What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
(SAM) We both honestly have music in our blood from such a young age, both being from islander backgrounds. We also love how music really just commands you to feel, in the same way films can make you feel. I just think of how cool that is and I wanna make others feel the same about our art as I do about others.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.
(SAM) My name is Sam, I’m 22 and I grew up around music in church. Being Fijian, everyone kinda just sings in church and music is a part of everyone’s life. I played violin in primary school, then started trombone all the way through high school, playing in orchestras, concerts and Jazz bands. Did choir. Started playing drums at 16 and started to learn to produce around 18.
(MASON) My name is Mason, I’m a 26-year-old music producer and physiotherapist living in Naam/Brisbane, Australia. I grew up much like Sam just playing music at every stage of my life, even from a toddle and just continued to do so into my adulthood. My parents were so great in nurturing my love and passion for music and for that I’m forever grateful to them. I have so much fun just making beats and writing tunes, and it’s where I feel most at home.
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
(SAM) Absolutely- Dijon
Amperland NY – Pinegrove
Telescope – Tennyson (EP not Album)
(MASON) Notes on a Conditional Form – The 1975
Sigur Ros – Takk…
Silent Alarm – Bloc Party
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
‘The Bats and the Brave – The Middle East’ Off their very first split EP with other local legends, Sleeping in Trains, The Bats and the Brave was the absolute epitome of alternative rock in the late 10s. Growing up in Cairns I knew quite a few members of both bands. Looking back and seeing how incredible they were, it’s honestly such a shame that band didn’t get to the heights they were destined for.
(SAM) ‘South – Hippo Campus’. This track made me want to play drums for a band. But I’d say the ‘Like What’ EP by Tennyson really made me want to create music and produce. So I’d say that really started it
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
(SAM) I think that we are doing pretty good at the moment. I believe that we will make it one day, it’s just a matter time. Just gotta be patient and keep that slow grind and we’ll get there.
(MASON) Honestly, I used to think that if I didn’t make it to great heights that I was failing in music, but I’ve completely left all that kind of thinking behind and I’m just creating music that I love now – and for that I feel so successful honestly! Just getting to make music with my good mate Sam is so great, and we’re really good at it. So if it goes somewhere that’s great, but I’m in no rush to sign contracts etc. if it means losing my passion for my art.
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
(SAM & MASON) We think that everyone needs to treat everyone like a normal human and like just another homie. Everyone should just look out for each other. If you see someone that’s obviously uncomfortable, just speak up, maybe help them out, and normalise that. It should be common sense. We definitely think also that artists at their gigs should do a PSA at the start of their sets and spread that message of looking out for each other and speaking up. We as Arches haven’t really played any big shows yet, but that’s something we’ll definitely be doing if we start playing bigger crowds.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
Honesty, we’re still learning at the moment hey, but I’d say one of the best ways is probably gigging! Taking gigs whether it’s big or small and performing 100% every time. Someone new will be there and become engaged. But, if you don’t perform live just yet, posting consistently and trying to get into the algorithm I guess, but that shits hard. Putting some money into advertising also helps as well. But historically, both of us aren’t big socials users so it’s a bit tough for us.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
(SAM) I can do a double Backflip into a pool
I’ve played at the Opera House
I’ve shit myself 3 times as an Adult
I can speak 3 languages
I hate avocados
I was robbed at knifepoint in Colombia
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
(MASON) Honestly, I’m impartial. I mean, it’s a free market and Spotify has become popular due to the people’s consumption of their product. Music listeners have decided that this is the most convenient and cost effective way to consume music – and I agree. I think it’s there not because anyone’s evil, I think you’d find the entire staff of Spotify are there because they love music, but they should definitely do more in the way of helping emerging artists monetise their music and placing them on more playlists if the music’s up to scratch, but that’s just my two cents. If we really love our emerging artists we’ll spend money directly on them, in the way of merch, going to their shows and helping out where we can.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
(SAM) I don’t really believe in any, but I do find them funny because we really do not know what’s goin on, so if any of those theories were true it would be kinda crazy. Like bigfoot bro with, or like the whole Bob Lazar stuff is pretty sick. I don’t know what the actual conspiracy is behind Big foot is, but if it’s anything like the Big Lez show, that would be sick af.
