Hailing from For Smith, Arkansas is a four-piece indie/experimental powerhouse that could move as many mountains and part as many seas as they want, if they wish to do so. A couple weeks ago I reviewed their record “Things We See In Dreams” but apparently that wasn’t enough for either one of us. So, I reached out wide and long to interview these guys.
If you dig anything indie/experimental or just good tunes at all, check these dudes out with the links below.
After a couple line-up changes over the years, how did the line-up you guys have now come about?
Lance: It started with Dakota and I doing Senses Fail covers, sixteen years old.
Dakota: We started out in a really terrible Senses Fail cover band and then we started doing some original shit, and then that broke up and it was just me and Lance at this point. We stayed in a garage and wrote songs for the first time after that and started writing material.
Lance: We found our first drummer on a Sigler drummer wanting band thing, and we pulled his number and called him up, drove him to Rock Island.
Dakota: We didn’t have a bass player for a long time and then after parting ways with our first drummer, we acquired a bass player and a new drummer. After switching back to our old drummer, we came out with a little six song e.p type demo...we threw it in the trash. Then Alex started playing bass for us. We started writing again and that’s about the time we wrote "Cults". Then we parted ways with our drummer again, because he wanted to focus on recording. Then we found Nick from a lot of parties we went to, and he was the guy that everybody was like, ‘Oh Nick can really play the drums.’, and we thought no, he can’t. He’s not gonna play with us, we’re not gonna be this guy’s friend, this guy is crazy but we ended up together. Nick had this trash drum set that he brought down and we jammed and like in one day he had already wrote enough stuff to play with us but he was just like winging the whole thing. So then we just started practicing and practicing, and we played our first show as the current line up of Silent Waits The Archer on New Years 2009.
You guys have been around the Fort Smith scene for a good amount of time, what's your opinion on it and how do you feel it could change for the better?
Nick: I would say the Fort Smith scene is very past and bar friendly. Lots of hardcore fans, therefore hardcore bands, lots of metal, which is why we tried to just be as unique as we can be. How it could changde for the better? I think it has a lot to do with venues, real estate.
Dakota: And start booking shows that everyone wants to go to, bringing people into town.
Nick: And actually have a place that’s dedicated to nothing but music, young music.
Even though "Things We See In Dreams" came out only a couple months ago, have you guys written any new tracks or planning on it anytime soon?
Dakota: Constantly writing, we were writing new songs before the record came out, we have songs that we’re still working on that were prior to the new record.
Nick: We just got done practicing a new song. Like, literally just got done.
Alex: Like ten minutes ago.
Lance: We talked about full length like weeks after (recording the album).
Dakota: It’s like we’re always writing, but we never seem to finish any of them. And some of them we don’t even remember. (group laugh)
Dakota, the lyrics on tracks such as "Fathers" and "Cellar Door" seem the most personal. If you don't mind telling us, what events made those lyrics stem?
Dakota: Well with "Cellar Door", we were at a party and my younger cousin died in a car wreck and my mother called me and it was really weird. So that song kind of wrote itself. It was just like that whole two days after that, going to the house and seeing all the family members in the weird states of mind. That’s why it’s really dark and really like, fun to play and it’s weird to say that its fun to play but it’s fun because it’s so emotional. And then there’s "Fathers", which is really about how my dad when I was a kid was really selfish and doing his own thing. He kind of thinks there’s like always time for him to come be my dad again, so he’ll try to buy me something and I’m like no it’s not gonna work. It’s really just father issues pretty much. But he’s got a really nice family who he married into, with some kids and stuff that thinks he’s really awesome. And they live in Oklahoma City so.
Besides the obvious influences we can hear on the record, what other bands/projects really give you guys ideas?
Lance: Animals as Leaders, to be honest a few metal bands. All Shall Perish, and then Minus the Bear, obviously, P.M Today.
Nick: I get ideas from a lot of different bands in a lot different time periods. I listen to a lot of 80’s hair metal, hard rock, basically anything that moves you as far as from a drumming perspective. Specific bands, umm, O’brother, Modest Mouse, Minus the bear also, all of Brand New’s shit.
Alex: A lot of Minus the Bear, a lot of Brand New. I’m a pretty huge Thrice fan also, I’ve followed everything they’ve ever done. I’m a huge Boys Night Out fan as well.
Nick: Manchester Orchestra.
Dakota: Yeah, I would have to say again O’brother, Modest Mouse, Brand New. As far as writing goes, oddly enough, Anathallo has a record out, "Canopy Glow", it is one of my favorite records of all time as far as instruments and melody goes. All Get Out is probably a huge influence for me right now because I know the record that hasn’t come out yet is gonna be really awesome. Basically any band that can play live and sound like the end of the world, like those are my favorite bands.
Pabst Blue Ribbon - What does it mean to you guys and what role does it play in the band?
Lance: Definitely an influence. It’s a cheap beer that gets you fucked up and helps you jam. It means song ideas sometimes.
Dakota: It probably means the entire album of ‘Things We See In Dreams", I mean one piece of every song was probably had on Pabst.
Nick: I say fuck the shit I don’t even drink beer. We don’t have to put that in there, but I’m just being honest.
If you guys could tour with any band who would it be?
Nick: Motley Crue. Period. Motley Crue and SWTA.
Lance: Jump on that Animals as Leaders, Dillinger Escape Plan tour. It would be so out of place but it would be awesome.
Nick: The one that I would like would be Cage the Elephant, O’brother and Manchester Orchestra. I would love to be on that tour.”
Dakota/Nick/Lance/Alex: All Get Out.
Dakota: O’brother, Modest Mouse.
Lance: The Strokes, man.
With all of you guys working full-time jobs and taking care of other priorities, is there any form of tour being talked about amongst you guys for the future?
Alex: Indeed, there is.
Nick: Yea we are currently working on that aspect of the bands agenda.
Recently, what records can you guys not stop listening to or drooling over?
Nick/Dakota/Alex: “Simple Math.” Lance: Recently, to be honest, "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" - Skrillex.
Nick: “Hell Yes!" Alex: Boys Night Out - "Trainwreck", has been a non stop for years.
Lance: "Quiet mouth loud hands" - Damiera.
Dakota: Well a few Modest Mouse records -"We were dead before the ship even sank"and "Good news for people who love bad news", every song on those records amaze me.
The future of Silent Waits The Archer, what can we expect and do you guys have any surprises for the fans?
Lance: New merch.
Nick: New equipment for live shows.
Lance: Possibly some backing tracks for a more epic live sound.
Nick: I’m getting a didgeridoo, and I’m also learning how to play bag pipes.
Dakota: I’d say we are all kind of stressed out about this new record, because it’s got to make a stronger impression than the last album.
Nick: We plan on making a stride.
Dakota: Right, we are all trying to make improvements, and we are getting some more singing involved with the band.
Lastly, if you guys would like to thank or shout out any people or companies, here's your chance to do it.
SWTA: Alex’s parents, Dakota’s grandparents for the beautiful birdhouse that we practice in. Kendal Osborne - Closet Studios for producing and recording the record. Ruben Medina has hooked us up with some good shows, We would just like to say fuck you, in the best possible way to Mike Hair. All The Kings Men for being good bros. All the venues that let us play, and Nick Williams for the great review. If we forgot anyone then just tell us to fuck off next time you see us, and kick us in the face.
I would love to thank the guys from Silent Waits The Archer for taking the time to do this interview.