“Arsonists has always been a band that is old fashioned. We don’t use computers. We don’t all live all around the world. We write together and just shit out albums.”
Despite countless personnel changes over the course of their career, Santa Cruz, California’s Arsonists Get All The Girls, continue to push through and release unique albums in (roughly) two-year cycles. Earlier this year, the band announced that they would be releasing their fifth full-length studio album, titled Listen To The Color, on August 1 via Bandcamp. On top of that, one of their original vocalists, Remi Rodberg is back in the band and recorded this entire album with them.
We recently had the chance to speak with vocalist and keyboardist, Sean Richmond, about all things Listen To The Color and much more regarding the band’s career so read through to get caught up with your favorite chaos-core act, Arsonists Get All The Girls.
With the numerous member changes throughout the band’s career and now Remi being back in the picture, what state do you feel the band is in currently? Do you feel like this could be a solid line-up again for awhile?
We are stoked to have Remdog back in the picture! There is a whole new energy in the band — our live show just gets more and more wild. Having Remi back in the band gives us the feeling again of just a bunch of friends jamming in a room and drinking beers.
So Listen To The Color will be coming out August 1 through Bandcamp. I’ve seen a lot of people asking about release details. Do you have any plans for physical releases or will this be digital only?
We most definitely have plans for a sick physical release. Whether we release this record on a record label and or by ourselves there will be a physical release eventually. Maybe a few months after our Bandcamp release. We will see.
Why have you decided to release it with the “name your price” option at this point in the band’s career?
We have been a part of the industry long enough to know how certain things work, and so we decided as a band that we would try and give back something to our friends all around the world (aka our fans), and experiment with the idea of actually maintaining as a band completely on our own. Over the years we have had many different hands in our pockets. With the rise of downloading music and the over-saturation of bands in the world and with five full length albums out, why not try something new?!
What can you tell us about the album? You guys have said that you’re resurrecting your thrashy quirky roots with this release. Does that mean it’ll be similar to Hits From The Bow or will it just have some of those elements with a new sound?
Every album we have created has always had similar elements to the previous albums with constant change and evolution. Listen To The Color is most definitely a lot like Hits From The Bow but faster and revamped and our fastest material we have written. The record clocks in at 30 minutes exactly with 15 songs that all flow into one another. I just can’t wait for the world to hear this. I don’t really know how to explain it. IT’S OUT OF CONTROL! We are so stoked!
15 tracks with a 30-minute runtime?! Was that intentional when you guys began writing or is that just how it came out?
It just came out like that, we just naturally wrote together. We all have been playing music for so many years now that we all came up with so many ideas that we some how had 5 songs one day than 15 songs the next week! Arsonists has always been a band that is old fashioned. We don’t use computers. We don’t all live all around the world. We write together and just shit out albums. That is the best way I can explain our band and our writing process for this album.
As musicians and songwriters, how would you say the band has progressed since the early days?
In the early days we didn’t really know what we were doing. Hits From The Bow, The Game Of Life, we were just experimenting with a sound that had never been done before. We’ve always had so many different influences as a band. With our albums Portals and Motherland we had more of a direction in what we wanted to sound like. We wrote Portals as more of prog band and we wrote Motherland progressive but more experimental. Listen To The Color is an Arsonists record all in its self. We have really found ourselves on this one. I would say it has elements of all our records.
Do you guys have any touring plans in the works in support of the new album?
Yes! We plan on hitting the road ASAP.
As far as the guest vocalists on the album, how did you choose who to include? Just decided to bring in some friends to get involved or did you choose these specific guys for a reason?
We just decided to bring in some friends, just like on the other albums. We love our friends! We grew up with most of the guest vocalists. Cameron was on our previous albums Hits From The Bow and The Game Of Life. We’ve always wanted him to do guest vocals. This album is most definitely an AGATG celebration.
And does Garin do vocals on “Ride the Wave”? I think he’s the only member that’s been in the band since the beginning with no breaks, right? Has he ever been involved with vocals on the records before? How did it come up that he would be contributing? I picture one of those bits in a music-based movie where the character like never talks then one day starts singing unexpectedly when they need someone in an emergency situation and he turns out to have a beautiful voice and everyone is blown away.
Im sitting here with Garin and we are just cracking up because we had so much fun when we recorded that. Yes, Garin does vocals on that song! It’s his first time he has ever recorded vocals on a song, besides gang vox.
We planned on having everybody in the band doing a vocal part but it only came down to the G-Man. We wrote the vocal track in the car while blazing massive bowls and is all about touring and loving your friends! “Ride The Wave” is a silver surfer vaporizer reference.
Can you tell us anything specifically about any of the tracks on the album? Maybe some new styles fans of AGATG may not be used to from you guys?
[laughs] We always try to outdo ourselves in one way or another on every album. I’d say there are some different styles fused in there, but I couldn’t tell you because that would ruin why we write the music we do.
Why did you guys end up leaving Century Media? Was the contract just up after Motherland or was it something else?
We had a great relationship with CM, they treated us like family. We did however fulfill our contract with them and decided to go our separate ways.
Had you guys considered using something like Kickstarter to help fund this album? Many bands now rely on those platforms to release music, but how were you guys able to do it yourselves?
Yes, we considered using Kickstarter — we still might in the future. Kickstarter seems like a great way to get your band a van or to get back on the road, but for an experimental band like us with five previous albums, [laughs]- if our fans have stuck around this long then they at least deserve to pay whatever they want for our album.
So it looks like you guys just have one guitarist now? How did that affect the new album?
Yes, Jaeson is our only gitbox player now. He is one the craziest guitarists ive ever seen! Jaeson wrote all the guitar parts for Listen to the Color and we all collaborated on structuring the record like usual.
What would you say has kept AGATG together all this time through thick and thin?
A friendship that goes beyond music.
Anything else you’d like to add that we didn’t cover?
Our original bass player Patrick Jones’ little brother, Ethan Jones, will be doing the artwork for Listen to the Color. RIP, Pat.
Written and conducted by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter