About.com – Arch/Matheos Interview: A Conversation with Vocalist John Arch (09/12/2011)

By Chad Bowar
Original article: http://heavymetal.about.com/od/interviews/a/Arch-Matheos-Interview.htm


25 years after his exit from the progressive metal band Fates Warning, vocalist John Arch teams up with his former bandmates Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti along with current Fates Warning members Joey Vera (bass) and Bobby Jarzombek (drums) to form Arch/Matheos. Their debut CD is Sympathetic Resonance. Arch has been absent from the music scene since the ’80s, save for his 2003 EP A Twist Of Fate, which featured much of the same lineup as Arch/Matheos.

Chad Bowar: How did Arch/Matheos come together?
John Arch: Jim and I have been in contact through the years, and a few years ago he wanted to know if I was interested in checking out some music he had written. I had always wanted to finish a follow up to A Twist Of Fate with a full length album, so this was a perfect opportunity to do so.

Was there any thought to calling this a Fates Warning album?
We entertained the idea at first, but I am glad we didn’t for a list of reasons.

Describe the songwriting and recording process for Sympathetic Resonance.
It worked pretty much the same way it has in the past. I would drive up to Jim’s studio and listen to what he had come up with musically. If I thought it was something that was inspiring to me, I would take it home and study it, and line by line and note by note put the lyrics and melodies together. The demos came together and months later we were ready for some real drums and bass.

Working with Bobby in the studio was really cool to watch, and his drumming really added a new dimension to the songs. Joey put down his tracks in his studio in California. It would have been great if could have been here, but he did a great job regardless. Frank worked with Jim at his studio on his leads. Another great performance. I spent many a weekend at Jim’s to witness his guitar work and man, lots of tedious work went into those layers of guitar sounds!

Since you had been away from singing for a while, how long did it take to get your voice back up to speed?
I’m still working on it

How did these sessions compare to your 2003 EP, which had nearly the same lineup?
The process was pretty similar, with the exception of the great Mike Portnoy on drums. This being a full length album, it took much longer to wrap up, and the last 8 year hiatus without singing made it especially hard for me, even more so than after Awaken The Guardian in my opinion, age being the common denominator.

What does the album title signify?
Sympathetic resonance by definition refers to a formerly passive body responding or resonating with the striking of another instrument. The music and lyrics run parallel with this idea on a human level. We hope the music strikes a chord with the listener, as well as the words connecting us to empathy for one another.

What inspired your lyrics?
The need to take something painful and create something good from it.

What are your expectations for the CD?
My expectations have already been met. We have done something I’m proud of

Are there any plans or hopes to do live shows?
KIT is confirmed. I have and will be rehearsing for this show, that’s all for now

Do you think you’ll be more active in music going forward?
It’s hard to say, since this type of music has always been technically challenging and it takes a lot of motivation. We will have to see how I hold up. Maybe I’ll get myself a cowboy hat and sing something a whole lot easier.

How did you get started in music?
I remember as a kid having a transistor radio and being fascinated by music from a very young age, I played guitar in cover bands and even in a folk group at a Catholic school. One of my sisters was a concert pianist and another classically trained vocalist, so our family was surrounded by music. I strongly feel that music and some of the things we feel and don’t understand come from our deep rooted ancestry.

Describe the beginnings of Fates Warning.
Exciting, Into the great unknown without a plan or a clue, having a great time getting there. What life should be, before we over think it.

Do you remember the band’s first live show?
I think it was at the Twilight Zone in New Haven. I do remember what it felt like to sing as hard as I could for an hour and a half.

What are your fondest memories of your time in Fates Warning?
I loved the time in the studio recording , It was a rewarding and fun time.

Why did you decide to step away from the music industry after your exit from the band?
A multitude of reasons, none particularly interesting or flattering. Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.

Do you have any regrets about not pursuing a full-time musical career after Fates Warning?
The means to my end might have been the end to my means.. Or maybe a little faith and it might have been, but still no regrets.

Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Just a big heartfelt thanks to all the fans. I hope your journey has been as great as you’ve made mine.