We got a chance to sit down with two members of Arcane Framework, lead singer Katy Przybytek and guitarist Brian McDermott. Watch the video for the whole interview (just under 15 minutes) or if you’d prefer you can read the transcript below.
Ryan Heuser: Ryan Heuser here with Just a Guy and I’m lucky enough to be joined by a couple friends here: Katie and Brian from Arcane Framework.
Katy Przybytek: Hi!
Brian McDermott: ‘ello!
RH: Thanks for joining us, guys!
BM: I’m not British.
RH: [Laughs] So, Arcane Framework that’s a pretty unique name how’d that come to be?
KP: In forming the band, our former guitarist and I were kinda tossing around ideas. Had a lot of stupid ones.
RH: That’ll happen.
KP: Had some decent takeaways but Arcane Framework was one of the few that didn’t involve food or genitals or animals.
RH: So you kept it PG-13 for the kids.
KP: Yes we did, it sounded cool, we stuck with it. Thought about changing it but it was established.
RH: It just kinda stuck?
RH: I like it, I think it’s a unique name so that’s awesome. That’s how you came up with the name, how’d you come to be then?
KP: Through word of mouth, through being in the same town, through Craigslist.
BM: I joined the band through Craigslist.
RH: [Laughs] Oh man, you’re that guy?
BM: I’m that guy. I think it’s panned out pretty well. I’m fine with being that guy.
RH: You saw him and didn’t turn around like, “Oh God no!”.
KP: Started with me jamming with a couple guys from high school, you know one went the other direction and a friend of ours, a mutual friend of ours, met up with Mike at a bar and then she said, “Oh my friend’s band is looking for a
drummer” and he said, “I’m not in band.”
RH: It’s all about who you know.
KP: Exactly, so that and then we found him (points at Brian) six months down the road.
RH: Oh, Craigslist guy.
BM: On the streets.
RH: That’s pretty great actually.
KP: And then another lineup change about a year and half ago and we are who we are: Scott, Mike and the two of us.
RH: These two clowns. That’s beautiful, that’s awesome. So I know I’ve been to a couple shows and guys rock, it’s awesome.
BM: We’re okay I guess.
RH: I enjoy it, I have a good time. Maybe it’s the beers, who knows?
KP: [Laughs] It probably is.
RH: But you guys are kinda like harder rock, like how’d that start? Was it just like alright we’re just gonna play rock music, we’re just gonna be heavy, this is what we’re gonna do?
KP: It’s one genre we all have in common and it’s fun. It’s fun to play.
RH: That’s awesome! So that’s like alright a collective “Hey we’re gonna do this and if you don’t like it whatever”.
BM: It’s probably based upon all our influences, you know i can pickup a guitar and I can’t do anything else but chug and play a heavy riff. Ya know?
RH: I can chug, too hey.
BM: Yeah, we know Ryan. So it’s just the style, that at least for me, I fell into. That I’ve playing since I was 13.
KP: I am not, I don’t consider myself a bassist. More a piano player or guitarist but I love bass.
RH: A true musician.
KP: I think bass isn’t one of my strongest instruments but I have a lot of fun with it.
RH: Well that’s what it’s all about right? Go out, play, and have a little bit of fun.
KP: I love the buzz and vibration from it. (gestures as if playing a large bass)
RH: You get real big on it?
KP: And my bass is about as big as I am almost.
RH: [Laughs] “Slappa da bass, man”.
KP: “Slappa da bass, man”.
RH: So how does the song writing process come to be? Where, do you find inspiration somewhere and just jot something down. Do you find yourself with writer’s block ever at all? Do you toss ideas off each other? How’s that work?
BM: It usually just starts off with Scoot or myself will kind of have a guitar riff and then we’ll kinda just build off of that. We’ll have either a guitar riff that we think sounds cool or we’ll kinda be playing around with it and then
she’ll be like,”What was that? Play that again.” And then Mike will come up with a drumbeat to it and then we’ll start getting built off that.
KP: Sometimes it starts off with a bass riff, and there’s one song it stemmed from a song I wrote on piano but it’s mostly a collaboration. We don’t have one song writer. We actually have a couple songs
where that were written by us just feeling off the jam, just go with it. We
RH: Just jammin’ man.
KP: And we’re all like that was cool, s*** we’re gonna forget this let’s play it again before we forget.
BM: Then that’s when we all remember that we have smartphones and we can record what we’re doing, so we don’t forget it for next time.
KP: Terrible audio quality.
