Interview with Arms for Elephants
Arms for Elephants, the Minnesota five-piece post-hardcore band recently released their new album My Judas Scene. James Rockso got the chance to chat with Fletcher Archerd, the band’s co-vocalist and guitarist. You can pick up a copy of the new album on their official Bandcamp as well as checking out their new music video for “The Laws That Guide My Feet” below!
Fletcher, welcome and thank you for joining us. Big thanks to Alex Osborn from High Road Publicity for getting me in touch with you guys.
Thanks for having me, and thank you too Alex!
Let’s talk Arms for Elephants, what have you guys been up to?
We just released our first full-length album My Judas Scene and finished up our second tour of the year, ‘The Influence of Motion Tour’ with fellow Minnesota band Sleep Signals. We’re currently preparing to shoot a music video for our first single ‘The Laws that Guide My Feet’ with HM Magazine’s Kyle Lehman.
My Judas Scene, tell us about the new album.
We’ve been working on this album for a little over a year, and we recorded and mixed it ourselves. We had it professionally mastered by Jeff Gudenrath of Audio Integrity. We wanted this album to be therapeutic, so we deliberately stepped outside our comfort zone lyrically to develop songs that are extremely personal and tackle dark subject matter that most people can relate to. Depression, anxiety, and addiction are some of the issues we address because they’re universal.
Will there be a CD release tour, and more importantly, will you be coming through Ottawa?
We won’t be touring again for a little bit, but our last tour was sort of a CD release tour because we sold physical copies before the official release of September 1. Hopefully we’ll make it to Canada next spring, because Canada rocks! We plan on doing some touring next year, as well as festivals in the summer. Besides that, more recording is at the top of the to do list.
Four guys from Minnesota (editor’s note: since this interview AFE have added another guitarist), what kind of influences drove you to play in a hardcore band?
We grew up on pop-punk, and transitioned to listening to heavier music in our teens like Underoath and Silverstein. The local punk and hardcore scene is alive and well in southern Minnesota, so we’ve been surrounded by it since our beginning as musicians. Our peers/local scene is a huge influence in sparking our desire to be musicians.
For a world oversaturated with a lot of similar music, lyrics, tunes, etc. What sets Arms for Elephants apart from your average hardcore band?
A lot of bands seem to follow a formula, like ‘what’s gonna get us popular?’ Too many use the same tricks and techniques we’ve all heard over and over again. We strongly believe that our music should go where it wants to go, and through that it can end up being something new. We’re inspired by our influences and because of that we’re often compared to the way post-hardcore sounded 10 years ago, but with some modern concepts inplemented. However, we don’t copy our influences…we strive to develop sounds that are truly new…and to all of the other bands/musicians that share that mindset, here’s to you.
If Arms for Elephants were to have a slogan, a message – what would it be?
The first thing that comes to mind is something our drummer said on tour. We were in Yellowstone on our day off, and he mentioned “If you’re by a baby bear, be careful.” This is always sound advice, as you never know when a mama bear might be near by. A more serious response would be something along the lines of this: “Arms for Elephants: post-hardcore for people who love alternative rock from 10 years ago.” Still not a very good one, but I tried.
Fletch, thanks so much for sitting down with us.
Thanks for having me!
Interview by James Rockso