Interview: Talking new music and Southern California with Island Apollo


Concert Crap: Could you give anyone who hasn’t heard of you a brief history of the band?

Ryan Kilpatrick: We are Island Apollo. We’re a band made of three brothers and two friends from Orange County, Los Angeles and San Diego. We’ve been releasing music under “Island Apollo” for about four years, but we’ve been playing in bands together for nearly a decade. We’re big on strong melodies and full soundscapes, and do our best to write lyrics that mean something to us.

CC:  You have a really awesome single that just came out called “Hold It Down”, what’s the story behind the song?

RK: The song is about taking an inventory on your life, and realizing that things are going pretty damn well, but you’re still not very happy.  It’s about worrying that the only thing keeping you from satisfaction is you and the way you perceive your life.

CC: Lots of really amazing bands have come from So Cal. With that being said, do you have any musical / non-musical influences from So Cal?

RK: Yea, I mean so much great work and art comes out of California that it would be hard to escape its influence.  I think the artistic atmosphere we grew up in was more influential on us than any individual group.  Like you said, so many artists come from this area, and I think that just showed us that a career in music really was viable.

CC: What was the writing process like for your new song “Hold It Down”?

RK: Our keyboardist Austin oftentimes writes these guitar riffs on a piano, and then either Heath or myself will play it on guitar.   It’s cool because a keyboardist will naturally phrase his melodic lines differently than a guitarist would, so you end up with really interesting melodic shapes.  For “Hold It Down”, Austin brought us that riff that now starts the song, and we jammed on it and had a basic structure within I want to say 20 minutes.  The opening lyric, “I worry everything is gold” and the chorus tag “Hold it Down” just sort of popped out of my mouth as I was figuring out the melody.  I was lucky that the opening line came first, because it really told me where the rest of the song was going to go lyrically.

CC: As a band what would your dream tour lineup be? Your band included.

RK: Arcade Fire, Broken Bells, The Killers, Island Apollo.

 CC: What’s a song or album that has changed your life or had an impact on your life?

RK: Switchfoot’s The Beautiful Letdown.  I had only this album on a two week vacation when I was 15.  It forced me to really pay attention to all the details of the lyrics and the songwriting and it blew me away.  It made me want to be a lyricist, although I don’t ever expect to rival Jon Foreman.

CC: Do you have any new music or shows for fans to look forward to?

RK:We have four more songs that will be released in the coming months that we are very excited to share! Follow us online for up to date information on releases and tour dates.

You can check out their new single “Hold It Down“.

All questions answered by Ryan Kilpatrick.

Post and interview by Madeline Cronin

What are your thoughts on Island Apollo? Comment below.

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