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Indigo Apartment

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW INDIGO APARTMENT WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya Indigo Apartment thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today. Grab a brew and take a seat.

To start off, introduce us to your band and give us a brief history of your musical journey.

Monty: Of course. The band consists of Luke, who plays drums; Sarah, who plays both acoustic and electric guitar; Fin, who plays electric guitar; and myself, where I play bass and do vocals. Fin and I have been writing and playing together for a while.

Luke and Sarah, who were old school friends, joined the band in 2022. That’s when we started playing bigger shows and releasing music. We’ve just come off the back of being runners-up in the grand final for the Isle of Wight New Blood competition for a chance to play at the Isle of Wight Festival. It’s been a very busy past six months, especially as we’ve been writing and recording new music, and we are finally able to share it.

Fin: You could say I started off as the lead guitarist, but that role has kind of changed and developed over last year or so as Sarah also plays a lot of lead too! Monty and I have been in bands together since about 2018. I suppose I was always surrounded by music a lot that came from my dad playing different things in the car when travelling between parents’ houses from the likes of AC/DC to the Adele and everything in between.

Sarah: When Luke and I joined the band, Fin and Mont had already completely written a few songs, which formed the basis of our live set and catalogue that we recorded and performed. As time went on, we made the decision to move to a much more collaborative song-writing process with the new single, “Shake the Handle”, marks the beginning of that era.

Luke: More recently we have been involved in the Isle of Wight New Blood competition, competing nationally for a spot to play at the prestigious festival. In such a short space of time the competition helped us grow as a band both on and off the stage and we were fortunate enough to reach the final, providing us with the momentum we needed to start 2024. 

Your new single “Shake The Handle” is set for release in July, what inspired the song?

Monty: “Shake The Handle” is about not being able to get out of bed in the morning and struggling to motivate yourself to face the day ahead. I think the hardest part of being in that mindset is admitting it and being validated for it, whether by a friend, partner, or anybody else. The song tells that story of wanting to be accepted for how we feel because that’s what’s going to help us get out and get moving. It has a gritty, saturated feel to it that represents a new direction for us as band.

What was the creative process like for this project?

Fin: Shake the handle has been something that’s been around since the pandemic really. We didn’t have the name then, but I had the main rhythm part of the guitar down and I didn’t really know what to do with it.

There was no band then, so I was writing a lot of solo songs around that time but didn’t really have anywhere to put them so the ideas kind of just went into hiding. But then it came out again last December and Monty came up with some great melodies, and we put it as a project to the rest of the band. I think it’s the most important piece of music that we’ve ever released as it’s a full collaborative effort, and we tried to apply what we’d learnt from previous experiences into the recording process.

Monty: Yeah, recording-wise it was a very non-fanciful standard setup, but we wanted that classic sound that was a little raw and a little rough around the edges. I mixed and engineered the tracks with no constraints for the first time, and everyone was able to play the role of producer.

How do you hope your fans and listeners will connect with or interpret the song’s message?

Monty: I think it’s a new and refreshing sound for Indigo Apartment, and the message is very clear. It’s something that everybody can relate to on some level. We hope that our fans love the direction we are taking just as much as we do.

To promote the single, Indigo Apartment has several shows lined up over the next few months. Are you looking forward to being back on the stage? 

Luke: Performing on stage really is the best part of being in a rock band. The recent gigs in the [Isle of Wight Festival] competition sold-out and were an amazing opportunity to play to so many new people. We’re out on the road around the UK a bit later this year, but our next show is a homecoming headline on the 12th of July in Harrow at Trinity Bar.

We’re from Watford, so have teamed up to co-host with two local artists that we are greats friends with. I personally can’t wait to play the fan favourites live again and hear people singing the words back to us, as well as the new single which releases the day before on July 11. Not every band does this, but I really enjoy playing unreleased material too, to see how our fans respond to it and to keep things exciting.

Sarah: Personally, I can’t wait to get back on stage! I think I live music in general is one of the best things ever, and we are incredibly lucky that Indigo Apartment are able to play a part in that. The feeling of playing songs you have created and nurtured to people you love all in one room is unmatched.

How do you envision “Shake The Handle” playing out in front of a live audience?

Sarah: We’ve already played the single three times in front of audiences at sold out shows when we were competing in the Isle of Wight New Blood Competition, and it was amazing. It got a great reception that got better each time we played it, and it’ll soon become a fan favourite, I’m sure. It’s probably our favourite song to play right now, not only because of the energy it brings but also because it best represents where we are as a band right now. We’ve had people coming up to us and messaging us asking to release it since February, so we’re thrilled to finally have it out in the world in July.

So, can we expect to hear any more new, unreleased material from you at your upcoming shows?

Fin: I don’t want to give too much away but we will be mixing up the setlists off the back of the Isle of Wight Comp shows. Those were 25-minute sets with not much room to manoeuvre, and with the London headline shows we have planned on the 12th July (Harrow) and 7th September (Old Blue Last) we will be bringing back some personal favourites and likely some new music too. We will be playing the new single for sure!

Tell us more about the Isle of Wight New Blood Competition, and what you took away from the experience. 

