UTG @ MIXTAPE FEST: A Loss For Words Look Back On Their Journey As They Bid Their Fans Goodbye

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The energy level in any room is heightened and amplified with the presence of Matty Arsenault, A Loss For Words’ lead vocalist. He quickly jumped right to conversation, describing the interesting night they’ve just had as we got to sit down with him before their set at Today’s Mixtape Festival in Patchogue, NY.

Below, Arsenault talks about the band’s fifteen-year journey and its upcoming bittersweet end.

The band, despite being accustomed to the inner workings of a musician’s life at a very young age, never saw the whole ride as a business. “We were literally little kids with skateboards who wanted to play music,” Arsenault shared as he recalled all the way back to 1999.

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(Photo by Amber James)

“Around the time we put out The Kids Can’t Lose, we took out a $15,000 loan and did the record ourselves. We booked a tour on our own and tried to get our stuff out there. I remember getting a million plays on MySpace at one point. That’s when our family and friends started recognizing that this was actually going to be a real thing.”

Selling out shows in their hometown of Boston, MA signaled the beginning of a new era for the band, who then were all in their early twenties around this time. A Loss For Words has played alongside established musicians in the industry, including Streetlight Manifesto, The Wonder Years, The Ghost Inside, Dance Gavin Dance, and many more, as well as numerous runs on the Vans Warped Tour.

When asked what they expected to come of their career, Arsenault points out that all they had from the very beginning was a huge passion for making music with good company. He mentioned walking around with Mike Adams (bassist), handing out CDs to kids at school, never really expecting much out of it. “We just enjoyed spreading the word around about our music.”

Having hit the road extensively over the past few years, Arsenault was bound to have a favorite city. “We sold out a venue in Tokyo in 2009. It was our first time there. That was fucking insane to us,” he shares. The band is scheduled to head back one last time next month.

In the summer of 2014, ALFW announced that they are parting ways by the end of 2015. “There wasn’t really any particular event that set off the decision, it was kind of just the natural progression of things.” Arsenault, now 31, explains that majority of their decisions have been based around the fact that they are all growing older and their personal lives–as opposed to the music–have started to become their primary focus. “People are getting married, starting new lives. That’s how these things go.” Arsenault has also been managing musicians; PVRIS being one of his clients. “They’re my babies. Well, not really babies anymore. They’ve grown up on me so quickly.”

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(Lynn Gunn of PVRIS with A Loss For Words on their last day of Warped Tour)

When asked what one of his favorite things about being in the band was, he shares, “I’ve got so much love for the punk/hardcore scene. I don’t think I’ll ever lose the feeling of seeing bands like H20, The Movielife, American Nightmare, etc. I always feel the same way I felt when I was fifteen. You can’t get that feeling anywhere else.” He also adds, “A lot of the kids who made fun of me in high school would tell me how cool it is that I’ve been all around the world playing music.”

The band has a few songs they plan to release before they wrap it up in December. They will also be hitting more cities one last time. We asked him what he would tell kids who look up to them today. “Well, first of all, don’t look up to us,” he jokes. “But honestly, you just have to enjoy it. Screw the money. If you’re not having fun playing music, it’s not even worth it. Regardless of if you’re playing to two people or a thousand people, you should be giving it your all. Respect and appreciate the community, too. Everyone makes the community what it is.”

“Show love to every single piece of the puzzle.” That’s what it’s all about.

You can catch A Loss For Words one last time this Fall/Winter. Tour dates can be found here.

Dana Reandelar

If not hunched over her desk writing about music, Dana can be found binge-watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls or condensing long rants to 140 characters. She also writes for Idobi Radio, and is an Off The Record podcast contributor.
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