Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Arms Aloft (Photo: Nicole Kibert)
Arms Aloft (Photo: Nicole Kibert)

When Arms Aloft announced its second full-length, What A Time To Be Barely Alive, the band couldn’t help but be self-deprecating. In a statement to New Noise, the band joked about how it’s old “in punk years,” and how the label that signed up to release the record—Red Scare Industries—was jumping at the chance to lose money. But that betrays what Arms Aloft has always been about, which is succeeding in spite of everything that’s thrown at you. Today, The A.V. Club is premiering “The Truth Is Out There,” a song that references The X-Files but searches to find answers in daily life instead of extraterrestrial phenomenon. It’s backed up by a quote from frontman Seth Gile, which extrapolates on the band’s approach to overtly political pop-punk.

Any punk song worth its salt is at least kind of about politics. Usually personal politics, unless it’s the uncut shit like Propagandhi or Crass or whatever. And that’s the kind of thing we’ve always written before, too. Personal stuff. But it sort of hit me while we were putting this record together that all these songs we’d been writing were about symptoms. Anxiety, self-medication, depression. To the extent we had a reputation, it was a reputation for yelling about that kind of shit. So this time I made a conscious effort to try and write about the causes. “Why do I have anxiety? Why do I self-medicate? Why can’t I sleep?” Well, it’s because of this toxic election or news reports about bombs falling on places I’d have a hard time finding on a map or cops killing kids or bands selling t-shirts sewn in sweatshops or just whatever else. It’s a fucking scary and weird time to be alive. So a lot of the record, including this song, is more about “WHY do we feel like this?” And what can we do about it? How are we going to make the most of being tossed back and forth by the death throes of the type of American capitalism we were all brought up in? What’s next and how the holy shit do we get there? I don’t even kind of think we answered any of said questions… but at least we asked them really loud?


What A Time to Barely Be Alive is out in September and pre-orders for both CDs and vinyl are available now.

Arms Aloft tour dates

9/10—House Of Rock—Eau Claire, WI (Record release party)
9/15—The Frequency—Madison, WI (w/ The Falcon)
9/16—Triple Rock—Minneapolis, MN(w/ The Falcon)
10/28—The Fest—Gainesville, FL
11/12—Rocks Off Boat Cruise—New York City, NY (w/ The Falcon, Mikey Erg)

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