Modern Fix

A.R.E. WEAPONS – interview by farr

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I awoke following my St. Patrick’s night parade in a quandary. Paralyzed from the night before, I felt sedentary but I had an interview around 4:30, which required my utmost semi-sober attention. I had yet to move and in fact I lacked the energy to even roll over and saturate my gravely dehydrated body. I pondered as to whether I could make it through an interview without puking. Would these weapons of the NYC underground understand my drunken predicament? I conjured up the strength, crawled to the phone, dialed long distance and then…

“So what are three things I’d find in your pocket right now?” I asked Matt of A.R.E. Weapons. With a comedic scoff he said something about a lighter, cigarettes and something he wasn’t willing to disclose. Matt’s a part of an interesting trio consisting of himself on guitar/bass/vocals and Brain on beats/vocals, with management held down by Paul. As Matt would say, “Paul’s a good businessman”, tending to all the finite details which keep these cats rocking shows and distributing free alcohol. Yup…you go see A.R.E. Weapons and you’re gonna get free beer(if they can afford it, so go see a show and donate so there’ll be free beer for all, come on we’re working for a drug-free America), freedom to dance and break if ya got it in ya, oh, and um…possibly free violence and drugs. Matt left me with the impression that you’re gonna get an all-around entertaining experience designed to motivate physical movement. They want you fuckers jumping around and getting down. They rotated between warehouses, art galleries and shady clubs/bars on a campaign of musical benevolence, pushing a demo that eventually sold 10,000 copies. Rough Trade Records signed them based this demo release which apparently the label desired to release it to no avail. (Rough Trade’s got a knack for the obscure and talented on their label, just reference those Moldy Peaches on their “who’s got the crack” track).

With dance hall and turntables largely influencing their chaotic sound, A.R.E. Weapons have sought to separate themselves from an industry, which Matt feels continually produces bands that lean on other bands. Both Matt and Brain spin at various spots when they’re not polluting the airwaves with their vicious digital A.R.E. sound. They have this distorted electrically manipulated quality to their self-titled release (for a review of A.R.E. Weapons’ latest release on Rough Trade records refer to this month’s CD Reviews). As I probed into the origin of their sound, I discovered these patrons of the NYC underground were not as I thought: gutter punks giving a big fuck you to the world with distorted guitars, synthesizers and keyboards; they were artists giving a big fuck you to the world with distorted guitars, synthesizers and keyboards.

Utilizing the influence of city life, Matt exudes his experiences through a progressive style of not only entertaining but also producing appealing music. The lyrics to “HeadBanger Face” give you the necessary insights into what it’s about being a Weapon. This track has got remarkable range, providing the listener with a barrage of climatic build-ups. “Changes” is a track giving A.R.E. Weapons the validity they deserve, ’cause it’s those Changes that make me not want to give back any of that shit I stole (I wonder if A.R.E Weapons ever gave back any of that shit they stole, no… probably not). There’s a lot of mischievous curiosity that envelops you as you listen to their music, and its no wonder there at the forefront of the NYC underground resurgence.

It would be frivolous to deny them air space (cause they don’t give a shit anyway); they’ll ram it down your throats till you have no choice but to feed on it.