We’ve received a steady stream of strong new rock music out of Russia recently, but exciting new band Apache Rose may well eclipse the lot of them.
The band – whose name we suspect may be taken from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Apache Rose Peacock – is built around Moscow songwriter Ilya Novokhatskhiy, who grew up on 90s American alternative rock and grunge. And those influences have heavily permeated the early Apache Rose sound.
Our first taste of this is debut single Tiny Love, which was released back in October. The track opens up with a little bassline and scratchy guitar sounds that continue under repeats of “yeah” then repeats of “get it” that build up to a funky opening verse. It builds further into big cries of “Get it, let it, take your little love and pet it, Get it, get it, Let it shine.”
It drops down again for a verse of “My tiny love is not good enough, You wouldn’t want to touch it, Even with a glove, When push comes to shove, You won’t get enough, Of my tiny love.” Then dives back into the big singalong chorus.
A cool little guitar lick takes over and builds into a big screechy solo that feeds into a laid-back, Guns’n’Roses-esque quiet section. And the song goes out with increasingly atmospheric repeats of the chorus. Give it a listen below:
We had a chat with Ilya to find out more about the band and his musical influences. Read on below…
GR: What’s the backstory, how did you get together?
IN: “Right now we’re going through line-up changes, but the engine is always me. My name is Ilya Novokhatskiy, I’m 37, I’m from Moscow, Russia.
I sing, write and produce the songs. I spent several years in the US when I was a kid in the late 80s, early 90s and grew up on mostly American rock music on the radio (hits from 60s, 70s, 80s, early 90s). Then I fell in love with 90s alternative and grunge.”
GR: You just released Tiny Love. What should people be expecting from the song? What inspired you to write it?
IN: “The song is a mixture of our influences. It starts off with a sort of Red Hot Chili Peppers (90s edition) vibe but then goes off somewhere else. Lots of people say it’s very 90s, which could be good or bad depending on where you stand in music. We take it as a compliment because the 90’s are our home.
“We always write the music first and then the lyrics. That way the music provides the emotional fuel for lyric-writing. And often words just come out of my mouth being driven my the song. The first lines of Tiny Love are ‘My tiny love is not loud enough’ is actually a reference to Soundgarden’s song Loud Love and Stone Temple Pilots’ album Tiny Music. That’s the 90s channeling through me.
“And having blurted out that phrase the whole song concept came together. It’s a song about being frustrated that you and your efforts are not enough, but you still hang in there and bet everything on your performance.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
IN: “Well, as I’ve said it could be called a 90s sound, which I’m perfectly good with. Because it’s natural for me, and for millions of people as well. And as much as we could have wanted to stand out with a more modern mixture of guitar and electronics, for example, that would not be us.”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
IN: “Writing music is the best feeling in the world for me. I guess it’s emotional fishing: you get hold of something, at first it’s something faint, then you know it’s gonna be good but you have to work it, then you start reeling it in and you’re loving that feeling. When you have the end result it’s like that picture with the giant fish.
“Everything I write is about relationships or feelings. They’re not necessarily my relationships or feelings, they could be modeled around some situations that I witness or imagine.
“For example, we have song called Hit Me, which isn’t out yet. It’s about abusive relationships that are hard to get out of. I have never been even close to that, thankfully, but it is something that stirs my emotions and imagination.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
IN: “Oh, my holy Trinity is Aerosmith, Guns and Roses and Soundgarden. Metallica is my John the Baptist, for the first couple of years in my early teens I listened only to Metallica and nothing else.
“My 12 apostles are: Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, Offspring, Sex Pistols, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Arctic Monkeys, Ozzy Ozbourne Audioslave, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Motorhead. I’m not religious, I just thought that one up on the spot to systemize the answer.”
GR: What have you got coming up as we move into 2020?
IN: “There’s several singles planned for early 2020 and an EP for mid-2020. We plan to gig actively on the back of these singles first in Russia and then in Europe and in the US, hopefully. We have a lot of good things coming.”