. Also, at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 2 at the Gold Hill Inn; 401 Main St., Boulder; 303-4436461; $10.