“Ace mental health for me means complete acceptance of who you are.”
Charles and Alex, better known as Nottingham based electro-pop duo April Towers, take influence from pioneering artists including Jon Hopkins, Aphex Twin, LCD Soundsystem and Radiohead, But they also evoke pop sensibility of the likes of Pet Shop Boys and New Order. Their music has one eye on the present and the other looking into an unknown future. We caught up with the lads to discuss accepting who you are, childhood memories of kiss chase and what’s currently on their stereo.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
At the moment I’ve been reading the Steve Coogan autobiography – I’m a Partridge and comedy fan and the man is just a genius. He has led such an interesting life. I’m loving bands like Arcaves, Horrible Dolphins, Patawawa, Psalms – there are too many to name! I’ve revisited Band of Brothers in the last few weeks. It’s just timeless and gut wrenching TV at its finest.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
The biggest life challenge for me personally has been the transition from school and university to ‘the real world’. It’s a huge change and one that I don’t think is appreciated enough because it can bring great pressure and struggle. To overcome it we wrote an album!!
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
A perfect day for me would be a lie in (I love my sleep), followed by a breakfast and walk. Then maybe meet some friends for a beer or play some music. My girlfriend is a musician too so I love being able to write music and have a singalong.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
I feel most grateful for my friends, my family, my girlfriend and the understanding and support they all give me. I feel grateful that I can be part of this crazy journey that is the music industry.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Ace mental health for me means complete acceptance of who you are, what you want to achieve and the way you want to achieve it. Having a clear goal is so key in keeping any demons at bay and fulfilling your potential. I’m extremely ambitious and I find having these goals to work towards keeps me incredibly focused.
What do you eat to stay healthy?
I’m an avocado enthusiast so I have it with pretty much everything. My diet hasn’t always been the best – the life of a musician doesn’t always constitute a healthy lifestyle but I’m really trying at the moment to cook healthy meals with lots of protein and veg.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Again with my job it’s tough to have a routine that stays consistent because every day is different but I always like to have breakfast and a walk. I go swimming too and am learning Italian which helps me focus and takes my mind off the madness
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground everyday and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
At my school it was ‘Kiss Chase’ where the girls would run after the boys in the playground to try and kiss them. I remember thinking there would be nothing worse than a girl kissing me back then, I think that quickly changed around age 13!
What three songs lift your spirits?
If I had to pick three it would be Age of Consent by New Order, Praise You by Fatboy Slim and Dancing In the Dark by Springsteen. All incredible records that lift my mood.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
I recently read ‘The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F**k’ and it was honestly incredible. Mark Manson writes in a way I can really relate to and I often find myself going back to certain paragraphs to calm me down. It’s a hilarious read too, it’s everything I look for in a book.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
When I know a friend or loved one is going through a tough time, I never try to be overbearing. Having felt anxious myself the last thing I wanted was to have someone constantly asking if I was ok and treating me like a child. I offer space to that person but vitally I let them know I’m there for them whenever they need it, whatever the reason. People don’t choose to feel the way they do and you have to respect that space is important – obviously not too much space though. You’ll often find when you do this the person in need will be much more open to talking through everything.
April Towers’ debut album is out now and can be streamed here.
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