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Local Ithaca band rebrands itself under new name

Local band You Bite With That, formerly known as Wallace and the Apes, consists of Cody Zusman on vocals and guitar, Wallace Alpern on bass, Roman Predmore on drums, and Felix Zifchock on vocals and guitar. Photo courtesy/You Bite With That/Instagram.

Community criticisms prompt a need for name change

An Ithaca band has decided to rename itself after receiving criticisms from the community regarding the connotations behind its former title.
Formerly known as Wallace and the Apes, Cody Zusman, Roman Predmore, Wallace Alpern, and Felix Zifchock, made the recent decision to rename their band You Bite With That.
Zusman, lead singer and guitarist for You Bite With That, said there was an incident that occurred over the summer at a local Black Lives Matter rally that motivated the band to change the name.
“This past summer, we just had an epiphany, of sorts,” Zusman said. “We were just like, maybe the name Wallace and the Apes is not the name that we want to have behind our dearest creative work.”
The term ape has historically held racist connotations and has been used discriminatorily against the Black community.
Zusman explained that their performance at a previous Black Lives Matter protest was requested by the former event organizer, who knew the band had a large following in Ithaca.
“At first, we were like, ‘Yeah. This seems like an okay idea,’ but then we came to understand this was not a good idea,” Zusman said.
The band said they have received mixed reactions regarding the change of name.

Navigating music-making in a time of COVID-19

The band released its latest EP, Strange Tales from a Small Town, shortly after the name change and members described how the release did not gain as much traction as anticipated.

The Spotify page of You Bite With That. The band’s greatest hit is “First Landing” with over 15,000 streams. Most recently, the band released a cover of Pavement’s “Range Life.” Zusman said the band learned, recorded, and released the cover in the same night since they were eager to release something. Photo courtesy/You Bite With That/Spotify.

“Certainly our release that happened right after we changed the name was a lackluster release in terms of the attention it got, but I don’t think that was because of the name change, I think it stems from the fact that there is no live music,” said Zusman.

Zusman said that the band has always relied on live music to accompany their releases but the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented them from being able to do so.

The band members noted the other ways the pandemic has altered their ability to make music, citing the physical distance as a deterrent.

“The time off has allowed me to work on a few other projects and has given me time to practice on my own to figure out how I want to be playing,” said Alpern, bassist for You Bite With That.

The next big project for You Bite With That

Predmore, drummer for You Bite With That, explained how the band members are also using this opportunity to change their sound and general aesthetic.

“I will say the new studio has definitely changed the sound,” Predmore said. “I think we are all very interested in exploring new things in music.”

The at-home studio of You Bite With That, located in Ithaca, NY. The band uses this space to write, record, and rehearse their music. Photo courtesy/Cody Zusman.

You Bite With That has been working on a self-titled album that it intends to release in the Summer of 2021.

“We have a lot of stuff recorded already and hopefully we can get like 15 songs or something, to get a nice long release out,” Alpern said.

“This is gonna be a large, all-encompassing project that includes all sorts of genres,” Zusman said. “Recently, we have been branching out a bit into more noise–harder and faster songs–but also in the other direction, a lot of stuff that is sweeter and more acoustic.”

“This next project is gonna be the full sampler, and then we can move on from there,” Alpern said.

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