RH: Oh that sounded really good in my mind, but not so good on this phone. Like, “Hey check out this demo” “Uhh, I wouldn’t do that one”.
BM: What we’re we playing last week?
RH: Well that’s awesome! so you bounce stuff off each other, do you all find yourselves with the same-like influence or like who’s your top musician? Who’s your favorite artist? What sounds the best to you?
KP: Mine is Tori Amos. Totally not hard rock, ya know?
RH: See that’s interesting right?
KP: Yeah, she comes from a different planet as far as what we kind of play but a lot of her, I’m inspired.
RH: Venus right? Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, I think that’s it.
KP: She has an album called “To Venus and Back”.
RH: Well see.
KP: But we all have different inspirations, they kinda fall into a…
RH: … a nice little box, a little package.
RH: Not yours Brian.
KP: Kinda going back to piano, I write a lot of stuff, mostly on piano moreso than on bass. But as far as our influences, its just mostly anything that’s hard, thrashy, energetic.
KP: Fun, exactly.
BM: For me, I play guitar because of Kurt Cobain and I listen to heavy music because of Metallica and then probably my main guitar playing influence is Mark Tremonti from Creed and Alter Bridge. So you’ll see his influence definitely reflected upon my playing style.
RH: I think a hipster just walked by, heard “Creed” and got a little pissed.
BM: Especially on the new EP that we’re recording. My guitar tone, at least, is kind of emulated off of his. But I think, like you were saying, back to how a song is created. Just with all of us, we have such a diverse background in
terms of our influences. Like Scott, for example, really into a lot of extreme metal like Arsis, Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth but then he also likes stuff like Alice in Chains and other mainstream rock.
RH: So it’s a broad genre.
BM: It is.
RH: We’re going back and forth from Tori Amos to Cannibal Corpse, I mean that’s quite the variety of influences.
BM: Right, you could make the argument no two of our songs sound the same because we’re just kind of all over the place ya know? The four of us are all over the place and all lumped into one band.
RH: That sounds like a fun night, now you do this on stage? No, I’m just kidding.
KP: [Laughs] It’s lumping, lumping.
RH: So with all these influences and all the people you got that inspire you from everywhere basically, who are some of the most fun bands to play with? Who’s your favorite artist to work with on stage or hanging before a show or at a
KP: We like playing with Red Novela a lot. They’re a lot of fun. We played with Bad Axes before, it’s the project of the lead guitarist from Cold. We played with Nonpoint, that was a lot of fun.
RH: That was a sweet show, I was there.
BM: Subject to Change, they’re always fun to play with. Psychopathic Days, they blow you right out of the water when they play. They’re so heavy.
RH: So is it really fun to play with them even if you can’t hear anything anymore.
BM: Yes, that’s how you know you’re at a good concert.
KP: They got some 808’s.
RH: And heartbreaks, where’s my Kanye reference.
KP: And Violent Kill we’re going to be playing with them.
RH: Well that’s awesome. So favorite shows, do you have like a specific venue you prefer to play? Or is there one in particular that’s like a local spot but it’s yours?
KP: we really liked Chicago City Limits, when they were still doing the live music every Friday, Saturday. Cobra Lounge is probably my favorite.
BM: Yeah, I think we’ve had some of the best shows at Cobra Lounge in terms of consistency. I still think our best one was when we played with Nonpoint last December. It was sold out, between four and five hundred people.
RH: Yeah I was there stuck between two very large women. It was unpleasant.
KP: The crowd response and the energy is really what makes a good show for us.
BM: And nothing went wrong, which is different for us.
RH: That’s always good.
KP: Thank you technical difficulties.
BM: I’m sorry.
KP: Every band’s gotta have one I guess.
RH: Well so in terms of different venues do you like help promote? Do you guys go door-to-door almost or what?
KP: Not Jehovah’s witness style.
RH: All like alright it’s those Arcane Framework jerks, get um outta here.
KP: Have you heard us?
BM: Aw they’re here again.
KP: No but we blast a lot on Facebook, we kind of do what we’re doing tonight and pass out some of this stuff (CDs).
BM: You’re dropping them, they’re useless now!
KP: Hopefully no one will throw them in the garbage and going to other people’s shows, it helps a lot. People always remember when you show up at shows.
RH: Oh definitely.
KP: And they’ll wanna return the favor. So it’s great having a good network of people that you support. I got your back.
RH: Again, it’s all about the people you know.
