You take some space cadets, give them a bowl, toss in the styles of Jack Johnson, The Kinks, and The Chemical Brothers, mix, and serve. The dish that you end up with is Apollo 13, a four-piece rock/pop/electronic group based in Lawrence, KS. The band was put together as an outlet for singer Shannon Savoie and guitarist Mike MacFarland's self-recorded studio material. They knew they had something special when they won first place in the 2003 International Songwriting Competition (Dance/Electronica). Using this critical acclaim as a launching pad, they went on to release their debut album, "Brave New World", in September of 2004, garnering great initial reviews. This was followed by a nomination as a finalist in the Dance/Electronica category of the 2005 Independent Music Awards, the Electronica Grand Prize in the 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition, and placement in an XBox/PS2/GC/PSP video game (Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX'D).
"Greg Hastings Tournament Paintball MAX'D" Video Game Music
Grand Prize 2004 John Lennon Songwriting Competition - Dance/Electronica
Finalist 2005 Independent Music Awards - Dance/Electronica
First Place 2003 International Songwriting Competition - Dance/Electronica
"Eros" Film Trailer Music
Jack Johnson, the Shins, the Starlight Mints, Coldplay, Radiohead, the Propellerheads, The Chemical Brothers
The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, Paul Simon
"We are venting something out into space." - Apollo 13 Commander James A. Lovell, Jr.
It was a jumbled pile of soldered sound gear and taped up patch cables, always in a state of disrepair. There were fears that no meaningful music would ever come out of it; that it would never work.
So they called it “Apollo 13”.
But the little studio that could, did. Mike MacFarland (guitar) and Shannon Savoie (vocals), longtime friends and band mates, spent many arduous hours creating and recording their material for posterity’s sake. On a hunch they submitted a piece to the International Songwriting Competition. One grand prize later, they had a wave of momentum beckoning. Calls were made to fellow musicians Will Dinkel (bass), Danny Rojas (drums) and John Wirt (guitar). A treatise was signed and the group known as Apollo 13 was formed.
In the year following, the band’s trophy case expanded to include two more high-profile awards (Independent Music Awards, John Lennon Songwriting Competition). A self-produced, eclectic debut album, “Brave New World”, was released to positive reviews. A propaganda campaign targeting mass media was undertaken, resulting in frenzied Internet activity, music for the “Eros” feature-film trailer and placement in a hugely popular paintball video game.
These successes have now morphed the aforementioned studio into a far cry from its former patchwork self. It is now under full utilization with the production of the band’s second full-length release, “Lovebomb”, set to hit stores in late 2005. This will be accompanied by appearances in Chicago and Los Angeles, followed by tour dates in early 2006.