Eric Allen says that “everyone” makes some kind of joke about his band, Apples in Stereo, working for a Hobbit.
The group, which bassist Allen and frontman
formed in 1993 in Denver, is the first signing to actor Elijah Wood’s Simian Records. It’s not merely a vanity project, either; Wood — a fan who met the band at the 2003 South By Southwest festival — stepped up to direct the video for “Energy,” the first single from Apples in Stereo’s new album, “New Magnetic Wonder.”
“You can see Elijah on David Letterman talking about the Apples, or the BBC, which is awesome,” says Allen, 36. “He’s a real music fan. For a guy that’s, like, 25 years old, there’s an amazing amount of stuff he’s listened to — varied stuff, too. He’s not just into rock. He’s got his ears wide open.”
“New Magnetic Wonder” is the Apples’ fi rst new album in fi ve years, although Allen explains that two years were spent touring in support of 2002’s “Velocity of Sound,” while writing for the new album began in mid-2005.
“So there was only about a year I felt like we were taking a break,” he says.
A key difference this time, Allen says, was that the Apples had no label when they began making the album, which was creative liberating and helps account for the epic-sounding production on most of “New Magnetic Wonder.”
“We were able to just say, ‘We’ve got some good stuff here. Let’s start recording,’ instead of having the deadline pressure you get when a record company gets involved,” Allen explains. “We had no idea what we were doing for a while; we were just making music. It was a nice luxury.”
Apples in Stereo and Casper & the Cookies perform Wednesday (Feb. 21) at the Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (313) 833-9700 or visit www.majesticdetroit.com.
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