April Towers are Alex Noble and Charlie Burley, a two-piece band from Nottingham who met at school, sharing a mutual love of The Arctic Monkeys. Their musical influences range across a broad spectrum of contemporary artists: Radiohead, Interpol, Jon Hopkins, LCD Soundsystem, Aphex Twin, and many of the great electronic acts of the 80s, like Depeche Mode and New Order.
Outside of this, the guys profess a love of quality beers and ales – so much so that they have produced their own from a local brewery in the city. Over several glasses of such, PledgeMusic sat down with Charlie from April Towers to talk about their PledgeMusic campaign for their debut album Certified Freaky, coming soon.
1) Tell us about your latest PledgeMusic project?
Our first ever PledgeMusic project has been to fund the mixing and mastering of our debut album Certified Freaky. It’s been a really great way for us to interact with our fans and let them become part of the campaign. In all honesty, we have been pretty blown away with the support we have had on this venture and it has made us realise how lucky we are to be in the position we are in.
2) How did you first hear about PledgeMusic?
We actually heard about PledgeMusic through a friend of ours, who has worked with Gary Numan on his recent albums (PledgeMusic worked with Gary on Savage, his recent #2 album). He told us about the success of Gary’s campaigns and it really inspired us to try it out for ourselves. We have been advocates ever since – we really think it’s the way forward in terms of artists developing and releasing music whilst retaining creative control of their work.
3) In your PledgeMusic campaign, you have some amazing offers to your fans: lifetime April Towers guest-list, signed Gibson Thunderbird bass guitar used on the new album. What other items did you consider, and maybe discard, for the campaign?
Thank you very much. Well, we considered doing things like ‘a weekend with April Towers’, which would essentially involve sitting in a pub with Alex & I watching football, and ultimately we decided against it. We also considered the whole ‘living room gig’ route, but with our set up it would have been logistically difficult we felt.
4) Can you give us a bit of the back-story as to how, when and where you guys met up and April Towers came together?
Alex and I went to school together and have been playing music in various forms since we were about 16. We started off as an out and out 4-piece guitar band, but that project dissipated around 2012 and we briefly went our separate ways musically. I (Charlie) started DJing and making electronic music, whereas Alex began his own solo project. After a few months Alex played me some demos and I really liked what I heard, and wanted to get involved, but more on a production level. It didn’t take long before I joined the band full time and April Towers was born.
5) What are the April Towers plans for 2018?
Well, 2018 is ‘album time’ for us, so it’s definitely a big one! We’ve been working towards this for the last few years, so in many ways, it will be the biggest year to date for us. We are hoping it is everything our fans wanted and more, and that we can get out and play as many cities across the UK (and world hopefully…) on the back of its release.
It’s coming soon – Alex & Charlie of April Towers with the new album Certified Freaky at Abbey Road Studios, London.
6) What’s the last and first album you bought with your own money?
I don’t remember the first ‘album’ I bought with my own money, but I do remember buying my first cassette in 1998 ‘Because We Want To’ by Billie Piper. I wish I could have said something cooler, but unfortunately, this is the reality. The last record I bought was Ege Bamyasi by CAN. Slightly more hipster than Billie Piper.
7) Where were you when you first heard one of your songs on the radio?
We will never forget our first radio play – it was a crazy day from start to finish. The first song we ever put out was a track called ‘Arcadia’, and on the day of release, we uploaded it to the BBC Introducing page. It just so happened that on the day that our track went online it was BBC Introducing day on Radio One. We got a call from Dean Jackson at Radio Nottingham, and he told us our track was going to be broadcast that very same morning on national radio. Low and behold, 45 minutes after upload Arcadia was blasting out on Fearne Cotton’s morning show! I believe Alex & I were in the pub celebrating by midday.
8) What album in your collection would you save in a house-fire?
Interpol Turn On The Bright Lights. This album has been there through thick and thin since I first started playing music and I can go back to it at any point with the same enthusiasm and adoration I felt for it the first time I listened.
10) Who in your opinion has taken music forward in the last 5/10 years or so?
I think the landscape of music has changed so drastically over the last 5/10 years that is has become difficult to identify any particular trends. The ‘streaming era’ has made it much more challenging for new acts to break through, and it is up to the artist to be innovative and find new ways of achieving exposure without having loads of money thrown at them by a record label. The artists for me personally that have really stood out and made music that I would consider visionary are the likes of Burial, Jon Hopkins, Four Tet, LCD Soundsystem, Giggs, Skepta, Kiasmos, Max Cooper – I could go on. But each of these acts is doing/have done something that I consider to be unique and boundary-pushing. Oh, by the way, I’m a big fan of Lorde.