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Arch Echo

Toen ik het self-titled debuut album van Arch Echo beluisterde raakte ik meteen onder de indruk van dit werkstuk, wat wel interessant is gezien ik toch wel voorkeur geef aan muziek met vocalen. Het album bevat goed geschreven liedjes, interessante melodieën en indrukwekkende instrumentale partijen. Het mag duidelijk zijn dat de Amerikanen een ontzettend toffe plaat gemaakt hebben! Ik zocht contact met de band om wat meer van ze te weten te komen, er is namelijk maar vrij weinig bekend gezien ze pas net begonnen zijn. Gitarist Adam Rafowitz nam wat tijd om mijn vragen te beantwoorden.

Door: Leon | Archiveer onder prog / sympho metal

Before we start I would like to say that your self-titled album was one of the best debut albums that I’ve ever listened to! On Bandcamp the album was released somewhere in May, what has been the response to the album so far?
Well firstly, thank you for having us on this interview and for the extremely kind words. Since the album’s debut, in May last year, we’ve received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. Our fan base has gone from nothing to a large amount in less than a year, and they are the coolest people for enjoying our music and our personalities. We are very happy that listeners have embraced our sound. We just want to write and release music that is enjoyable to us and so again, we are grateful.

I guess that many people haven’t heard of you (yet), would you mind giving us a little bit of a background on how the band was formed?
The band was formed in mid 2016 as a collaboration of what was supposed to be two separate solo projects for Adam Rafowitz and Joey Izzo. Adam and Joey decided it was more fun to unite their talents in a band context rather than to go solo. The Adams and Joes all met at Berklee, and Adam Bentley met Richie through a mutual friend who connected them when they moved to Nashville. Izzo and Rafowitz had originally talked to Bentley and Calderone about forming a band, but we were in search of a drummer. Luckily Richie just happened to be looking to join a Progressive Metal Band. And just like that, Arch Echo was formed.

How did you approach the songwriting? Was it always the intention from the start to do instrumental progressive metal with jazz influences?
The intent was always to be instrumental progressive metal. We enjoy elements of fusion, prog rock, metal, and many other styles. When we combined our tastes, we wrote what is heard on the record.

Did you ever consider looking for a vocalist?
We have not. Maybe we will consider having features, but as of now no permanent member is being sought.

While I was listening to the album I was reminded by quite a few artists, like Plini and Snarky Puppy, but what stood out to me is that, despite the reminders, you clearly have your own sound. Were there artists that inspired you during the writing process? How did you stay true to your sound?
The album was a blank canvas. As each member has their own color, so to speak, we took that palate and created a painting that is purely our own. We stay true to our sound by doing just that, staying true to ourselves and how we play and perceive sound, and the construction of music.

band image

If I’m not mistaken you didn’t sign with a record label but have released the album yourself. From my own experience I know that this can be a lot of work, what made you decide not sign-up with a label but to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself?
Yes, it is true that we are an independent band. However, that is not to say we would not partner with a label. We do believe that hard work, and dedication are ingredients of success. In addition, with it being the modern world and social media being such a powerful tool, artists can pave their own path. Plus, the more waves we create, the better our chances of negotiation are for future ventures with labels.

The music industry has changed quite dramatically in the last decades. Generally speaking, people aren’t buying albums anymore but go to Spotify or Deezer instead. This means that it’s harder for bands to make a living from music, but also that your music is widely available. What do you think of this change? Good, bad or somewhere in between?
It is what it is, and as a musical artist you either have to be ready to adapt or go home. Luckily for us, the progressive community seems to be really supportive of the artists that they like and they’ve treated us very well. Overall the business model in music more heavily relies on touring, and it is great that the internet, Spotify, YouTube all help to spread the word of our band and bring people out to our shows.

I noticed that you guys are from America’s heart of music, Nashville, however, I always thought that only country artists are located there? If that’s the case, how do you arrange gigs and such?
Three of our members live in Nashville while the other two live farther up north, which means if we get together to play we’re going to hit some cities. When we arrange gigs, we arrange a tour where we can visit our fans where they are. Parts of Nashville are more geared towards country artists in a way, but that just means we’re not going to play downtown for tips in a bar.

You just came back from a tour throughout the United States, was this your first tour ever? How was it?
This was the first Arch Echo tour ever, and for some of our members, their first tour as well. The tour was great, and it was a wonderful experience meeting some of our fans across the country and seeing how much they enjoyed our music.

Do you have any plans on touring in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands?
Our eye is on Europe and we hope to make it across the pond by summer of next year.

So, what’s next for Arch Echo?
Album two. We’re re hard at work crafting new material for the next Arch Echo album.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Please stop calling our guitarist Mark Zuckerberg. If we really created Facebook we would use our influence to sponsor an Arch Echo ad on everyone’s page forever and we would have three billion fans. Just kidding, we’re really happy to see how our music was received and hope to see you all on the road soon! The fans make this journey worth it every time.

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