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A Dirty Dozen with JEFF AUG from APESHIFTER – October 2019

| 9 October 2019 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “German-based progressive-stoner rock trio APE SHIFTER will debut on North American shores this fall, featuring the extraordinary lineup of APE SHIFTER leader/guitarist Jeff Aug, legendary bassist Stu Hamm and drummer Jeremy Colson. APE SHIFTER’s second album, Ape Shifter II, was released earlier this year to critical acclaim. Fusing a classic heavy rock sound that arcs in the stoner rock direction with technical musical prowess, APE SHIFTER is dissimilar from any other progressive instrumental band.” We get guitarist Jeff to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

APE SHIFTER II is the latest release; recorded live in the studio over 3 days at the foothills of the Alps in Southern Germany.  There are hidden nuggets, but you gotta find them.  If I told you what they were, well, they wouldn’t be “hidden” nuggets.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

My Uncle Arthur gave me my first guitar and I would sit in the basement playing some notes pretending to be on stage at the Capitol Center.  Later on, it was just a matter of finishing school so that I could get on with it.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Fugazi benefit in D.C., The Dregs album Industry Standard, Groucho Marx, Salvador Dalí, just about any live recording from The Dead, as well as Deliverance from Corrosion of Conformity.  “Rock n Roll Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Steve Morse, Jerry Garcia, EVH, Rush, and Fugazi.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Pepper Keenan… I’d like to do some riffage and get some of his vocals as well.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Heavy progressive stoner rock, although with this line-up it´s a bit more heavy progressive riff rock and less stoner.

7. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I love playing some Dead on the guitar.

8. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Adrian Belew, Burg Herzberg Festival probably 2006.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Best part?  Playing music.  Dream job?  Well, I´m also a booking agent.  I’ve always thought of music as my career and booking as my job.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

What´s your favorite scale right… NOW?!  Answer:  E Myxolydian

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?


12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Probably CSN (debut).  I love the harmonies, the songs, and Steven Stills’ voice and guitar playing.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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