FORMING THE BAND
The group first formed in Bordeaux, France during 2005 when Olivier GRIVEL (bass) joined Christophe RICHON (drums) and myself, Vincent MÉRY (guitars).
Christophe and I had been jamming together since high-school with various friends, not really getting anywhere and it’s only with Olivier’s arrival that we decided we should write and play our own songs.
At that time we still were looking for a singer. We tried a bit of everything and everyone. Guys, girls, none of them quite matched what we had in mind. So we decided we should do it ourselves. Not because we wanted to but because we just couldn’t find anyone to do it for us.
So while playing bass and guitar, Olivier and I started singing and those three guys making loud noise in the drummer’s parents’ garage eventually became APPOLLONIA.
“So why the hell APPOLLONIA huh?”. No big plans. A song from TEAM SLEEP entitled “Appollonia” had leaked on the web a couple years before, we were looking for a name, we liked that name, it became our name, period.
We bought an 8-tracks digital recording machine, a microphone and started recording songs we had been writing during the year. That demo, for which Olivier’s brother Jérôme did the artwork, came out in December 2005 and led us to play our first hometown show with the Belgian guys from OFFICER JONES AND HIS PATROL CAR PROBLEMS and THE BLACK HEART REBELLION at that now closed downtown club, El Inca.
2006 and 2007 were very taught full years. Playing almost every punk-rock club in town, getting the name out and visiting other French cities felt like finally doing something meaningful. Getting to share the stage with bands like OVERMARS and TANG, bands I was heavily into at the moment (and still am) really meant something to me. Meanwhile, we were piling up new songs, re-arranging old ones, appearing on various compilations (“Music Fear Satan Vol. 1”, “Cité De Chenilles”,…) and looking for a place to record our first album.
October 2007 saw us begin our long time relationship with Franck HUESO by spending three entire weeks with him in Studio 4 in Poitiers, France to record that first album. Three weeks were probably too much for such an inexperienced band but well, we wanted to do things right for our first album and just didn’t have a clue. So “Among Wolves” came out in April 2008 on APPOLLONIAN INDUSTRIES, a label we had created after having the album turned down by every single record label we got in touch with. Jüül who had worked on a few posters for gigs we played took care of the artwork and absolutely killed it. Though that period seems like a million years ago for us now, the album still contains a few fans’ favorites such as “Passing Lights”, “The Choir Of The Blond Grin” or “Dogma”. “Among Wolves” will later get released on cassette by Dutch label BREATHE PLASTIC RECORDS.
Having tons of new songs took us back to the studio with Franck in August 2009 to record our second album. Our friend Colin at MAXIMUM DOUGLAS RECORDS offered us a deal and “Blank Solstice” came out on vinyl on his label in November 2009. Working with Colin as our “manager”, playing our first shows abroad, those were great times. Most people didn’t understand Jüül‘s artwork but the album did well and songs like “To Nameless Sons”, “My Closest Foe” or “Acrobat” still remain upon some of the best stuff we wrote and still get played live at almost every show. As with “Among Wolves”, “Blank Solstice” would later get released on cassette through BREATHE PLASTIC RECORDS. That era ended on a bitter note with founding member Christophe deciding to leave the band in 2010 to focus on other non-musical projects.
We met Michaël MARTIN (drums/vocals) through Colin and playing gigs with some of his other bands. When Mike offered to fill in for Christophe, we couldn’t have been happier. The guy had ideas and could sing while playing drums! We knew him, we liked him, we didn’t had to go through lousy auditions, what a blessing. With Mike joining the band in the end of 2010 we now had three singers in the band and those songs ideas we had gathered turned into “Crimson Shades”. This time, we didn’t have any money for studio time. So we tracked everything ourselves and sent those takes to same old Franck HUESO to mix. This third album came out in February 2012 and saw us working with MIRABOLLE on the artwork for the first time. Reviews were insane but problems with everybody’s day jobs provided us from playing as much shows as we had planned. Some of them were great though as we got the chance to share the stage with awesome bands such as ROSETTA, CITY OF SHIPS and THE GREAT OLD ONES.
Not playing too many shows led us to quickly having a lot of new material written. Various events made it a pain in the ass to record. Because of my job, I had to move to Biarritz, beautiful Basque Country, 200 kilometers south of Bordeaux. Driving back and forth, not having a single Euro for studio time, we got a little help here and there (Fabien DEVAUX handled drums recording) and tracked most of it ourselves in between August 2013 and April 2014 in some of the most ridiculous conditions imaginable. As usual, Franck HUESO mixed it (up to this day, he has worked on every single one of our releases) and this time, Julian SILVA at ON AIR MASTERING, NYC, USA took care of the mastering. Once again, our friend MIRABOLLE brilliantly handled the artwork and “Dull Parade”, our fourth album, came out in October 2014 as a 100% DIY release. A music video directed by the guys at PHONOSCENE for the song “Strange Blooms” shortly preceded.
Sadly, after recording the album, another founding member decided to take some time off as Olivier still gravitates around the band but does not play with us anymore.
Our good friend Tony filled in on bass. Once again, no real auditions, no nothing, it stayed in the “family”.
Same thing happened when Michaël decided to step away in early 2016 and got replaced by our lighting tech’s twin brother Lucas for live shows.
A new EP with the fantastic Florent MARCADET from CARPENTER BRUT, HACRIDE and KLONE as guest on drums was already in the works before Lucas’ arrival and shall be released in late 2016.
APPOLLONIA currently is:
- Vincent MÉRY (guitars/vocals)
- Tony BRÉAUD (bass/vocals)
- Lucas VAUTARD (drums)
We’ll see you soon…