Apollo Heights
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Apollo Heights


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"press Review of Summerstage 2008 in Central Park"

The two intro bands, especially the first, were well worth the trip. Apollo Heights, a group that's been around for two decades, opened first, and I though I'd heard of them during the first Afropunk festival a few years ago, catching them live was a revelation. (Why don't I attend more live concerts?) Playing new pieces as well as songs from their CD, White Songs for Black People, the band, which comprises Danny Chavis (lead guitar), Marvin Levy (drums), Hayato Nakao (bass/programming), Monk (Brother Earth) (3rd guitar), Honeychild Coleman (rhythm guitar), Daniel Chavis (lead vocals), Micah Gaugh (backing vocals, keyboard), and Damali Young (guest drums), set the afternoon off like a round of firecrackers. I was too busy taking photos and trying not to sink into the muddy turf to take notes, but song after song, and especially "Christine," with its drawn out cadences and heavy drone, made an impression, and by the end of their moody, melodious set, I really wanted to hear a lot more. (iTunes or Lavamus!) - JS Theatre Blogspot

"Ebony Magazine July 2008 issue"

Ebony Magazine Interview/Review

It's 3 a.m. in Japan and every member of Apollo Heights is wide awake. On a Web chat, guitarist Danny Chavis of the New York-based rock band breezes through Japanese phrases with band mate Hayato Nakao, who actually is in Japan. Huddled around a laptop in New York are: Micah Gaugh, a classically trained musician/keyboardist and composer; Monk, a Harlem-based guitarist who appeared as a dancer in the 1985 movie Krush Groove; Honeychild Coleman, also a guitarist and DJ who spins electronica; and "The Twins," frontman vocalist Daniel Chavis and guitarist Danny Chavis. Each Apollo Heights band member brings his or her own experience from individual bands. Apollo Heights is no newcomer to the game, but many may not have heard of it.

There may be several notable Black rock bands most don't know about, but the debut album from Apollo Heights, White Music For Black People (released on the Minimal Vinyl label), beckons for your attention. (If you are old enough, you might be familiar with rocker Screamin' Jay Hawkins' Black Music For White People album, which featured the 1956 hit "I Put A Spell On You." The song was included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.")

Danny Chavis points out that EBONY in the 1960s was the first major publication to introduce Jimi Hendrix to the world, in addition to introducing other Black artists who pioneered the sound of rock. Though Hendrix's legendary imprint will never fade, Black rock bands still find it hard to get a record deal, or even get noticed.

The real deal, according to Honeychild: "They feel threatened that you're doing 'the thing' that contradicts their concept of what you 'should be doing.' People get really uptight about what their concept of 'Black music' is ... because our music is so different. Here, as Black people playing alternative music, everyone's like, 'You can't do that,' and in Europe it's like, 'Oh, wow, what are you gonna do?!' It's completely the other side of the coin."

Truth is, while some people long ago tuned out, many are still spoon-fed the same 15 spins on the radio that are supposed to represent the sound of Black music.

How about going for a rock spin? Keys in the ignition, Apollo Heights takes you on a trip with eerily haunting guitar licks over Dirty South beats on the moody first track, "Winter In The Summertime." On "Disco Lights," one of the funky, head-noddin' tracks produced by David Sitek of TV On The Radio (yet another Black rock band), Hayato breaks beats and switches up the 808 from verse to chorus under blended guitar riffs. "Everlasting Gobstopper" champions as the anthem of the album, with Daniel chanting with such conviction he makes you feel each word.

Not complete without a few surprises, the disk features psychedelic funkster Lady Miss Kier (from the band Deee-Lite) on background vocals, and even Brooklyn's own Mos Def sits in and spits full bars on "Concern."

Ready to rock now? Apollo Heights takes you on a journey well worth the ride. - Johnson Publishing Company Inc.

"Losing Today, Indie Music Magazine Reviews"

Interesting Band Alert! This New York group has got a good thing going with their soulful shoegaze sound that has more than a little in common with TV On The Radio (whose David Sitek produced one of these six songs). Although their demo is not perfectly recorded (be prepared to turn your stereo up), it leaves you with no doubt that Apollo Heights are capable of absolute greatness. One of the band's greatest strength's is that each song occupies a different sonic world (The garagey fuzz-punk of "Mainfesto" gives way to the ballad "Fit To Be Tied", and so on) yet it forms a cohesive whole. The group's other main strength is lead singer Daniel Chavis who comes off like a mix of David Bowie and Prince. Final song "Discolights" (the one produced by Sitek) is a dancey track with pop potential that sounds like some kind of implausible jam between Ride and Outkast. Astonishing music from a group that should be going places in the very near future. - Losing Today


LP: White Music for Black People
EP: Babytalkk
EP: Disco Lights



Apollo Heights Biography

Rising from the ashes of the seminal rock group The Veldt (Chapel Hill/Raleigh, N.C.) Danny and twin brother Daniel Chavis formed Apollo Heights in New York City's Lower East Side in 2002. With nothing more than couple of guitars and a drum machine, they took their sonic alchemy assault to New York's nightclub scene. After numerous line up changes, the band recruited bassist and programmer Hayato Nakao straight from Japan, and well-known NYC guitarist Honeychild Coleman and former electro fetus (also brother earth) guitarist Monk Washington. Apollo Heights is loud, exploring color, space, sensuality, and beat driven melodies with rhythmic and dynamic tension. Daniel's falsetto vocals cast a contrast upon the wall of sound created by Danny's heavy rock dream scape guitar and Hayato's pounding and licentious beats. Fans of Bloc Party, My Bloody Valentine and Massive Attack, take note.

Far from predictable, Apollo Heights flips hip hop programming on its head to make use of the guitar driven feed-back, adding a down south flavor all its own. Influences range from Curtis Mayfield to The Cocteau Twins, Jimi Hendrix to Massive Attack, and pretty much all in between. Apollo Heights have appeared on stage with Oasis, The Pixies, The Cocteau Twins, The Manic Street Preachers, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and most recently completed a U.S. tour with TV on the Radio. After a short tour of Europe the group have still been honing their song craft with guitarist Robin Guthrie of The Cocteau Twins in France. Look for the debute CD/LP on Manimal Vinyl Records this October 2007 titled "White Music for Black People". It will be distributed worldwide through Red Eye USA

Manager: QMaxx Email: remco5@aim.com

Booking Agent: Antonia Giordano
Jersey Girl Entertainment LLC
(818) 859-6752