The Sempervivi biography begins with Derek Price, a Kentucky music stalwart. For years, he toured with Stellar Kin and Redfoot (Bad Apple Records), as well as Analog Apostles. In 2014, Price stopped touring and writing with the Apostles. Now, he would return focus to his own songs. Several compositions had been tabled for years prior. Longtime fans noticed a more mature songwriting narrative. However, it still hearkened back to his indie rock roots. The driven DIY artist has always been known to cover every detail. He’s constantly booking shows, recording demos, and designing merch. It’s second nature.
The Bad Apple Records solo catalog began with the 2015 debut Artifacts acoustic EP. The self produced record embodies minimalism. It captures the ambiance of an empty church sanctuary with just a few mics. After the release, Price played solo to a diverse selection of venues. Bars, houses, and bookstores across the country heard his repertoire grow. New songs focusing on fatherhood and political cynicism grew his following. Several began as full band demos. Therefore, the sophomore record needed great players to capture the sound.
The “So Close” single and music video surfaced in 2017. Then, the full band EP “Always Alive” emerged. Zack Messick (Re-Education Camp) provided bass. Perry Ritter (All the Little Pieces) stepped in on lead guitar. Then, Rob Hanna’s (Perry Ritter Band) drum skills completed the studio band. Finally, Beth Jenkins (Rough Customers, The Jettisons) provided the guest vocals. The hard hitting pop punk and alternative rock mix weighed a lean, mean 17 minutes. More solo dates, as well as full band shows, followed to support the record.
In late 2017, bassist Jonathan Grayson approached Derek after a solo gig. A bromance soon blossomed as the duo tightened up the ‘vivi back catalog. Derek’s old friend Rob Grove (Fuzzwood) put an end to the drummer search, and the trio began writing and rehearsing. The band’s high energy punk rock set earned praise from local and regional audiences until Grove and Grayson’s departures for new musical projects in June 2018.
Biography continued: critical praise
(Artifacts is) a pretty breezy, fun EP with a lot of catchy guitar work, solid vocal performances, and an all around good batch of songs.
Always Alive hearkens back to the pop friendly, singer-songwriter indie rock of a bygone decade and pays homage to that era beautifully.