In the garden of good music, this snake’s a charmer. Apollo Cobra is the perfect rump-shaking temptation, and on Friday, Sept. 13, the band will get the party started for the next My Town My Music (MTMM) show at The Castle.
The show will feature the soulful Har Mar Superstar and Static Panic, named one of Minnesota’s best new bands. Dustin Hart, from MTMM, says he can’t wait to see Rochester react to the lineup. “They all know how to get you into a dancing mood,” he says.
Two Apollo Cobra members – Dylan Nau, who plays keyboards and writes, and Aaron Stoehr, a bassists/vocalist/songwriter – answered a few questions for 507 readers.
You've been making music for about 10 years. What have been some of the highlights, and what's behind your longevity as a band?
Nau: Some highlights are playing before the Flaming Lips and also being featured on an album with them. It was a bunch of covers of Donovan songs, and we were thrilled to be included on it.
Stoehr: I think we've lasted so long because we all get along together really well, and none of us want to work too hard. So nobody gets mad if the other guy isn't trying hard enough.
What's the story behind naming your band?
Stoehr: When we were starting the band, I was riding my old commuter bike to work and trying to think up a name for the new band. I looked down at the bike, and thought, "Apollo Cobra - that's a great name for a band!" Apollo was a Canadian bicycle brand from the 70s, and Cobra was the model. I still have the bike frame hanging in my garage, even though I've long since stripped it for parts.
You both switched instruments for this band. How did this change the sound you'd developed previously?
Nau: I got right into synthesizers after playing guitar, and Aaron was on trombone before switching to bass guitar.
Stoehr: Well, it mean(s) that we're only medium-good at our instruments. So at least for me, it meant writing bass lines that I could play (and sing at the same time) that still sounded cool. Simple and catchy became more important than fancy and note-y.
What track from any of your albums would you recommend to win over a new fan? Any plans to release new music anytime soon?
Nau: We have a bunch of songs all ready to go, a few of them we can’t seem to finish up, and we aren’t really in a hurry for some reason. We do this for fun, and sometimes life gets in the way of finishing things up. I’d have to say “Shut Up” is a good song to just realize what we are about. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
How did you react to the recent fame (or infamy?) of having your single “Sweatpants” included in Jimmy Fallon's "Do Not Play" list?
Stoehr: With confusion and mild panic.
Nau: It was insane, we were a bit nervous about it at first, but it came off brilliantly and made us look real good.
When's the last time you played Rochester and what's your impression of the city's music scene?
Nau: We played there last year for Brianna’s Fox and Fern Floral party. She always brings us out to Rochester and honestly is our number one person in Rochester. She’s always doing cool things and coming up with great ideas, and if it wasn’t for her, we probably wouldn’t be in Rochester at all.