PM: For a company that allegedly may not make too much money yet, I think that Ape is pretty impressive in its cutting edge offerings, the ringtones, and content cards, and downloadable videos and all that.
AP: Well, I'd like to think that also some of the artists I can bring to people--like Veda Hille, or the Milk & Honey Band, or Peter Blegvad--are very special. And I've got some more people I'd like to take under my wing. And I'd like to think that the artists don't get a rip-off deal; they get the best deal that they can get, which is 50/50.
AP: The artist will make 50 percent of the net profit. And as a company, I probably end up taking fifteen percent, because we have to pay the money back into the promoting of the thing, and so on and so forth. So the artist does not get ripped off on Ape, which is probably why I'm not making a load of with money with it. But I'm just keen to bring music that excites me to other people.
PM: In fact, I downloaded the "Queen of the May" video of Veda Hille, and I thought that was incredible.
AP: Oh, that's great. Yeah, I love the way Veda thinks of music. She comes at it totally in a different way to most people.
PM: She's astounding. And that incredible animation by--how do you say her name? Eun-Ha Paek?
AP: Something like that. I never got it right. I have the funny feeling it's either an Eskimo name or--I don't think you can call them "eskimos," can you? "Eskimo" is kind of the "nigger" of the Northern Lights world.
PM: [laughs] Well, isn't she Korean?
AP: What's that?
PM: Isn't she Korean? I thought she was from Seoul.
AP: Is she Korean? Oh, okay. For some reason I had it in my head it was an Eskimo name or an Inuit name or something.
PM: Right, well, it's got the Inuit ring, if there is such a thing.
AP: Exactly. And with an Inuit ring, it's got to be very fishy, I can tell you. It's a good little video. And like I said, it's something that--any way that we can bring stuff to people to turn them onto artists who I think are good, but the main labels are ignoring them.
PM: Oh, to say the least.
[Veda Hille (vey-da hill-ie) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and composer, born and based in Vancouver, B.C. She leads her own band and is a member of two other groups, Duplex! and The Fits. Find out more about Veda at vedahille.com or visit her myspace page. Animator/designer/illustrator Eun-Ha Paek (un-ha bek) was born in Seoul, Korea, spent her childhood in Iran, Thailand, and Los Angeles, attended highschool in New Jersey, studied animation at Rhode Island School of Design, lived for most of her twenties in San Francisco, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She's a member of the art collective Milky Elephant. Enjoy samples of her work at eun-ha.com.]
PM: And not only would we like to review Veda's record, but we'd like to review that great-sounding CD by The Milk & Honey Band.
AP: Oh, that's a wonderful album. When I heard that stuff, I thought, wow, this is like a great secret. Who knows about this group? They don't play live very often. They record their stuff at home. They have a tape machine and a mixing desk and stuff, in the writer's house, and three of them get together, and they make this wonderful music.
PM: Yeah, it's really great.
AP: And who knew? It's one of the best-kept secrets around.
PM: It's unbelievable. And that's the kind of thing we're dedicated to as a webzine, with our million hits, we like to bring the under-the-radar stuff above ground and say, "Well, have you heard this one?"
AP: Yeah. I think that's important, because nobody can get away from the stuff that's rammed down their throats in the big media. And the stuff that's rammed down their throats is always the least interesting stuff. It's like porridge, porridge, porridge, and sometimes you want a bit of beef.
PM: [laughs] And how about that track with Peter Blegvad, "Galveston"? That was fantastic.
AP: Oh, Peter is a genius. Really. I really admire Peter. I've known him for many years, and he's a real renaissance man. I mean, he can do so many things. He did a cartoon strip in the independent paper in England called Leviathan, which all of them are collected together in one book. And I mean, it's stunningly out there in the kind of stuff that he deals with. Matt Groening is a big fan of Peter's cartoons. [see some at leviathan.co.uk] Peter has made albums, he does lectures, he's done installations, he does artworks, he's written books. I mean, he's just the renaissance man. I really admire him.
PM: And does he live in England?
AP: Yeah, he lives in London.
PM: And so he's an old buddy. Yeah, we've got to get up with his records.
AP: He's a New Yorker, originally, but moved over to England, I think in his teens. He's on so many good records.