South-Texas based Apache Pistol is bringing alternative English indie arena rock to the Rio Grande Valley through a unique method.
“Distance and Moments,” their first full-length album, was largely recorded remotely as members of the band live apart from each other.
Consider that each of the five members have day jobs — with at least two working from as far Houston, for instance — forcing them to collaborate via the internet to record.
Coming together was clearly a much simpler task.
Guitarist and vocalist Frank Cardona came up with the band’s name. He met and was inspired by a fellow named Apache Revolver and suggested it to the band. They loved it, he said, and the rest is history.
Dusty Salas, bassist for the group, views it as a perfect representation for the way he and the band operate as “different key points,” he said.
“We are all different parts of the weapon that when we come together we form that unique multi-weapon as the band,” Salas said.
One thing they do share in common, as lead singer Joey Castillo pointed out, is their affinity for wearing denim jackets.
The members began to hone their skills near their teen years. The band began with Cardona and guitarist Orlando “Roly” Martinez. The two are childhood friends who began making music together.
Soon, Castillo was added, followed by drummer Charlie Alem then Salas — who took a bit of a chase.
The members of Apache Pistol best describe their relationship with one another like that of stepbrothers.
When differences of opinions arise, Martinez said they stay grounded by asking themselves: “Is this what’s best for the band?”
With regard to recording apart from each other, Salas said, “It seems to be working well. The moments that we have together, we are capitalizing every moment of it.”
An album release party will be held at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30 at Cine el Rey. The show is a red carpet event, “so make sure to dress to impress,” Salas said.
He praised the venue, amenities and “hands-down best sound engineering you can get in the Valley.”
They had the opportunity of performing at the historical theatre earlier this year for the Somos Musica Fest, which celebrates artists from the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico.
“We believe in our local scene,” Salas said. “We’re really humble to be a part of the music scene down here. We feel that we have something to offer.”
A videographer was on-hand during practice to shoot footage for their documentary. No release date is yet set.
Their first performance together took place on Nov. 25, 2016 at Yerberia Cultura. Apache Pistol was the opening band to an audience of about 185 for what they recalled was an “amazing show.”
“It’s a little sacrifice,” said Cardona, who often works seven days of the week and must request time off to travel down for performances. “But because we see a bigger picture, we know and we expect that in the future things are going to work out for us.”
Their efforts are being appreciated. The band has a Facebook page it uses to post new music and keep fans updated.
“Love Her,” an original song the band released back in April, has gained thousands of views within a week.
Many of the tracks hold a personal meaning.
“Shaken Down” is a song about the devastation of Hurricane Harvey written
“A lot of my friends were going up there to support and relieve… so I thought I maybe could do the next best thing,” he said. “Maybe someone will hear it and feel better.”
The songwriting process can branch from any idea.
“Whatever moves me,” said Castillo. Apache Pistol pools concepts or storylines to create a song, which can take anywhere from a day to a month.
On a few occasions, the band has created a song together during practice. As Cardona put it, “Sometimes the idea just flows so good.”
The members also connect from their experience as fathers — all but Alem that is. One of their songs, “Motherbird,” was written about their kids, watching them grow and allowing them to form their own identity.
“That song is about how you don’t expect them to follow what you do … be yourself, live your life. Whatever you do, ‘Te voy a apoyar,’” Cardona said.
Pre-sale tickets are out now and can be purchased at Roosevelt’s at 7. A presale ticket acts also as a raffle ticket for an acoustic guitar — along with a tuner, strap and case.
The night before, Friday, Roosevelt’s at 7 will be giving away 50 free CDs to customers who purchase an “official Apache Pistol beer,” selected by each of the members.
Weekend Warrior, a Texas owned and operated shop, will participate in another raffle to give away a clothing bundle.
“It’s also about recognizing this area too,” said Martinez. “We want to be able to say ‘hey we’re here.’ There’s a music scene down here.”