Apophenia (pronounced apo-'fee'-nia) is an indie rock band from Long Island, New York. They formed in late 2005 and composed of vocalist/pianist/guitarist Seamus Kerley, guitarist Nadeem Ahmed (Nadeem Gibran Salaam) (AirLands, Thaddeus Lowe, T|||DAL) drummer/vocalist Charles Norris III (Ashanti, Nina Sky, Peter Cincotti), and Charles Javier Jourdan (YGB), who was the founding bassist for the group and played on all records until Rise of Resister, leaving the group to finish higher Ed at C.W.Post University.
Apophenia's Self-titled album (and last studio album) featured drummer Charles Norris's younger brother Jason Norris (Adele, Driven, Derrick Wright) on Keys/Vocals and Eugene Rogers (Fabolous) on bass; who joined the band to support their leg of tours bands Robbers, Phantasm, & Vinny Vegas. The band, since its inception into the independent local rock scene in 2005 have released three demos [AM Studio Sessions, Silence and The Memories, Activate], two EP's, [The Quick Release] a concept EP that included an e-book written by lead singer Seamus Kerley titled "The Rise of Resister," and their self-titled debut full-length album, APOPHENIA, The album was recorded with producer Mike Watts (The Dear Hunter, As Tall As Lions) and Steve Haigler (Fuel, The Pixies) at VuDu Studios in Port Jefferson. (Released August 8th 2011.)
The debut album was a deviation from their more rock driven/experimental material and showcased their folk sensibilities as well as showcased the soul influences of the group strongly via their final formation, which consisted of a three part Church musician bond between brothers Charles Norris and Jason Norris, and Eugene Rogers.
The album was featured on the Deli Magazine, Absolute Punk, International magazine Rocksucker, Metro NY, and Timeout NY. During this time they were nominated by the Deli Magazine staff for band of the month in NYC. They made their television debut being featured on Rick's Rising Stars and their debut album was praised by Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter (Who were recording The Color Spectrum EP's while Apophenia's debut album was being recorded at Vudu.)
That summer they were featured as a band to watch on in-print newspaper Metro NY, who stated, "Apophenia is the band commited to the DIY ethos."
The band turned down a major label offer from Virgin Records after negotiations failed to allow the band to keep creative control of their music in the deal. They have opened up for such artists as Nine Days, Robbers, Gabriel The Marine, Edison Glass, As Tall As Lions, Envy On The Coast, Tokyo Police Club and Vinny Vegas. They eventually gained the attention of Jive Records and were featured in their unsigned tour, contracts were drafted and failed after Jive collapsed and were swallowed into RCA Records.
Lead singer Seamus Kerley was attending Nassau Community College in Garden City, Long Island, where he originally was supposed to meet also then NCC student Nadeem Salaam at the music departments piano room. The meeting was based off a mutual interest in similar music, as both were out of former bands looking to start anew. But the meeting never happened. It wasn't until 5 months later that Nadeem had contacted Seamus again and the two first met at his performance at a local cafe in Wantagh Long Island. They began having rehearsals and started writing material in Elmont and Wantagh respectively and had performed their first show together at now defunct venue The Downtown. When asked to write down a band name for the announcer, they choose Apophenia from a shortlist they had in mind.
They Meet Charles Javier Jourdan and Charles "Trey" Norris III on the same day at Trey's house in West Hempstead, Long Island. The first song they played together was featured on their EP The Rise of Resister, titled "Orbiter". Charles Norris had just gotten out of a near fatal car accident in which he had broken bones and fractures, (that he was still healing from), but the band stated even then he was a talent like no other they'd ever seen. Charles Norris the III is considered many in the industry as a prodigy drummer. He began drumming at the age of 2 and toured before he was a teenager leading his church band in national Gospel circuits. They started writing and their first performance was also at The Downtown as the fully formed lineup. They were known in the local scene mainly by the house party scene at Nadeem's home in Elmont for all their friends and earliest fanbase. They soon followed up with an official first gig at The Purple Frog Pub in Lynbrook. Recorded twice at AM studios on W30th in Manhattan soon after which led to the release of two demo's in limited pressing on tape and CD-R.
Released March 27th, 2007 The Activate EP was the most circulated by the band, and was produced by Alex Magor
The Quick ReleaseEdit
Released January 4th, 2008 as free demos for fans of the band at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY. They followed long island band Edison Glass's footsteps (whom they would later open for) with the budding of myspace and the internet age changing the way bands were releasing their music, they decided to release the project on the first download cards to hit the scene, from a company called Discrevolt. They also teamed up exclusively with artist Lawrence Yang who created the artwork for the album, known for his distinct watercolor use, and reaccuring characters, the painting as he called it "Reach" was given to the group as a bi-coastal collaboration between Nadeem and Lawrence, (which started after several emails and phone calls.) It's around this release the band began to experiment with "charactor" based songs that ranged from mythology (Kairon) to Wallstreet bankers (Resister).
