“We don’t really practice,” Arc Flash guitarist/vocalist James Thomblison told me over speakerphone when asked how the band sits down to write such fast songs. “We tend to do a lot of the writing live.” After their former bassist made a last-minute decision not to join Thomblison and drummer Mark Rockwell for a basement show in Minneapolis, the Kansas-based Arc Flash suddenly turned from a trio into a two-piece.
While most bands would take time to recover after losing an integral member, Arc Flash played a show the same night. As it would turn out, this dramatic change turned out to be for the better, as the duo is now able to read each other perfectly onstage, which results in a more natural, streamlined writing process. “You can’t make eye contact with three people at one time,” Thomblison said. “But with us, it’s easy to say, just by eye contact, ‘Ok, we’re going to do this now.'”
The result of this amicable split is Carbon Copy, which we are excited to be exclusively premiering below. It’s a twelve-track onslaught of speedy punk tracks that will immediately get your head shaking (the songs are honestly too fast for your head to be banging) along. “The songs got a lot faster, and a lot weirder, too,” mused Rockwell. The album was recorded completely live in nearly one take, continuing the momentum and the energy coursing through the band as they returned from two weeks on the road.
“We can reproduce everything that’s on the record live,” Rockwell said as he explained the recording process. “So the only thing that we really had to work with was trying to fill out the sound and just make it sound full… James runs his guitar through a bass amp and a guitar amp and that does a good job of filling out the frequencies.”
Carbon Copy is the perfect sonic embodiment of the term from which the band takes its name, which was used during Thomblison’s first day at tech school for electrical construction to describe “the electrical phenomenon when electricity jumps through air.” The energy is palpable on every track, with grooves that are unable to be captured on recording. When asked about what they consider the highlight of Carbon Copy, Thomblison and Rockwell both hesitated for a second, before Rockwell declares: “I think this is our Third Eye Blind self-titled. I think every song is a single.”
Check out Carbon Copy in full below.
Carbon Copy is out 3/31 on vinyl via High Dive Records and on tape via Lawrence, Kansas-based label Whatever Forever. Pre-order the vinyl here and the tape here, and definitely don’t miss the band on tour at any of the below dates.
3/28 — Kansas City, MO @ Blind Tiger ~
3/29 — Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin ~
3/30 — Omaha, NE @ Oleavers ~
3/31 — Lawrence, KS @ Replay [ALBUM RELEASE PARTY] ~
4/1 — Cedar Falls, IA @ The Octopus ~
4/2 — Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon Bar ~
4/3 — Sioux Falls, SD @ Total Drag Records
4/7 — Lawrence, KS @ Love Garden [ALL AGES ALBUM RELEASE SHOW] ~
4/8 — KCMO @ Mills Record Co [ALL AGES ALBUM RELEASE SHOW] ~
4/11 — St. Louis, MO @ FOAM ^
4/12 — Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin ^
4/13 — Springfield, MO @ Front of House Lounge ^
4/20 — Omaha, NE @ Oleavers *
4/21 — Cedar Falls, IA @ Octopus *
4/22 — Ames, IA @ Uncertainty Fest *
4/23 — Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews *
4/24 — Rock Island, IL @ Moeller Mondays *
4/25 — Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen *
4/27 — Columbia, MO @ Cafe Berlin *
4/28 — Lawrence, KS @ Replay *
4/29 — STL @ FOAM *
~ w/ Condor & Jaybird
^ w/ Howardian
* w/ Dressy Bessy