Luke: When we first received the call about the competition, we recognised that this was an opportunity we needed to give our all to and I think that’s what we made sure we did! We pushed ourselves to improve on every aspect of our performance as we wanted to make sure it was perfect.

We dedicated rehearsals to individual parts of our live show, including backing vocals and our visual performance. We really fed off feedback from judges and fans as well, which helped us progress through the competition I think; figuring out what needed the most work and motivating us to improve on it. This is the best we’ve ever been as a band, and we are really looking forward to showing that off! I think the new single and upcoming shows will be evidence of that.

The competition must have provided you a few memorable moments on stage. What’s been your best experience on-stage experience of 2024?

Sarah: It’s so hard to choose but I think that the Isle of Wight competition quarterfinal in Hoxton for me was the pinnacle. The atmosphere there was phenomenal for such a small venue, and after finishing the first song, “What Time Do You Call This?”, a wave of serotonin hit us. I was so proud of the band and very happy being on stage in that moment.

Monty: The competition has undoubtedly been an amazing opportunity for us, and it really tightened up our performance on stage. We started looking at other bands, such as Wunderhorse, and we went to see The Hives in Hammersmith.

The energy they bring is just insane, and we thought ‘yeah, we can do that!’. Playing “Shake The Handle” live has been pretty insane so far, and the reaction has been great from everyone at the shows. However, I’ll personally never get over hearing people chant the buildup for “Ten Feet From The Sun”. Every time we play it now, it’s just surreal!

…And off-stage?

Fin: It’s very hard to top winning the semi-final of the Isle of Wight Competition in a room packed out with our own fans. We said at the beginning, we would have been satisfied getting as far as the semis, but then this happened, and it was incredibly emotional. To celebrate with all the people who love you and your music is very special! It was also the moment that showed Indigo Apartment could be something important, and that moment remains as a constant reminder of how capable we are as a band.

Luke: In April we spent a chunk of time getting new material down in the studio in Newcastle. Monty has been our recording engineer for all our sessions which gives us that extra level of independence and freedom when tracking our songs. For me I felt this was our first real experience of freedom in this area, where we could all have unconstrained creativity throughout the process of recording the track. The social element was there too obviously, as it meant we could spend more time together as mates, which is always a benefit for the development of the band.

Earlier we discussed new music! Besides the upcoming shows, what are Indigo Apartment’s plans for the rest of 2024?

Fin: Yeah, well coming off of the back of competition and finishing as runners-up I think we have a clearer vision of what we want to do next. We’re confident now in our home support, and the capital is very important to us.

We have two big headline shows on the 12th July and 7th September as mentioned earlier, and we also will have brand new merch there for sale! But we also want to get out of London and increase our exposure. I’m not sure how much I can say officially just yet, but looking towards Manchester and the North West is looking very fruitful – as is the South West. We’re chatting with a few different bands and promoters currently so stay tuned to our Instagram and website for any updates.

Luke: This summer, our focus is really on the new single “Shake The Handle”. We truly believe it’s one of the most important songs we’ve written and we want to get it out to as many people as possible! Outside of the shows we are trying to develop a lot more visual content for fans to see to support the release, so booked a few dates with various videographers.

Any hints about what fans can expect?

Luke: Well, we’ve wanted to make a good, high quality music video for a long time now…

Fin: …and I think we have always spoken about capturing our live performances in some shape or form for easy viewing. We’re really proud of our live sets.

Are we brave enough to ask about what’s in store for 2025?

Monty: I guess you’ll have to wait and see, but “Shake The Handle” is the beginning of a new era for Indigo Apartment. We’ve been busy with new material and have been in and out of the studio, and likely will be for the rest of this year into next. We want to reach new audiences and see ourselves breaking the London barrier and playing shows in other areas of the UK. I think 2025 is going to be a fantastic year for Indigo Apartment.

Are there any dream venues or festivals that you hope to perform at in the future? 

Fin: if we’re talking dreams, then I think the obvious choice is Glastonbury. I went as a fan last year and it’s just this amazing community there, all the music is good, and everyone is enjoying themselves. I’d love for Indigo Apartment to play a part in that. I also recently went to O2 Academy Brixton for the first time to see Royal Blood. I’d love to headline that one point in the future. It’s a beautiful venue and so many exciting artists have performed there.

Finally, how do you unwind after a busy period of touring or recording?

Monty: We’ve gotten into the habit of finishing a recording or rehearsal session by unwinding over a late-night McDonalds. Our energy levels are about one percent at that point, so I’m not sure the conversations we have are very insightful, but we always have a good laugh. On a more personal basis, I like to take it easy and have some downtime before the next push. Luke and I are currently working our way through all the Call of Duty zombies Easter eggs, which has been pretty fun. I’ve just started the new season of “The Boys,” too, which I’ve been binging.

Sarah: The best thing about the band is that we will get on as people, and so that really allows us to just have this friendship with each other that is quite invaluable to all of us. I think after recording in Newcastle, we went home and ended up playing FIFA which was nice, and we are due a night out, at some point…

Monty: Yeah, we need to get that organised! We’ve been due one for over a year now, music has just gotten in the way.

Thank you so much for your time today.  

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