What to do when Polish anons come a typin’… – by Kriss Stress (of Notes and Bolts)
When Apteka released their stunning record, Gargoyle Days, last year and watched as the album’s name began jumping off of the lips of some of the city’s most notable critics as the collection of songs began earning the group spots playing alongside heavy hitters such as Jane’s Addiction and The Raveonettes, they came under fire from a set of angry fans of an identically named group out of Europe. Staying classy and choosing to take the higher ground, the lads of Apteka U.S. re-dubbed themselves Pink Frost, a thread picked up from past works that they wished to re-connect with. Today Chicago Mixtape takes a few moments to grill band member Adam Lukas about some of the logistics of undergoing a nom de plume change while pointing out the surrealism of playing with some of the band he’s grown up loving.
Chicago Mixtape: Transitioning from Apteka to Pink Frost is a change for the public who has come to know you under the former of those two guises, but it seems to have been fairly seamless for the lot of you as a group. Do explain:
Adam Lukas: Yeah. It’s been a pretty natural and inclusive change internally, and things feel really good at the moment – but there was a bit of trepidation in the decision to change the name at first. We had recently put out our first full-length album, and had just come off of a string of pretty great shows with the likes of A Place to Bury Strangers, Mark Lanegan, and a couple of great nights with Jane’s Addiction. The change seemed a bit scary at first, but we really didn’t have much of a choice. An 80’s Polish band with the same name has just regrouped and put out a new album earlier this year, and from what we can gather, they’re somewhat legendary in Poland, so we had angry fans writing us hate mail in Polish, and all sorts of weirdness, and things just started getting too confusing online with YouTube and iTunes, etc. In the end, it just seemed like the only sane choice.
CM: Explain a bit more about the name mix up. What all went in logistically with making such a major change?
AL: It wasn’t a mix up really, but it could be a case study in the spread of information technology and the rise of social media in the Eastern Bloc or something. I mean, when we started the group, there wasn’t really any evidence of this alternate Polish Apteka anywhere on the net, but over the last couple of years, there has been a growing confusion between the two bands. In the end, the confusion and potential associations with some pretty awful music just wasn’t worth the hassle of keeping the name.
CM: Give us some anecdotes about touring – funny stories, outlandish happenings, etc.
AL: Well, it might not really be touring, but playing two nights with Jane’s Addiction last fall was pretty surreal. Besides the obvious sort of “Holy shit” moments of playing with a band that you grew up loving in a place like The Metro, there were all of these small things that were just crazy and awesome like hanging out backstage while they jammed out “Funk 49″ by the James Gang or Jesse (Pink Frost’s drummer) rocking out on Stephen Perkins’ drum kit at sound check. It was all pretty crazy. And they were all super nice guys.
CM: What are some things that are in the cards for Pink Frost in the coming months?
AL: Things are really exciting right now. We have a new video and the cassette release of Gargoyle Days on Notes and Bolts, both coming later this month, and a 45 on N&B shortly to follow in mid November. We’re also playing a sweet show at The Empty Bottle on August 31st with Lasers and Fast and Shit, Verma, and Touched By Ghoul – we’re really excited about that one. It’s going to be a great party with projections and visuals done by our elusive fifth member, Joe Carsello, who also plays in Lasers and eats fog for breakfast. After that, we’re hunkering down in the practice space to begin work on the next LP. We’re heading into the studio in mid October and hope to have the record out sometime next spring.
CM: The B-side on the forthcoming 45 got a bit of attention on the Vampire Diaries – how did that come about?
AL: We work with an amazing company called Ghost Town that does all of the licensing stuff. It’s a great way to get your music out to people that might not ordinarily hear your tunes through more traditional channels. Our songs have been in a bunch of shows over the last couple of years, and it’s always interesting to hear a song you made, in a context you may never have imagined.
CM: This 45 is a dedication to a band member who has recently passed on, could you explain a bit deeper what these songs mean and why they’re being used in commemoration?
AL: These are the first Frost recordings, and the only ones we got to record with our friend, Mark Frost, who died about a year ago. We had always talked about putting something out on vinyl, and it was something that he’d always really wanted to do, but after the craziness of last summer, things just kind of stalled out. We’re very much excited to get this out of the computer and out into the world.
Pink Frost play The Empty Bottle on August 31st with Verma, Touched By Ghoul and Lasers and Fast and Shit – $8 at the door or free with an RSVP. More information can be found here: http://www.emptybottle.com/show/4821535/