Elos Arma Interview

Are modest mouse a big influence for you guys?
Not exactly. They definitely fall under the extensive list of bands that we do listen to although they’ve never taken the forefront in our musical lives as far as influences go. If you’ve ever known a band who writes to sound like one of their favourite artists, when we write it’s the exact opposite, we let the sound find itself, sans influence.

Did you mean to make the title similar to one of their albums?Why did you use this title?
When I came up with that name for the album I had never heard of the modest mouse title before in my life until Jon pointed it out to me. I’m not an avid modest mouse fan, I’ve never bothered to even download an album (if that gives you an idea).I figured that both were in completely different context and that the modest mouse title was a little too ironic for me. ‘good news for people who like bad news’? That means what, good news must actually be bad news for those people, oh wow! I don’t know. The title ‘good news for bad people’ just emphasized a general underlying theme, the irony that in our lives sometimes the purest people get the most shit; the weak, the poor, the compassionate, the truthful, and how in this hierarchical society that we live in, the less decency you have it seems the further and more successful you can be.

Who are your influences?
We listen to a ridiculously broad variety music, hip-hop, rap, electronic stuff, as well as the heavier stuff and everything in-between. For that reason it’s hard to pinpoint our exact influence as far as musical artists go. I’ve always listened to brand new, bright eyes, and radiohead for as long as i can remember. Jesse Lacey and Conor Oberst are two contemporary writers that I’ve developed tremendous respect for.

So the old band Caldwell was more hardcore than this?
Yes, it was a post-hardcore band. We didn’t exactly fit the cookie cutter example of what defines a hardcore band these days, but that was our scene for three years before this band.
We definitely enjoy what we’re doing now the most or else we’d still be doing caldwell. There are certain aspects of the hardcore scene that we miss, a constant high energy level, crazy intense crowds consisting mostly of dudes (we don’t miss a larger male demographic per-say), but we’ve definitely taken a part of that post-hardcore mentality into this band, and the live show hasn’t toned down in the least bit.

Why did you decide to alternate your styles... were you following the trend in the scene or did your tastes just happen to develop that way as well?
There were many factors that brought about the change in style, although it wasn’t a change as much as it was an honing of style. One of the first people i showed our music too told me it was like we had taken the best parts of caldwell and transformed it into this band. I guess one reason was that we were just tired of the hardcore scene. It had become more about status and cliques and every band seemed to be writing the exact same type of music and for some reason it seemed as though we were being scrutinized for changing it up a little. We didn’t have a breakdown or or a 2-step section every 20 seconds in every song, for the sake of musical integrity and our own creative freedom. But hardcore doesn’t have a grey area, you’re either heavy as shit, or you’re not, and if you listen to “melodic hardcore” with singing parts you don’t truly love heavy music enough to devote your entire musical pallet to it. It’s fad or a fashion half of the time for angst-riddled teens, which is cool because i was there too and that was the music that filled up some of the most important years of my life and i still listen to it. We also experienced the loss of a member and it didn’t feel right to continue without one of the founding members for ethical reasons. Aside from the politics, these songs were ideas we all had on the back-burner and we just decided to try it out one day and it happened to be one of the most organic creative processes one could ask for.

What would you say is the perfect description for the music you're making now?
Progressive ; progressivism is a political attitude favoring or advocating changes or reform – our music is the tactful impregnation of sound with cohesive dynamics. ‘Naw sayin’?

What bands would you compare yourselves to? "If you like ______ you'll love us"
the beatles.

Are you boys on drugs?
We’re high on life.

Do your song titles have any meaning/relation to the songs?
Yes, they’re related to the themes of the songs, in nifty-clever-only we know-sort of way.

When can I see you next in Toronto?
We’re at the hard luck bar Dec. 16th and at Supermarket Dec. 30th playing with our friends in The Box Tiger.

Big plans for the future? Touring, working on new songs or anything?
We’ve already written a handful of new songs and plan to record each of them and possibly do a series of different releases.