The APES formed by mistake four years ago at a Gallery Hop in Columbus. Now, every APES show becomes a frenzied dance party. Fusing the sounds of violin and piano with a world-class rhythm section, the genre-less quartet sounds like a mad scientist blasting wild animal energy and technical virtuosity through a funky particle accelerator.

FP: Put together your fantasy band, dead or alive.

 My first thought would be El-P and Madlib together on the boards for Outkast.

FP: What's the best, most exciting concert, music event you've been to?

 Definitely, definitely seeing Wu-Tang and Rage Against the Machine at a festival in NYC. Amazing, quasi-spiritual experience, with totally ruckus energy!

FP: What the best (or most important) thing about the music scene in Columbus?

 My favorite thing is the size. We're big enough to have a variety of exciting acts, but small enough to be nurturing and supporting. A little smaller and it would be boring. A little bigger and it would be lonely.

FP: What's the most important issue (political or otherwise) going on in Columbus?

 It makes me sick how my artist peers and I are being used to gentrify Franklinton. At this point, there’s no point in boycotting events in the neighborhood or avoiding living there as away to prevent gentrification. Redevelopment is happening. There’s no way around it.

 My concern is less with what’s happening than with what’s NOT happening. I don't know everything that's going on behind that scene, but it seems like people aren't asking enough questions. Other than a few notable exceptions, revitalization efforts are not going towards the long-time locals. They're aimed at raising property values by attracting creative types like me and my friends who see the neighborhood as a practical and fun place to live, close to an emerging arts scene. This has the short-term effect of alienating long-time residents, and probably will end with their displacement.

 Case in point, a festival called Go West is not targeted at people that already live “West.” I don’t think I’ve seen a single long-time resident at any event at 400 W Rich or Rehab. You can say that this is because they don't want to come, and that may be true. But what’s also true is that current residents probably don’t feel too welcome because for the most part they’re not!

 I don’t claim to know all the answers, nor am I absolving myself of responsibility or blame. What I do know is that I don’t want to harm local families when I have other options. Plus, it disgusts me to know that my friends and I are the pawns of city developers, financiers and landlords.

 We as artists have a responsibility to keep the well being and livelihoods of long-term Franklinton residents in mind as we proceed. Reaching out even in a small way would be a great start. It is, after all, their poverty which makes the area affordable (not to mention edgy) for us in the first place. Are we really OK with displacing them as a way of returning the favor?

FP: How does Greek ethnic background influence your music and politics?

 My dad is from Greece, and I grew up listening to lots of Greek folk music. Anyone who sees an APES set will undoubtedly hear some traditional Greek violin influence in my playing. As for politics, many Greeks are anti-authority by nature. We were under Ottoman rule for 400 years which taught us to subvert the oppressive systems imposed upon us. I have a similar mindset now. While the current system works like an electric sidewalk at the airport for me as a middle-class able-bodied white male American, it works like an electric sidewalk moving backwards for countless others. All I have to do is stand and I move but while other people have to sprint just to stay put. I always keep that in mind.

Upcoming shows:

All Gallery Hops at Mikey's Late Night Slice in the Short North (1030 N. High St.)
6/14 at Brother's Drake with Deadwood Floats

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