Here's where we shine our spotlight on one local MN band or musician. We'll be doing exclusive band interviews, plus album & show reviews. We'll give you specs on all their gear & details on their upcoming shows. Most importantly though, we'll be spinnin' plenty of their music! Catch our Showcase Spotlight each month for help expanding your local music horizon!
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What was the process you guys went through to decide your band name? What does the meaning of “Arrows At Dawn” hold for you?
Pat: It all started out as just a name we picked out. It just sounded cool and was along the lines of what we were thinking. Then the name took on a meaning of its own. The dawn or start of our lives as musicians and songwriters, and the force we put behind our music was as driven and forceful as an arrow being shot from a bow. It just stuck.
Why did each of you become musicians? How did you all come together to form “Arrows At Dawn”?
Tim: I was started really young with Aerosmith, The Beatles, Raffi, etc (laughs). I have always showed interest in all kinds of music and instruments. I, however, didn't start REALLY playing until age 16. Arrows emerged from high school bands that Pat and I were a part of and we just never let it go.
Matt: Music was always in my life from a young age so, for me, getting into playing it was just a matter of time. Finding AAD was a matter of craigslist (laughs), just looking to jump into a project and happened to stumble across these guys.
What music background/history do each of you bring to the band? Who brought what styles/influences into your music?
Matt: I grew up with a healthy balance of metal and blues. I tend to bring a busier style of play to the band.
Tim: I have always loved the energy of punk and raw rock music mixed with great melody. I bring a pretty straight up approach to most of our tunes. I don't try to over complicate or do anything too crazy. Whatever serves the song best.
What is the writing process you go through for creating music? Are there any certain things that you guys do to inspire the music process, as individuals and together as a band?
Tim: Individual goals I think are important. I know we all have them and we all write well on our own. But the new approach to writing for us is to never settle and to find our place together as four cohesive, collaborative musicians. We are constantly challenging ourselves to write parts differently, more dynamic, etc. Right when we think "oh ya that's it," we're like, "no wait! We can do this better!"
Matt: For writing it's anyone's game. Sometimes it starts with a riff or chorus idea from myself or Tim. We will then bring it to life, sharing ideas and opinions until we finish the song.
What is the recording process like for all of you? Did any of you have a hand in the recording, producing or mixing your EP, “No Place to Hide” or your LP, "Out Of Touch"?
Tim: "Out of Touch" was really quick, self produced, and very new and exciting. It was our first time in a studio and we went all out and recorded at Pachyderm. Bands such as Nirvana, Mudvayne, and Soul Asylum recorded huge records there.
"No Place to Hide" was done with Wally the Wizard at the Big Red Barn. Again, this record was really quick. Not because we were in a hurry or anything. We just spend a lot of time on pre-production and we know the value of practice before heading into the studio. This record showed progression of songwriting and going more into detail with pre-production.
Currently we're working on a new record, untitled. We've experimented with new ways of writing. Lyrics and melodies have been tweaked and refined. We've really tried to stay away from any kind of systematic approach or formula. Thus, this will be the most technical and advanced Arrows At Dawn record to date.
What gear do each of you use? Any special pieces of gear that hold significance for any of you?
Tim: I switch between a white Gibson Firebird (FYI: every drop of blood on it is real) and an Epiphone Dot. I play through a Marshall JCM 800 Lead Series w/ 4x12 cab. I don't like to run too many effects. I do use an MXR Phase 100, a Boss digital delay, and a Walrus Audio Iron Horse. I play with really thin picks typically. I have some hybrid D'Addario EPS540 ProSteels, Light Top/Heavy Bottom, 10-52."
Matt: I'm a big tube amp guy. Play a PRS through Peavy 5150 w/ 4x12 cab. Then through either a few simple pedals or the Line6 Pod. Have been rocking Dunlop 1mm Nylon picks and Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky strings for years now.
Are there any routines or rituals you all do when preparing to go on stage, individually or together as a band?
Matt: I tend to have a sock deal. It used to be brand new out of the bag before every show. I've since discovered an amazing thin black style that feels brand new after every wash. I carry a few with me. Washed and ready, for every show.
What are your favorite songs to play? Any songs that get the crowd all riled up?
Tim: "Dead in the Water" off our last record always seems to be a crowd favorite. Especially for everyone who knew the whole story behind it. As far as a favorite song goes, we have this new one, "No Turning Back" that just absolutely kills. Every time we get to a chorus it just hits you in the face. Again, there's a story behind it that just sets the stage for that chorus to light a fire under your ass.
How important is band camaraderie for you guys? Is there anything you guys do as a band to keep the music connection strong between all of you?
Tim: Absolutely huge. We don't try to force anything but we hang out as much as we possibly can. Barbecues, disc golf, video gaming, etc. Luckily it's always been very natural and easy for us. We just all get along really well. It's cool to see the more we get to know each other, the way it bleeds over into the musical side of our relationships with each other.
What is one of the hardest trials you've all gone through as a band? Do any of you have advice for musicians just starting out in the scene?
Tim: Surviving. I think any band would say that. It's tough just being a band. There's daily rejection and if you let it get to you then I guess it's over. We tend to take a tunnel vision approach to how we work. It's really a small bubble of people we work with and we like it that way.
In Loving Memory ♪ Friend & Musician ♫ Christopher Toltzman-Thompson ♪ 1982-2010
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