An Interview with Eric of Artillery & Storm
Artillery & Storm is a Chicago-based hard rock band that brings a unique blend of technical expertise, powerful sound, and positivity to their music. In this interview, lead singer and producer Eric shares his inspirations, the band’s creative process, and upcoming music releases.
Hey, thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hey good to meet you. Well, my name is Eric, I’m the singer and producer for Artillery & Storm. We are a Chicago-based hard rock band that is all about a huge, powerful sound combined with a positive message. But, more uniquely, everyone in this band is very technical. For example, I am an electrical engineer with a passion for the technical aspect of live entertainment. I love the technology behind making an awe-inspiring show a reality, and we literally make it happen. All the time I meet guitarists who love dabbling with guitar pedals, which is fine and good, but I take it one step further. I love imagining how to make my guitar pedals fully wireless, how to make them more visually fascinating to use, and of course how to make them create a sound unlike a guitar at all.
Who or what inspired you to start making music? And, when did you start?
This band comes from a lot of backgrounds. Most of us grew up on 90s and 00s rock music. Personally, I started playing music through the video game “Rock Band.” I remember a day when my father said “if you played a real guitar as much as you played that video game, you could be pretty good.” Well, it was kind of true! It really didn’t take long and I could play every song in the game on my real guitar better than I could play the game!
What is your biggest challenge as an artist?
Easy! Set up time!
But really, we literally built our own light show which is designed to work in relatively small venues. And it works! It looks really great and unique. We actually have the setup time down to less than 15 minutes. But it takes a long time to prepare and is hard to transport. Everything is a tradeoff! But honestly, that is the challenge that I love. We literally get to be inventors at the same time as being artists.
What is your favorite project or single you have released?
Is it cliche to say whatever the most recent one is? Supernova was the last single we released, and I was extremely happy with that one. But we are just about to release a new single that builds on and exceeds everything we did for Supernova. Bigger, louder, meaner, and more expressive. It was a monumental challenge to produce, but that is the fun part! Expect that song early next month!
Who are your inspirations? What artists or bands are you listening to?
It totally depends on the environment for me. 90% of my music consumption occurs in the gym – in which it has to be heavy metal. I am a big fan of bands like Bring Me the Horizon and I Prevail. That genre probably has the biggest inspiration for what I like to produce. It is a hard rock, but has truly evolved as recording technology has evolved. I think that genre is really pushing the envelope with what a production can look like (at least for rock music).
Other folks in the band have different tastes. Gordon (bass, vocals) for instance is a big King Gizzard fan. And Dax (guitar) is all about The Smashing Pumpkins.
What’s the process behind working on a song like?
Well, you caught me at a good time because we literally just finished a producing session this morning!
Let me preface with everyone in this band is a producer and engineer in their own right. We all have studios in our basements and we can literally all play everyone else’s instruments. So I think we can really write without limits. If Gordon hears something in a guitar part, he grabs a guitar and lays it down. If Dax hears something in the drums, he shows us what it is. Once we break down the creative walls and everyone gets on the same page for what the song needs, we can really come up with something great.
Further, because we are all versed in the recording process, we love to make sounds that traditional rock bands would not be able to do easily. Effects on the drums? Sure! Crazy glitching guitars that are technically impossible to play? Sign us up! A drum part that takes 3 drummers to perform? If it helps the song, let’s do it. We’ll figure out how to perform it later!
Tell me about your upcoming music and what inspired you to create it!
Sure! I already mentioned our latest single which is coming out in just a couple of weeks, but that is practically old news for us at this point. We are also finishing up tracking on a ballad which will be released later this spring – actually, everyone else’s parts are done, they are just waiting on me to track vocals at this point! This was an extremely fun song to produce as we started with a very raw emotion that we were trying to capture in a new and interesting way – without losing the depth and the pain of the story. Alternative music can fall into a trap of overproducing and losing some of the emotion, but if done right it can really amplify that emotion in a new way.
What are your plans for 2023?
Hopefully, create some awesome music and bring an unforgettable performance to some Chicago venues! Seriously, we designed this whole show to play in small venues and be nothing like you have ever seen there. It is an awesome challenge and I can’t wait for people to see it!
Have any shoutouts?
Mom and dad! And I say this for everyone in the band: partners, families, and friends. Thank you for the support!
With a passion for technical innovation and a love for hard rock music, Artillery & Storm is making waves in the Chicago music scene. Tune in to their newest release, Supernova, available on Spotify or wherever you stream music digitally.