The Studio HuntEdit
From the latter part of 2008 onward, the band was in search of their next studio after touring the east coast. They started pre-production at Alex Magor's all new studio he had opened up in Woodmere, NY. But pre-production was scratched in late August of 2008 when disagreements about the direction of studio choice plagued the band. Wanting to avoid the mistake of the past they continued their search. They were in contact with two notable producer/engineers to the Long Island Music scene, Mike Watts (As Tall As Lions, The Almost, As Cities Burn) and George Fullan (The Rolling Stones, Bayside, Taking Back Sunday, The Color Fred, Kill Your Idols) In early January they had decided to work with George Fullan at General Studios after a visit to the then Douglaston, Queens studio. (General Studios shut its doors on January of 2010) the initial meeting with Mike Watts at this time set a relationship in place that would later lead to their debut full-length that followed after the sessions at George Fullon's studio. The result of the recording was called The Rise Of Resister.
The Rise of ResisterEdit
Originally released as a modern prose narrative written by Seamus Kerley about a character branded as "Resister". It was released in PDF form December 14th 2009 and even included an instrumental theme song made as a free download. This e-book is still available to download on their homepage.
The First East Coast / West Coast Separation Of The BandEdit
It was literally a week after the band wrapped up recording for The Rise of Resister EP that Seamus Kerley decided he wanted to continue pursuing one of his passions for composing music. Seamus Kerley notably, has a tri-force tattooed on his hand, stating "I'm a pretty big video game nerd and love video game music." In an interview with UK based magazine Rocksucker, he stated, "So I decided to try out the Art Institute in Los Angeles, California for a chance to compose my own. It wound up being a big run around and too expensive for me to sustain so I moved back home to NY about half a year later."
Seamus and students of The Art Institute of California created a promotional music video for "Openminded" during that time, it was the first song from The Rise of Resister EP to be released. During the Los Angeles period, the recording of the last song on the album, "I'm coming home soon" was recorded there by Seamus using gear from his school in the closet of his apartment and sent back to George Fullan to mix.
Charles Norris just came off a leg of touring for recording artist Ashanti and was in a great position with guitarist Nadeem Salaam to pursue their work via the company they formed; elevator9 productions. They began work helping a few local artists and companies. But it was mainly the late night conversations at The Lantern Dinner in West Hempstead, mapping out what the future would be like that defined the mind frame of things to come. The next few months they were sending mp3 files of new material back and forth and working on building a solid structure at home in New York. Bassist Charles Javier Jourdan was neck deep in his music program at C.W. Post: writing, composing performing, and traveling to abroad to France for vocal jazz performances.
Singer Seamus Kerley's AccidentEdit
During a short stay in Las Vegas, singer Seamus Kerley was riding his motorcycle down Tropicana Blvd when a driver blew through a red light and crashed into him at about 60 mph. The police reported Seamus Kerley "was hit so hard his helmet was tossed off him from the impact." His bike was totaled and he had been ejected into the air over the car, causing a serious loss in skin on his arms and face and bleeding. Staff at Las Vegas Hospital said it was rare to avoid serious injuries with an accident of that magnitude, stating, "It was nothing short of a miracle that he survived at all."
The Rise of Resister EP released in its entirety for freeEdit
On August, 23rd 2010 the band started releasing a track at a time on their facebook page prompting a tremendous positive reaction from fans after nearly two years of uncertainty. The album peaked to number 1 on Reverbnation and was featured on Four5Six Magazine, Newsday, and Examiner. The EP is available on the music hosting site Soundcloud and Bandcamp. In their interview with Four5six magazine on October 2010 when asked why they released the EP for free, Nadeem Salaam of the band stated that, "We decided to release The Rise of Resister EP for free after all the delays because we feel like it's a karma thing... we suffered and struggled through studio choices, arguing with producers, emptying our pockets and spending all sorts of late hours into recording on top of the chaos in our personal lives on this cd. In releasing it we release ourselves of that time period so we can celebrate this new chapter we are on."
APOPHENIA (The Self-titled Debut Album) Edit
With the departure of founding bassist Charles Javier Jourdan, a predominately Jazz bassist, and the addition of Eugene Rogers (bassist for Hiphop Artist Fabulous) an R&B/Soul styled bassist, the bands sound notably took a departure from their more experimental sound, as highlighted by The Deli Magazine Staff in a review of the album.
