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A Short Talk with Che Arthur of Atombombpocketknife

Che Arthur (image borrowed from Atombombpocketknife's web site)

For more information on Che Arthur, visit or Our review of Che's solo album, All Of Your Tomorrows Were Decided Today, is here.
I'm not sure what to say about Che Arthur without it sounding like a eulogy. I know the man well. I can tell you he's one of the few people in this world I can completely vouch for. Ask around and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone that has a bad word to say about him. He also happens to play music, which Splendid's Steve English described as "post-hardcore singer/songwriter". So why not interview Che?

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Nick D. Meiers: Seen any good movies lately?

Che Arthur: Uh, it's not super recent, but the last movie i saw was Y Tu Mama Tambien.

NDM: You frequently list your interests as metal and vodka. What are your favorite flavors of each?

CA: I am extremely interested in both metal and vodka. On the metal side, I'd probably say Meshuggah, Slayer, Botch, the first four Metallica records, Megadeth's Rust in Peace, At The Gates... on the vodka tip, my all time favorite is Stoli, for sure. Sweet Russian times.

NDM: Any local Chicago bands that you're into lately?

CA: There are always lots of good bands around town, but a few of the ones I like most are The Race, Low Skies, Challenger, 90 Day Men, Sweet Cobra and Pelican.

NDM: Keeping up with current events, do you have a favorite Dimebag Darrell memory? Have you ever been to, or played, the Alrosa Villa club where he was killed?

CA: Well, I do have to say that his death was a completely bizarre and rather frightening event. I don't know if I really have a favorite memory of the ole bag, but I do think there are some super hot riffs on "Vulgar Display of Power" and "Far Beyond Driven". Never heard of that club before... Has it now become Ohio's Viper Room?

NDM: You're on the road a lot, whether on your own, with ABPK (Che plays guitar in Atombombpocketknife) or doing sound for someone. What are your favorite cities along the way? I'd guess San Diego and LA. Also, are there any little stops along the way that you favor (i.e. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji, MN)?

CA: In the US, definitely San Diego, Austin, Seattle... I like Minneapolis a lot... In Europe, Rome (!), Vienna, Amsterdam, Glasgow. I went to Taipei once, and that was pretty cool, too. Oh, and "The Thing" in Arizona.

NDM: What is "The Thing" in Arizona?

CA: It's this crazy truck stop/museum in the desert. Kind of hard to explain, you just have to see it.

NDM: Last year you put out a LP and an EP. What's next?

CA: Actually, the EP (Earthed) is not out yet, though it was recorded at the same time as the full-length and originally intended to be released along with the LP last year. In theory, it will be out in spring '05. Meanwhile, I have most of the next LP written and will be recording it thru the winter months. No specific ideas on when that will actually be finished and released, though. Other than that, I'm planning to do a lot of solo touring next year. US and European tours are currently in the works.

NDM: Ya, that's why I try to leave the in-depth musical questions to the professionals. Are you recording the next record at Semaphore as well?

CA: Right now it's looking like we're gonna do drums at Justin (ABPK)'s house and I'll do guitars, vocals, etc. at home. Then we'll mix at Soma or Engine or somewhere.

NDM: Will the new record also be a Flameshovel release?

CA: I don't know.

NDM: Are there any shows or events that you're looking forward to seeing here in Chicago in the near future?

CA: Well, I've been a bit out of the loop lately -- I don't even really know much about what's coming up around town. There is new year's eve at the Empty Bottle with the 90 Day Men, that will be good times.

NDM: Justin is doing some new project, right? What does the future of ABPK look like?

CA: Yeah, Justin's new project is called The Poison Arrows. He just put out an EP on File-13 a couple months ago that I'd definitely recommend that people check out. ABPK, well, we're not super sure about that. The band is on "indefinite hiatus", I believe that's what it's usually called. We have no plans to do anything any time in the near future, but I wouldn't say we've ruled out doing things in the future.

NDM: Is there a question you wish an interviewer would ask you? If so, please answer it.

CA: The answer is yes.

NDM: Well, thanks, that should do just fine. I'll see you at the Bottle tonightah.

CA: Sweet.

-- Nick D. Meiers



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