INTERVIEW: A Is For Arrows
Photo by Maria Jose Govea
Q.Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Roses”?
Alessia: well, Roses is a special one because it’s the oldest song written to date that will be on our upcoming ep and it’s about the person I love. To me it’s a love letter, a promise of the past, present and future. I also think it’s all encompassing of who A is for Arrows is and will be.
Eric: One of the most raw unfiltered songs we’ve had thus far. There is so much strength in the lyrics; so definitive, almost like they are set in stone. As the years go by the song seems to bring on new meaning with every twist and turn in life. This song is really where it all begins for us.
Q.Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Alessia: oh yeah…. I fell in love, hard and fast…. If anyone who’s listened to this song has experienced falling in love, they’ll know exactly what my lyrics mean. Falling is enthralling, It’s magic and it feels endless and when you find the “one” all you want to do is be with them, always and forever. So i’d say I was pretty inspired when it was written haha
Eric: Alessia wrote the core of that song years ago. When she showed it to me I immediately felt a connection with it. Alessia and I worked on that song for years after the initial demo was written, changing it every which way. What you hear on the record is actually very close to Alessia’s original demo. It’s how it was written in the moment if inspiration; it’s raw emotion. I think that’s what makes it so special.
Q.How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
Alessia: The filming process in the Arrows camp is always a lot of fun, we like to keep it light and make sure everyone is smiling. I’d hate being on a set that was all quiet and tense. It’s really cool, we get to work with amazing people and through the creative process have become great friends with them as well, so there’s a level of trust there that for me is incredibly important because without that – our vision collectively wouldn’t work.
Eric: Creating this video was a special moment for me. We shot it on the quiet suburban streets outside my parents house. There’s a certain vibe about those dimly lit streets at night that I had always wanted to capture and this song seemed to exemplify those feelings. The unmitigated honesty of Alessia’s words just seemed to fit in this setting where so many experiences of mine had taken place.
Q.Why naming the record after this song in particular?
Alessia: It was an obvious choice for me, as I said before this song is all encompassing for us, especially where we are right now and where we were while writing this EP.
All of the songs on this record are about very personal topics, and I just thought it was fitting that a rose was the symbol – a yellow rose too. No one gives yellow roses as much love as they should, it’s always about red roses. What about the rest of the colors? Roses is a song and an ep about love and people, EVERY type of person.
Eric: This song just seemed to be at the heart of it all for us. It represents our growth as people and the untamed emotions that we strive to put into our music. It will forever serve as the first chapter in the Arrows catalogue.
Q.How was the recording and writing process?
Alessia: To be honest, it took long. We wanted to make sure we did the original demo justice. The sentiment had to match the production so we took our time and meticulously got it to a point that we were happy with and I’m glad we did because it’s everything I ever dreamed it could be.
Eric: It was a bit of a struggle. To me the song was written years ago, it was just a matter of how we framed it with the music. Just like the other songs from this chapter, we were trying to find our identity as individuals and as a collective. We spent a lot of time experimenting, every song went through changes. This song probably took the longest out of all of them but we needed to take the time.
Q.What was it like to work with Joel Stouffer and how did that relationship develop?
Alessia: HA! awesome question. I love Joel, he’s such a good person and so talented!
He can hear things the rest of us can’t and It’s always fun when we are in the studio with him.. we met him through our friend and co-songwriter/producer Ben Nudds years ago at a spontaneous studio session. We started writing a song and I think we just immediately clicked. It was fun, it was inspired, productive. Which is special because that doesn’t happen very often, it usually takes time to meet your people in this world and the fact that we all just hit it off is amazing.
Eric: Joel’s a great, easy going guy and lots of fun to work with. He has a great ear for melody and a strong sense of song structure. Joel’s strong pop sensibilities create a great contrast to our dark moody tendencies; I think they push and pull each other well. We met Joel through our co-songwriter Ben Nudds and hit it off immediately. Consequently we created the whole Roses ep with him!
Q.How much did he get to influence the album?
Alessia: Joel is a professional musician through and through, without his guidance and expertise I’m not sure how we would’ve gone about this whole process. He gave advice and pointed us in the right direction without ever pushing us into a direction if that makes sense. He really wanted to make sure that our vision about our sound was true to who we are and he never tried to make it about him. He always made sure we were comfortable and that we absolutely loved what he was doing and if we didn’t, we’d change it until we did!
Eric: Joel had a strong influence on our music. In our experimental stage he helped create cohesion between all our different facets we were trying to cram together; he brought continuity to all the songs. Joel’s choice of sounds in his production was always a driving force behind the emotions expressed in the vocals and guitars. He has a great ability to bring the best out of us in the recording process.
Q.What role does Toronto play in your music?
Alessia: It’s our city! It plays a huge role, it’s our playground! We make human connections here, we drive around this city, we walk, eat ,shop, play shows in this city. It’s a huge inspiration for us. We grew up here! I think it’s the coolest city in the world!
Eric: It’s the backdrop to our narrative, it’s home and will always be. Toronto lately has a lot of great upcoming underground artists to which we are among. A lot of them happen to be our friends and their music continues to inspire us. It feels like we’re all growing together as a musical movement. 2020 is an exciting year to be an artist in Toronto!
Q.What aspect of love and your own personal life did you get to explore on this record?
Alessia: We delved into every aspect of love and my personal life. The highs and lows, all the crazy ups and downs that come with love and growing up are all on this record.
Self-confidence to self doubt and everything in between. Finding love, losing it and then finding it again. Oh man…. It’s all a reflection of personal experience. Everything we write about has to come from within and I personally can’t write a song unless it’s come from a real experience.
Eric: Since Alessia is the primary singer, most of the experiences and concepts we write about are based on her life. Alessia and I are very close friends so I’m around most of everything going on in her life. Being the sort of “Ying to her Yang”, we consistently have talks and discussions about our lives and the thoughts we have; a lot of it ends up in the music. As for me personally the last couple years have been a time of self discovery. I have learned so much from creating this music and now finally releasing it to the world. I feel like I’m still figuring myself out but I’m closer than ever.
Q.Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Alessia: Again- they all come from personal experience.
Eric:. We get inspiration from creating little pieces of music. Whether it be a guitar riff or a vocal melody; a lot of our music starts from a little seed to which we build upon. A lot of the time the lyrics come out of a feeling the music gives us. It’s different every time though, There has never been a template. We don’t like to put limitations on ourselves creatively, inspiration can come from anywhere or anything.
Q.Any plans to hit the road?
Alessia: I can’t wait to hit the road! There are some future possibilities for that but as of right now we’re going to play all around the city so come and hang out with us at the next venue we play!
Eric: Just playing shows around town right now, spreading the word. We’re waiting for an opportunity to come our way!
Q.What else is happening next in A is for Arrows’ world?
Alessia: Aside from constantly working on our live show, we’re focusing on writing a ton of new material and eventually writing an album. Only time will tell! I’m just very excited about it all.
Eric: Were working on the next batch of songs; really excited about where we’re going with them. Continuously working on our live show is always a priority. There’s never a dull moment in the Arrows camp!
You can watch the official video HERE.
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