Scene and Heard

Arm the Angels wait for big break

Some bands are the perfect package. In this do-it-yourself day and age, many bands are producing, managing, styling and marketing themselves. I have to say, Arm the Angels are doing it better than everyone else so far. Although the band originally formed in Poway, the boys spend much of their time here in North County where they can be seen on any given day putting time in at one of our many dingy, popular watering holes like the Saloon in Encinitas or Hennessy’s in Carlsbad. Even though they all went to high school in Poway and even started their bands there, drummer Adam Rapps calls Encinitas home; so the rest of the band members find themselves spending a lot of time here.
Arm the Angels was formed a little more than two years ago when two very popular Poway bands, Agent 51 and Pivot, broke up. When this happened, Agent 51’s bass player Eric aka “C-Rock” and Pivot’s drummer Adam Rapps, decided to pick things up and began playing in what was to become the band you hear today. They soon enlisted the vocal power and stage presence of current lead singer/guitarist Arnie Graham as well as keyboardist/guitarist/vocalist Adam Lopez to round out the lineup.
It’s hard to believe that two years after forming, Arm the Angels are as well put together as they are. Already the band has honed the look, sound, and drive to really take it all the way to the big stage. They also have the talent. Three out of four band members sing in most of the songs, bringing a powerful and rich sound to their melodies.
Arm the Angels is also known for their incredible stage performance and the intense live shows they put on at every gig they play. “The crowd feeds off your energy so if you’re putting a lot of energy into your music on stage, then the crowd is going to give it right back to you,” Eric said. “You’ve got to make it worthwhile for the audience to come out and see. It’s like making out with the audience. You just have to put it out there”
The band has already landed huge shows in their short time together, most notably opening up for Good Charlotte down at the Wave House last summer, which garnered the band a lot of new fans. Another big gig they played was for fellow San Diego act Slightly Stoopid at the Belly Up Tavern a couple of years ago. If that wasn’t enough, you also might have caught Arm the Angels opening up for Journey and Def Leopard last year at the Coors Amphitheater side stage, which gave the band additional cred among their expanding fan base.
In addition to having played some pretty big shows so far, the band also plays a lot of them. The boys seem really eager to get out there to turn crowds of new faces into new fans and that’s taken them all the way to Utah, which has given them an opportunity for building a fan base beyond just Southern California. The boys plan on returning to Utah in April for a 10-day tour where they also plan to play stops in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona and will be taking along Utah-based pop-rock outfit Broke City along for the ride.
Arm the Angels released their self-produced debut CD “Haunt This Town” last August which received a good amount of attention by the local music press and even earned Arm the Angels a nomination for Best Rock Album of the year at the San Diego Music Awards last September. Their songs are catchy, heavy enough to rock to, but still poppy enough to sing to; a mix many successful bands you hear on the radio today have mastered. It seems the boys are doing all the right things to make it big — all they really need is their big break. No one really knows when you’re going to get that big break, or even if you’ll ever get it and that’s why Eric knows it’s about doing what you can to put yourself out there to possibly catch that break when it comes. That’s why he and the band have enlisted a publishing company to help them get their songs placed in movies and television, which has so far produced getting their song “Last Goodbye” in a pro-volleyball movie last fall. Eric said the publishing company is also now working on a possible opportunity which might land an Arm the Angels song into the sequel of the next “Twilight” movie; an accomplishment that would be huge for any band, though Eric is keeping a level head about the chances. “We’re really excited about the possibility so we’re just keeping our fingers crossed,” he said. “You never know about these things.”
You can catch Arm the Angels playing April 3 at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach and see for yourself just how close to the brink of fame these guys really are. You can also check out their MySpace page or to hear tracks from their album, which San Diego gave 9 out of 10 stars to. Arm the Angels music is also available on iTunes; I recommend checking out “Saints,” although Eric recommends newcomers check out “One That Heals.” Either way, check them out at the Belly Up while you still can. These boys are rock stars waiting to happen. For now, they’re just honing their skills and when they blow, everyone will know.