Mad Apple Circus interview

Mad Apple Circus.

From Boomtown Fair and Glastonbury, to Bestival and Wilderness, Bristol’s Mad Apple Circus have been setting stages on fire with their intoxicating, horn-fuelled blend of ska/reggae/jazz and latin grooves.

In case you’ve not experienced one of their incredible live shows yet, we caught up with the band to find out what you can expect when they play Big Love this July….

Hello Mad Apple Circus. We’re thrilled to have you on our Love Live Stage at Big Love Festival this year. Can you tell the good people a bit about yourselves?

This is our first Big Love festival so we’re super stoked to be playing, great to be on the bill! We’re an eight-piece from Bristol. We have drums, bass, guitar and a lively horn section. We play a bit of a mix of genres… lots of ska, hip-hop, punk influences. 

If you had to sum up a Mad Apple Circus live set in three words – other than Mad Apple and Circus – what would they be?

Three words… sweaty, hectic, lovable! 

You’ve shared the stage with some of the greats – we’re talking UB40, Sublime, The Blues Brothers level business right here. What’s been the highlight for you so far and why?

Highlights so far? Loads! The Avalon Cafe stage at Glastonbury, the Engine House at Boomtown… performing on these types of stages is an amazing experience. But for us, it’s all about the crowd, it doesn’t matter where the show is, if everybody is into it and you’re vibing off each other, it doesn’t get better. A recent highlight has got to be the Attic Yard Party in Bristol (it’s on YouTube) classic summer party – great example of a live Mad Apple set! 

Let’s cut to it though, we’re here to talk to you about your new single Funk Bunker. Can you tell us about the creative process/inspiration behind the track?

We wish we could impart some deeper meaning but it started with guitarist Josh and bassist Stat playing around with this hook, joking about how it could be the next club anthem of the summer…..Add a drunken moment where Y Dott and Dubs MC started bouncing the chorus around, and Funk Bunker was born! It’s a proper band song, where everyone had loads to say and it was a dream to write. Funky in some parts, punky as hell in others and a decent vibe the whole way through. And… having heard it about 1 million times we’re all still really into it! Got to be a good sign!

We’re a small, independent festival here at Big Love – can you talk about what small festivals mean for you as a band?

Small festivals are a perfect example of what I was saying earlier… everybody is keen for a party and they’re there to have a good time, everyone seems less rushed in what they’re doing as well. You get more time to meet other artists and generally meet a load of sound people. And you keep bumping into them over the weekend. Also, it’s really easy to find your tent!

You effortlessly blend Ska, Hip-Hop, Jazz and Latin through your music and the result is a treat for the ears. What advice do you have for bands trying to find their sound and break into the industry?

As far as breaking into the industry goes, we’re not really the authority on that! But! I would definitely say for anybody starting out, just get stuck into it and don’t get too hung up about immediately having a sound. Record as much as you can, gig as much as you can and the rest will fall into place, so yes it takes work but enjoy it. If you believe in it, just have a crack – what’s the worst that can happen?!

Get in the festival mood with Mad Apple Circus’s new single Funk Bunker on YouTube or add it to your Spotify playlist.