Music Q&A: Apre

Jules from the alt pop duo tells us about meeting his musical partner over a game of chess and wonders if touring with Friendly Fires next week will help his peers consider him cool

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You’ve just announced you’re supporting Friendly Fires on their tour next week. Is the band an influence of yours and who else are your musical influences?
I remember being in school when their first album came out and everyone was obsessed. Feels very strange to be supporting them now. I wonder if those people in school think I’m cool now, haha. We take influences from so many places, from great 1980s songwriting like Peter Gabriel and Tears for Fears to 2000s indie like Bombay Bicycle Club and Bon Iver. I think you can see from the varying songs we have put out that we find it hard to stick to one particular sound.

You’ve been touring with Inhaler for the last month too. How are you enjoying touring life – is it living up to expectations – and has it prepared you for your own headline tour next year?
It’s been a great tour and been great getting to know the lads. Touring life isn’t as romantic and fun as it might sound. It can be long drives and breaking down vans and shit food, but it’s definitely all worth it when it comes to getting on stage every night. Visiting places in Europe is always a highlight too as it feels vastly different to the similarities you find between English cities, a lot less Greggs lunches. It has prepared us for our own headline tour. It’s going to be amazing playing to our own audience at last as we have grown so used to trying to steal fans from other people!

You met at a chess club. Have you carried any tactics from the game into your approach to music making?
We are far too impatient when it comes to writing music, so I guess not, haha. If something doesn’t come within a few hours we will often move on when writing a song.

What else can you tell us about the writing and recording process and each of your roles in Apre?
Writing together is probably our favourite thing. It’s also great because we can both play guitar, bass, drums and keys so if one of us doesn’t have any ideas on an instrument it’s often the case that the other does. It’s a really fluid and democratic way of writing as it’s not like I should be playing the guitar parts and Charlie singing and on drums – we have no rules!

Tell us a bit about your background and life before the band.
I grew up in Whitstable in Kent and Charlie in West London but we both had a pretty similar musical upbringing with our dads both playing keys and guitar respectively. Charlie loves Led Zeppelin and the Beatles and I loved Kate Bush and Genesis and all that strange 1980s stuff. I suppose you can hear those two tastes mixed within our songs. We then met at a chess club when I moved to London and have been writing ever since now.

Apre support Friendly Fires at London’s Roundhouse, 30 Oct; O2 Institute Birmingham, 1 Nov; and Manchester’s Albert Hall, 2 Nov. For full dates, including for their headline tour in February visit

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