I try to write songs that stick with you. It’s not guitar-heroics for the sake of showing how good or interesting I can be. I take a lot of influence from non-metal music. I love a lot of modern rap. I don’t care much for the “classic stuff” from the 80s, 90s and up to 2000. When it comes to punk and hardcore, I want 80s and 90s, when it comes to rap, I want everything as current as possible. The new stuff is what inspires me. I am a metalpunk musician. Forever. I just don’t think that playing within those confines of influence creates compelling art. I think you should be inspired by things outside your sphere and bring that to the metalpunk world. I love a lot of indie rock, and really caustic Japanese and Swedish hardcore as well.
So, as that relates to how APL sounds… I think it’s a unique band. I never set out to be unique, I just set out to be myself. I’m not ever going to speak on another band / man / whoever, but I just see a lot of stuff that doesn’t drive the sonics or aesthetic of a culture. I got a really nice compliment this year from a friend. He is not really into the music, but he said to me, “You create your own world, like Robert Smith or Trent Reznor.” That’s true. APL has it’s own universe. Its own language and style. I write love songs. I think that’s a much different spin than most musicians in the sphere I live in. Everything is intensely personal. Everything has a weight of spirituality to it as well. APL is one of those bands that you either get it, and love it – or you don’t and you hate it. I don’t think I have very many casual fans. That’s nice, actually. But to try and circle back to your question… how does it sound. Well, I think you have to be looking for APL to hear it. You have to have an open heart. You have to take it all in. It sounds like me. I’m just a dude. It’s a solo thing, so if you like the music, you’ll like me. If you don’t like the music, you’ll definitely hate me. I can’t really say another band that it sounds like, I know that sounds conceited, so – feel free, dear reader of this interview, to listen to it and tell me what YOU think it sounds like.
It’s funny just to see how the landscape has changed in the last 10 years. When I started, people used to all APL “girlfriend metal,” meaning metal that you could play for your girlfriend who presumably didn’t like Devourment or whatever. Or people used to use “pussy” or whatever as a pejorative term, somehow implying that I wasn’t tough enough or something. This has never been up for debate for anyone who knows me. I’m definitely 108% a man. And the music is music made by me, a man, but often fixates on women. In a very positive way. I write love songs. So it was interesting to initially be called a wuss or girly or pretty-boy metal, only to have the seas in gender roles and gender as a whole really change to an aggressively pro-women culture. At least that’s how the little metal underground is. Listen, I’m all for inclusion, always have been. And I’m happy that more women are represented now in metal and punk than ever before. I took on the name because I wanted to make manly music that showed I wasn’t afraid of the feminine. Girls aren’t some victims in a Cannibal Corpse song to me. Nor are women objects of mindless slut-fucking that occurs in like, speed metal or something. I wanted to have a more fair assessment. However, now I’m thinking of Sweet Baby Metal Slut by Abigail, and I definitely am going to listen to that tonight. I might follow it up with some Sextrash or Power From Hell for good measure. And of course, the “light” in A Pregnant Light… well, let’s leave that to be mystical for now. I like a little mystery. There is a reason, and it ties into the other things I was talking about.
For me, it’s work. The good stuff almost always comes when I’m not inspired. When I’m tired, frustrated, or I just want to zone out. That’s when I find myself digging deep to get something. So, having unfettered access to time and no external pressures to do anything outside of the studio, it was a really beneficial time for me. I was able to stockpile a lot of music that has yet to be released. It was also a time where I had the phone line. For those who don’t know, I had a USA toll-free phone line where I wrote and recorded one song a month. It was only available on the phone line for that month and then it went away. So, I was on a schedule to be forced to have one good listenable song at a minimum per month. Of course, I ended up with way more than that. Creativity is a muscle. You hear people say that. It’s true. Some days you walk away with no song, no words, nothing at all, but the next day something always comes. It’s about being disciplined. So, I don’t know. People spent a lot of time worried and stressed out, I get it. I just saw the opportunity and wanted to walk away with a lot of bullets in the chamber. I released a lot of music, and have even more put away, and most importantly, I learned a lot. You’ll see a real jump in the production level of APL stuff that’s coming out. Even from the January phone line song to December. It’s night and day. 2020 was good for me. I don’t mind chaos. I’m sorry for anyone who lost a loved one, or a job or had their safety at risk. I managed to dodge those bullets, and better myself. I’ve been lucky all my life.
Thank you so much.