Comprised of sisters Colby, Shelby, Carthi, and Faith Benson, and family friend Rachel Look, the all-female rock outfit Crimson Apple has consistently showcased a brand of melody-driven pop rock island-wide since the group’s inception in 2012. Along with a significant subscriber base on YouTube, these Mililani girls have played countless venues and continue to generate buzz both on and off the web.
While it’s been common in the past for all-girl groups to feel like they’ve got something to prove (particularly in rock ‘n’ roll), Crimson Apple falls far from such a tree (though, as winners of the Star 101.9 Battle of the Bands back in October of 2014, the proof is in the pie, as it were).
“As a band, we look forward to competitions because we see it as an opportunity to push ourselves and meet new musicians as passionate about music as we are. When we compete, our goal is to come out of the competition a better band than we were before, whether or not we win or lose. We were so humbled and happy to have won the Star 101.9 Battle of the Bands and so grateful for all that we learned from the experience,” says rhythm guitarist and band manager Shelby Benson.
“We weren’t planning on putting together an all-girl band; it just so happened to work out that way,” she says. “Sometimes it’s difficult because people don’t always take us seriously. On the other hand, we do find a lot of people who are excited about the fact that we are an all-girl band. Luckily for us, we have found a very supportive scene for our style of music. It’s been amazing meeting and working with so many other wonderful musicians and people in the local music scene.”
Overflowing with one-hit-wonders, slumping sophomores, and pitfalls as common as pitch-fails, the music biz is tough. With such competition at every turn, what is a young band to do? Crimson Apple has found a way to not only beat the competition, but turn that competitive spirit into camaraderie. And when you’ve got four sisters and a family friend on the roster, it’s easy to see just how they do it.
“Being in a family band is very different from being in a band with friends,” says Benson. “For us, the band has been a great way to connect and become closer together as sisters. As siblings, collaboration is very easy because we almost always know what we’re each thinking. We also get a lot of extra practice time because we live in the same house.”
That creative energy sometimes erupts in spurts of creativity, as with their new song, “One Time,” which is one of our favorites by the band.
“I came up with a couple verses to “One Time” about a year ago, but never got around to finishing it,” says Benson. “When we made it to the final round of the Star 101.9 Battle of the Bands, we decided that we wanted to bring in some of our new music to compete with, and this song was last on the list because it was the least finished. One night, a week before the final, we randomly jammed it, and were so excited that we finished writing the song in an hour. So far, people seem to be as excited about the song as we are. It’s awesome seeing people in the audience singing along to it already.”
When they’re not busy putting the finishing touches on their debut full-length album and opening for acts like Will Champlain (The Voice) at Doris Duke Theatre on January 31, the girls like to relax and enjoy Hawaii. At its core, Crimson Apple is a group of girls that want to have fun while pursuing their passion for music. By the look of things, they’re well on their way.
See Crimson Apple in concert tonight at Anna O’Brien’s, as part of the “Chicks With Picks” rock show. Also performing, indie/acoustic duo Foreseeable Futures, indie/garage rock duo The Dirt Squirrels and the four-piece alternative/folk rock band Halcyon Continuum. Read more.
Chicks With Picks
Anna O’Brien’s, 2440 S. Beretania St.
Fri., Jan. 16, 8:30pm