Arrows In Her: One Year Later

By Diego Ugaz –

Arrows In Her (L to R): Damian Chacon (lead vocals, guitar), Edwin Garcia (bass), Roger Escano (guitar), and Harold Perez (drums). (Photo courtesy of Arrows In Her)
Arrows In Her (L to R): Damian Chacon (lead vocals, guitar), Edwin Garcia (bass), Roger Escano (guitar), and Harold Perez (drums). (Photo courtesy of Arrows In Her)

The Gothic Times recently interviewed local band, Arrows in Her, one of the up-and-coming bands in Hudson County. Arrows consists of four members, two of who are current NJCU students and one NJCU alumnus: Graphics Design Major Harold Perez (drums), Undecided Major Damian Chacon (lead vocals, guitar), and Edwin Garcia (bass), who graduated in Spring 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Sociology.

The fourth member, Roger Escano (guitar), was not present due to work-related reasons. The band’s recent EP, “Leaving,” was well-received and has put them on the forefront of a new emo and post-hardcore movement; here’s the chat we had a bit after the year anniversary of “Leaving.”

Gothic Times: Hey guys, so it’s been a year since the EP came out, so where are you right now musically?

Damian: We’re writing. I mean we’re kind of in a better place.  As a band, we are a lot more known than we used to be.  But you get over it when it happens a bunch.

GT: With that being said, where were you guys when you were writing “Leaving”, musically and in your life?

Harold: I feel like we just went into it open minded, I had just joined and these guys had a thing set up, we each had our influences and we just kinda jumped in there.

Edwin: We kinda found our band chemistry, we tried to discover a certain feel and sound, and now that we have found it, we are more ambitious and driven and trying to write a full length album.

GT: Is there a big departure from the sound of “Leaving” on the current material that you guys are writing?

D: It’s a more mature sound, we’ve gotten better; I don’t think it’s a big departure.

H: The guitar playing will definitely be more ambitious.

GT: So you guys did a couple tours, as well as playing a heavy dose of shows, how do you feel that has impacted and benefited you?

D: It made us way tighter.

H: Definitely helped, we got a ton of new fans that way.

D: We promoted pretty heavy online in the first few months, but after that it was just word of mouth after playing shows and touring and stuff.

H: And it worked; a lot of people caught on and we would go to random shows, and people would be like, “Hey man, I heard your stuff from your Tumblr,” or, “We were at this party, and there were tons of people talking about you.” And we’re in the middle of Virginia.

D: We played a lot of out of state shows, mainly Ohio; we played there once, and when we came back, there were like 30 kids singing along. And we were only there once.

GT: That’s pretty great, is it sometimes surreal that people remember you?

D: A lot of shows we play around here and far away I hear people talking about us, and not even to us, to each other so that’s pretty cool, so I guess it is pretty surreal.

H: I feel like releasing stuff at the same time also adds to that level of surrealism, and I know we’re gonna go back to zero after releasing this, and going around seeing what people have to say like, “Oh you’re in Arrows in Her?” I would wonder what they thought of the EP.

GT: Do you feel like there is added pressure on this new release?

D: Oh yeah, there’s a lot of pressure.

E: It’s crazy because I was talking to one of the people that likes us. I’m not gonna say her name, but she was like, “Oh I really love the Leaving EP! I just really, really hope your new album blows it away or sounds a lot better.” It’s like, once a person becomes a fan, there’s a pressure every time after that.

GT: It’s like you become their boyfriend and they expect things to get better and better with time, right?

E: Yea, and if you don’t get better you slowly start to lose them.

GT: Are there any options or things that you are looking at as a new medium for releasing your music?

D: There’s a guy that’s going to put out our release, Middlebrook, a label from Long Island, they put out a split of ours and that’s actually coming in a couple of weeks. There’s also a guy who’s going to put out the release of “Leaving.” And as far as the full length, as long as it’s not terrible, we have a few friends that are on some good labels.

H: If we do well, there’s a very good chance we’ll get put out in a pretty serious label.

GT: That’s really great guys. So lyrically, “Leaving” was pretty dark, sad real life stuff.  Is there going to be a lot of a lyrical difference, or will there be similar themes running through it?

E: I feel like it’ll be a different kind of sad.

D: And usually my intentions writing, I mean I don’t really think it came out completely that way, but for some reason the way I like to write was very inspired by Sartre and Nietszche, very existential and what is the world almost, but it didn’t really come across that much and it just sounds sad but maybe a little more of that too.

GT: Speaking on that sad note, famous At the Drive In vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala once said that “All music is emotional,” and that “It is kinda senseless to classify music as emo or label it that way.”  Do you agree with that, or do you reject that statement and embrace the emo label?

H: That’s my idol.

D: That is a crazy question; emo has changed like a bunch.  It’s gone to a bad place, a good place, and a weird place. And of course everything’s emotional but, technically, emo was emotive hardcore; it had a root.  There was a reason it was called emo; it was for emotive hardcore.  So, in a way, every emo band is post-hardcore, so it’s all good.

GT: When your EP was first released, the website said, “For fans of American Football,” the influential 1990’s emo band.

D: Oh yeah, that wasn’t our fault, but everybody says it though, yeah.

GT: So since everybody says it, what do you say your music is more like?

D: I never really got the American Football [comparison] that much, but it has been said so much that I guess it must be true to a certain extent.

H: I feel like every twinkly thing gets associated with that.

D: Yea that’s true, what bands do we sound more like? Because I don’t wanna sound cocky, but I feel like no one sounds like us; we have a pretty interesting spin on stuff and a lot of mixed influences.  People compared us to Lifetime, All Saints Day, a little bit of Alkaline Trio, a little bit of Thursday.

H: I’d rather not compare us to another band.

GT: Interesting, have you guys considered playing a show at NJCU?

D: Yeah, I mean, we would definitely play a show here.

H: Yeah, if it’s well organized and people come out, then yeah, why not? We love playing to new people, especially in this area, that would be great.

D: Our biggest struggle has been playing in this area.  We had a Maxwell’s show that was crazy, but the fact that we are always playing Montclair or New Brunswick, which is far as hell, hasn’t helped our momentum locally.  More opportunities to play local would actually be pretty awesome.

GT: Last thing, any new announcements or exciting stuff that you would like to reveal?

D: We took this time off to write, but our split is coming out on vinyl in mid to late October, and then we are trying to book a ten day or two week tour in January through Florida, Texas, and up through the Midwest, and our full length will hopefully be out by maybe February.

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