Friday, 26 July 2013 12:33

The Appleseed Cast Takes Advantage of its Long and Winding Road

Written by  Carly Plank
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The Appleseed Cast wsg Des Ark and Heartscape Landbreak
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Aug. 15, 7 p.m.
$12 advance/$14 day of event
All ages, (616) 272-3758

"Transformative,” is a title that encompasses The Appleseed Casts' longevity, habit of playing musical chairs quite literally and ability to transition smoothly between many genres under post-rock.

Chris Crisci, lead songwriter and guitarist, has been a constant presence among the shifting musicians. Crisci, however, views each new face as an opportunity for growth.

"Everyone that has been in this band has brought something a little different to the songs, and colored them in their own way," Crisci said.

When the band began as a trio in Southern California in 1997, it had a sound that was heavily influenced by emo rockers Sunny Day Real Estate.  Crisci and his first drummer Louie Ruiz would rent practice space for $11 an hour and try to find people to fit the sound they were looking for.

“We had several people come out and play with us, but despite what they would tell us their influences are, they always played hair metal."

After switching record labels and personnel, the band relocated to North Carolina, then to current base, Lawrence, Kansas. Along the way, they developed a unique sound, characterized by a near inversion of the traditional hierarchy of melody, harmony, vocal and instrumental components. Instead of vocals taking center stage, lyrics and layers of guitar envelop a rhythmic centerpiece: the drums. 

Somewhat characteristically, the band’s newest member is drummer Nathan Wilder.

“Nathan is amazing," Crisci says of Wilder. "I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun working with a drummer.  His parts are intricate, yet retain the flow of a song.”

After spanning more than sixteen years and surviving countless lineup changes, relocations and oscillations between rock genres, this quartet of modern day troubadours isn’t slowing down anytime soon.  The band is currently touring the U.S. behind its latest album, Illumination Ritual, with plans to continue in Europe in the fall. 

Staying true to the group’s transformative nature, Crisci says he hopes to inspire current and future musicians with his live shows.

“I want our audience to walk away from our shows itching to play music themselves, which is easy, because I think a pretty high percentage of our fans are musicians.”

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