Interviews: Armadeus

This is a new interview with the Post-Hardcore/Alternative Metal/Stoner Rock band Armadeus from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the artist on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

CJ: The origin of the name really comes down to an idea from J (Josh), our lead guitarist. He and I had thrown out multiple names but honestly, nothing really stuck. I had lots of ideas but none of them had yet conveyed the simple, unique, and memorable idea that I wanted.

J: One day I was driving and happened to turn on the classical radio channel, which is a fairly rare occurrence for me. A Mozart piece was playing and, when the DJ said Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, I remembered Amadeus means "Love of God" in Latin. I switched over to listing to Metallica's "Creeping Death" and recalled the story of the God of the biblical Old Testament being a fierce, vengeful warrior. I thought "What if we add an 'R' to Amadeus and make Armadeus mean "Warfare of God". I thought that was a really cool idea - it fit the criteria we were going for - so we went with it.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

J and I grew up listening to heavy music. It's in our blood. I grew up listening to Metallica with my dad all the time. A local radio station where I grew up had 30 minutes of "Mandatory Metallica" every night and I used to listen to that daily with my dad. I grew up loving Thrash and Hair Metal and always thought heavy music was so cool. When we formed Armadeus, J and I had just come out of 2 different bands that played more Alternative/Indie type music and we wanted to do something different. We wanted something that wasn't so focused on storytelling, we'd already done that, but was focused on heavy riffs and grooves. To challenge ourselves, we wanted to take a complete 180-degree turn from what we were doing and try something completely different. From J's perspective, J has always been told he's an aggressive player so he has always gravitated more toward heavy music. Plus, J says it gives him an excuse t have more fuzz pedals than anyone could ever need.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

J and I have known each other for over 10 years so we've been friends for a long time. We'd always wanted to form a band together but never got the opportunity. Armadeus was our chance. We met both Andy and Mike online when we posted on social media that were looking for a drummer and later a bassist. Both were interested in what we were doing and after we got together with them once or twice over a cold beer and good conversation, we became fast friends.

4. Each band member's favorite band?

CJ: Social Distortion + Pink Floyd + Clutch

J: Mastodon + High on Fire + Misfits

Andy: Mastodon + Dead Sara

Mike: Metallica

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

CJ: I primarily come up with the lyrics, J comes up with riffs, and the four of us build the songs together. As a lyricist, just about every type of music I listen to inspires me to write. I try to squeeze a little inspiration out of everything to try and grow. J also pulls a lot of inspiration from rediscovering old bands that may have been slightly off the beaten path, so to speak. Lately, he's been really into King's X and their guitarist Ty Tabor. J is amazing at pulling inspiration from other bands and guitarists and writing riffs similar to those but are still distinctly him. His riffs are great at harkening back to classic elements of the music that inspired us but put a fresh spin and flavor on the style.

J: I try to find inspiration everywhere and try to always have music playing with whatever I'm doing to create an environment of inspiration. Interestingly, one of the most inspiring types of music for me is Jazz. I try to channel the emotion they're able to convey into my own writing.

6. Where was your last gig?

All four of us have full-time jobs and unfortunately, music is not our main gig so we only play shows a couple of times a month. Our last gig was on April 23rd (Record Store Day in the USA) at the Sorg Opera House, a 100+-year-old restored opera house and theater.

7. Where would you like to act?

One of our biggest goals as a band is to play Desert Fest in New York City here in the USA and Roadburn in Europe. Some of our absolute favorite bands have played at those festivals and it would be an absolute dream to get there one day. 8. Whom would you like to feature with? Hopefully, one day, we'd love to share the stage with Helmet, Clutch, or Fu Manchu. All 3 of those bands are huge inspirations to us and to do anything with them, would-be killer.

9. Whom not?

Well, we got our start sharing the stage with tribute acts and cover bands so we're trying to get away from that and focus more on playing with original bands in our area. We want to support local music as much as we can.

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

CJ: I can definitely say that we all have experienced stage fright. For me as the frontman, it never goes away. But, my tip for beginners to get over that is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE to get as tight as you can and trust your bandmates. You and your band have worked incredibly hard to get where you are so trust that they have your back and you'll do just fine.

J: I suffer from stage fright every night! I use this quote from Lemmy to overcome it: "If you're going to be a fucking Rock Star, go be one. People don't want to see the guy next door on stage; They want to see somebody from another planet. You want to see somebody you'd never meet in ordinary life."

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

CJ: As a group, some of the bands that have heavily inspired us are Helmet, Clutch, Fu Manchu, Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Corrosion of Conformity, and High on Fire. We originally started the band as a Doom project inspired by High on Fire and Black Sabbath, but it later morphed into the Alternative Metal meets Stoner Rock we are now after we broadened our horizons and found our final sound. It was a lengthy discovery process but well worth it.

J: Everybody in the band has super-diverse tastes and means of inspiration and it really shows in our playing and writing. Lately, a few albums and artists that have been inspiring me are Atma (Yob), Badmotorfinger (Soundgarden), Maggot Brain (Funkadelic), and 10,000 Days (Tool).

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Not really a request but a weird moment that did happen with a fan was during one of our recent shows. I was wearing an Anthrax baseball jersey that clearly said Anthrax on the front and a fan came up to us and said "You know who you guys sound like and should really cover? Anthrax!" She didn't seem to at all notice that I was wearing an Anthrax jersey the whole conversation so we all thought it was pretty funny.

13. What do you think of your fans? 

We have great fans and friends of the band. Everyone who has come to support us, new and old, has always been complementary and cool. We really appreciate all the fans we've had and continue to make.

14. What do you think of our site?

I love it! I've already discovered some incredible new bands and am extremely grateful to be a part of your roster of bands and to have the opportunity to do this interview. Thank you!

15. Something to add?

As a band, we just want to say thank you to the team at Breathing the Core that discovered us, liked our music, and decided to share and promote it. We can't say thank you enough. We're really excited to make and meet new fans and support new bands in the process. 

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