When it comes to keeping a straight face, television news anchors rank right up there with monks and the recently deceased. So when a small band from Boston convinced Gene Lavanchy, a hardened veteran of the Fox News station, to get up and dance the “Phoney Marony,” the audience had to have taken notice. But then again, you’ve got to expect something like that to happen when you’re in the company of Apollo Sunshine.
Lead by guitarist Jesse Gallagher, Apollo Sunshine might just be the embodyment of everything that’s right with modern music. Formed around the Berklee School of Music, Jesse joined like-minded students Sam Cohen and Jeremy Black to form an instrument-swapping trio that quickly drew support for their spirited live shows. In 2003, the band debuted on spinART with Katonah, to the delight of music lovers everywhere. Shortly thereafter, they added Sean Aylward on guitar, and all hell broke loose.
It would probably be fair to say that Apollo Sunshine have built a reputation around being the opening band that outshines the headliner – but don’t think for a second that they don’t know it. “One time when we didn’t even have a record out, we went on tour with Hot Hot Heat,” says Gallagher. “They were just getting signed to Warner Brothers, and this was their first tour with a lot of people. There was this one show in cleveland where we went in and f*cking killed the place. People were screaming for us and jumping up and down. They [Hot Hot Heat] waited fourty five minutes to go on afterwards, because they were like ‘we can’t go on after that sh*t!'” He then paused and added, “they never asked us to play with them again.”
As if blowing seasoned bands out of the water weren’t interesting enough, the boys of Apollo Sunshine also manage to find the time to record critically aclaimed, genre-bending albums. Their recent self-titled release is a musical stew of just about every musical style to come out of America. Released on spinART, Apollo Sunshine has attracted a whole new crop of fans to the band’s table. But even so, it seems that everyone has been able to find what they were looking for. “Basically, at our core we’re a rock n roll band,” Gallagher explained. “Every audience we play for is usually pretty receptive. We’ve never had a show where people just didn’t get it.” Which is understandable, considering the effort that they put into their live shows.
When asked if there was anything the band brought with them on tour to make the road feel more like home, Jesse seemed almost confused. “We don’t really bring sh*t to remind us of home,” he told me. “We toured for two years without even having a place to live. So the road is your home…That’s where we feel really comfortable.” And I believe it. In fact, it’s hard to imagine Apollo Sunshine not on the stage. Some people were just ment to perform, and we should be thanking God that they are.