"Apophenia creates music that surrounds you in every direction. It's like listening to their lush and powerful orchestrations from the bottom of a canyon. Whether discussing the final steps before reaching the gallows, or the freedoms of the open road, singer Seamus Kerley and band bring a majesty to their stew that mixes their ingredients with hearty soul and pointed harmonies. Recalling groups from CSNY to Sunny Day Real Estate in their latest self-titled LP, the three-piece paints with a large brush to cover such a wide territory.Songs like 'To The Gallows (our green mile)' and 'Open Roads' begin the record with an open invitation, and even when exploring rockier fields in later tracks 'Serenity' and 'I'm Coming Home Soon,' the Long Island group always keeps a large view on whatever situation they find themselves in." - Mike Levine The Deli Magazine
The album was produced during a month long stay at an iconic Long Island music recording studio called VuDu Studios in Port Jefferson, NY. They worked closely with producer Mike Watts (The Dear Hunter, As Tall As Lions) and Steve Haigler (Fuel, The Pixies) at VuDu Studios in Port Jefferson, the full album was released by August 8th 2011 to favorable reviews. It premiered on Absolute Punk whom stated, "In a word (the album) serene. Although the mood between each track transitions between sad and glum to bright and happy several times throughout the duration of the album, it maintains a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. "Open Roads" is a prime example of this, with upbeat and quick-tempo guitars paired with soft and haunting vocals in a PMToday-esque fashion. The percussion takes a more prominent position in "Meet Me in the Morning," arguably the most catchy track on the entire album. It sets a general parameter for the rest of the tracks, which consists of a catchy riff amongst a steady acoustic chord progression, along with the transitional cheery side in the vocals...true to their experimental roots, there are several distinct nuances of emo, post-rock and even a bit of jazzy math rock infused inside the tracks, a refreshing sound when so many bands tack on the "experimental" and "progressive" descriptors only for them to not actually apply. All told, Apophenia have got something interesting going for them..." - Sean Rizzo, Absolute Punk (09/06/11)
Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter was recording The Color Spectrum at the same time they were residing in the studio, the record was a lively influence on their approach to recording their debut, often the new tactics and equipment Mike Watts had enjoyed on The Color Spectrum were toyed with on the bands debut, as well as guidance from Casey and kind praise on the bands material. A documentary series was released on the bands Youtube page on the recording process, Seamus Kerley often credits Casey and The Dear Hunter as a big influence on his writing and aspirations the five piece met Casey while recording there together.
Television Debut Edit
They made their debut on television for Verizon Fios playing "Past Transmissions" "Mission Valley" and "Meet me In The Morning" from the album for a studio audience and gave an interview. The program is called Ricks Rising Stars, a local program on MYLITV Channel 1 featuring bands from Long Island, NY.
Last Show Edit
Their last show was played Gramercy Theatre on April 11th 2012 in support of Man On Earth, they played songs from their debut album and also played a brand new song called "Seasons" which was never recorded but caught on film by director Andrew Abballe. Their band name was on the marquee at Gramercy that night, Nadeem Salaam a born and raised New Yorker stated that quote, "It was the best way to go out...etched out in bright lights over the streets of NYC..." in their last interview to date with Vents Magazine.
Final Hiatus Edit
On December 17th, 2012 they posted a farewell letter. "It's not without sadness but certainly not regret that we as a band after nearly 7 years are saying goodbye. We hope you cherish all the memories as much as we do and will. Thanks for helping sustain us and inspire us to make music and do what we love to do. We hope you follow our respective journeys ahead and enjoy all of our unreleased Merch and music, all sales enter you automatically into the raffle for an amazing round up of limited edition pressings of shirts, a Sabian cymbal, and music! All the best is ahead! It's been a great ride and we are blessed to have had such a supportive community of friends, family, fans, and fellow bands. Thank you to everyone!"
They have not played a show since nor announced plans to return to the project. However Nadeem Salaam currently plays for AirLands, led by Kevin Calaba, singer/writer of the now defunct Stars of Track and Field off Windup Records. Charles Norris, Jason, and Eugene all with their respective artists, Ashanti, Adele, and Fabolous.
After the music was pulled by Elevator9 Records (Nadeem Salaam's label) they have issued a statement that they are re-releasing the debut record and possibly their older EP's and demos will be recieving their first large release, as they "Are working now to get the masters to the Apophenia catalogue" as stated on a blog post on their site. – June 17th 2015
- Seamus Kerley (Vocals, Guitar, Piano)
- Nadeem Gibran Salaam (Guitar, Vocals, Various)
- Charles "trey" Norris III (Drums, Vocals, Engineer)
- Jason Norris (Keys, Vocals)
- Eugene Rogers (Bass, Vocals)
- Charles Javier Jourdan (Bass, Vocals)
- Apophenia (The Self-titled released on Aug 8th, 2011) produced by Mike Watts
- Mission Valley (EP released February 5th, 2011) produced by Mike Watts and Steve Haigler
- The Rise of Resister (EP Released 2010) produced by George Fullan
- The Quick Release (EP Released 2008) produced by Apophenia
- Activate (EP Released 2007) produced by Alex Magor and Apophenia
- Silence and The Memories Demo (Released 2006)
- Apophenia Demo (Released 2005)