Published on July 26th, 2002 | by Gerry Galipault


The Apex Theory Go ‘Topsy-Turvy’

Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Near Eastern music have dotted the rock landscape for decades, from Led Zeppelin to Jane’s Addiction.

For many of those bands, introducing exotic sounds to their fans came after casually being exposed to it themselves during their many travels. For three members of The Apex Theory, it was part of their childhood.

Singer Andy Khachaturian, guitarist Art Karamian and bassist David Hakopyan are all of Armenian descent, and though drummer Sammy Watson doesn’t have that lineage, he’s a integral part of the multicultural influence that’s found on the Los Angeles-based rock group’s debut DreamWorks album, “Topsy-Turvy” (released April 2).

“That’s what makes this band special, the fact that the four of us can come together and each one of us has our own signature thing that we do and it somehow works together – and everyone shines,” Khachaturian said recently. “That’s the beauty of this band; everyone has that kind of cooperation of working together and yet holding their own. It works. We have a common affinity for good music, no matter what it is – Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, whatever.”

Khachaturian has a lot of respect for bands like Led Zeppelin and Jane’s Addiction, but he says The Apex Theory’s diverse sound is genuine.

“Those bands utilized those sounds, but they took it from somewhere else, like maybe one of the members had some affiliation with that type of music and brought it to the band,” he said. “With us, it’s more closer to home, so we’re not scrambling and searching for an identity. It’s like, if you were raised in a jungle, you would know how to swing from vine to vine. For us, this music’s a way of life – the rhythms, the odd melodies, they feel comfortable to us.

“It naturally happened because there were such little distractions going on that we didn’t have to worry about it. This is more like what we do. It’s not like, ‘Okay, we’re going to create a band called The Apex Theory and this is what it’s going to sound like.’ It’s more like a few guys coming together, saying ‘Check out this cool riff’ or ‘I’ve got this cool melody.’ Dave would bring in a bassline, and me being a drummer as well, I would sit and drum away a pattern. It was an open channel when it came to expressing our thoughts and ideas for music.”

Keeping it in check was producer Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Lit, Eve 6, Pearl Jam, Sugar Ray).

“He was one of the ones we wanted to meet with; actually, I should say he wanted to meet us,” Khachaturian said. “He came from the right, whereas we came from left of center. His attitude helped out as well; it’s not just about getting the job done, it’s about being able to communicate and having your producer not lose his mind and be an asshole. He made a few minor changes, structurally speaking, but the essence of what we were doing to begin with was still captured on the album.”

The group has a full summer ahead of it, holding a slot on the Ozzfest 2002 tour.

THE FIRST RECORD I EVER BOUGHT: “I didn’t buy it, but I remember getting Asia’s first album from my cousin in Rhode Island. That was my introduction to semi-heavy music. That and Uriah Heep, and then Van Halen’s ‘1984’ album, which to this day I still love.”

THE FIRST CONCERT I EVER WENT TO: “Dave and I have known each other since high school. He and I went to see Living Colour and Primus at the Universal Amphitheater. Living Colour blew me away, just the musicianship and the ability of that guy to have so much soul and passion behind his voice. There’s so many people influenced by him, even if they won’t admit it.”

THE WORST JOB I’VE EVER HAD: “I was a busboy at a Greek restaurant. It was a nightmare. It was a sweaty, hard job. It was a small restaurant; 400 people would show up every night. It was really tiresome. It’s not like being a busboy at Denny’s; the busboys were working harder than the waiters. It was a humbling experience.”

ORDER “TOPSY-TURVY”: click here.


BWF (before we forget): Upcoming Apex Theory tour dates (most of which are on Ozzfest 2002) – Aug. 12, Toledo, Hard Hat; Aug. 13, Noblesville, Ind., Verizon Wireless Music Center; Aug. 15, Bristow, Va., Nissan Pavilion; Aug. 17, Somerset, Wis., Float Rite Park Amphitheater; Aug. 19, Maryland Heights, Mo., UMB Bank Pavilion; Aug. 20, Bonner Springs, Kan., Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; Aug. 21, Pittsburgh, Foxtown City Limits; Aug. 22, Denver, Pepsi Center; Aug. 24, Marysville, Calif., Autowest Amphitheater; Aug. 25, Mountain View, Calif., Shoreline Amphitheater; Aug. 27, George, Wash., The Gorge; Aug. 29, Orangevale, Calif., Brickworks; Aug. 31, Devore, Calif., Glen Halen Blockbuster Pavilion; Sept. 2, Chula Vista, Calif., Coors Amphitheater; Sept. 5, Phoenix, Cricket Pavilion; Sept. 7, Selma, Texas, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater; Sept. 8, Dallas, Smirnoff Music Center.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    May 7, 2021 » Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, Weezer, New Order, Nancy Wilson, Judy Collins, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, Sarah Jarosz, Procol Harum, Staind, Mandy Barnett, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Iceage, etc.

    May 14, 2021 » St. Vincent, The Black Keys, Alan Jackson, Paul Weller, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Del Amitri, Delta Goodrem, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Morcheeba, Frost*, Sunbomb,etc.

    May 21, 2021 » Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, P!nk, twenty one pilots, Chrissie Hynde, Counting Crows, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, Lambchop, Paula Cole, Micky Dolenz, Lord Huron, Mdou Moctar, Monster Magnet, Robert Finley, Allison Russell, etc.

    May 28, 2021 » DMX, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, easy life, The Veronicas, Porter Robinson, Miloš Karadaglić, Dave Holland, John Hall, Dispatch, Blackberry Smoke, etc.

    More New Releases » June 4 and Beyond: Rise Against, Crowded House, Tomorrow x Together, Billy F Gibbons, Brett Young, Liz Phair, James, Chris Thile, Rostam, Japanese Breakfast, Mark Collie, Atreyu, Gary Louris, Tristen, Maroon 5, MARINA, Garbage, Sleater-Kinney, Ryan Adams, Wolf Alice, AFI, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Dennis DeYoung, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Cold Cave, Joe Bonamassa, Islands, Alessandro Cortini, Danny Elfman, Gary Kemp, Fear Factory, Amythyst Kiah, Rebelution, Amy Helm, Jennifer Nettles, The Mountain Goats, Gary Allan, Pom Pom Squad, Toto, Lucy Dacus, Cedric Burnside, Buckcherry, Tom Odell, Beartooth, Lana Del Rey, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Lucinda Williams, The Maine, Wavves, Tedeschi Trucks Band, James Vincent McMorrow, Ida Mae, Paul McCartney, Rodney Crowell, DARKSIDE, Joshua Radin, Erika de Casier, Billie Eilish, Los Lobos, Yola, Blues Traveler, The Wandering Hearts, Will Young, Ellen Foley, Jungle, Maggie Rose, Jake Bugg, Villagers, Anderson East, Little Simz, Candlebox, Black Veil Brides, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 and 2022 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook