July 28, 2017 – If one ever wondered what made a band tick, the Apocalyptic Lovers have come up with #PlaylistFriday to give fans a glimpse into each members taste in music and then some.
We sat down with the bands founding member and drummer Dave Hope to discuss #PlaylistFriday and to see what else is currently going on with the band.
What is #PlaylistFriday and how did it come about?
Dave Hope – “Well, I have made it no secret I am not a fan of what has become of the music industry and especially streaming sites like Spotify, Apple Music & Amazon Music. You know, pay a monthly fee and get millions of songs at your finger tips! Sounds great in theory, but the problem is the model is broken and bands can not sustain on this. I could sit here and go on, but we are here to chat about #PlaylistFriday right? (laughing) In a nutshell, once someone or something addresses these large streaming companies and figures a way for bands to get paid fairly, I think that will go a long way for turning things around for the music business. That said, the streaming of music is hear to stay like it or not and we have just decided to take the bull by the horns and run with it.”
Yes, we hear all the time that smaller and larger acts alike are constantly battling the way these services are set up. So streaming services like Spotify were the catalyst behind this idea?
Dave Hope – “Yes exactly! If you cant beat them, join them, right? Or is it, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer? (Laughing) Honestly, since our album Redemption Volume I (mixed by legendary Michael Wagener) hit a little over a year ago, it was available not only on physical CD, but on every digital platform we could find. We pushed the CD and the downloadable services by Apple, Amazon and Google, but we did not go out of our way to tell everyone we were on Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and so on.”
Until now right?
Dave Hope – “Yes you are correct, we are now really pushing Spotify for one, but in a more creative and fun way. I had been racking my brain on how to utilize Spotify or something like it and to just see over time what we could do with it, you know make it work for us. I think every “newer” band is looking for that golden nugget these days on how to get maximum exposure on something like Spotify in hopes a song blows up and gets millions and millions of streams. I had read a few articles on streaming and then I had remembered a couple significant things from my past as well. First, I remembered reading an article in early 2000-ish about a band and the one guy said who gives a “F” what bands we all like and don’t like. Thats what makes us, well us. He said that one guy loves Slayer and the other loved U2 and at that point I was like how cool is that and I need to listen to them. The guy was right too, they sounded nothing like either of those bands, but you could hear bits and pieces in their songs.”
And the second thing?
Dave Hope – “All the guys in our band are old enough to remember owning music, owning vinyl and owning cassette tapes, CDs and so forth. Then the idea really hit me, what do all of those things have in common? Mix tapes or Compilations CDs or whatever we all called them back in the day. So I thought, todays playlists on Spotify are very similar to the old school mix tapes and why not share our individual music tastes with our friends, family and fans just like back in the day, but with playlists.”
In trying to figure out the streaming issue, you thought of how musically diverse everyone in your band is and to let fans explore that diversity via playlists on Spotify?
Dave Hope – “I’m not sure I figured out anything honestly, but I came up with a fun way to share our music and music we all love with everyone that follows us just like we all did back in the day on mix tapes. If you think about it, the entire thing is really all the same just on different mediums. I think no matter how old or young you are, everyone that loves music has made some sort of music mix for a girl/boy friend and or those music buddies. I have a couple good friends that love music as much as I do and we swap mix CDs or playlists every once in a while still to this day. Its a great way to find new music because everyone hears something different. One recent example, I listened or tried to listen to the new Def Leppard which is a band I grew up loving. I could not make it through the entire new album, so I was like I’ll pass. Then about 3 moths later or so, I heard a playlist with Wings of an Angel on it which reminded me of something from their Retroactive album and I really enjoyed it. So I looked up the song and there it was on the new Def Leppard I passed on. It was toward the end of the album that I missed on the first go around and I was very, very happy I was turned onto the song via that playlist.”
I bet that happens to a lot of fans. So all this has led up to #PlaylistFriday? What are some details you can share with us about it?
