START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Dec 25, 2005
Arma Secreta revels in obscurity

Rock band has discovered a secret weapon: original sounds
http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/music/article/0,1426,MCA_505_4317537,00.html

By Rachel Hurley
Special to The Commercial Appeal

December 16, 2005

While many artists are inspired by relationships with friends and lovers, math rock outfit Arma Secreta (Portuguese for secret weapon) tends to cover more imaginative territory. Their forthcoming album, A Century's Remains, contains songs covering a wide array of topics including a brainwashing operation disguised as a hair salon, two aspiring ninjas working at a car wash, and a song about an amateur astronomer obsessed with premillennialist eschatology -- which is the study of final things -- death and judgment, heaven and hell, the end of the world.

They don't apologize for the obscurity of their music.

"I don't write music to be understood by other people; I write music that I think is fun to play, and I write it for my own benefit," explains singer and multi-instrumentalist Chris Wark. "I try to write stuff that doesn't sound like anyone else, and I don't listen to a lot of new bands because I don't want to be influenced by them."

Arma Secreta was formed in 2003 by high school friends Wark and drummer Brad Bean. It's not out of the ordinary for a band to want to sound original, but Wark's particular place in life while recording last year was extraordinary. The 26-year-old musician was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer shortly after the band was conceived.

The illness deeply affected Bean.

"I was really scared, heartbroken, and I mean, I guess, all of the normal things when people find out that someone they know has cancer," says Bean. "It was pretty surreal because he was so young."

After seeing a brigade of doctors, having surgery and being prescribed chemotherapy, Wark and his wife decided he should take a leap of faith and treat his illness with little more than the food he ate.

"I went to a completely vegan diet, and ate only raw fruits and vegetables, and drank so many carrots I turned orange for a year," Wark says.

"And all this time I thought it wasn't easy being green," jokes Bean.

Wark was pronounced cancer-free by doctors in 2004, and he was determined to get back to making music.

"Once it became clear that I was gonna live, then it became clear that we had to make this record, so we stopped playing shows to focus on writing and recording," Wark says.

Bean and Wark began recording with engineer Kevin Cubbins at Easley McCain Recording and luckily had copies of most of their music before a fire in March destroyed the studio vaults. Wark and Bean took the loss of Easley as an opportunity to build their own studio, Missile Silo, in the back of Bean's family's furniture business.

After finishing the record earlier this year, Wark and Bean set out to find a bass player so they could play their songs live. They consider Michael Brandon the final piece to the Arma Secreta puzzle.

"There are really six things that you look for in someone before you ask them to join your band," explains Wark. "They need to possess skill, personal style, commitment, dependability, personality, and the last one is, 'do they have a van?' And he did, so he was in."

The band recently has been playing live shows, preferring all-age venues like The Complex on Madison and the Skatepark in Cordova.

"We don't want to play to the same Midtown crowd every week," Wark says. "We play in Southaven, Bartlett, Nashville."

Odd time signatures, weird song structure, and a lack of the same verse-chorus-verse structure that is the signature of most rock albums are not the only ways the band has set their debut album apart. It has already sparked interest from three independent record labels.

"The theme of the album (due out in March) is two things," Wark says. "One is all the art work in the album is a photo essay done by an aerial photographer -- basically what was left over after a century of industrialization, junkyards, strip mines, iron ore and process plants, but it also refers to that the songs are a lot of ideas I had before the cancer, before the turn of the century."

Visibility: Everyone
Tags: , , , ,
Posted: Dec 25, 2005 8:24am

 

 
 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.

Author

pElAgUS hellot
, 1
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Shares by Type:
All (1001) | Blog (255) | Alert (445) | Poll (4) | Recipe (12) | Photo (11) | Tribute (59) | Message (215)

Showing shares tagged with: arma [show all]
SHARES FROM PELAGUS'S NETWORK
Feb
16
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\n\\r\\n“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.”\\r\\n\\r\\ n \\r\\n\\r\\nSpence r Johnson\\r\\n\\r\\n  \\r\\n\\r\\nMany years ago, when I was in high school chemistry lab, I was assigned to do a litm...
Feb
15
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Feb
13
(0 comments  |  discussions )
New Petition! Speak out against Time-Warner Merger with Comcast! Let your opinion be know before your bill goes up and your programming choices dwindle.\\r\\n\\r\\nUrge DOJ and FCC to Not Allow Merger of Time-Warner and Comcast\\r\\nhttp://www.t hepetitionsi...
Jan
29
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nI have recently posted some BlogSpot radio interviews and YouTube videos, publicizing my two new books,\\r\\n1) Deepening Your Personal Relationships: Developing Emotional Intimacy and Good Communication.\\r\\n2) Psychological Healing Through Creative S...
Jan
24
by Ys A.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nCoretta Scott King: “We have done what we can to reveal the truth, and we now urge you as members of the media, and we call upon elected officials, and other persons of influence to do what they can to share the revelation of this case to the ...
Jan
23
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nWe declare that no man nor nation nor race have a greater right than others to enjoy the fruits of their work, as the ecological sphere is our common condition of life http://www.beat s4change.org/aims.htm Nous déclarons qu\\\'auc...
Jan
18
by Ys A.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nauthor: Ralph Nader\\r\\n\\r\\nAn epidemic of sky-rocketing medical costs has afflicted our country and grown to obscene proportions. Medical bills are bloated with waste, redundancy, profiteering, fraud and outrageous over-billing. Much is wrong with t...
Jan
13
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nDear Friends:\\r\\n\\r\\n\\r\\ n\\r\\nMy two current books have been published and are available for sale through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the publisher’s website, http://sbprabooks.com/Max Hammer. Reading these books can be very helpful for anyone...
by Fred H.
(0 comments  |  discussions )
\\nA stainless steel tank the size of a basketball court lies buried in the sandy soil of southeastern Washington state, an aging remnant of U.S. efforts to win World War II. The tank holds enough radioactive waste to fill an Olympic-sized swimming poo...
by Fred H.
(0 comments  |  0 discussions )
\\r\\nThe Olympic Peninsula is home to important state-owne d forests and many of our state’s most iconic creatures. To keep these forest ecosystems healthy, WEC and our partners at Conservation Northwe st and Olympic Forest Coal...