A metalcore band comprised of talent from Champaign County is in the middle of a multi-state tour following the release of an extended play this year.
The band I, Apollo consists of vocalist Brendyn Moxley, guitarists Cole Smith and Justin Coleman, bass player and self-proclaimed computer genius Andrew “Droopy” Laird and drummer Quintin Hurd.
The band’s tour kicked off April 11 and prior to the tour the band members spoke with the Daily Citizen about the band’s history, working on their EP and their plans for the tour.
The band has been together since 2014 and grew out of previous collaborations between Moxley and Smith. Smith graduated from Triad High School in 2012 while Moxley graduated from Triad in 2013.
Moxley received his first guitar at the age of 12 from his mother and grandmother. He said he took his guitar everywhere playing the song “Smoke on the Water.”
Smith said he always loved music and has participated in small bands since he was a child. At Triad, he was a member of the marching band, playing the trumpet. Smith said participating in marching band gave him an appreciation for music.
“I had been playing guitar during that as well and I had always enjoyed metal music,” Smith said. “That’s when me and Brendyn met up. He played guitar at the time, too, and that’s when we started writing stuff together.”
Smith was in a band called A Nameless Tragedy. Moxley was in different bands, but the main band he participated in was This is a Nightmare!
Moxley said he was the only member from This is a Nightmare! at Triad while all of the members of A Nameless Tragedy attended Triad.
“One day their old vocalist called me and he was like ‘hey if you come over right now and you play guitar and we decide to keep you are you down,’” Moxley recalled. “I was currently in the making of another band.”
Moxley met with the band and started working with Smith. The duo has now worked together for five years.
While I, Apollo has been together since 2014, some of the band members changed before the band reached its current lineup. Coleman, Moxley’s cousin, is from North Lewisburg, Laird is from Urbana and Hurd is from Dayton.
Some of the musical influences the group has drawn on include bands Like Moths to Flames and Lamb of God.
The band released a six-song EP titled “Stranded” on March 21. The EP was recorded at Random Awesome! Studios in Bay City, Michigan, over a nine-day period.
“We were probably the biggest fan of us at that point,” Moxley said of the time of the EP’s completion.
“I’m sure the whole four hours or five hours home from the studio, we just listened to the EP over and over and over,” Smith said. “It was a big feeling of accomplishment, something I actually wanted to give out that I felt was good enough to give out.”
While the band previously toured as a group, the current tour will be with the bands Apothica and Enslaved By Fear. Throughout this month, the band’s tour will make stops in multiple states including Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Michigan.
The band will also tour May 16-29 with the band The Convalescence before touring again in August with the band I Set My Friends On Fire.
Between playing shows, the band is busy doing promotion work by passing out fliers and CDs.
“Pretty much this is going to be crazier than a full-time job,” Laird said. “We’re going to be working when we’re not playing shows.”
Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.