With Our Arms To The Sun, have been hard at work, writing and recording for the follow-up to 2014's "A Far Away Wonder". During this time, they have come to complete the new album titled "Orenda" to be released via Dimension Records! Guitarist/vocalist Josh, discusses the new album, and what plans they have in-store for it, and the rest of this year!
1. What role do you play in the band?
Josh: Hi I'm Josh I play guitar and sing.
2. With Our Arms To The Sun is your namesake, but why is that? Does the name represent a meaning or is it just a name?
Josh: We usually like to leave it up to the listener to find their own meaning. To me, it has to do with hope.
3. What has influenced your sound and style?
Josh: I spent about 15 years playing in bands with Joseph Leary and doing creative projects with my other brother Joseph Breckenridge. Our philosophy has always kind of been to create the art, music, and media that we felt was missing or necessary in the landscape. That is what influences us. If something doesn’t exist that you crave artistically, make it.
4.What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Josh: We cover a pretty broad spectrum. For Orenda, we took a more concept album approach and agreed on the theme being someone struggling to understand what their existence is, and what it all means. As the journey progresses the character confronts himself, his hopes, fears, and ego. Eventually, he transcends these things and makes his grand exit.
5. Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Josh: We are big into tech. We all have small studios in our house and sort of fly ideas around digitally until we enjoy the direction, then we will meet in person, jam and finalize concepts. We are never in a rush. Good art can take time, so we are patient with the process and aware that there are times to create and times to be still and remove yourself from the art.
6. How do you describe your music to people?
Josh: I usually don’t.
7. What image do you think your music conveys?
Josh: I think it is different for everyone depending on your life experience. I would like to think it reaches deep for people, that is always the goal.
8. You will soon be releasing your new album, can you tell me a little bit about it?
Josh: This record was very fun to make. We worked with Buzz Osborne from the Melvins on structures and concepts in Los Angeles for awhile. When it came time to track and mix we rented a small house in the middle of the desert in northern Arizona and lived there for awhile hanging out, experimenting, bonding, etc. The album sort of wrote itself, it was a good time to be in that location and the universe abided haha.
9. What is the concept behind the album and how did the idea come about?
Josh: The idea came about to try to understand and tell the story of existence, consciousness, etc in a way we had not seen the story told before.
10. What is your favorite song on the record and why?
Josh: My favorite song on the record is called The War: Light the Shadows. It has some strange elements of chanting, 4 part screaming bridges, and cinematic push. It was very fun and therapeutic for me to set up a vocal mic in a room and scream the chorus of the song with my entire band at once at the top of our lungs while playing tribal percussion instruments.
11. What can fans expect from the new With Our Arms To The Sun album?
Josh: It is similar to past releases, the biggest change is more vocals that any other record. Also, we hid lots of sonic easter eggs intentionally in Orenda to see if people pick them all up and decipher them. It is like a puzzle box in some ways the more you hear it which was very fun for us.
12. What was the writing and recording process like for the album?
Josh: See above.
13. Why do you think people should check out your new album once released?
Josh: We do not really care or put much energy into that. We just create our art and release it and trust that it will find its audience.
14. How would you say you differ from other bands and artists on the scene?
Josh: We are the antithesis to the mainstream music machine. We do not really have an image we are just older nerdy armchair philosophers who make art. Our songs are never formatted or “radio friendly”. We do not care about any of that shit really, not even the business itself. We have the means to make records so we always will, like it or not.
15. What do you want to achieve as a band?
Josh: We just want to keep making records and touring. We already abandoned creature comforts years ago to be able to live like pirates in a van and travel into the unknown, so we want to just continue that life until we are too old to do it anymore. :)
16. What does next year hold for With Our Arms To The Sun?
Josh: We have Orenda coming out. Expect tour dates to support that. Expect a limited edition vinyl release around summertime with bonus content. We just released a web series called “Astral Transmissions”. It is a series of mini documentaries featuring people from all walks of life you have experienced paranormal things, abductions, haunting's, near-death experiences, spiritual awakenings, etc. The web series is an extension of the philosophy I mentioned earlier, we are creating the media we feel needs to exist and offering it up to the masses.
17. Describe With Our Arms To The Sun in three words.
Josh: Beer, football, pussy.