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  • Formed: Newtown, CT
  • Years Active: 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

With few boundaries in its avant-garde, haunting post-rock, Apse formed in Newtown, Connecticut, in 1999. The original lineup consisted of high school friends Robert Toher (guitar), Ezer Lichtenstein (drums), and Ryan Todd (bass). By 2001 they'd recorded their first EP while another high school friend, Aaron Piccirillo, joined on guitar. Two more EPs followed. In spring 2003, Michael Gundlach joined on guitar, while Toher began providing the otherworldly vocals. Later that year, Apse signed to Spanish label Acuarela Discos and got to work on the next record, resulting in a self-titled EP, out in early 2005. Fleshing out more of the percussion, they added Matthew Wick as a second drummer for tours. In summer 2005, Todd and Wick left while Piccirillo switched to bass and new member Albert Gray was added on guitar. In late 2006 an album appeared, titled Spirit. The following year, guitarist Austin Stawiarz and bassist John Mordecai replaced Gray and Piccirillo in time for the band's European tour and to work on the limited-edition EP Eraas. In 2008, Toher and Gundlach moved to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which resulted in Stawiarz and Lichtenstein leaving the group, and guitarist Jed Armour and drummer Brandon Collins joining. Eraas was finally released in 2009 and revealed a more streamlined version of the Apse sound that continued on the band's second full-length Climb Up, which was released in late 2009. While Apse continued to tour throughout 2010 and enlisted friend and sometime producer Daniel Sobo to the lineup as a keyboardist and auxiliary musician, the group disbanded in early 2011. Toher and Stawiarz went on to form the similarly dark but musically similar group Eraas.

eMusic Features



By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

From 1999-2011, Robert Toher led the atmospheric post-rock band Apse, but by 2010, he was growing frustrated with that group's direction and organization. He started working on a separate project, ERAAS, with Apse guitarist Austin Stawiarz – Toher is drawn to the word "eras," he says (it had also been the title of a limited-edition Apse album). Toher and Stawiarz holed up in an old house in Northampton, Massachusetts, and gradually refined their new sound:… more »