(MASON) Honestly, I don’t really put much thought into it. But I mean, c’mon, SOME of them have to be true. The government can’t tell us EVERYTHING. But on the other hand, if you think about the maths of the probability of these conspiracy theories and you choose the ~5% probably true options a few times, it’s not many levels before you live in make-believe land where your believes are very likely to be true – which is kind of whack.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
(MASON) I lost my job at the time and didn’t buy anything I didn’t need, but I bought something I did need, A PLAYSTATION. I was a big gamer in my younger as a teenager so it was so nice to have some time to play some games! But Brisbane Lockdown wasn’t too bad.
(SAM) Nah I think I was pretty good during it hey. Was broke af on Centerlink. I guess alcohol and ubereats.
What was the worst experience on stage?
(SAM) Bro so many man, I really can’t think of any. I kind of always feel like a bit shit after performing because I’m always so anxious aye. I remember my voice cracking soo crazy like for a music assessment. I sung an R&B rendition of ‘I can go the distance’ from Hercules – it was terrible.
(MASON) One time as like a 13 year old kid, I played in a drumming group called DOGS, and after our little show I jumped of the back of the stage as a opposed to walking down the stairs and a broke my left arm clean in half – no joke. I got 2 plates and 10 screws remain fixed in there til this very day.
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about.
(MASON) This is going to ruin and probably spoil the truth/lie question, but I wake up every morning before work at 5am to teach my self languages. I taught myself how to speak elementary Japanese in about 1.5 years. I just really love language and culture!
(SAM) Bruh Idk, maybe that really like puzzles and games like that. Like those thinking games like that DS game that was about using your brain. I forget what it’s called. Oh actually maybe that I played in orchestras as a trombone player
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
(SAM) I’d say probably I mash and meld different genres in our production. I think our melodies are quite catchy too and kinda contrast with the production, yet fit so well. Idk
(MASON) Honestly, Sam will hate me saying this, but I’m telling everyone right now, Sam’s voice, and how silky and versatile it is, is our strongest asset. People sleeping on this guy for real. He can go from Frank Ocean to rap in no time. I also think we’re a bit of a whole package deal. In no way to sound cocky, but we’re really good producers and solid songwriters with a versatile range, which our mixtape shows I think.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
(SAM) These are just a mixture of songs that we like and have had in the pocket for some time now. Thought we’d chuck it in a mixtape to kinda show off our range and even our influences in a way. A little something for all kinds of music listeners
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
(MASON) We’re constantly writing new music, but our next release is a 5 track mixtape to just sort of start getting all this music out. It’s kind of just sitting there, but the one thing we can control as artists is putting the music into the world. It’s also a way to show everyone how versatile our production can be, a showcase rather than a body of work maybe.
What was the recording process like?
(SAM) For most of our tracks, it usually goes a little like this. Mason writes and produces the main idea or beat then will send it over to me. I usually demo a top-line and add some prod here and there. From there, we go back and forth and then take that into the studio for final vocal takes and cleaning up the production. Then mason mixes it all squeaky clean like.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
(MASON) Oh man, the biggest thing we’ve been learning lately is keeping it simple. We are essential two producers who are writing music, putting the productions first, so sometimes it can get a bit out of hand. Band now we’re trying to reverse and think like songwriters who can also do production. We’ve been trying to just sit and write songs on piano / guitar instead of make a fire beat and then just say anything on top of that. For songs, toppling is everything.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
(MASON) Nope! We’re happy to let it go into the world. You’ve gotta make the call at some point and just say, it’s done now! Once that mental barrier has been hopped over, it becomes the people’s song, and no longer the artists. They will listen and put their own meaning to it, which I love.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
(MASON) If you’re reading this and you’re creative, I urge you to make what you love and don’t try to create for other people. I know it’s hard sometimes, but always remember why you started, because music (or anything other art) is in your heart. Don’t let unimportant stuff like money, streaming stats, or social followers take away from your talent and passion! 🙂