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The Appleseed Collective Focuses On Strengths With ‘The Tour Tapes’

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The Appleseed Collective spends much of its time on the road, so it's fitting that the band's latest recording, The Tour Tapes, is comprised entirely of music taken from live performances. Band member Andrew Brown explains that the band also wanted to spotlight its growth as songwriters and performers.

"Our songwriting used to be a little bit more light," he says. "Now it's a little heavier. There's actually some tangible, intense emotions in a lot of the songs. There's still some happy stuff. There's still some parts that make you feel joyful. But we're also going over into the darker side of the human emotion complex as well."

One darker, more complex song in the band's repertoire is bassist Eric O' Daley's "Darlin'," which often recalls English and Irish folk music.

"He was going for kind of a Celtic, circular song," Brown notes. "It feels like it's just going to keep rolling and rolling along. "

The Appleseed Collective is now in its fourth year of writing and touring, and Brown says that the drive to become better musicians and a better band has never been stronger. Brown adds that the heavy performance schedule has actually been the greatest asset to the Appleseed Collective's growth.

"You develop almost a sixth sense with your band. You can almost begin to improvise arrangements psychically," he says. "Night after night, you play so many shows. That's when your chops are the best they'll ever be, when you're warmed up, and you've just come off 30 shows in a 45-day run."

Brown adds that life on the road hasn't just made him a better musician, it's also made him and his bandmates better communicators.

"Interpersonal relationships and how you communicate is 100 percent key," he says. "It's not that we're always perfect, but it is something that we work on, to make sure that we communicate in a way that is building ourselves up as opposed to tearing ourselves down. I literally have told people that from my experience working in a band I now know that if I ever got married, I would be a 10-times-better husband because of my ability to realize that human beings are totally separate, they're all going through their own different things. Everyone's sensitive and everyone's got their own problems. Everyone wants to be talked to like they're loved. Those basic principles will get you a long way."

Brown adds that sometimes there is strength—and harm—in numbers.

"There's this whole wolf pack mentality when one person starts to nag on somebody else that person starts to nag on that person, and it goes back and forth," he says. "Sometimes you have to check in and say, 'Hey, guys, we've been a little bit meaner to each other than normal. Let's put a pin in that.'"

The Appleseed Collective performs an early show at Barleycorn’s Friday evening and a Saturday house concert. For information on that show, see the band’s website


Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.