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After long wait, Apathy Syndrome captures sound with first album


Apathy SyndromeIt’s been more than five years since the Des Moines metal band Apathy Syndrome formed. In that time, they’ve toured in 10 states, put on their own Carnival of Razors festivals, performed at Lazerfest and opened for Taproot, Saliva and others.

In that time, they’ve also released zero albums. That all changes June 10, when Apathy Syndrome releases “Cynic to Psycho” at Wooly’s.

“We did a demo, then we had some lineup changes. We were going to redo it, then we had more lineup changes,” said drummer Zach Jones. “A lot of it was also just writing. It’s a long album — 13 tracks — and a lot of managing schedules.”

Guitarist Ste Reed cut in: “One of the big things is while we were trying to record, we were also trying to stay relevant in the Des Moines scene and expand regionally as well. So we would have to put recording on hold so we could travel around. Lots of bands just do one thing at a time; we never seem to do it right.”

The members of Apathy Syndrome wear masks and distinctive gear on stage, making it easy to draw a comparison to another masked metal band from Des Moines. But Apathy Syndrome’s look and sound is more influenced by Dead Horse Trauma, whom the band’s members have looked to for advice promoting shows and about life on the road.

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The masks also have a practical purpose: letting Apathy Syndrome members put on another persona while performing.

“For me, I have terrible stage fright,” said singer Joe Day. “I have a calm demeanor, but once I’m behind the mask, I can get on the stage and start screaming. It just lets me flip that switch.”

With the release of “From Cynic to Psycho,” the members of Apathy Syndrome are changing their look up a bit. There’s less of a unified appearance and more distinctiveness. The album’s music creates a little story, and they wanted a new, more post-apocalyptic look to fit the themes of “From Cynic to Psycho.”

“Once in a while, it feels like a band having a look creates a stigma. Like we have a getup, so we’re gimmicky,” Jones said. “I think this album dashes that on the rocks. We’ve written music that’s genuine, rather than riding a gimmick.”

With “From Cynic to Psycho” out, the members of Apathy Syndrome are excited to have an album to tour behind. They’ve managed to build up a fan base on the road, but they’ve never had an album they could steer those fans toward.

“We’re grateful to fans for sticking with us,” Reed said. “We’ve had fans asking us for an album since year one. We’ve been saying ‘It’s coming, it’s coming!’ and now we can make good on that promise. This brought to life what we’ve been trying to do, and it’s been interesting to sit and listen to these songs without having to play them.”


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