The Black Apples use two drummers to hold down the heaviest parts of the 13th Floor Elevators, the early Stooges, and Davie Allan's biker themes. Their debut LP--recorded half at Bedrock in Echo Park and half in a barn in Fort Collins, Colorado--is weeks away from release on Frankie Alvaro and David Gonzalez' Albino Crow Records and the Apples are marking the occasion with a November residency at the Echo. Singer-and-drummer Campbell Scarborough explains why he'd get along just fine with a pistol-waving Phil Spector--and why Dennis Hopper is on their guest-list even though he's dead--after the jump.
Why did you record in a barn?
It was part of this collective, and it was in Fort Collins. It was called the Maddox Family Barn. They just have basic sound, but they had treated the room and used the natural openness of it. It was right on this lake so we'd just get beer or wine and record--just sit on the dock and fish. Also we could afford it--we just gave them money when we had it, and we gave them a kind of Hammond organ in trade when we moved, so everyone felt good about it. It was fair. It was autumn--really beautiful.
If you found out a biopic was being made about your band, who would you pick to play you?
I would want Dennis Hopper to play me--Easy Rider-era Dennis Hopper. Crispin Glover is really talented, too. I enjoy his work. But I don't know. I'll think about it.
You used to be an actor, right? Does that help you on stage?
Not really--it's kind of different. I stopped doing it because I liked being myself more. And auditions--it was like putting yourself out there and showing someone a brand new record every day. To do it once and have complete control would be great.
If you could work with any L.A. producer--living, dead, or incarcerated--who would it be?
Phil Spector--golden-era Phil Spector. The Wall of Sound.
What if he wanted strings on a song? Would he have to put a gun to your head--as legend has it happend to the Ramones?
I'd be OK with it. I'd have to hear it but I'm totally down for always adding new textures. We have flute on our songs. And glockenspiel. It might not be the best experience, but he's done a lot and it'd be great to work with him.
You drum and sing. If you could add one more instrument to that, what would it be? Like if you grew extra limbs and could add a harp or a sitar?
We already have a sitar on our record so that would be fun for a live performance. Probably like a melodica.
Then you'd need an extra mouth.
Actually I've been trying to get a full glockespiel or a mallet thing--something with more bells involved into the drum kit. Because that's feasible!
If you could play anywhere in L.A. that is not a traditional venue, where would it be?
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I'd love to play at the Griffith Park observatory--like at sunset. So you can start with something outside--with the sun going down--and then go to the planetarium inside and play.
Yes, I'd headline this! Of course! And who would open? Hmm--someone really atmosphere-y. The L.A. Philharmonic would open. All would be welcome--all are always welcome. The guest list would be Dennis Hopper coming back from the dead. And extraterrestrial visitors because it's the planetarium.
THE BLACK APPLES EVERY MONDAY IN NOVEMBER AT THE ECHO, 1822 W. SUNSET, ECHO PARK. 8:30 PM. FREE. 21+. ATTHEECHO.COM. THIS MONDAY WITH FUTURE GHOST, TIJUANA PANTHERS AND DEAD TREES. VISIT BLACK APPLES AT MYSPACE.COM/BLACKAPPLES.