Every Word – The Aram Arslanian Interview Part 2

By Ed


DR: Are you still involved with React? 

Nope- the whole thing is Evan!

DR: What happened to Anchor?

I got too busy with Champion to keep doing it so I put it to rest. When I wanted to put out the GTM record I thought about reviving it, but preferred to just start a new label. Anchor was a real time and place and I wanted to start something that would represent the present.


DR: You played the guitar for The Vows, I’m going to be honest I know nothing about that band other than you released an ep. Do you want to give us some history?

Rob Moran asked me John (undertow) and Murph (undertow) to do a one-off project. The idea was write a bunch of songs one day and record them the next, so we did. I like the record- it was a fun project and we played a couple of shows with Chris from Champion playing 2nd guitar. Eventually Rob moved back to California and that was that

DR: I personally think Betrayed were one of the most important SXE bands of their time. When did you decide you wanted to start the band and actually sing?

Thanks! The idea came about pretty naturally- Todd and I were very close and wanted to do a band. He suggested I sing and the rest is history. Neither of us knew what to expect with my vocals and were both really stoked with the way things came out.


DR: How did you end up working with Bridge 9? You also released a record on Rivalry- was there much of a difference in the recording process? 

B9 was simple- we both had history with Chris and he agreed to put it out without even hearing it. At that time we had both done a lot of stuff with the label so we wanted to try something new. EVR asked us to do our LP (vinyl on Rivalry) and we took the leap.

The process between the EP and the split and the LP was very different. For the EP and the split Todd wrote the music, but was really open to my ideas. He also was cool with me just doing my own thing with the vocals. When the LP came about thing had changed a lot- I think we both added to a negative dynamic on that recording. Basically the process around that LP created tensions which eventually broke us apart.

It took a while for Todd and I to clear the air between us- and we eventually got there. When we reunited and put out the Suffering EP things were better for sure, in fact my fav Betrayed song is on that EP, but some of the same tense dynamic showed up again. So, I’m not really sure if we’ll ever play or record again, I can’t say for sure either way. But, the most important thing is that we’re all on good terms. Todd is a good guy, I love NAILS and I want the best for him and his family.

DR: What bands would you say directly influenced Betrayed?

Dag Nasty, Embrace, Minor Threat, Verbal Assault.

I was also really influenced by Fugazi and the way they interacted between songs.


DR: You and Todd were founders of the band- did you two deal with most of the song writing, or was it approached as a group effort?

Todd wrote all the music and added some input from me, Todd, and Greg. He is an astounding guitar player man- if you listen to those songs you’ll hear so much crazy stuff!

I wrote the lyrics, and mapped out the vocals. Todd gave me some input for vocal patters on some of the songs.


DR: You toured Europe with Betrayed. How were those shows and who were some of the stand out bands you played with at the time.

We went to Europe three times and each time was awesome! I can’t recall all the bands we played with on those tours but I loved those shows. Some of the best times of my life!


DR: Dead And Gone released records from 3 of your bands. How did you end up hooking up with Ian? D&G was such an important label for us here and everyone involved made the scene incredible here at the time. What was your perception of UK/European HC at the time?   

Ian from D&G is a good friend of mine. We haven’t spoken face to face in years, but I love and respect him. Heart of gold. The UK scene was amazing when we first went over- The Last Chance and so many more awesome bands had created something special and it was a real honor to be able to play shows there during that time. Champion loved the UK so much that we did a UK only tour (okay we did one show in Spain that time!). We’re all still good friends with the people from those days and I’m so psyched that many of them are still active in HC.

DR: Who would you say are you top five favourite Euro bands?

Mainstrike, Manliftingbanner, No Turning Back, Insist, For Pete’s Sake

DR: What 4 SXE records directly influence you in your music and general? 

Youth of Today- WNITA, Youth of Today- BDTW, Minor Threat- OOS, SSD- The Kids Will Have Their Say


DR: Also what 4 Hardcore bands are most important to you?

Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Youth of Today, Brotherhood

DR: Keep It Clear is one of your current bands. Give us a bit of back story to the band.

KIC is a band that Today’s man started. I joined after their demo and EP, and have been with them for a few years on 2nd guitar. Andy started the band because he wanted to bring something to the NW that was more inspired by harder bands like Right Brigade. I was a big fan of the band so it was really great to be asked to join.


DR: I know Today’s Man is kind of the face of the band, but who writes music in KIC?

Today’s Man writes most of it and Russell writes quite a bit as well. I have a song here and there, but on my end it’s mostly input and ideas.

DR: How was the rest of the KIC & CIAC tour before CIAC broke off?

The tour was awesome! We had a blast with those guys and the shows were really great. I love touring Europe! Also, shout out to my man Mean Mike and also to Robert Refuse (aka Rotten Ronnie)


DR: Let’s talk about True Identity, Such a great band. Are you guys happy with the demo?

Very happy- T.ID is something I had wanted to do for a long time and I’m really pleased with how things are going.


DR: When did you start the band , who’s idea was it? Its great that Jim sings for this band, I think he’s a very strong vocalist.

I came up with the idea. I wanted to play in a very straight forward Hardcore band for a while, that really focused on being simple, but still writing interesting songs. Initially it was me and Russell on guitars and our friend Motor on drums. After that it was me and Russell on guitar, Jim on vocals, Wayne on drums, and Gus on bass. Finally it just became KIC with Jim singing which is kinda funny and extremely convenient!

DR: You have played out a bit already, you even played at Rain Fest. How have the early shows been and how was Rain Fest?

Man the response has been awesome! We’ve played 5 shows so far and they’ve all been crazy! Lots of support from old friends and new and I’m really excited to be playing with these guys. Rainfest was nuts for us- we sold out of merch and demos in 30 minutes!


DR: What have you got lined up for the summer and beyond for TXI? 

We’re recording our LP in October of this year, then we’re playing in Europe, South Am, and SE Asia in 2016.

DR: All your bands have been Straight Edge bands- was this something you knew you wanted to do? Carry on the message as such in all your bands?

Yes for sure- it’s been a deliberate thing. A friend of mine recently asked me why I hadn’t branched out, and my answer was simple: I found what I connect with in HC and this is what I want to focus on. There’s nothing wrong at all with progressing onto different things, but for me this is the thing that I want to put my energy into.

DR: Who are you currently really into Hardcore wise?

Insist, Mindset, Praise, Angel Dust, Red Scare, Dead Weight, Singled Out, Vacant State, The Chain, Suspect, NAILS


DR: What does the future hold for you and your bands?

I’ll be here tomorrow, same channel, same time, same place. I’m not going anywhere because I quit your fucking race.

DR: Thanks so much for your time bro.

Thank you!


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Filed under Betrayed, Champion, Keep It Clear, React Records, The First Step, The Vows, True Identity

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