András Áron, known as Apey has a very unique approach to songwriting and lyrics; he is more like a storyteller, a Hungarian Neil Young. When he’s not working for his other bands – Trillion and Apey & The Pea – he writes slow-burning ballads on his acoustic guitar. After last year’s Foxes, he put together the follow-up, Stranger, which he will perform in it’s entirety on October 21 at A38 Ship.
Your previous solo album Foxes came after a long break in your solo career, and it was followed by Stranger quite fast. What happened?
Well, I guess the fact that I have a management since 2015 is a part of the answer, my manager Niki Marosi pushes me very hard and very well, I need that. Also ‘Stranger’ would not exist if I hadn’t win on the Cseh Tamás Program which is a fund for young artists, so I had an exact date to finish this album when it wasn’t even written yet.
What were your main inspirations while you were working on it?
My main inspirations don’t really change through the years, I’m still a big Neil Young nerd, I always admired Norah Jones and her band’s sound, and I found a lot of things on this album that I know that it came from there. I’m also a big fan of Shovels & Rope, so this album has more of the classic American country, bluegrass, and bluesy vibe than the previous ones.
In what mindset did you start working on these songs?
They came very quickly and easily actually (laughs), I started thinking about this album around January, but I only started writing the songs and the lyrics by the end of June, which took me something like 2 weeks, then another 2 weeks of recording at my home studio.
What does the title “Stranger” symbolize/mean to you?
To my ears, this album is something I recognize, something I heard before but I know I didn’t. Like an old familiar friend, a stranger if you like. I was always in love with the old classic American country music, I just didn’t know about it for a long time, I think this title fits perfectly.
You were simultaneously working on Stranger and Apey & The Pea’s HEX – how do the two albums bled into each other?
The two have nothing to do with each other, HEX is an evil poetic cruel mayhem, Stranger is a soft lone star gentleman who’s looking for something, but working on both at the same time was a big challenge. HEX was a huge piece of work, I worked on that for almost a year, and I had to start prepping Stranger at the most critical stage of HEX, but in the end, I’m very happy how both came out.
Update: the recording of the live stream of Apey’s show is now available on A38 Vibes YouTube channel:
You’ve chosen Takács Zoltán “Jappán” as your producer, why?
I don’t know. I had a vision when we were drinking and talking for the first time last year in Szeged after a show I did with my band around 5 a.m. in the morning (laughs), I just knew he is the man. In life I’m a very clear-minded guy, but when it comes to writing and recording and working on an album, I get very super superstitious and esoteric, and it’s not mambo-jambo. I’m consciously aware of it, there are higher energies that are driving me in directions, on a path. And yet again, I was right, he’s absolutely amazing and just the perfect man for this job.
My main plans are the band right now, promoting our latest album ‘HEX’, a lot of touring and doing more solo tours as much as I can, but Apey & the Pea is my love, being in that band is a dream. Also we’re starting working on a new album with my side project Trillion too, so I still have a bunch of things coming up.