How Armed For Apocalypse Clawed Their Way Out of the Chico Metal Scene

In the vein of metal's biggest bands like Machine Head, Sepultura, Pantera, and Lamb of God, Armed For Apocalypse, spews forth a very groove laden, tribal sound that is heavy and full of angst and brutality, while splicing in the slower, doomy head banging breaks, which shows an ancestry to bands like Eyehategod, and Crowbar.

Formed in 2008, the band features guitarists Kirk Williams, Cayle Hunter, and Nate Burman, along with bass player Corey Vaspra and drummer Nick Harris. The band has risen from the underground metal scene in their home town of Chico, California, a stoner saturated college friendly town in the Northern part of the state.

Drummer Nick Harris took time to speak with the Weekly, about the band's hometown music scene, the band's day jobs, the personal nature of the band's lyrics and music, and the mini tour with Unearth and Wovenwar which begins on Sunday, in Long Beach, at the Black Light District.


OC Weekly (Alex Distefano): Tell readers about the music scene in your home town of Chico, California.

Nick Harris: The music scene is not thriving. It is tough because in the last 10 years we lost a lot of good venues, both small and medium sized ones, and clubs where touring bands would come through. Bands skip over our town sometimes because there is not a middle ground, its either bigger venues or nothing.But we do have some cool people in the scene who bring bands through. The metal scene is there, and diverse, but we do bring in lots of bands, as many as we can, and when we can. We frequently have bands like Yob, or Old Man Gloom, play, which are underground, but bigger on the underground I guess. We will always love the underground scene, but we were also able to break out and do lots of touring, thankfully. In our case, Hard work did pay off, and it can for many other bands as well!

You have managed to tour North America extensively, as well as parts of Europe over the past few years. Who are some of the bands you've shared the stage with?

Well, definitely, too many to name all. But, we've been lucky to play with so many professional, touring bands like Sepultura, Crowbar in the US and Canada, Unearth, Revocation, Soulfly, Snot, Havok, Will Haven, and tons more. Some are underground but regionally huge in their home towns. It's been a blast so far and we are thankful to be able to share our music with fans across the world.

Tell us a bit about what inspires your songs and lyrics?

I would say our lyrics are a lot about personal experiences on our first album, 2009's Defeat, we were still a bit younger and unpolished so we were figuring things out and all over the place the last record we did, from 2012, The Road Will End ,was much more personal and had to do with experiences. And this new record, were about to record, is even more personal. A lot of stuff happened while we were on the road. during that period I got a divorce, our guitarist had all sorts of personal stuff going on in his life at the time and we were all just dealing with some heavy stuff life dealt us at the time; we're all full of a lot of angst and attitude, but that attitude doesn't come out so much in real life but on stage and in the music the edge is there and we feel it when we play and fans feel it too, which is why we love being in such a heavy band, to let all that stuff pour into our music.

Tell us about your day jobs?

Currently our day jobs all support what we do; for example our lead singer is a guitar teacher, I work for a booking agency, our other guitarist has a clothing company, and works at a hydroponic store, where they understand the whole band thing. Our bass player works at a company that prints a lot of our merchandise. We all love the music, but have to do what we have to do to earn a living, we're just grateful we can still tour and be in an active band.

Tell us about this mini tour with Unearth and Wovenwar?

Well, it will start on Sunday in Long Beach for us. Then we head out for four dates with Unearth and Wovenwar. We play Scottsdale, Arizona, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Seattle. We got hooked up to these shows, through Iron Clad Recordings, our record label, which is owned by the lead singer of the band Unearth. This was an amazing opportunity we could not miss, to open for some phenomenal bands, Unearth, and Wovenwar whose members used to be in the band As I Lay Dying. Both bands are hard working, dedicated and great live bands; and we can't wait to play Vegas, it's always so much fun to play in that city!

What are your plans for the future with the band, any new music or plans to tour?

Yes, we have an album due out in 2016. We apologize for the delay to our fans, but all of our songs are written and it's in the process of being captured on record as we speak. We are planning to release new music early next year, and already have some preliminary plans for tours to promote our new album, and to go to Europe, possible twice. In 2016, we're looking to bring it, and bring our music out to the fans, across the world.

Be sure to catch Armed for Apocalypse, on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Black Light District, 2500 E Anaheim St. Long Beach, California (562) 433-5823. 21+. For more info, click here.

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