ARMORS – Band Interview

IMG_1840 (1)NOTE: Since the publication of this article, the band has shrunk from a 5-piece down to three. The photo for this article has been changed at the band’s request, and the members have been noted below. Please enjoy this new this new track from ARMORS. Thanks for reading!
You all know we’re always looking for new music. indie/alt accepts new

suggestions on what to listen to like generous tips. If you know someone we don’t, please. Go to our About page and send us a name.

Recently, we’ve gotten a few we just had to check out. ARMORS is one of the latest. In the email we received, we were told ARMORS was a SoCal band who had worked with none other than Adam Castilla on their latest single, “Parasite”. The song was also mastered by Brian Lucey, who’s worked with Arctic Monkeys and The Black Keys. A definite bonus.

“Parasite” was the first track we listened to. It’s no wonder the song got over 10,000 plays in less than a week after it’s premiere on KROQ. It’s amazing! It’s a jam! And you can listen to it here.

After going through a little more of ARMORS music, we decided it was time to have a chat with them. We asked them a few questions about their band, their process, their music, and more.

Introduce the members of the band. Where are you from?

Olen Kittelsen – Lead Vocals – Lake Forest, CA
Sam Beresford – Keyboard – Irvine, CA
Jacob Berger – Guitar – Irvine, CA
Kody Buxton – Bass – Torrance, CA

Tyler Mathews – Drums – Murrieta, CA

What’s your earliest memory of playing music? Where did you get your start in music?

Olen: My Dad is a music therapist, so from a very early age, he would take me out to the nursing homes he played. When I inherited my first drum kit from an older cousin, I began playing and singing along with him.

What artists and bands inspired you when you were young?

We all come from pretty different musical backgrounds. Some of our early musical inspirations were Rush, The Beatles, Queen, Bryan Adams, The Fugees, Black Flag, Motion City Soundtrack

How did you all meet, and what made you decide to form a band?

Sam: Jacob and I met through a mutual music teacher who was a really big influence on both of us but has since passed away. We met Olen through mutual friends and played music together throughout high school. Soon after we graduated we met Kody when we played a show with a friend of his and he offered to film some acoustic sessions for us. The most interesting way any of us met is without a doubt Tyler. Kody stumbled upon a drum cover Tyler put on YouTube and proceeded to stalk him for a period of about 2 weeks via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email before he finally responded and agreed to join the band.

Music has always been a part of our lives and we really started taking it seriously around the end of high school when we collectively realized that it’s something we want to make a career out of because we really couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else.

What genre of music do you classify yourselves, and what makes your music unique?

It’s always been difficult for us to describe our genre but we try to create emotional and energetic pop music with darker undertones. As far as what makes our music unique, it’s difficult to point out one specific aspect of our music. But coming from such different musical backgrounds, we each bring a unique aspect to both songwriting and production and we believe that collaboration between the 5 of us is unique in itself.

Describe your songwriting process.

Our songwriting process is very nonlinear. Every song is written differently. We’re very collaborative on all parts of songwriting – structure, chord progressions, lyrics, melody, as well as individual parts. We write the majority of our songs live in our rehearsal space. This ensures that we can physically play these songs live and that we don’t go too overboard with layering synths, guitars, and vocals.

It’s my understanding the band was previously called Breach the Summit. What brought about this name change, and what other changes came with it?

Sam: Since Olen, and Jacob, and I had been playing music since early in high school, we had been using that name for quite some time. Once Kody and Tyler rounded out the band, we felt that it was a drastically different band from when it was first established so a name change was in order. Other than our musical changes, Olen used to be our drummer and lead singer and he’s now solely our frontman.

What was it like working with Adam Castilla and Brian Lucey on “Parasite”?

Working with both of them was a really great experience. We actually met Adam and the rest of the Colourist at Firefly Festival in Delaware last year and after we both got back Adam offered to produce for us. He really helped us develop our sound and push us to do things out of our comfort zone with our individual instruments. Brian did us a really huge favor by mastering Parasite. It’s really difficult to describe what effect mastering has on a track but he really helped to put a finishing touch on the song and make everything that we tracked sound better.

You got quite the response to “Parasite”, as the song got over 10K plays in one week after premiering on KROQ. Were you surprised by the reaction?

Yes very pleasantly surprised. Parasite was definitely a risk for us and pretty different from anything we’ve released in the past. We’re really glad we’ve received such a positive response from fans, blogs, KROQ, etc.

In the video for “Old House”, footage from Godzilla is used. What made you decide to pair up the song with those visuals?

Kody: The song itself weighs in heavily on the subject of broken homes. Although it is more or less conceptually a story of appreciating the commodities that are so often overlooked within those four walls. Godzilla vs Mothra was one of my favorite movies growing up and I remember watching it just about every day of the week on my beat up VCR/TV combo. For some reason “Old House” gives me the same uplifted feeling that watching that movie did when I was young. I pretty much went home with this strange tangent in my head and clipped that video together on a whim… It was a lot of fun.

Who are some of your favorite artists right now?

Our musical tastes are really all over the place. Some of what we’ve been listening to is Sir Sly, Stromae, Night Riots, Nilu, The Weeknd, & From Indian Lakes

What does the future of ARMORS look like? Tours, new music, albums?

We definitely plan to release a new record in the near future. I can’t quite confirm exactly what/when but we arevery excited to share a lot of new music this year. A North American tour is also high up on our priorities. We’re just waiting for the right tour to come along so we can get out on the road and play shows – which is really the reason that we all joined this band in the first place.

What struggles have you found as a band, and what advice would you give bands going through the same?

We’ve had plenty of difficulties as I’m sure most other bands have as well. Most of these have been solved by hard work and time. We’ve developed our songwriting by writing a lot of songs and learning primarily through trial and error. Working with other interesting people (producers, songwriters, bands) has also really opened our eyes to other ways to write songs. In terms of our live show, in the early stages of the band we played as many shows as we possibly could to really develop ourselves as live musicians and hone in on our craft.

What is your ultimate goal as ARMORS?

We want to be the biggest band in the world.

Finally, we want to hear your “Perfect Playlist”. Pick 5 of your favorite songs…

Death Cab for Cutie –  Marching Bands Of Manhattan
Nat King Cole – Nature Boy
Mae – Mistakes We Knew We Were Making
Anberlin – Feel Good Drag

Billy Joel – Miami 2017

Intrigued? Here’s some music to chow on. “Old House” is the latest single, released earlier this week. We got to see the Godzilla music video early, but now you can check it out too! And once again, the hit song, “Parasite”! You can find more on ARMORS at their social medias, @armorsmusic on Twitter, and ARMORS on Facebook.

You can also listen to the band’s “Perfect Playlist” through Spotify right here.

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