Review Fix chats with Space Apaches Guitarist Andrew Reed, who discusses the band’s new album “Smoking’ Voyages.” A cool combination of eclectic rock tracks, Reed discusses what makes the band different.
Review Fix: Can you discuss how the band got together?
Andrew Reed: We all played on records and do studio work, so we naturally gravitated together. In the Asheville area, though it has a great music scene, the session player circle is not that big. Since I produce a lot, I used these guys a lot before the Space Apaches thing happened. Everyone likes each other genuinely and I think that is reflected in the tightness in the recordings.
Review Fix: The album has so many flavors. How did you guys put this all together?
Reed: We knew we were breaking rules a bit by mixing flavors, but how do you harness a bunch of great players when you’re encouraging them to play from their hearts? Aaron is a jazz master. Jim, Rob and Tom are soul and funk oriented. I’m a rocker… The country thing is just part of being in the Appalachian mountains! This is about making music that we’d enjoy listening to if we were sitting in our living room or driving down the road… It’s music you put on when you want to feel good and space out a bit. I think the theme originally came from the fact that I had a bunch of country-ish songs that we were tracking for a Nashville company…and we noticed that the “feel” was great! We were a bit funky…which I don’t think went over well with them, but it sounded great to us!
Review Fix: You guys are all studio musicians, so how will your live performances be different?
Reed: To tell you the truth…what happens in the studio is pretty much just a couple takes for us…it’s the same thing live… We don’t play a ton of gigs, as they need to be “right” for us. If we do it, it needs to be a spectacle! We all play with a lot of people or in various combinations or guys like me are consumed in the studio. The point is that we just can kill it! The live thing is quite organic as we’ll play the stock leads and vocals that folks would want to hear…but then we flat out jam! It is not our thing to play everything exactly like the records. We play off of each other. The Space Apaches is about getting loose…and we do it WITH the audience….everyone has a pretty wicked sense of humor…poking fun at ourselves as well as making up “outrageous” things…Like International Night where we honor our international following from Norway, Taiwan, Venezuela and Ohio! Crazy is good!
Review Fix: What’s the story behind Maybe? How was it written?
Reed: I’m surprised that one is singled out. It is about putting “being happy” out into the future…and the fact that many people feel bad. Man, we love everyone and want folks to be happy about themselves now! Sometimes if we change how we view the world a bit, it becomes much lighter and easier. This is where one has to watch out for “celebrity culture” and advertising as it’s pretty much designed to make people feel bad about themselves just to sell you something. This is one of the reasons the Space Apaches pokes fun at these ideas and chooses to have a laugh! And maybe, yes maybe, someone that is feeling down can play one of our tunes and feel better… I can go a lot deeper on this topic and get very philosophical and spiritual, but if we do that, we think we’re building some good karma!
Review Fix: What do you think makes this band special?
Reed: One could point to the quality of the musicians, but it’s something that’s intangible. It is just a magic that happens…it’s hard to explain… It’s like all cares drift away…and you just enjoy making music like when you were a kid…with a lot of fun…and care for each other.
Review Fix: How do you want this album to be remembered?
Reed: As something that had a lot of love put into it! The thing is that we are primarily about recording great records. Live things fade when the amplifiers are turned off…and what do you have left? Live is a great experience, but it doesn’t continue to give the same pleasure of a timeless recording. We think a great recording should touch people 50 or 100 years in the future. If people can listen to a Space Apaches record 50 years from now and say “Whoa…they had it happening!” then we accomplished something.
Review Fix: What are some acts that have had an influence on this album?
Reed: Ok…ready to reach back in time? The primary group was Mason Proffit with the Terry and John Michael Talbot. They had this cool western/country thing going! They were just awesome! I listened to some folks that lived then and they told me how the floors in the places they played would literally shake when they got it going! I’d like to think that we are a bit of an updated version of that… Of course we love the Eagles and Tom Petty…and Aerosmith! These may be a bit old-school, but they had/have chops…and we respect that!
Review Fix: What are your goals for the band?
Reed: We will just keep making records! That’s what we do… We will do gigs when it is right, and they need to be special…but making records is the main thing… This may be beyond the scope of this interview, but we are exploring more use of the HEVE technologies that impact brain function, both in the creative, recording and live event process. They were used in recording Smokin’ Voyages that that is part of the secret sauce in the recordings! I learned about these when I had some really tough losses in my life and they really helped me. It is controversial to use these proprietary health-science tones and technologies in records, but the positive experiences that we have had as well as its impact on many others is something that we can contribute to the world beyond music…
Review Fix: What’s next?
Reed: Making more sounds in the studio! Exploring more of brain function technologies…as well as consciousness… If you really look at the content of Smokin’ Voyages, it is about consciousness…your thoughts and inner world of experience…feelings… These are WORLDs unto themselves.