Based in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Two Apple Tobacco creates thought-provoking and topical music, fusing genres and pushing the boundaries of the indie rock idiom.
From its earliest days, sprouted from the fertile grounds of a Vancouver high school jazz band, Two Apple Tobacco has fostered a sound uniquely its own. At first, founding members Daniel Deorksen (guitar) and Jordan Kling (bass) met every week with a rotating cast of musicians, tossing a regular spaghetti of ideas at the postered walls of the now infamous ‘basement’. Before long they had distilled their signature brew, a zesty and theatrical funk rock heavily seasoned with jazz, blues, folk, Latin and hip-hop.
The line-up has now crystallized into nothing less than a modern mini jazz-rock orchestra. Fronted by soul-jazz vocalist Jessica Harvey, with Ingrid Valou providing flute and backing vocals, with veteran session drummer Vern Shewchuk holding down the rhythm section with bassist Jordan Kling, co-lead guitarist Greg Valou. Previous members and collaborators pianist/trombonist Emilie Chow, classical violinist Phyllis Ho, vocalist/trumpet player Thomas Houlden, vocalist/flautist Courtney Lancaster, and guest saxophonist Dominic Conway.
Since Dan, Jess, and many other members are also professional actors and theatre artists in their own right, it has only been natural to incorporate theatrics into the groups’s performance. Add to this the naturally exuberant and energetic stage presence, and high level of musicianship of all involved, and you can see why Two Apple Tobacco has gained quite the reputation for its live show. Every show, by tradition, the band covers a song by the artist who has possibly been their greatest inspiration: Frank Zappa. Apart from that, you never know quite what to expect.
In July 2009, the band began a long-awaited workshop of an original full length rock musical based on their music, entitled Horribly Sunny. This mammoth project is still under completion, and occasionally, you’ll hear them play a tune from it at a live show. In the spring of 2013, the group is excited to release their first full-length album: a pan-apocalptic fantasia entitled Squinter’s Paradise.