The Sempervivi biography begins with Kentucky scene stalwart Derek Price. He toured for years with Stellar Kin and Redfoot (Bad Apple Records), as well as Lexington’s Analog Apostles. In 2014, Price left the Apostles. Now, he would return focus to his own songs. Longtime fans noticed a more mature songwriting narrative which still hearkened his indie rock roots. The driven DIY artist covers every detail. He constantly books shows, records demos, and designs merch. It’s second nature.
The Bad Apple Records solo catalog began with 2015’s debut Artifacts acoustic EP. The self produced record embodied minimalism. A handful of mics captured the ambiance of an empty church sanctuary. After the release, Price played solo at a variety of venues. Bars, houses, and bookstores across the country witnessed his repertoire grow. New songs focused on fatherhood and political cynicism. His following grew. Several songs began as full band demos. Therefore, the sophomore record needed great players to capture the sound.
Biography: full band transition
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 drums completed the studio band. Finally, Beth Jenkins (The Jettisons) provided guest vocals. The pop punk and alternative rock mix clocked in at a lean 17 minutes. More solo dates, as well as full band shows, followed supporting the record.
The band biography took a turn in 2017, Sempervivi expanded into a power trio. The band’s high energy punk rock set earned praise from both local and regional audiences. The rhythm section then left for new musical projects in June 2018. Drummer Simon Ricapa and bassist Jeremiah Floyd rounded out the new lineup.
The new band started writing and gigging, while preparing to record their first full length, 2019’s Can’t Please Everyone. Ricapa departed shortly after the first single from the record “Ride or Die” dropped. Jeremiah switched to second guitar and his brother Daniel Floyd took over bass duties. New drummer Chase Riggs then completed the lineup after the new LP’s release. The Floyd brothers left the band in early 2020, due to increasing work and family obligations. Justin Haglund filled the bass guitar slot in 2020, and Mandeville (Mando) Smith joined on second guitar in 2021.
Critical praise for Sempervivi
(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.
-The Heavy Haystack
Despite beginning 2019 with a new lineup, Derek Price and the guys in Sempervivi play a polished high energy set that any punk rocker would be happy to mosh to.