» Interviews » The Apache Relay on Their Latest Album: “We Went To the Ends of the Earth with this Record” + interview +
The Apache Relay on Their Latest Album: “We Went To the Ends of the Earth with this Record” + interview +


I fell for The Apache Relay as soon as I heard their song “Forest For The Trees.”  That song was just the first domino, of course and as I continued to listen to the rest of the songs on their self-titled album I fell more and more in music love with their beautiful vocal harmonies and instrumentation.  These guys have an incredible ability to take you somewhere else when you listen to them.  For me, their songs are very cozy and they bring my mind’s eye to a bench facing my favorite treescaped park.

The band opened for The Wild Feathers at the Tractor Tavern on October 24th and it was great to see how many people were in the crowd waiting just to see these guys.  They played twelve songs, including the crowd favorite “Katie Queen of Tennessee” and “Valley Of The Fevers” from their latest album.  You could tell they were having a great time playing music for the attentive Seattle crowd.

After talking to the band, I can tell that the incredible bond that these guys have built with each other is part of what makes them so magical on record and on stage.  Their closeness and appreciation for each other comes through on every track – with their lush instrumentation and their smooth harmonies that will sweep you off your feet.  The band is still on tour and when they come your way, you should definitely check it out!

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the band before their show in Seattle.  I hope you enjoy it!

Hey guys! How’s the tour going?
Michal Ford, Jr.: It’s going good! It’s been fun. West coast touring is amazing – the drives are longer but the views are better!

How did you come together to form your band?
Mike Harris: I met Brett back in North Carolina. We had a really good time playing music together and Brett turned me on to some stuff that I really dug. Brett moved up to Belmont and we started playing tunes and then me, Brett and Kellen started playing tunes. Before long me, Brett, Kellen and Michael were playing. That’s how it got started – a snowball effect. We started as a string band playing folky, bluegrass stuff at Belmont in Nashville where we all went to school. Then we started making a move towards rock and roll!

What made you change it up and go that direction?
Mike: I think what made us change was that we starting touring and we started listening to jams in the car and exchanging influences.  We started thinking, ‘maybe it would be more fun to do this!’

How do you guys like the Nashville scene?
Mike: I love it!

Brett Moore: Nashville is an awesome community. It’s really diverse so it’s easy to be inspired by a bunch of different artists and different people keep it interesting. It’s not all just one genre – there’s several different genres happening and a lot of cool people. It’s competitive in a friendly way, so everyone kind of keeps each other on their toes and keeps everyone working. There’s a nice small town vibe.

Do you guys have any favorite Nashville bands?
Everyone: Oh yeah!

Michael: So many! Those Darlins is awesome.

Mike: Those Darlins…Diarrhea Planet, Music Band, Jeff the Brotherhood, The Weeks.

Brett: Natalie Prass.

Kellen Wenrich: Johnny Appleseed.

Ben Ford: Promised Land Sound.

Steve Smith: Dierks Bentley!

And we love Wild Feathers!

How have your goals changed since you started out?
I don’t think they have at all. I think we all got together because we’re all striving for a similar level of integrity in music and also, we’re just trying to have a good time. That’s what we’ve been trying to do that all along and we’re still trying to do that – emphasis on trying.

What’s a good piece of advice you’ve been given?
Mike: I don’t remember anything specifically, but when we were a much younger band, we got asked to play this local concert series where we got to open up for Dr. Dog – which for us, even to this day, if we were asked to play for Dr. Dog it’s a massive honor because they’re one of our favorite bands – I think we can all safely say – we love that band.

I remember after that show, Toby, the bass player for Dr. Dog – it wasn’t like he said one thing in particular but the way that he talked to me that night not as a fan but as a peer – the things he said about our show and what we could change – that has stuck with me to this day.

What are you guys really proud of accomplishing with your latest album?
Brett: That it exists at all! [laughs]

Michael: This album is different from the one before it simply because we had the time to work on it – a ton of time to work on it. What I’m proud of is that I really feel like we went to the ends of the earth with this record. Not only in the writing process, but in the recording process. We tried everything and we made the songs the absolute best they could be. It was nice to have the time to do that. I’m really proud of the fact that we got to spend as much time as we could ever want to on this record.


What are your favorite memories from recording?
Michael: We stayed in this house in Bel Air that we found via Airbnb and it had an amazing pool and a hot tub. Just hanging out there at the end of the night was just so relaxing and fun. We had Sundays off so we would venture off – we went to Venice Beach and we loved it!

Mike: The house was just the best. Super 70s and not updated at all. That’s where the album cover came from. It originally started because I snapped an iPhone picture of Kellen jumping off the roof into the pool – which was an every day occurrence around there. We started to look at that and we thought it was funny so we brought a guy out there and reshot it. But yeah, that house was the best!

What are your 3 go-to albums when you want to feel inspired?
Brett: A Ghost is Born by Wilco, The White Album by The Beatles and The Last Waltz by The Band.
Kellen: Have One on Me by Joanna Newsom, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.
Ben Ford: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, Gentle Spirit by Jonathan Wilson, Exile on Main St by The Rolling Stones is pretty big for me as well. And Tom Petty Greatest Hits, that’s my number one!
Steve Smith: The Beatles Abbey Road, Beck Sea Change and the new Kurt Vile record Waken On a Pretty Daze.
Michael: This is what I’m really into right now: The new Tweedy record, Sukierae, the new Spoon album and It’s a Wonderful Life by Sparklehorse.
Mike: All Things Must Pass by George Harrison, The Last Waltz and Good Old Boys by Randy Newman.

Thank you so much guys!

Get more information about The Apache Relay on their official site or on their Facebook page!

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