Dave Hope – “We did a soft roll out to see how it would go and so far the guys in the band have had fun with it and the people on social media have seemed to enjoy it as well. Basically, every Friday we will launch a playlist from one of the members in the band via Spotify. The only thing each playlist will have in common is each will have one Apocalyptic Lovers song stuck in there somewhere. Other than our tunes, the guys pick whatever they want and we launch it on Fridays. The one band all four of us agree on is Dokken, but listeners will see and hear just how many different influences we all have. I launched a playlist recently called something like Love Songs that Don’t Suck and listeners will notice that out of all the songs on there, I placed very few ballads. I never was a huge power ballad fan and I’m still not. Every once in a while, a slow song gets me, but most of the time I will pass. Rob our singer, is into a lot of rock n roll and even goes into the Christian rock realm, so I am sure between Rob and my bassist Mike there will be heavy doses of Stryper and Holy Soldier. I even had Poison’s song Look What the Cat Dragged In followed by Janet Jacksons – Black Cat. They were both mixed by our favorite producer Michael Wagener, so I put them on my playlist!”
Your band grew up on 80’s rock and metal and anyone can hear that in your music. Unlike some bands in that genre, the Apocalyptic Lovers really don’t sound like any of them. You can hear Dokken for sure, but I hear many other influences mixed in there with your band’s writing. #PlaylistFriday should be a real treat for fans to get inside the mindset of the four musicians in Apocalyptic Lovers, so do you have anything in closing?
Dave Hope – “We are having fun making these lists and I hope the people that do take the time to listen enjoy them. All of the playlists will be different for many reasons. When I make mine, I think of the poor person stuck at a desk for 8 hours doing data entry, so my lists tend to be lengthy. The list my bassists Mike just sent over is called Killer Firsts and its just 10 songs long. He said each tune was the first song he heard from a band or album that blew him away and made him go out and buy it. Our hope is people will follow us on Spotify and end up placing our original tracks on their personal playlists and the entire thing snowballs. In a small way, its already happening and other bands are catching on as well. Mike Floros the main writer and lead guitarist from the band IDORA launched a fun list on Spotify. The playlist had about enough songs on it to work out to and it included one of their tunes and one of ours as well. I listened to it on and off all week and even gave it a couple shares as well.”
Very exciting that it has caught on so quickly!
Dave Hope – “We hope that people will always purchase full albums and singles in one way or another to support bands, but this seems to maybe be a good way for newer bands to get their name out to the masses. Bands big and small are all hurting, so if you really dig a band always make sure to purchase either the physical product and or the downloadable version of their album. The next best thing you can do to help support your favorite band/artist is to follow them on the streaming platforms like Spotify and put at least one of their songs in each of your playlists. If fans and band members can all get together and do this process via streaming, it can make the algorithms blow up and possibly put a little known act on the map. At this point in time, fans, bands and artists need to support one another and take the safety in numbers approach.”
Thank you for your time today. We will all be looking forward to #PlaylistFriday.
Dave Hope – “I will always take the time to chat Apocalyptic Lovers! I’m looking forward to #PlaylistFriday as much as anyone else. I have found it fun and interesting to see what the guys send me on their playlists. So, every Friday I hope everyone will watch for our free Spotify playlist and listen to them throughout the week. Please make sure to follow us on Spotify as well and place our tunes on your favorite playlists. Remember safety in numbers and every little bit can help a band or artist you love. I will also have more for everyone soon regarding our bassist Mike going live on Facebook on August 26th at 3:00 PM. We are also actively seeking management and investors that want to come along for the ride on our second record Redemption Volume 2 which is going to be amazing. More gigs are about to break out soon too! We were offered some incredible gigs, but due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to commit. The glass half full is there is growing interest in us to play live, its just a matter of everything lining up regarding dates, times, money and all that fun stuff. Thanks again and look for more info on the band coming in August!”