Apostle of Solitude is easily my favorite band currently active in Indianapolis. The group has been going for over a decade strong, releasing three strong albums and garnering regional touring success. With a fourth album in the works and an appearance at the 2nd annual Doomed & Stoned Festival coming up in October, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to. Indy Metal Vault reached out to guitarist/vocalist Charles Brown to pick his brain regarding these events and all other things Apostle!
Indy Metal Vault: Apostle of Solitude is going to be one of the bands representing the Indianapolis scene at this year’s Doomed & Stoned Festival. How do you feel the scene has evolved over the years that you have been a part of it?
Charles Brown: I suppose just like any local music scene ours has had times where one particular genre or another has become the “in” thing to do, and for Indy’s metal scene at least it’s the Stoner/Doom genre at the moment. So that’s where it’s evolved to currently but naturally something will come along and supplant it. I will say it’s been cool to see Indy produce some internationally recognized names in the genre.
IMV: You’re also set to release your fourth full-length album in 2018. How do you think it will stand out compared to the albums before it?
CB: My hope is that people will hear the progression of musicianship and song writing from one album to the next the way we hear it in the band. So I hope it stands out as “their best record to date” kind of thing but you never really can predict how others will interpret what you’ve done.
IMV: What is the band’s songwriting process like and how has it changed over the years?
CB: For the most part it hasn’t changed a great deal. I usually bring in a skeleton of a song (musically) and then as a band we tweak the arrangement, and give everyone the opportunity to add (or remove) something so that everyone has had input into making the songs into what they are.
IMV: One thing that I really like about 2014’s Of Woe and Wounds is how Steve Janiak contributed a lot to vocal harmonies in addition to guitars, most notably on “Lamentations of a Broken Man.” How did that idea initially come about and is that fans expect to hear more of on your next album?
CB: Prior to Steve coming along I had only sparingly used vocal harmonies. The vocal harmonies and skill with creating good vocal melodies has been his biggest contribution from my perspective. I think it really adds depth to the songs so you can absolutely expect to hear more of it in the future.
IMV: Your upcoming album will also be the first to feature bassist Mike Naish, who also plays for local band Astral Mass. How did you get him on board and what do you think he brings to the band?
CB: We had actually reached out to Mike previously when we were in need of a bass player but because of personal commitments he couldn’t come on board at the time, so when we were searching for a bass player this time around we reached out again and things in his life had changed and he was able and ready to join us . Having him in the band brings the level of skill and professionalism we knew he was capable of so it’s been great.
IMV: As a fan, I’ve noticed that your live sets are predominately made of songs from Of Woe and Wounds and your debut Sincerest Misery with Last Sunrise material not getting played as often. Is there a particular reason for why this is?
CB: There are two factors that contribute to us not playing much if anything off of the second record. One reason is we typically only play 40-60 minute sets and it’s difficult to play more than 6-8 songs and we try to balance out the pace of the set with uptempo and slower songs to give people some variety, so the more material we write the more difficult it is to play a little of everything. Another factor is that when we don’t play any given song with regularity it’s almost like learning a whole new song, especially for Mike and Steve who’ve possibly never played those songs at all. So there’s the time consuming aspect too. I do still enjoy some of the songs off of Last Sunrise and given the right circumstances will play some of that material again.
IMV: In addition to your guitar and vocal work with Apostle of Solitude, you’re also known for your stint as a drummer for The Gates of Slumber back in the day. Have you given thought to drumming for a new band or even setting a one-man project up? If so, what sound do you think you’d go for?
CB: I assure you I think about it all the time, and still play drums several times a week at home. Really the only thing keeping me from playing drums in a band setting or even some kind of side or solo project is just lack of time. I’m fairly certain that eventually I’ll have enough time to to be involved in some kind of project where I get to play drums.
I went to Ball State University and graduated with a BA in Creative Writing. Currently specializing in writing album reviews when I should be working at my day job.
My Grading Scale
A: An essential classic regardless of genre preference
B: A good album recommended to fans of a given genre
C: A flawed album with elements that are still enjoyable
D: A dull album that may only be redeemable for fans
F: It is a goal of mine to never review an album like this
I also play in a couple different bands and take it as much as I dish it out. Feel free to check them out!