Mathieu Lubrun of post metallic sludge hardcore band ARMS OF RA has once again teamed up with IDIOTEQ to talk about the band and their new upcoming farewell EP, recorded in late 2013 with Cyrille Gachet (from Bagarre Générale, who collaborated with YEAR OF NO LIGHT, THE GREAT OLD ONES), mastered by Brad Boatright from Audiosiege (NAILS, SLEEP, OATHBREAKER, etc.), and to be released by the band on vinyl and cassette. Taste “Theophobia”, the intense, technically heavy opening track for the upcoming EP “Cure”, read the full story below and stay tuned for a tastefully crafted an excellent piece of dark, sludgy and atmospheric post metal. It will put you in a trance-like state. See for yourself.
ARMS OF RA is a postcore / sludge / hardcore band from Paris. Formed in 2007 by Pierre-Alain Roset, Heddy and Pierre Caramia, they were later joined by Mathieu Lubrun and Simon Roger after several line-up change. They released a self titled EP in 2009 independently which was later reissued by Swarm of Nails. Heddy quit the band around the time but the band decided to continue as a four piece. They then started working on a follow-up which came out in 2011 under the name of Unnamed on Swarm of Nails record. Feeling dissatisfied with having only one guitar, the band recruited Philippe Khallian, also from Lost in Kiev, on bass while Pierre Alain moved back to playing guitar. After a few month, Philippe decided to quit and was replaced by Heddy. The five “original” member went on to work on a new EP. The songs were recorded in late 2013 and the new EP will come out soon. / Blitzr
Mathieu! Long time, no see! How have you and ARMS OF RA been since 2012?
Hi ! Since 2012 our friend Heddy who had left the band before Unnamed has come back on bass towards the end of 2012. We also played some shows around France and made some new friends. We then started to work on a new EP but it quickly appeared that it would be our last for a while since our guitarist, and main songwriter, was going to leave France for New Orleans. I also decided to go live in London around the same time. We started to plan our respective moves but did our best to create some great songs and I think we achieved that. Towards the end of 2013 we recorded our EP, Cure, with Cyrille Gachet (from Bagarre Générale and who worked with YEAR OF NO LIGHT, THE GREAT OLD ONES) and it was then mastered by Brad Boatright from Audiosiege (who worked on albums by NAILS, SLEEP, OATHBREAKER…). Before Pierre Alain and myself left France we played an intimate shows with friends of the band at Heddy’s home in the suburbs of Paris, played some MISFITS covers and gave a proper goodbye to everyone. I don’t know if it’s the end of the band forever but I know that these guys will remain my brothers forever. Now we also have something to offer to the people who enjoyed our previous albums, but also something that will probably make some new heads turn around.
Has this record been in your cellar for 1,5 year now? What are your plans to finally reveal it?
Yes, the record took that long to release because we are now spread all over the world. Both of us had also to adjust to our new lives abroad which took a bit of time, hence the delay. We plan on putting out the album on vinyl in the upcoming month and on cassette afterwards. We will first release a teaser, than a complete song to let people know about it. Hopefully, people who liked the first two release will enjoy this one even more.
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How have these past 3 years affected you guys as a band? Have you developed any side projects that kept you focused on non-ARMS OF RA activities? Was it tough reestablishing the band’s chemistry?
I sung on the first album from NEKKRAL, a doom/sludge band from the ex guitarist of ANANDA and Simon kept playing bass in LODGES. Heddy also developped his DJING and started recording music on his own which led him to contribute an instrumental track for the EP. At the same time we continued working on ARMS OF RA’s music but since we work very slowly we wrote our songs and perfected them until we recorded them and even added things during the recording. We are all very good friends so it was not hard to reconnect. There was no issue with Heddy rejoining the band as we had kept in touch with him. We are all very level headed individuals and even if we disagree on a lot of things we are capable of writing music together.
With the new recording, is it a continuation or the next chapter of ARMS OF RA? Both music and content wise, how are your older and newest recordings related?
It is still us and I don’t think we could be able to do something else as a collective. Basically, we decided that we wanted to write slower songs for this one so two of the songs on this EP are sludgier and more evil sounding than anything we have done before. Of course, since we have also had a more hardcore side, there is a faster song on this, but it’s still quite heavy. We have not changed, turned straight edge and started writing youth crew songs.
Finally, as far as the subject matter of the lyrics are concerned, I continued in the path of impersonating people’s point of view and each track are told through the view point of people I don’t agree with, to put it mildly.
Does it mean there are more or less the same things that inspire you today as they did when you were working on “Unnamed” EP?
Yes, the EP is in continuity with Unnamed although it does sound quite different. With Unnamed we tried doing something quite complex for our level as musicians, which turned out be quite complicated once we went into the studio. We had to rewrite a lot of things because we realized they didn’t sound as good as we thought they would. Therefore, it was quite a stressful experience and we decided to create something more in line with what were capable of on our first EP while retaining the more visceral intensity of the songs on Unnamed. Hence the longer songs and sludgier tone. However, we also managed to incorporate new ideas in our music and this EP will sound very different from what we did before.
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What do you want people to think when they dive into your newest offering?
That they are about to hear a heavy album with strange melodies and disgusting vocals.
Haha, great! Are there any plans to play some live shows? What else can we expect from the band now that you’re back?
There won’t probably be any live shows since most of us live so far apart that it is impossible to rehearse together. But, never say never, we could maybe one day get together and write songs. However, there is nothing planned. We just plan on releasing the album and on promoting it as much as we can.
Are you still connected to Swarm Of Nails Records?
We are still in touch with Kevin but we decided to release this EP by ourselves because we wanted to do a vinyl version and a cassette one. Also, since we won’t be touring to promote the album, nobody was interested in putting it out, which suited us just fine, so we did everything but it took quite a long time to get things going properly due to lack of resources (time and money, as usual).
Ok Mathieu, so let’s take a broader look for a minute. How do you as an artist stay interested? Is it hard for you to stimulate creative work? What’s the goal?
No, there is always inspiring art or just inspiring friends to make you want to create more. I don’t see creating and writing as being difficult, it’s being good at it that is difficult and this is why things are happening slowly with ARMS OF RA. We just want to put out something we are proud of. I don’t think we will ever be completely satisfied of anything since we all have different opinions but at least we are happy with the results and want people to get something from the song we create.
Cool! Thanks so much for your time! Is there anything else that we haven’t covered which you’d like to add?
Thank you very much. We will make the album available as soon as they are available from the pressing plant. We are all looking forward to hear what people have to say about it but regardless we are very happy with the results.