Aaron Pillar, guitarist for The Appleseed Cast, played a black Fender Stratocaster when his band began practicing in 1997. Twelve years later, that Strat is one of the few things that hasn’t changed for Pillar and The Appleseed Cast.
Compared to their first album, The End of the Ring Wars, which was released in 1998, one of the biggest differences is deeper than band members or guitar pedals — it comes down to their separation from the definition of genre or nailing themselves into a category or style.
“I don’t really know what to call ourselves,” Pillar said. “Indie? Rock? Rock and roll? Whatever you want to call it, it’s just really me and Chris [Crisci] coming up with guitar riffs and jamming out with the rest of the band, and it turns out what it is.”
As a result of becoming better musicians, exploring different music and bands and the simple fact of time, Pillar has found that Appleseed is more focused on becoming whatever they become based on the music and not for any other reason.
The Appleseed Cast is all about mood and creating a soundscape through simple chords and effect and delay pedals.
“It’s more about creating a feel with the music, what kind of mood can we create,” Pillar said. “We definitely are thinking about music and sounds first.”
The Appleseed Cast’s latest project is a full-length album entitled Sagarmatha, released in February of this year. What started out as an idea for an instrumental EP evolved into a full-length album that was “fresh and different,” Pillar said.
Sagarmatha was the product of roughly a year’s worth of idea evolution, band member redistribution and jam sessions that resulted in an album that ultimately took the band in a new direction.
“It brought us back to longer songs — more instrumental passages and more twists and away from the structure that we got stuck in,” Pillar said. “It taught us a lot about what we want to do and what makes sense to us as a band.”
Although partly inspired by the simple, repetitive music that Pillar said makes a lot of sense, he found himself trying to get away from the world of music for a while as the record was in the works. This step back allowed him to focus on what he was writing and found him “struggling through the bad things and finding the good things in it,” Pillar said.
The Appleseed Cast is no stranger to the CU area, having played at Canopy Club, house shows and downtown roughly 10 times in the past, Pillar recalled. They’ll be back at the Canopy Club April 23 for a show with An Horse, Company of Thieves and Tyson & The Friction. Tickets are $10 in advance.
The group will be performing a majority of their new record combined with a great deal of older music in a continuous experience that blends one song into the next to become a larger piece of music, an approach that has proven successful for the band on previous tours.
“We try to keep at you, keep the energy up the whole time, and it’s fun for us to play,” Pillar said, “… and [we add] a little bit of improv to keep it interesting.”

About The Author

Related Posts