We are thrilled to have one of our favorite bands as the featured artist here on My Audio Bio, Trances Arc! The guys have given us some incredible stories and access to some amazing music. Please check out “Boom City” and “Steep Roof” on our player. Scroll down to read stories on the new material!
Also check out Trances Arc’s MAB profile, where you can get a behind the scenes look at their classic “Bird’s Collide”. While your there, don’t forget to click on the Bio tab for more on the band, and to buy their albums and merch.
Here are two stories from the band, check out the songs in the player while you read.
Boom City (Story by Danny)
There was a time when we were on tour, driving across the country, with two really great bands, The Whigs and Dead Confederate. For me, one of the best parts about touring is spending time with the other bands. Most of the time we would caravan from city to city, which allowed us to switch vans and ride with each other giving the opportunity to bond and just have fun, and in some cases, get into some trouble. Anyway, I don’t remember where it was but I was riding in The Whigs van with Parker, Tim and their soundman Matt. We were talking and having a great time listening to all kinds of music, among other things, and we saw the biggest, most huge fireworks store I’ve ever seen. It was called “Boom City”. We stopped in for a minute and checked it out. It was HUGE! I could have spent all day in there, but alas, we had to get back on the road. Now, I don’t know why, but for some reason that name stuck with me for the rest of the tour. I just thought it would make a great song title.
Sadly, the tour eventually ended and we all went our separate ways. When I got home though I was feeling really inspired and eager to write some music. I write a lot of music in my home studio. Everything from thrash metal to jazz tunes. And with Garage Band, it’s super easy to get a full song idea down. So on this particular day I was in the mood to write something really pop, but good pop, and I had the “Boom City” idea in my head. I sat down, booted up a session and just started playing. Before long I had the outline of a song. I started with a simple drum track and then strummed out a chord progression on guitar over it. After I was happy with that, I moved on to the melody and guitar layers and then finally a bass part, which took a little while. I came up with a lot of parts that just sucked until I landed on this one that I liked. At one point my roommate, Niki, who heard me writing the song, came dancing in my room and told me she loved it! I knew I was on to something. It’s always good when a chick says she likes your music. So after a little bit more tweaking it was finally done! I decided not to do any vocals because quite frankly, I suck at it! I find it way easier to just write music and melody. Words, not so much. Oh, and I had planned on refining the drum track, but just never got around to it.
It’s amazing to me how music can be inspired by anything, even a fireworks store.
Anyway, as I said, this song was not intended to be a TA song. I was writing just to add to my stockpile of songs, maybe for a solo project one day, who knows? So we’re at rehearsal one day and just kind of screwing around between songs, I think Michael was getting some beers or something, and I just unconsciously started playing the main riff to Boom City. All of a sudden the guys were like “that’s cool! What is it?” I must admit, I was a bit hesitant at first to play them the song because usually when we write everyone builds around an idea as a collective effort. It’s rare that someone will bring a fully completed song to the band and just say “here it is. Let’s learn it.” Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially in a creative environment. And this being a song I wrote for myself, one that I really loved, I didn’t want to get in to changing parts. I’d almost rather keep the song to myself than deal with the conflict that could potentially ensue. Anyway, I ended up playing the song for the guys and I guess they all loved it because we learned it that day! I made a few concessions regarding certain parts, but nothing major, and Brad fine-tuned the drum parts. Eric came up with some really great lyrics, vocal melodies and Boom it was done! We cut a full band demo in our studio and now it’s on our new record, which thanks to all of you will be released out into the wild!
Just as a side note, we ended up recording about 13 tracks at the end of the day for the record. We wanted to cut it down to 10 so some songs had to go. It was tough to do but as a compromise we decided to release an EP on iTunes for digital download only. The EP is titled “Radians” and is available right now. It contains the 3 songs we cut from the record and as a bonus you get Boom City, which will be on the full length as well. Go check it out!
And while you’re at it, enjoy this mp3 of my original recording of Boom City (in MAB Player).
Steep Roof (story by Michael)
Steep So our new record opens up with a bombastic rock anthem called Steep Roof that’s probably one of my favorite songs on the record… not because of all the blood and sweat we put into its current manifestation, but because of how it came to be.
The song has been floating around in some shape or fashion for the better part of the past year and a half and I’m rather pleased that we finally captured it in a proper light. But I thought you might like to hear why this one is so special and what it once was before it evolved into the massive beast that it is today. Like to hear it? Here it goes…
Now we like to write in all sorts of collaborative forums… each one of us bringing different pieces to the table at different points in the writing process, but with the exception of proper drum and bass, this one just sort of came to me all at once. During a time of some serious transition for me, I was visiting my parents in Athens one spring. From the back porch, you can climb on the roof without much effort at all and see out past the property line, through the trees and over to the neighboring farm land. I took my acoustic guitar up there all the time when I was in high school… refuge from the everyday mundane. Things were always clearer up there at a slightly higher elevation. It was on this roof that Steep Roof was written. How convenient. I don’t like to go into much detail about lyrical content, as part of the joy for me is to create an idea abstract enough for everyone to make these songs their own, but I will say that this one is about letting go of someone and the difficult journey that is letting go.
Anyhow, Danny had just sold me his old pro-tools rig at the top of the summer and I had all but emptied out my bedroom to make room for recording gear, a desk and piano. Steep Roof was the first song written and recorded on that rig. This version has an extra verse that was eventually cut and an extended outro with a sprinkling of Rhodes throughout. With nothing, but guitars, piano, and vocals, you can pretty much tell right off the bat if you’re working with substance or shit… at least it didn’t sound like shit to me… enjoy.