RH: So a litte bit of social, a little bit of actual interaction with people. I think, making the connection the whole like “Yeah I remember them, let’s go see their show.” So you mentioned that you had some weird experiences, like stuff
wasn’t always working. What would be your most embarrassing experience on stage?
KP: Him, Brian.
RH: Just Brian in general, just like Brian get off the stage.
BM: Anytime something goes wrong it’s with my equipment. I mean even the first show I ever played I popped a string and I’m…
RH: Running around?
BM: It was like the second to last song and I’m just staring at my guitar like what do I do? So I’m like alright, I’ll change guitars because it was still early in the song. So I decided to change guitars in the middle of the song and for whatever reason I was storing my extra guitar on the other side of the venue.
RH: At least you had it, right? I mean what else do you do?
BM: That’s true. I always come prepared and so she’s singing or doing whatever and here comes Brian flying across the stage and running into the crowd to get his other guitar.
KP: And he’s not even technically in our band yet at this time.
RH: Ignore the Craigslist killer for a second.
BM: It was like my try out or whatever. So there was that and my strap likes to fall off sometimes.
RH: Oh aren’t you the lady?
BM: I guess.
KP: I lost my voice once, we had played a show after I had been sick for the two weeks prior. It was at Cobra Lounge and our second song into the set, right at the end I went to sing and nothing came out.
KP: And I’m like “Oh my”.
RH: What do you do?
KP: We had forty minutes left and it was terrifying.
RH: So Brian grabs the mic, starts singing and everyone leaves.
KP: (singing) “Uhhhhh”
BM: Limp Bizkit covers.
RH: We’ve seen those, those were good.
KP: No but I just had some water and just
RH: Toughed it out?
KP: Yeah just kind of toughed it out. It was scary though.
RH: You took your inner Tori Amos and just
KP: (singing) “Uhhhhh”. Yeah it didn’t happen again to me.
RH: Well I mean that’s gonna, you’re gonna have some bad experiences. So that’s like the low point though, what would be your high point? Maybe was it a favorite song you’re playing? Was it just a moment you had on stage or even in practice where you’re like, “I’m really enjoying myself, this is really fun.”?
KP: I think my favorite song right now is one of our new ones, “Colorblind” and “Insight Disguised” is a fun favorite of mine.
RH: You just get in the moment?
KP: Yeah, when we play live I sometimes demand the people in the crowd to start a Conga line.
KP: It happened once and it hasn’t happened again.
RH: [Still bewildered] A Conga line? If you get people, if you get anyone to do that I’d be impressed. I don’t care where you’re at.
KP: It’d be nice to see that again.
RH: Alright, Conga Line tomorrow night.
BM: You’re gonna start it right?
RH: Absolutely. (True to my word we did a Conga line)
KP: I’m counting on you.
RH: [Laughs] I can be there, I can do that.
RH: So you got the show tomorrow night, Brauerhouse, you guys are headlining, that’s pretty awesome. Do you guys do anything to mentally prepare? How do you get ready to go on stage?
KP: Carbo load!
RH: Lots of pizza?
BM: Buca di Beppo
RH: Buca di Beppo?
KP: Just drink lots of water.
KP: Do my vocal warmups.
RH: Just like that, see so you got a little prep action.
KP: [Laughs] Get there on time.
RH: Calisthenics? You know get a nice stretch in.
BM: Yeah stretching, jumping jacks, push ups are always good.
KP: Make sure our stuff isn’t broken.
RH: Double check, make sure the string isn’t too tight, pluck it, break it.
BM: No promises.
KP: Brian’s strings have no lifespan.
BM: They don’t. I’ll change them and they’ll still break. Woe is me.
BM: [Playing air violin] Is that how you play Violin? I don’t know, whatever.
RH: I thought you were gonna punch me.[Laughs]
RH: SO, this is your show tomorrow night, what else do you guys have lined up for the rest of the year? Any new music releases? Any big shows you’re playing with anybody that you’re excited for?
KP: Yeah we have about one more week left to wrap up for me to record vocals at AngryMan studios. We’re recording with Brad Dausman, he record our first EP. We’re wrapping up our second.
RH: No big deal, brush your shoulders off.
KP: So we’re looking to see that come out late spring
RH: That’s awesome, we’ll look forward to seeing that album come out in a couple months or so and then we’ll be at your show tomorrow too. So thanks so much for joining us!
BM: Thanks for having us!
KP: Thank you!
KP: Thank you all!
You can find out more about Arcane Framework on their Reverbnation page, including the ability to listen to full tracks of their music.