Houston locals Apothica have been making their rounds in area clubs for three years now. Expanding out of the Bayou City and playing this Sunday at Austin's Dirty Dog Bar, the five-piece metalcore group will embark on many more out-of-town shows before two more tours this year. Ready to start their inaugural departure to stardom, we caught up with Apothica to hear their take on this new chapter and their attempt at rock-star success.
“We really want to start building a following in the northeast. I'd really like to start [making the] connections needed to move forward in our career as a band," explains lead singer Lucy LeNoir. "The overall vision is to make contacts, make new fans and friends, and have an awesome time doing what we love and are passionate about."
Headlining for 14 days in as many cities with Oklahoma rockers Enslaved by Fear and Columbus, Ohio's I, Apollo, Apothica hopes to reach hundreds of new fans on this venture. Heading to Detroit and surrounding areas in April may seem like a random choice, but is instead part of Apothica’s plan to take over the world, or at least the northeast, LeNoir explains.
"We are planning on doing some pretty large festivals and another tour to California later in the fall," she says. "We have some interest from a few labels, so that's tickling our fancy at the moment. We have some bargains to keep up on our end to keep their interest, and we don't plan on letting them down. 2016 should be a really great year for us.”
That’s a big leap for an unsigned band still trying to break through, yet for Apothica it’s the logical next step. Having played on such tours and shows as Rockstar's Mayhem Festival, Revolver’s Hottest Chicks, the All Star Tour, Head Bang for the Highway: Battle of the Bands and opening for Butcher Babies, Apothica are no strangers to the stage.
Reflecting on her performance at Revolver’s Hottest Chicks, and being female in a male-dominated genre, LeNoir opens up, “Being featured on any national act is a huge opportunity for bands of all kinds because of the exposure. That being said, I don't ever mean to come across as a selling point for my band just as a female.” She said. “All-female shows are just like any other show for me. Exactly the same chance to prove myself, just with more curves and eyeliner [laughs].”
LeNoir elaborates, “I really just see myself as a musician that makes metal music. My story is the exact same behind my passion and my dreams for making music as a career. I don't see me being a female really as a token or an asset, I just see it as a coincidence that played out to be a good thing for the group I am with.” She continues, “I don't want to be looked at any differently than any male in any band. I am just as talented and just as driven as anyone else.”
Talking about Apothica’s beginnings, LeNoir lights up.
“Really, it started with [guitarist] Alex King and me," she says. "We have both stuck around long enough to find the right group of people to write music with, and we couldn't be happier with the current lineup.”
That happiness has been forthcoming for many years. LeNoir has always known her place was onstage.
“I knew I wanted to be a performer my whole life," she says. "I've always had a passion for writing poetry and short stories, so taking that passion and applying it to a melody just seemed natural for me.”
Describing Apothica as something different than fans of the "core" genre may be used to, LeNoir says “I feel like with most metalcore groups, you can say ‘oh hey, they sound like, you know, 'fill in metalcore band name here.' With us, it’s different. We don't sound like anyone. We are a metalcore-based band, with bouncy, head-bangable riffs and powerful choruses…djent-y riffs, and nasty breakdowns all mixed together to take you on an emotional rollercoaster at each show.”
If you’ve never seen a live Apothica show, you should. LeNoir has a commanding stage presence and powerful voice. To watch this woman sing is to witness raw energy pour out of her body like a bottomless spigot.
“For me personally as a front woman, I just try at every single show to prove to everyone that told me I couldn't [do this, they’re] wrong, and [to] push myself more than the last time," she says. "Nobody wants to look at a front-man or woman standing still or being bored. When we perform, the room is ours, and if it doesn't stay that way, we aren't doing our jobs.”
And that job has been hustling the Houston metal scene from the beginning. Drummer Ryan Damian says that's what inspired him to join a band.
“Local bands [inspired me] for sure," he says. "Watching them perform [now] makes me want to play harder and get better with each show we perform. We're all family but we have to keep the competition strong.”
“You can see a great metal band in Houston almost any night of the week," she says. "To me, the scene is as dead or alive as you make it. Each one of us can make it stronger by attending other local's shows and staying positive when speaking of each other’s bands, and especially for musicians...staying the whole show after you play. Don't just say 'support our scene' and then leave 15 minutes after you play. Douche.”
We completely agree, Ms. LeNoir.