Arms Like Roses - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Arms Like Roses. We discussed how they became interested in music, thoughts on the anniversary of their album ‘Blooming’, what to expect from their upcoming music, the best parts of touring, and more. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview. 

Xela (guitar): Wah Wah Wee Wah.

Can you tell me more about how you initially became interested in music and how you started writing songs?

Xela: Rock Band for the Xbox 360, and that is not a joke.

Tom Shreve (drums): I actually also learned how to play drums from Rock Band, specifically Lego Rock Band, but I’d say my interest in music came from hearing bands like Weezer and blink-182 in mix CDs my dad would play in his car.

Estelle (vocals): When I was 3 or 4 years old, one of my cousins used to have me sing backing vocals to Aaliyah songs and other songs that were popular at the time. I remember seeing No Doubt on TV and thinking it was really cool to see a girl making music in a band (and she had pink hair too). That’s how I started with music.

Adam (guitar): My friend’s sibling put on and played Prayer of the Refugee by Rise Against and I never looked back. I don’t think I picked up a guitar until middle school, but I had a good ear for it and just stuck with it.

Tom Fisher (bass): I started out on piano playing like Beethoven and whatnot but then around 11 got irreversibly into pop punk.

You celebrated the year anniversary of your album 'Blooming' in July. You've said it was a turning point for the band. What are your thoughts looking back at it now? 

Xela: Best piece of media I’ve created so far. 

Tom Shreve: I listened to the album again yesterday to prepare for our show tonight and I can truly say it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever had a hand in creating. I think it only gets better with time and I don’t really have any regrets with it.

Estelle: I think it was very vulnerable for me. A lot of the songs are about either my experiences in life dealing with depression, anxiety, loss or about things I’ve seen other people close to me deal with. I’m very proud of what we accomplished writing that during the pandemic.

Adam: It’s a culmination of a lot of effort on so many parts that listening to it is still a little surreal, in the best way possible.

Tom Fisher: It goes nuts, I like it a lot.

You have new music coming out soon. What can you tell us about it so far? 

Xela: It’s way more RAW.

Adam: Raw and uncut. 

Estelle: We’ve been waiting to put it out for a while. We’re excited because some of the songs are more intense and experimental than the full-length.

Tom Shreve: The first track on the thing we’re releasing is my favorite song we’ve ever written. It’s the poppiest and most emo at the same time. The other tracks push me a bit outside of my comfort zone, but pretty purely convey the essence of Estelle and Xela as a songwriting team.

Tom Fisher: There's a lot going on in the new songs and I am very stoked to get 'em out there. We are firing on all cylinders in these tracks.

How do you think you've progressed as songwriters on this new music? Did you try anything new with your songwriting process?

Tom Shreve: I didn’t sit down and change any of the arrangements or anything this time. It was purely Estelle and Xela as I said.

Xela: We changed nothing about the process, the only thing that changed was that our tastes evolved since the album.

Estelle: We didn’t change too much about the writing process. I know I personally have an eclectic taste in music and always want to expand things. I don’t wanna do the same thing over and over again so I wanted to incorporate more aspects of my musical taste, especially with one of the songs that’s mostly spoken word. That’s pretty different from other things we have done.

Tom Fisher: This was my first release as a member of the band in the studio and I honestly tried not to show off much - more so just give everyone else the room to go nuts while keeping things cohesive and as easy to follow as possible!

You recently wrapped up a tour. What are a couple of your favorite shows that you've played recently and/or what are aspects of performing live that you are currently enjoying?

Tom Shreve: I think I like touring more than most of the band does. This time particularly I was really excited to play in Florida, specifically Jacksonville, Orlando, and Gainesville because so many of my favorite bands have come from those cities and they didn’t disappoint. I don’t love recording so playing live is definitely my favorite aspect of being in this (or any) band.

Xela: Beckley, West Virginia was the best show. We played in a daycare and my life peaked moshing in a daycare. I can die happy now.

Estelle: My favorite show on our last tour was in Orlando which was us playing a deathcore show. A lot of people still dug us and I tried to make our set more intense by screaming more than I usually do. Performing is definitely my favorite thing to do, and just getting to be in a different place every single day and experience the different culture and food that you don’t get to do back home.

Adam: We don’t have Waffle House up here bro. Nashville always treats us so warmly that I can’t help but feel great about every time we play there. Being able to meet so many other people that I never would’ve known existed and develop a peership with them is far and away my favorite part of tour.

Tom Fisher: Xela already said Beckley so I'll say Gainesville. House shows are usually hit or miss for me but that one hit like a ton of bricks and helped remind me why I think live music is so cool.

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

Adam: Thank you for thinking of us. Baba Booey.

Xela: Kony 2012. 

Tom Fisher: Yo, if you're still reading this you should go listen to Headlines by Drake right now.

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