Interview: Elos Arma

Toronto’s Elos Arma are the definition of hardworking. The indie rock outfit were intimately involved with every facet of the creation of their recently released EP, ensuring that the final product was a true representation of the band’s vision and nothing else. While fame, money, and the like are yet to arrive for the DIY group, they’ve earned a great deal of respect from the music community through their unwavering worth ethic. Since Elos Arma were generous enough to give their music to the world for free via their official website, felt it appropriate to help shine some light on these gentlemen and their new release. Check out this nifty interview we did with vocalist/guitarist Dan Tricanico. It’ll cure what ails you. 

Mother/Father was recorded and produced by Derek Hoffman of Brighter Brightest and mastered by Dan Weston (City and Colour, Attack In Black). What was that experience like? What skills did they bring to the table for this project?

This was our second time working with Derek; he also produced/mastered our previous release. The experience as a whole was very focused, Derek made sure everything we tracked was on par, from the smallest instrumental intricacies, to making our entire songs as concise as possible. Derek combines an excellent work ethic with an open mind, which reflects and resonates well with us. Dan Weston basically took our songs and dipped them in a fiery habanero oil-filled deep fryer. In other words, he made the songs extra spicy/crispy.


Is there a theme, concept, or message that ties Mother/Father together lyrically?

There’s a lot of topical ground covered in terms of lyrics on Mother/Father. As the saying goes, “write what you know”, and I believe that’s what we did on this record. If you want to look at it from a larger spectrum, all of the songs collectively examine the various dichotomies that exist in life, between thought and action, oppression and insurgence, dreaming and settling, love and the idea of being in love, etc.  Duality is a very a prominent theme on the album as a whole.


Can you explain the significance of the EP’s artwork, and how it relates to the music?

The artwork essentially reinforces the theme of duality. The black and white on the zebra mask is almost self-explanatory: black and white, night and day. The imagery of the dominant male and submissive female sitting colloquially across from each other contradicts the sensually violent imagery of the seemingly reserved female who is now evoking a vast pallet of emotion from the otherwise stoic male. It is deeply symbolic and relative to the duality of the musicianship/lyrics on the release.

You guys recently released a music video for “San Diego”, in which the members of the band can be seen performing some interesting dances around the city, clad in various costumes. What was the inspiration for this video?

Firstly, I should point out that this band grew up listening to (and still listen to) hardcore music; we all played in a post-hardcore band before we started Elos Arma. With that being said, if you are familiar with hardcore shows, then you know about hardcore dancing. If you know about hardcore dancing, then you might be aware of the phenomenon known as a “hardcore drive-by”. Thus, the video concept for “San Diego”.


Some listeners may be surprised to find out that you actually used to play guitar in Liferuiner, a hardcore band that’s at the complete opposite end of the musical spectrum from the style you play now. Are you still as into heavy music? Or have you just always really wanted to play this genre? 

I’m a huge fan of heavy music, maybe not as avid as those who completely subscribe themselves to one specific genre of music, but myself, along with the rest of the band, have a strong appreciation for heavy music. Before I joined Liferuiner, I would listen to “Taking Back the Night Life” steadily. The good thing about the music we play now is that there is room for us to utilize our knowledge of post-hardcore and include it in the writing process, which I think is somewhat evident on Mother/Father. I don’t think any of us will ever stop being fans of heavy music.


This is the least original question in music journalism, but I feel like I have to ask: Where does the name “Elos Arma” come from?

The name comes from a dream I once had where my late grandfather spoke the words “Elos Arma” to me. It was the weirdest dream I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t quite figure it out, but those two words stuck with me. It’s broken Spanish and the meaning is not certain, and no one in the band is Spanish. I can’t say it’s a name we hold dear and personal to our hearts because of its meaning, but I will say that I think we (people) strive most in life to make our dreams become reality. This name is a positive and personal reinforcement of that notion for us. Another advantage to this name is that if you Google it, no other search results are relevant except our band and all of our pages.



Which bands would you say have been major influences on your music?

Here’s a short list off the top of my head: Brand New, Boys Night Out, As Cities Burn, Foals, Local Natives, J Dilla, Starslinger, Led Zeppelin, Refused, Taking Back Sunday (tell all your friends), Grizzly Bear – however there is way more to be accounted for than just these artists.


What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?

Love. And the tiny guitar my parents bought me at age 4 that prompted me to be as involved in music as I am today.


Who would win in a fight: a taco, or a grilled cheese sandwich?

Grilled cheese. Is that racist?


Are there any words you’d like to leave with fans who are going to be reading this?

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ANYTHING spread our music around; show your friends. We want our music to be heard more than anything else.


Related Posts: