Arthur Channel

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).

The 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
Greg Richling 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 etc.
    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 currently?
    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 with.

  • 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 etc.

  • 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 you do?
    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 and Negative?
    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 Richling

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