Ahh, thank the heavens for a.P.A.tT. The type of collective that defies all notions of pigeonholes we often place artists in.
Electronic? Hmm… in a sense
Art rock? Ehh… see above.
Completely fucking weird? You bet!
Essentially, it would be disingenuous to file the Liverpool act under anything other than a bunch of merry musicians cobbled together having fun and delivering the good oil.
They’ve toured Europe and every now and then they grace the local ears with one of their completely off-the-wall live shows.
a.P.A.t.T are a band who, individually, spend a lifetime spinning other plates and putting out fires. Ste Cole runs the brilliant What Studio among other things. Then there are a slew of other projects each member of a.P.A.t.T. are involved in. Double Echo and Zombina to name a few.
November marked the return for a.P.A.t.T. with their latest single, Cigarettes & Margarine. Another left-field oddity that we would only expect a.P.A.t.T. to deliver. Prior to its release, the band have been keeping busy, launching the a.P.A.t.T. Lifestyle Challenge Channel Show on Youtube (watch below).
Furthermore, the band are currently working on a new album which is slated for released next year.
On the back of Cigarettes & Margarine, we put the band in the hot seat with, you guessed it, those 13 questions.
1. Your new single, Cigarettes & Margarine, has just been released. How’s the reception been so far?
a.P.A.t.T: “Well, ermm… Fags and Spread is a.P.A.t.T.’s first complete power ballad, also it comes complete with a health message. Accidentally timely, we reckon. It’s well received with time-served fans of the band, and it is drawing in some new people in too! See how it goes hey.
“It’s weird at the moment, isn’t it? We feel kind of split between ‘must keep creating’, ‘must be making music, making art etc’ and then again we’re feeling there’s not much point sharing it so much, as it hardly seems important, at the moment. Luckily, on the third hand, no-one hardly cares what a.P.A.t.T do anyway so the mood is pretty similar.”
2. General MIDI ( Ste) seems to have been very busy during lockdown producing various artists in his studio. How have the rest of a.P.A.t.T. been coping during lockdown?
A: “Work, families, PhDs, teaching, other bands (Double Echo, Barberos, Zombina, Warmpth). a.P.A.t.T have also been making a new album… but that takes ages!”
3. a.P.A.t.T. feel like a band that’s conducive to social media. What’s your take on it as a whole? Embrace or swerve?
A: “In the past, social media was access to an exploration of interesting subcultures and people…A cool, easy place to connect with like-minded creatives and networks that may be some use to one another…It still is that I guess. So we’re of a mind that it’s a necessity, but often exhausting. It’s worth pointing out the majority of our liaising is done thorough social media as getting an emails response is same speed as a snail mail letter these days…sigh.”
4. You must have a few, I’m sure, but what is your funniest band story?
A: “Hmm the ones we can tell…difficult to know how to pitch this, to be honest – humour may be apparent in retrospect, but most of our ‘funny’ stories involve being frisked/swabbed by the authorities, very long detours, struggling to find venues due to dyslexic French addresses, umm… swapping from support to headline due to said ‘hilarious’ swabbing/detour (sorry Secret Chiefs 3– and the possibly disappointed audience).
“On a happier note, a favourite funny feature of tours in recent years is listening to Boss DR-5 soundcheck. Pure gold…Will montage them one day.”
5. Favourite band growing up?
A: “Collective answer …We talked it through and seems very easy to all agree: Five Star.”
6. When did you last make yourself do something you didn’t want to?
A: “Daily, hourly, life.”
7. Films or boxsets?
A: We have a real issue with the term boxset. Nowadays, ‘a’ boxset is not only something of an unqualified amount, it is also not something that bears any physical resemblance to a box: ‘Ooo I’m going to binge on some boxsets’ equals several unspecified amounts… I mean, about 20 years ago ‘it’ may have come in packed in something resembling a box. Boxset being used as a collective noun is bogus, man. I think? So films, YES!”
8. Who’s the best cook in a.P.A.t.T. and what’s their speciality dish?
A: “That’s probably Bossa Nova as he is an awesomeness cook and once ran a vegan kitchen. He would be deeply offended if we didn’t say him.”
9. Any book recommendations for our readers?
A: “Mmmm we are recently reading Necronomicon, Akala’s book Natives, Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Anarchism, a collection of the writings of Peter Kropotkin, and The Faber Book of Pop.”
10. Favourite album released this year
A: “This took us ages to answer… So far it’s between Run The Jewels‘ RTJ4 and Encenathrakh’s Thraakethraaeate Thraithraake.
“Funny year for music releases… perhaps artists have been holding back material!? Maybe!?
Macca’s next offering is due out in December, so that could clinch it. That said, definitely looking forward to Knower’s forthcoming LP.
“Ultimately, Bandcamp deserves album of the year. For supporting artists and that.”
11. Christmas is around the corner. If a.P.A.t.T. were to do a Christmas song what would it be?
A: Thought you’d never ask! It just so happens we have recorded a song a year for 12 years and then finally last year 2019 completed this work. It’s like a history of our collective Christmas, genuine Xmas memories, a document of our microphone and plug in collection, a place-mark of our zeitgeist.
We have a new video coming out this year to support the last track Figgy Pud. It’s about Figgy Pud.
12. Other than the new idea of a Christmas song (or not), what’s next a.P.A.t.T.?
A: “Booking a tour for next year, currently April according to our (lovely) booker, but that could all change. We’ve a new season of The a.P.A.t.T. Lifestyle Challenge Channel Show coming soon – you have all watched the first season, six episodes, right? On Youtube, right?
“We are also super juicy excite news…A new album is at the 70% mark. I think this is one that changes everything, EVERYTHING.
“a.P.A.t.T. is always looking for new collaborators as well, so any hurdy-gurdy players, tech trombonists, drum punchers or avant digital artists etc. JOIN US.”
13. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
A: “Big Love to all artists and crew chomping at the bit to get back at it. Keep safe and keep it together all.”
Cigarettes & Margarine is available now via a.P.A.t.T.’s Bandcamp page.
This month’s sales of the track will be donated to the British Heart Foundation.