Published Sep 30, 2014The loss of a band member causes most bands to put the brakes on and figure out how to cope with their missing musical limb. Not so for London, England's the History of Apple Pie. When original bass player Kelly Owens left the group last October, her bandmates quickly scooped up fellow Londoner Joanna Curwood. Rather than hitting the road to break in the new member, the band's drummer James Thomas says they headed into the studio, knocking out their sophomore record, Feel Something, which arrives today (September 30) via Marshall Teller Records.
"[She] really motivated us to want to go and make another album," Thomas tells Exclaim! of Curwood's arrival last November. "We went in [to the studio] at the end of January to record. So from November to January, we went from having nothing to a finished album."
Curwood previously played in a Bo Diddley cover band called Diddler with Rhys Webb, bass player in the Horrors.
"I always wanted her to play in the band, because she's really good," Thomas states.
Owens was originally brought into the History of Apple Pie to sing backup vocals, but ended up as the band's full-time bass player, an instrument she'd never played. As such, her skills were limited.
"That's what prevented us from thinking about making another album," says Thomas. "We felt like it wasn't going to progress until we got a new bassist."
The History of Apple Pie recorded their debut, Out of View, in the Horrors' recording studio, affording them the time to re-record its 10 tracks after their first pass was deemed unworthy, a process Thomas says was "labourious."
Feel Something took just a week to record in January, after the band's songwriters, Jerome Watson and Steph Min, wrote the bulk of it over the 2013 Christmas break.
"When Joanna came in it changed the vibe within the band," says Thomas. "Making this album was really enjoyable compared to the first one."
The band were in talks with Stephen Street to produce. Thomas notes that "He was really keen to work with us," but the famed producer of Blur and the Smiths was out of their price range. Instead, they opted to record in friend and producer Charles Reeves' Sublime Recording Studio in Islington.
For now, those same financial constraints that prevented the group from working with Street mean that any appearances on this side of the pond are unlikely for the foreseeable future. However, fans can expect a full-length from Parakeet, Thomas's band with Yuck's Mariko Doi.
"We've been doing that band since before Yuck and Apple Pie even existed. We're recording it right now. Hopefully it will come out early next year."