It was only slightly more than a year ago that Apes & Androids started playing live shows, but one of their earliest gigs put the New York-based band in center court of Marc Ecko's office—a lite
It was only slightly more than a year ago that Apes & Androids started playing live shows, but one of their earliest gigs put the New York-based band in center court of Marc Ecko's office—a literal basketball court—for one of the designer's private parties. Even with stars like Lil Kim and Sean "Diddy" Combs walking through the crowd, the band was a spectacle unto itself, costumed head to toe, donning makeup and bursting with its schizophrenic blend of psych rock, glam, hip-hop, funk and dance.
"Marc's just really into art. He freaked out as he watched us," says Brian Jacobs, who sings opposite the group's other core songwriter David Tobias. The pair split songwriting and singing duties 50/50, a product of their friendship since third grade.
Apes & Androids never fail to pair entertainment with their art. Their live shows have been known to feature cheerleaders, smoke machines, cross-dressing, puppets, kazoos for audience members and full video and live reproductions of Michael Jackson's video to "Thriller."
"When we perform, we're thinking about making it actual performance. Every time should be a unique experience. We want to transport everybody to a weird time and place and try to tailor the experience to the night," Jacobs says.
Along with keyboardist Morgan Z. Whirledge, percussionist Pablo Lopez and Andy Action, the act will paint on one of its biggest canvases yet May 30 with the Forms and Free Blood at New York's Bowery Ballroom. Of course the group encourages audience participation, which explains why its numbers have grown: Fans enjoy the repeat performances themselves. For instance, at Brooklyn's Studio B, Apes & Androids put one of their songs to a click track and literally programmed a level of videogame "Dance Dance Revolution" to the song in order to have two audience members face off.
As for translating the controlled chaos onto record, the duo takes it onto its own shoulders. The pair produced and recorded its self-released debut "Blood Moon," released in January, on their own—an impressive feat considering its girth (18 tracks) and the sheer density of the immaculate arrangements.