"Where are they now?"
This could take many chapters to get into all the details, but, in an attempt to do it as briefly as possible…
The band has never broken up.
Will the band record again? Possibly, but not likely a full album (maybe a few songs here & there…no time table). Although no doors have been closed to any possibility.
Does the band play live anymore? Rarely…the occasional festival gig…and always at the annual Cystic Fibrosis Gala every February.
Why? What happened?
In a nut-shell, the band is simply another “music industry casualty”, along with thousands of other bands and artists that could not quite get to the next level – let alone make a living at it. Frustrating? A bit. But, that’s the nature of the business. Sour grapes? No - not really. This business is all about trying over and over again when at first you don’t succeed (which no one does). But, there comes a point – after many years of working countless hours, 7 days/week (mostly behind the scenes stuff) – where one must decide if all the sacrifice is worth it. It’s easier to make sacrifices in your teens & 20’s. As you get older, with little/no “reward” for the work, it becomes increasingly tougher to validate.
We were fortunate to have several great (famous & successful) musicians in our corner…as well as a few famous/successful people behind the scenes. People wanting to help us because they believed in what we had. They loved our songs and the voice for the songs …the two biggest things required to establish a career in the music business at the highest level. We also had a few songs that charted nationally, including one Top 10 (Hold Me). Despite all of that going for us, we basically couldn’t get anyone to seriously bite from a label. It was also a huge time of change within the music industry (early 2000’s)…over a decade later, the industry still hasn’t come to grips with all of the change…it’s still remains in a state of flux. Record labels crumbled, or merged with other labels - there are few left. Label recording & promotion budgets have been drastically reduced for all but a very few artists. The pool of artists with any legitimate backing has continued to shrink. (Platforms like American Idol became a new R&D and promo tool for labels to push new artists, with less risk of failure for a label - which shareholders love). While that is not all bad, it's still less and less about the music, and more about pushing an often 'generic' product.
There was thought of remaining independent – without a label – which has some great upside, but also lacks the muscle of a label. But, we really never had the sales to achieve independent success. That could be for any number of reasons: maybe not enough people like what we do?...maybe we’re not getting the stuff out there enough so more people can hear it?...maybe people don’t really buy music like they used to? The latter is a problem, for sure – people getting music for free. Or streaming services that pay very little to the artists. (Simon Apple has made less than 10 dollars on Spotify to date). Again, not sour grapes. Everyone in the industry is dealing with the same issues.
So… the band remains on this seemingly “never-ending hiatus”. In the meantime, the individual members are still musically active. Jeff, Buzz, Dan remain full-time musicians. Dan is the most gigging musician of the bunch – especially during the summer months around his hometown Portland, Maine, where he often plays 6 nights/week. Dan also has a home studio, where he records his own solo material (his albums available on this website), and projects for others. Like Dan, Jeff also has a home studio serving the same purpose - personal material (Jeff’s albums also available on here), and producing, co-writing, or mixing for others. Jeff also serves as music director at his home church, and plays 3-6 “fun duo gigs” a month around the Reading, PA area. Buzz is slightly more “elusive”(!), but, he often has some project going on…usually something more “avant-garde”…not a typical rock thing. Stefon & Dave, while not full-time musicians, still play here & there, at a “pro quality” level.
We still receive some wonderful, kind emails from people around the world. We’re truly grateful you enjoy the music. Again, doing future Apple music is not entirely out of the question. It simply takes a lot of time to do, and becomes hard to fit in the music schedule when there are other individual music projects going on that “pay the bills”. Unfortunately, Apple stuff never generated enough to pay the bills – in fact, quite the opposite - it created a lot of debt! But, heck…if we ever start getting this big, unexpected bump in sales, that would certainly make it easier to validate! :-)
Thank you for all of the support over the years. At the very least, we will continue to put out unreleased stuff, or live albums, etc…as well as individual solo albums…and the occasional gig. And maybe one day…that elusive Pink Elephant…a NEW Simon Apple song, may one day appear.