Tony Appleseed is a singer/songwriter based out of Asbury Park who blurs the lines anywhere from rock to hip-hop. Since the start of his career, he has released his debut LP 'Metanoia' in 2015 and then in 2016 followed up with two more EP's. Back in July, Tony Appleseed released his latest LP 'Entropy' and off of it is the chill borderline electronic post-apocalyptic song, "Fragile, Pt. II."
"Fragile, Pt. II" features acoustic but electronic hybrid trip-hop drums with creative delay effects, grooving tremolo guitars, crunchy lead guitars, and an incredibly moody vocal performance that dynamically transforms with flairs of distortion effects. The melodic storytelling in the vocals carries an almost melancholic feel; you can feel reminiscent of a lost one with this or even you can feel fired up for something epic to happen. There is an interesting blend of emotions where you'll be able to look at the picture from a different perspective and get a different experience out of it. There are many beautiful textures that really built up in this release. Like a modern blend of Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead; whatever Tony Appleseed is doing to create this moody atmosphere, we are loving it and cannot wait to hear what else is coming next.
Listen to "Fragile, Pt. II" here.
Hey Tony Appleseed! Welcome to BuzzMusic! Wow, "Fragile, Pt. II" is like an outer world experience where you can feel something different depending on how you look at the song. How does the song make you feel? Was there an intended emotion you had wanted? When I initially wrote “Fragile, Pt. II” the song was something I used for an entirely different project, the song had an entirely different meaning and genre. I liked the chord progression a lot and didn’t want to abandon it, but mentally I am in a different place from the old lyrics and didn’t relate much to the old style either.
I saved the progression for a rainy day so to speak. One day I decided to try to program the chord progression of the old song into my electribe and that was the skeleton for the new arrangement. I layered on acoustic drums, electric piano, guitar, bass, vocals, and mellotron and sat on the new instrumental version that you heard today for almost a year before the right lyrics came to me. I made 2 other albums before it hit me, but I didn’t want to force it, and I wanted the original sentiment of the song to disappear before I could come up with a new idea.
It’s no secret that the song is about the current state of our planet. Human beings at large are ignoring the careless, selfish, destructive behavior that is causing irreversible damage to this place we call home.
We pollute the air, the oceans, consume non-renewable goods, and send them off to a landfill out of sight, out of mind. This trend of consumer capitalism is catching up to us as we slowly watch different species of animals and insects go extinct. Probably the most important one currently at risk is our bee population. With the toxic pesticides we use, if we kill off the bees, so goes most of our food supply.
I suppose the intended emotion is amidst all this carelessness, we need to make a change in our lifestyles before it’s too late. It’s not new information, but like a lot in life, it is a mistake we repeatedly make that we have to continually relearn. When I reflect upon it, I suppose it makes me sad that people at large don’t necessarily care, but putting the idea down helps me get these feelings of helplessness off my chest and to hopefully reach others with this message. We are loving this moody but upfront and dynamic record you had put together. What were some of the influences that had to lead you to go in this direction? What had made those influences an influence for you? Thanks! I suppose everything in my life is an influence. The people around me, the music I listen to, my personal experience, as well as the larger human experience. The album is entitled Entropy, it is about endings but also new beginnings. A lot of the album was written and recorded before the birth of my son. The first few songs were about him and what it would be like to be a father, messages to him, and how my life would be different. As the album goes on, it trades off on topics of personal anecdotes and experience, as well as larger human/cosmic topics. I tend to zoom in and out on life a lot because I feel the two extremes often relate to each other. Sort of in the way trees looks similar to our veins or parts of the galaxy look similar to parts of our brain, etc.
When I write music a lot of the time I feel like it is because I have to get a difficult topic off my chest, that I can later look back and reflect on through the song. It is a very good outlet to have and way to channel my ideas. What makes those an influence is the ability of the experience to move me enough to open my eyes and question my current reality and thought patterns. There's a quite unique sonic experience in "Fragile, Pt. II". To us, it feels like a unique blend between Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead. What was the production and recording process like for this? Was there a particular element that was created first? You caught me. I am definitely a big fan of Radiohead, as well as Nine Inch Nails, though I listen to many different types of music, not just electronic. I suppose I sort of answered your question about the production part partially in question #1. But I will add to that, every album and song I create is in my home studio antFARM(studio) which is also open to other local artists that I work with on recording, mixing, mastering, or producing their records.
To reiterate the creation process, the chord progression came first, with a slow pulsing synth, then I layered the electronic beats, then recorded the electric piano, everything else that I mentioned in question 1 came last.
After having put out now your second LP and two EP's, how do you think you have grown as an artist? Is there any advice that you have now that you wish you could have told your younger self?
Every album I create, I try to do something new from the last record, whether that be sonically or conceptually, although a few lyrical themes do carry on from each album, because I still am the same person. For example my first album, Metanoia was largely piano-centric, and the songs were mostly composed on the piano.
When I did Color Blind, I tried not to approach every song starting with the same instrument. Some songs were written with ukulele, synthesizer, sequencers, or guitar first, a few songs were threaded together in the studio alternating between parts, seeing where the moment took me.
I always try different approaches. Lyrics first, sometimes music first, sometimes a melody first, this way each song has a different feel. Although I can be very eclectic musically, I try to keep the pop song structure for the most part.
How I have grown as an artist, also coincides with how I have grown as a person. But musically, I suppose I have learned not to overthink things. Recording, mixing, and mastering your own music after writing the songs can be exhausted. I have also tried to wear my heart on my sleeve a bit less since my first record. Since we do change as people, angry or vindictive emotions often don’t age well. Still working on writing happy-sounding songs. I’ll let you guys know when I’m able to crack the code on that one Usually when I’m happy, and everything is good, I try to just experience life.