The band’s first release after two years of gigging offers their blend of funk, rock, soul under the guise of hip-hop. Andrews cites The Roots, The Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest and Zion I as major influences. He adds that the music’s message is positive, as is the band’s ethic of playing tons of fundraisers.
Fat Apollo & The Cellulites is:
Emerson Andrews: Lead Vox Dallas Sinquefield: Guitar/Vocals
Elijah Caldiero: Bass Guitar
Patrick Mceachern: Percussion/keys
John Murphy: Drums
A Twist of Rhyme was released Aug. 11 at Bar Deluxe. The album can be purchased at Fat Apollo’s Bandcamp site. Check their Facebook page for future show dates and to stay up to date.
Emerson Andrews discusses several of the tracks off A Twist of Rhyme:
“Footprint” was the first song that I [Emerson Andrews] ever wrote. Up until this song, it was mostly Dallas and the boys. This a very special song to me.It’s about the state of the world and the rate at which it is all becoming overwhelming and confusing. Most of the lyrics for this song focus on the loss of culture because of global economic concerns. My lyrics reflect this sense of loss and how it is affecting our planet. The song asks if we can be a better people than we already are -- a challenge to the listeners and myself. “Footprint” was one of those songs that just sort of fell out of my head; I was concerned with the planet, and I needed a way to express the intense nature of it all. The result was a very conscious and melodically beautiful song.
“Cellulites” is a funky fictional account of how we as a band were created. Each verse of the song takes the listener through the epic journey of Fat Apollo & The Cellulites. In the first verse, I rap about how I became an MC. I rhyme about my journey to the microphone and my search for musicians who would join me. The second verse brings us to the Cellulites: Sluice (Dallas Sinquefield), Demon P-Mac (Patrick Mceachern), Big J (John Murphy), and Patrola (Elijah Caldiero). In this verse, I rap about my encounter with these beautiful musicians and the amazing music we create. The final verse discusses how we come to meet a “greedy giant international beast/ hungry gnashing his teeth.” It is here that we have an all-out epic and funky battle with this monster, which includes attacks such as triplets, arpeggios and raised fists. The song was a blast to write and is one my preferred performance songs.
“Red Rockin’” is most importantly a song about place. Most hip-hop artists talk about where they have come from or where they live. Most of the time this results in songs about New York and California. I am from Utah, and I didn’t necessarily want to rap about Mormonism and Temple Square, so I chose to write about the deserts of Utah. The desert has alway been a place where I can recharge. The song is a tribute to the southern part of the state, and the lyrics are laden with subtle political criticism, desert scenery and mystic psychedelia. The song has a heavier, more rock & roll sort of sound and is a blast to play live. Environmentalism is present in the song, which made the song hard to write. I wanted to write a song that represented how I interact with the place I live in, taking into consideration the history of Utah’s landscape and its peoples --both native and Mormon.
“Branches & Paths”
“Branches & Paths” is one of the more structured songs that Fat Apollo has written. The song takes place in three parts, each played in a different style while maintaining the same musical theme. Lyrically, the verses move through three different stories: The story of a Zen monk; the story of a Scarface-like gangster; and the story of myself. As a whole, the song represents the peaceful and violent sides of life. In contrast, the lyrics maintain the same rhyme scheme throughout the whole song, there are other rhymes on the first three counts but the rhyme on the four is always the same. We work to make this song really beautiful and dynamic while trying to keep it simple. I have always been inspired by Zen and Tao teachings and, in this song, I decided to write with them in mind.
(Photos courtesy: Fat Apollo & the Cellulites)