Levitation Magazine are delighted to bring you an interview with Silver Apples who have provided the most incredible sounds from the late 60’s onward, their music has been referred to as experimental, electronic psychedelia with Simeon Coxe III alongside drummer Danny Taylor, who passed away in 2005, providing minimalist driving beats synonymous with other later music genres such as krautrock and the acid house ‘rave’ movement of the 90’s. We were fortunate enough to see Silver Apples perform in 2016 and it was an experience that we will never forget therefore the opportunity to interview Simeon is one we truly appreciated.
How did Silver Apples originate?
Danny and I started developing the sound in 1967 after the guitar players in our band all quit leaving just the two of us. Originally there were five of us altogether, (in later years) some liked Silver Apples, others not so much.
How did you and Danny meet?
Danny was the drummer in a New York band called The Overland Stage Electric Band. Their booking agent was also my booking agent and he felt that they would be better with a singer so he put us together.
Silver Apples have always been considered ahead of time did you feel this when you released your first trax? No, we felt it was right on time - but I guess we were off a little bit.
Silver Apples played Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2016, and seriously stole the show, sounding more futuristic than the majority of the new bands on offer. Do you realise you are still ahead of your time? ...and how did that performance come about? People tell me that a lot, and to be honest, I haven’t a clue what it means. I just do what sounds good to me at the time. The festival was part of my UK tour at the time.
What is your song-writing process?
Usually starts with a musical idea with words plugged in during development, but sometimes the other way around.
Do you have a recording studio at home?
Where did you grow up? Did you play an instrument as a child?
I was raised in New Orleans and played trumpet in the school band. Other than that, the only music I heard was from the radio.
What are your musical influences?
As a kid I grew up with a combination of country bluegrass and what’s now called R&B. Seems like an odd combination but there it is. We weren’t really influenced by anybody. During the six months that Danny and I stayed in our manager’s loft and developed Silver Apples’ sound, we didn’t listen to anybody else’s music - not even the radio.
Who was your favourite country bluegrass performer?
I think that would be the Stanley Brothers from Virginia.
What is your own personal favourite Silver Apples track? I think it’s ‘A Pox On You’ because it’s so much fun to play.
Do you prefer playing live or recording in the studio?
What has been your favourite gig to date?
Mao Cultural Center in China, because the audience was so very into it.
How often have you played China? Also, we are informed that China has a natural psychedelic vibe would you agree?
I’ve played two China tours and the audiences were enthusiastic and noisy, just like I like it. But in between shows, absorbing the culture, to me a Westerner, it was quite surreal especially the vivid colors everywhere.
Where would you most like to play if you could play anywhere?
I think the headhunters in New Guinea might be an interesting audience for Silver Apples.
Are there any current bands that you would recommend?
I still don’t listen to the radio. Seems like everything there is just one cliché after another. We don’t get adventuresome radio here in Alabama.
What are your future plans?
I don’t really have big plans - just take things as they come along.