By Brian Washburn
If you hang around the Fayetteville music scene, more specifically around Dickson Street, you tend to go for several attractions on Fayetteville’s most famous street: friends, music, shots of tequila.
If you’re in a band, the music tends to lead you there. But Fayetteville pop-rockers Apartment 5 insist that the best part of the music scene is the friends they’ve made — friends who have helped them jump to their newfound success.
“I popped in the band about four years ago and we started playing any gig we could get. Then it started getting slowly better, our friends took us more seriously,” said drummer J.D. Paul. “But then Dickson Street helped us because they already had that built-in audience. People would hear us and then come out to the next show and bring their friends. We made a lot of new friends and those friends have helped us promote.”
However, Apartment 5 has started noticing the underground cult followings popping up, as well.
“The Fayetteville music scene is a lot deeper than just Dickson Street,” Paul said. “I know houses that have a cult following and have bands from all over and local bands play all the time.
“Dickson is a big part of the music scene [in Fayetteville], but I wouldn’t say it’s all of the music scene.”
Recently, Apartment 5 has garnered some attention from national statutes in the music industry, including the folks at Ardent Studios in Memphis who invited the band to come there last month and record a demo.
“They contacted us and said, ‘we liked your guys sound and we want you to come do a demo,’” Paul said. “We did one song and we made it really good. It was our first time with a producer.”
“Having a producer is a blessing and a curse, because if their ideas are really bad they do it anyway. But they do a great job, too. It’s their jobs to mold peoples music,” said guitarist Joel Paul (who is not related to the other Paul in the band). “The thing at the top of my list is going to be making an album now.”
Even though Apartment 5 — the two Pauls, bassist Max Glenn and vocalist Nicolas Askew — plan on recording a full length or EP in the near future. their sound might be drastically different.
“We are sick of the songs we have right now,” J.D. Paul said. “We are going to take a big break and totally write. What we were writing a year ago, then six months ago and now, do not even sound like the same band, which is kind of cool because they don’t get boring.”
J.D. Paul describes the band’s early songs as a bit darker, heavily influenced by Incubus. However, the band has taken on new influences that seem to be dominating the rock/indie radio scene at the moment: Phantom Planet, Kings of Leon and The Strokes. For Joel Paul, who is the primary songwriter, a pop, retro influence has taken center stage.
“I recently discovered The Beatles,” Joel Paul said. “Our songs are getting a lot more poppier and happier, as well.”
With the band’s status in the Fayetteville music scene almost solidified, Apartment 5 wants to take their show on the road; after they record a full-length, of course. They have even started looking for a tour bus. However, J.D. Paul still insists the best thing about the music industry is “the people you meet and so vastly become friends with.
“Nothing more we love than meeting people. The funnest thing being in this band is meeting people.”
Final Thought: Meeting people in the Fayetteville scene is all good and grand, but it is just a perk, which comes along with the music. And now Fayetteville is turning out local bands that are not only getting noticed nationally, but are about to take off. With Apartment 5, my three favorite local bands to hit it big in the mainstream are: A Good Fight, the.radio.sky, and Jarris.
By Brian Washburn