remember why you love rock and roll
Arthur Channel is the
melding of newcomer singer/songwriter Jon Greene, Jack
Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Eleven, Wallflowers),
Greg Richling (Wallflowers, Fiona Apple), and Alain Johannes
(Queens Of The Stone Age, Eleven). They call themselves
Arthur Channel.”Why?” you ask…..Well, for one
thing, don’t ask the band members. They’re
not sure either. Yet one thing they do know is that every
arrow pointed them toward finding each other.
The name arrived out of nowhere, much like
unknown, yet masterful singer/songwriter/guitarist Jon
Greene appeared in the lives of drummer Jack Irons and
bass player Greg Richling. Shortly after moving to Los
Angeles, Jon acquired Jack’s contact info and sent
him a three song demo; coincidentally, Jack and Greg had
been discussing finding an unknown singer/songwriter to
start working with. Greg says, “I bet Jon spied us
from the tree tops. He knew no matter how good the bass
and drums were sounding, it was a lonely affair.”
The band’s debut recording features the voice of Jon
Greene inciting thought provoking lyrics such as “As
the earth was shaking us/ there was no mistaking love” (or ‘Hand
over arms/ And let something be silenced for once’).
Greg Richling on bass and Jack Irons on drums prove to be an
unshakable rhythm section breathing life into these songs in
sonic alchemy. The lead guitar roles were handled by famed
studio musician Lyle Workman (Frank Black, They Might Be Giants).
Zach Irons (Irontom) plays lead on ‘Ripple’ and
Alain Johannes manned lead on ‘New Life’, quickly
becoming a perfect fit. Johannes has played with Queens of
the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Chris Cornell and many,
MANY more acts. He has also headed production on albums for
many well known musicians. Irons has not only played for the
Chili Peppers, but has also played for Pearl Jam, Spinerette
and The Wallflowers (which Richling was also a part of).
record was mixed by Alain, who then became their go-to guy
on guitar. Both Irons and Johannes met again in the 90s, creating
the band Eleven, one of my personal favorite bands from the
decade. After their third member Natasha Schneider, who was
also Johannes partner, tragically passed away due to cancer,
Johannes has picked himself up and released a solo album, worked
on several projects with other musicians, and was just recently
featured in the Sound City documentary. All four of the bands
members are extremely talented. I know that when their album
finally does come out, it will be a treat for the ears. Their
debut album will be released in September this year on Brooklyn
label The End Records. Listen loud and remember why you love
rock and roll.
We recently got the chance to ask
some questions about this new band,
take a look at what he
had to say:
Tell us a little about what brought
you to where you are today? How you got started, influences
As a young teenager growing up in LA, I used to
walk to the original Rhino Records, starting around
1982. The opinionated clerks at that store got me interested
in a lot of cool bands like Green On Red, The Dream
Syndicate, Minutemen, Husker Du...It was a musical
heyday of sorts, in my opinion. Around that time, I
heard a bass solo on jazz radio and decided THAT was
my instrument. Went down the usual path...high school
bands etc...then Jakob Dylan, a schoolmate/friend of
mine started The Wallflowers while I was in college.
Upon graduating from Boston U. film school in 1992,
I joined the group after they parted ways with their
first bass player. I just quit The Wallflowers after
20 great years and I’m
now in a new band called Arthur Channel, with Jon
Greene, Jack Irons and Alain Johannes.
- What are you and your band doing
Rehearsing for shows to support our upcoming debut
album release on The End Records, Oct. 15.
- Tell us about your songwriting/recording
process and what we can expect on your latest tunes?
Jon Greene writes the lyrics and chord progressions.
Then we jam to come up with individual parts and sounds to
compliment those existing elements. We keep mics set up in
our space so we can record basics anytime we want. Very simple,
organic approach. We play live, we record live.
What can we
expect to see from you in the future?
You can expect sporadic, yet impressive live shows
and some possible unique evenings with the band where we
create video art/sound/live performance installations in
galleries in conjunction with other people we collaborate
Tell us a
few things about yourself that may surprise us?
I worked as a set assistant on Pee Wee’s Playhouse
when I was younger. I graduated college. I produced a Norwegian
platinum record for a rock group called BIGBANG. I have
original instrumental music on many tv shows and on channels
like CMT. I collect vinyl. Blah, blah...
