Arrows of Love
Jac Bond 10/10/2008
Not a day goes by without some brand spanking new music sensation being brought to our attention through all manner of mediums. Barraging our weary senses with seemingly nonstop advertising, selling the artist or band's 'very now' and 'must buy' wares. Of course 'very now' is predictable regurgitating of 'same old'. The bombardment of marketing hype can breed comercialised and over-exposed tripe.
So Imagine this: a band with no managers, no PR peddlers, no media promotion team and definitely no fucking mobilephone ringtones. Just a group of like minded individuals with an ear for genuine music, an ethos of nonmanifacture and a resolve for plastic-pop.
Relying on spreading their sound on its own merit, word-of-mouth and the independent media they are getting ready to enter the British music scene - where individually they've already experianced success.
I met with Arrows of Love lead snger Nima to hear what the non-hype is all about
You used to be lead singer for Hush the Many (Heed the Few) why did it come to an end?
Man I could write chapters on it and it's pretty early in the morning for that.
Ok, how was Arrows of Love formed?
Well, Hush the Many (Heed the Few) ending was like a weight lifted. I felt pretty inspired and there were all these gig offers coming in so it felt like a good time to call around my friends and see who else was itching. It came together real quick and naturally, within 2 weeks actually, and the energy was good everyone feeling up for something. I guess we shared wavelengths on what we liked and what we were feeling sick of in most music that's around right now.
What's your opinion on the current music scene?
It just seems like 96% of live music here right now is either generic Indie, Folk or pretend Punk, just painting by numbers - and that's just boring. People singing with nothing to sing about, music that's overproduced glossed over crap, treading unimaginative patterns… and record companies salivating over their meat-pack products, shouting about each new act they sign as 'the new Bob Dylan' or the new something else… hijacking names as brands to push stuff they don't even like but they think will sell.
Yeah I guess all in all it's going pretty well right now!
Seriously though, I guess it's inspiring in that it teaches us exactly what not to be and fires up enough bristling rage to make us do what we want to do.
Don't get me wrong, there are a few good bands out there living it and doing stuff that's reactionary and bold…those bands are like shining beacons in vast oceans of black water.
Fuck. Glad you got that off your chest. Whose decision was it to liberate Arrows of Love from the usual trappings of music management?
It was just nice to strip everything away and start afresh. No red tape, no permissions needed for decisions, no extra links in chains - just being a band and a bunch of people doing something together and keeping it pure.
I know working with people can be good and maybe if we get the moment where stuff feels right we will again, but right now it's just refreshing being in charge of ourselves.
The band's name derives from William Blake's 'Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Great Albion' does Blake inspire a lot of the band's songs?
I'd say the relationship with William Blake is more one of resonance than inspiration. I discovered his existence a long time after I'd started writing and just felt like there was this guy from a different time and place writing about the same things I was humbly wording in my own little world.
Anyway, yeah his work is inspiring, as are a lot of things all around, but I couldn't say there are any direct poet-to-song inspirations I can think of in Arrows of Love.
How would you describe AoL's sound, does it differ to HtM(HtF)'s?
Well the line-up's got Electric Guitars, Cello, Drums, Synth, Bass, Voices and a bit of Acoustic Guitar - with a little swapping of instruments on stage. It's a pretty broad palette and we get to make a lot of different sounds.
The differences to Hush the Many are more of an energy thing. The guitars are harder, more direct, the drums are straighter, the synths are a total new dimension, but even in the instruments that happen to be the same there's just a different energy....like we can play a song that Hush the Many used to play but the guys just make it their own, it's inspiring.
AoL consists of high profile musicians with band members from Jamie T, Kid Harpoon and Eraserheads - do you think they will help achieve cult status, and beyond?
Ha ha, cult status!...
Ha ha ha....
(copius ammounts of laughter)
Ok then. What are the plans for the official launch party in the Scala on 14th October, who's supporting?
It's awesome. It's all friends. And just like everything else it's a natural thing that's come together with no politics, no agents, no crap...
Ed Harcourt's coming to play in his secret side project called Wild Boar, they're way more growly guitarry than a lot of people know. His brilliant sense of humour really comes across. It's got a metal tinge and there's a song where he sings "My baby's got a monster truck, she'll drive all over your soul".
Beans on Toast is also playing, he's a guy called Jay, who stands on a chair in his scruffy way, sings songs that are funny and point out a lot of stuff that we all notice in the everyday, but brilliantly. Jay can make me cry with laughter.
The Eraserheads are going to do a set which is cool 'cos they grunge it up and do it in a real pure way. Luis is singing in this one and I'm a fan.
….and there's gonna be an after-party. We're keeping the location secret until on the night.
It's being hosted by Goldierocks and the Goldierocks' Soundsystem. She's fucking amazing. She really knows how to put on a good party. Also our friends Simon, the head of the End of the Road Festival, and Honeyweazel - which is two awesome individuals by the name of Aaron & Hagop - they're gonna do DJ sets with her.
The after-show's in a smaller venue than the Scala, so I hope the people that don't mind trekkin' out on a school night can all get in.
When's your first single set for release?
I think we'll release it in late November. There are a couple of options at the moment; I'll wait 'till we've decided before I shout about it. We'll probably know by the time we play the Scala and give everyone a heads up.
Do you have a myspace / facebook account for AoL, or are you steering clear of commercial-owned social networking for promotion?
Actually yeah we've been avoiding it for a couple of months. Apart from being in no rush to join the hordes of 'love us, love us' bands, it's been pretty nice just staying in a creative headspace, not checking our comments or how many friends we got.
But we're just starting to set them up so by the time this interview goes out we'll probably have them for purely practical purposes, so the people who happen to like what we do can see where we're playing next.
Any tours in the pipeline?
Succinctly does it. How about a job interview question like where do you see AoL in 5 years time?
Eating mash. Do I get the job?
No. We're looking for strictly pie eaters. Out of all the gigs you've been to this year which was the best you've witnessed?
Radiohead playing to 200 of us at 93 ft East.
Ronan Keating (apparently a Radiohead fan) recently commented that Thom Yorke is an 'idiot' what are your thoughts on that?
Ha ha, what the hell!?
Ronan Keating does not exist in my world.
Let's keep it that way
Really? I thought he'd be an inspiration. And finally…
If your band was a packet of crisps what flavour would they be and why?
Cool Original Doritos 'cos we're a maize-based nacho snack with a chemical coating which makes your insides bleed when you eat too much.
... I was endorsed by them to say that of course...
GIITTV is giving away two free tickets to the debut headline performance from Arrows of Love in the Scala, Kings Cross, London October 14th (and the *ahem* hush hush after-party, in a venue to be announced on the night).
To get your mits on these exclusive tickets and make your own mind up about the band's songs simply answer this piss simple question:
In which former group was Nima lead vocalist? Was it
A/Hush the Many (Heed the Few)
C/ Doritos' Cool original flavour crisps
Answers on a postcard (email) to email@example.com
W Jac Bond
P Joseph Lee