Arch/Matheos – For the Love of MusicSunday, 26th May 2019
Dead Rhetoric: What are your fondest memories in your musical career – be it Fates Warning or your subsequent work?
Arch: First and foremost my fondest memories are of feeling like we belong somewhere, because of the fans. My life as a whole has been very rewarding, I have a good life – it certainly would not have been as full and rewarding without the music in it. It’s given me an avenue to express myself, some of the things that I deal with, it’s given me the avenue to release that. The fans and their response to the music, the communication has been rewarding, the fans and how we’ve connected through the music. The live performances are always rewarding when they are done. The recordings, I love the creative process. It’s really rewarding to get through the rigors of creating, writing, and recording, completing the whole album.
I have fond memories of the early years with the guys in Fates Warning. Just goofing around, being a team – having a vision and that drive when you are young like that, it seems like the world is there for the taking for you. Before you get jaded, everything seems to be an adventure. I wouldn’t trade any of those memories for anything.
Dead Rhetoric: Were you a part of any of the initial writing and recording sessions of No Exit prior to your leaving the band? What do you think about that transition record from your era of the band to Ray’s first work?
Arch: I was not part of any of the recordings, but I do remember vaguely business as usual. We were on to the next album, going down to the rehearsal space. Jim played something for me, and it was acoustic – that’s pretty much all I remember. Then the things that led to my departure happened. There was a bunch of stuff going on – the band was ready to move on without me.
I like the album. I guess I could say he did a killer job singing. What I will add to that which I think is really important – No Exit is a departure album from the first generation of Fates Warning. Of course, all eyes are on Ray and the band and the direction. I think they did a marvelous job. What I took away from that album was Ray has a fantastic voice. I was very happy for Ray when the subsequent albums came – Parallels and Perfect Symmetry. I think Ray found his own voice, whereas the last memory the fans have of me was Awaken the Guardian – and that album was well-received and the singing was in the stratosphere. It was very high and very hard vocals. I’m not speaking for Ray, but that may have burdened Ray a little bit with taking the torch and for him to be a part of a new direction for Fates Warning. I’m glad that he fills his own shoes rather than trying to be a continuation of the era that I was in. I love the maturity in his voice and the direction that he chose to take his voice. It was a natural transition for him in the following albums after No Exit. The music direction changed a little bit, and I thought those were great albums.
Dead Rhetoric; Do you believe people today are more receptive to singer changes – as it’s a very important part of the band and seemed to really worry people more during the 70’s and 80’s?
Arch: I see all sides of this. You would think in this day and age where there are so many changes, it’s a constant that fans would get used to it. There are the fans that are very accepting and love both eras or all eras of a band. There are fans, especially for a band like Queensrÿche and Fates Warning, maybe some people like the early era better or some people like the later works. I see it all the time for Queensrÿche – Todd is a phenomenal person and a phenomenal vocalist. Their new album is really kick ass, and I think they’ve won over many new fans with this album too. There is a lot of bashing going on, and it’s not the vocalist’s fault- the vocalist is actually stepping up so the band can continue to make music. They can play their old stuff and new stuff. I’m grateful from a fan standpoint that these bands are able to continue on. I’m speaking of both bands – I’m grateful that Fates Warning was able to continue on, and that they did.
Believe it or not, the fans on Facebook and social media, they don’t think the artists see the postings- I see it. There are staunch supporters, and you aren’t going to budge one side or the other. I’m very open-minded, I’m never jealous and I’m happy that Fates moved on – I was always going to their shows and showing my support with every member of the band. That’s how I am – but with the real world, you see both sides. If a band moves on, and the music ends up sucking, then I can understand why the fans wouldn’t support that. But when a band is really trying, they gain new fans and sometimes lose old fans, that’s just how the way it is.
Dead Rhetoric: How do you feel about the evolution and changes that have taken place in the music industry from your days starting out to the current marketplace?
Arch: I have a limited view of it. But speaking with my musician friends, it’s a struggle. Things have changed with the amount of venues to play. And as far as it being lucrative enough even to survive, it’s very expensive to tour and go on the road, it’s very expensive to write and record an album. In a way I’m sad, I know how much work it is first hand to create music, to perform music. You pour your life’s work into it, like an artist. Ask anyone else who makes a living, whether they are an electrician or a plumber, you need to be properly compensated for your work- and that’s not the way it is right now. Even bigger acts with huge names, they struggle as well to tour. We talk about digital downloads, it’s great to support a band and I guess it’s better than nothing to buy a digital download, in reality that doesn’t really help the record companies too much to recoup the advance for paying the recordings, the videos, the promotions- it’s endless. Musicians do a lot of sacrificing and they take a lot on their shoulders of their love for music. If you didn’t have a love for the music there would absolutely be no purpose as far trying to make a living doing it.
Dead Rhetoric: What’s in store for Arch/Matheos down the line – will there be a possibility of some live shows here and abroad, depending on musician availability?
Arch: Jim and I did talk about this before even beginning to write the album. Of course we knew this question would come up. Right now, Jim and Fates Warning are going to proceed with another album for Fates Warning. There (are) no plans for any touring right now. I say that personally, I have made promises in my own personal life which I need to be present for. I know it doesn’t look like it from the outside, but I’ve been busy with the music in some way or fashion since 2010-11 and doing scattered stuff. I have my father who’s come down with rapid onset dementia, and limited resources to take care of him so I need to be present in my own life before I do anything.
I’m going to walk away from things, and when the time is right and things just happen. I can’t make any promises, but I hope someday that plans may come to fruition.
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