- What music are you enjoying currently?
Lately, I like The Allah-La’s and a band called
Pure X. Also, listening to a lot of Nuggets and surf music.
- If you could go back in time
what would you do differently in your career?
Tough question. I don’t really have any regrets.
maybe I would have started producing records a little earlier
than I did.
- If you could play with any musician
in history who would it be?
Not possible now, but would have been great to play
with Jimi Hendrix.
- Where do you see your career
going in the next five years?
I have no idea at the moment. The future is wide
open right now. Maybe i get
further into producing music for other bands and tv shows
- Other than being an artist what did you think about doing
as a career when you were a child?
As a kid I only thought about being in music. So,
I guess I lived my dream, in that sense.
What has been your best experience
in the business? And Why?
My best experience in the business has been being afforded
the chance to make and release music that people can enjoy.
Doing something that moves other people and makes them
feel something. Also, opening for The Rolling Stones, The
Who, Tom Petty....Jamming with Clapton and Springsteen.
That stuff was fun too!
- What has been your worst experience
in the business? And Why?
Worst part of it is just being away from family for
long stretches at a time. I don’t enjoy that. It’s
why i left The Wallflowers. I want to see my young son grow
up. I want to be a present father. Not an absentee father.
I had 20 great years. It’s time to stay planted in
LA. Do other things.
What is it
you love about what you do?
I love the creative process of coming up with material,
helping others do the same, and recording those ideas.
Turning the ideas into songs people enjoy. After that is
completed, the other stuff is less fun to me.
- What is it you hate about what
Having to deal with people in the business that are
not artist friendly. People that use artists for their own
monetary advantage and are not fair and respectful to the
content creators. Shame on them.
If you could make a major change
in the business…. What
would you like to see?
Artists being paid fairly for the work that they
create and sell. Less going to all the middlemen that gauge
artists. This is not bitterness on my part, this is called
the hope that fairness prevails. I would wish for the day
when folks on the business side can no
longer look in the mirror and feel ok about what they are
doing ....which is, taking way more than their fair share
for what they do. Just because they distribute music or
collect revenue doesn'tt
make them entitled to most of the earnings. The government
should care more about the plight of the artist. If they
investigate further, they will see just how corrupt and
out of whack the system is. This is why Arthur channel
signed to The End Records. A great indie label. They are
fair and artist friendly folks. They are part of the solution.
Not the problem.
- What would you like to be your
contribution to music biz?
That I contributed more quality work to the lifelong,
existing pool of great music.
How do you
feel the Internet has changed the business? Positive
Positively, more music can be discovered by web surfing.
Negatively, people want to enjoy music, but apparently
they don’t see the value in it. People need to get
reacquainted with their own compassion and sense of moral
and ethical responsibility on this planet. Understand that
what they do has an impact on things.
Where do you
see business and music moving to?
I see the music business selling celebrity
endorsed headphones and I see artists fighting for fair
compensation through legislation. Eventually, sometime
in the future, artists will be compensated fairly and then
they will be able to continue making music for a living.
I lobby congress. Others should do the same.
How can the business side and artists better work together?
It will take compassion and compromise. Right now
we are lacking in those areas and things are very lopsided.
The End Records and Arthur Channel are
happily joining forces for the band’s debut, self titled
album slated for release this October.
“Vapor” is their
premier track for their upcoming album, which should be due
out sometime this year. The song is somewhat of a sadder sounding
doo-wop with the two guitars doing a call and response between
finger picking and accented chords right after. Green’s
vocals are fantastic and complement the instrumentation very
effectively. Lot's of folks are very excited for the release
of their debut album, partially from the history that a few
of the members carry with them.
“I’m proud to call The End Records home to my band Arthur Channel.
Andreas and co. are a great group of music lovers to work with! From Art Brut
to FatBoy Slim. From Badly Drawn Boy to Krokus…… Man, that’s
serious range and I want to be a part of that kind of open mindedness. It makes
sense for Arthur Channel, whose individual members have been a part of many known
bands including The Wallflowers, Pearl Jam, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Eleven,
and Queens Of The Stone Age to be a part of this label. To me, good music is
good music, no matter the genre. The End Records obviously embodies that philosophy.
I’m excited for the release of our own brand of Rock and Roll on this great
Brooklyn based label on October 15, 2013. Hope you check it out!“ - Greg