Arcwelder Mini Interview (playing Shellac's ATP)

Tuesday 21st August, 2012

Name Of Band: Arcwelder

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Year Formed: 1987

Bio: We're all from Minneapolis. The band started out in 1988 under the name tiltawhirl. Rob and Scott had been playing together in bands for a couple of years before that (not that anyone has/had heard of them). Basically, at the first practice was the first time Bill had ever played electric guitar. Our first single (Pint of Blood b/w Define My Life) came out in 1988. It was self produced, self-packaged and self-distributed.  I think 500 copies were pressed. We then put out two records on the Minneapolis label Big Money Inc. The first was 'This' in 1990. As it was being released, we were sued by the manufacturer of the Tilt-a-Whirl carnival ride and we were forced to change our name. Under time pressure (14 days or we would be taken to court), we decided on Arcwelder, which was/is the title of an instrumental on the record. The initial release of 'This' contains a disclaimer sticker written up by the lawyers about the lack of affiliation between the manufacturer and the band, etc. (...continued here)

Do your best to describe the sound of your band in one sentence:

We play rock music.

What are the most recent activities of your band?  

Since Bill is now living in Singapore it has been difficult to get together and play. We played a few shows in Minneapolis last year, including one with Wire, but certainly not as much as we have in the past.
How excited are you to play this event? 

We are always excited to play. If we are not excited about a show we do not do it. This is one of the advantages of not having the band be our only source of income. Having said that, ATP is a pretty amazing event for us.

Do you have a connection with Shellac / an idea why you were chosen to play?

We have pictures. Actually, we have been friends with the members of Shellac for many years.In the early days we played many shows with Todd's previous band Rifle Sport, and we have known Steve and Bob since the early 90's. Bob engineered our last three records.

Which of your releases do you feel ATP attendees should check out first?

Most people seem to think "Pull" is the best record. (listen on Spotify) It is very hard for us to pick, but that is as good a place to start as any.

Is there one of your tracks you think specifically represents you best?

Wow - not really. Do any bands answer this? [Editor: Yes.]

Are there any other currently confirmed bands you're excited about seeing?

Pretty much all of them. Scott is especially excited to see The Ex and intrigued by seeing the Membranes live. We always enjoy seeing Wire and Mission of Burma and, of course, Shellac.

If you were curating, name three bands you'd want to play your event...

Scott says: 

The Magic Band

If you could pick one record release in the last year which would you recommend?

Scott again:  Za! - Megaflow. They have the right amount of weirdness combined with their ability to rock out.

What have your previous experiences at ATP been like? Any favourite memories?

We played both 2002 and 2004 at Camber Sands and both were among the best experiences we have had as a band.
Rob:  Mission of Burma, the Fall, Wire, Melt Banana, Oxes, and having members of Rachel's play with us in 2002.
Scott:  My favorite memories include seeing The Fall from the side of the stage, seeing great sets from Blonde Redhead, Melt Banana and the Danielson Famile, seeing Mogwai for the first time, rehearsing with Rachel's in their chalet, and snickering at cans of Spotted Dick at the Convenience Store.  And as a spectator at ATP LA, seeing amazing sets by The Magic Band, The Stooges and The Contortions


Arcwelder play ATP's Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Shellac this December, on sale now.