So I have a confession to make. I am smitten with this band. From their back story to the inspiration behind their new album, I am just downright smitten.These California boys have it all: brains (NYU graduates), wit (they chose to graduate rather than leave early to tour), and originality in an industry that is becoming all too cookie cutter. Mickey Church has lived the true Cinderella fairy tale; compare living in a dorm in Upstate, New York to a home ruled by an evil stepmother but instead of becoming a princess he becomes an indie sensation overnight. And although no one was showing up at his doorstep with a lost crystal slipper, they we're offering him record deals, Europe tours, and begging him to produce more music. Which is, in my eyes, better than some shoe that if you really think about it, would shatter under any form of pressure, let alone ballroom dancing...I digress. Well anyways, I had the pleasure to chat with Mickey Church, lead singer and founder of White Arrows. With the release of their new album, "In Bardo" eminent and an upcoming show in Denver opening for The Neighbourhood, I was all but eager to get his take on some things. Check out a song from their new album, "In Bardo" here: http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/05/listen-white-arrows-new-track-leave-it-alone/ and also make sure you catch them at The Ogden Theatre on June, 25th.
So I've heard a little bit about your background as a band, but can you elaborate on how you actually got started in this industry?
It happened accidentally when I was at school in NYU, we recorded a song and put it up online. Pretty soon all these blogs were featuring it and then Nylon Magazine posted it and all the sudden people in he UK were contacting me and asking to represent us.
Seems pretty crazy, considering bands these days are throwing themselves at agencies and record companies trying to get noticed. How was it recording your first album and getting started?
Basically what happened when I moved back to LA is we were trying to figure everything out. We were getting offered tours and all these shows, but we barely had any songs recorded or they were just recorded in bits and pieces. So, in between tours we would record songs at our houses and it all seemed pretty nonlinear. For this new album, we were actually able to record it all at once and as a result it feels more cohesive and more us. We've been doing this for 2-4 years now, it just took us a little while to get our sound down.
How did you come up with a name like, "In Bardo"? I've only listened to the first song, "Leave It Alone" but tell me a little about this album and this song in particular?
In the Tibetan Book of the dead there are 6 bardos that you have to pass through in order to achieve peace in the afterlife. "In Bardo" literally means transition, which parallels us getting to the point that we are at now with our music. It is a lot darker and heavier than the first album, an embodiment of where we are at now with producing music. This album is really a cohesive piece rather than just a collection of songs, a real common thread between events in our life and our music progression. Our first song on the album, "Leave it Alone" is an example of what the album has to offer, it is heavy and frantic at points and also get ethereal at the same time.
You've been on a lot of tours and played a lot of different venues, where has been your favorite place to play?
Coachella was pretty mind blowing, being from SoCal that's like the festival you go to growing up. I've been going to coachella as a fan since I was 13, I would sneak in with my brother. Playing there as a performer and even just getting in legally is pretty amazing. It's like summer camp for bands, you get to see people you haven't seen in a long time and you get to meet people you're fans of at the same time.
What inspires you to make music?
Lots of artists, I really like surrealist painters like Salvador Dali and the expressionist movement. Lots of old movies, books, and Alice Cooper circa the1970s.
So we are both Southern California natives, what is your favorite Mexican restaurant and beach?
Esquela Taqueria has the best taco, hands down. My favorite beach is Break Water in Venice. It's super old school, you have people walking down the boardwalk in speedos, rollerbladers with huge boom boxes, and body builders. It really hasn't changed since 1974, it's awesome.
Anything you want to add?
At the show there will be a lot of new songs mixed in with some old, some pretty cool visuals, and just a lot of fun stuff going on.
While we patiently await the release of their new album make sure you make it to their show, tickets can be purchased at: http://www.axs.com/events/250660/the-neighbourhood-tickets?aff=usaffsongkick