ARMED AND DANGEROUS AoR defend their turf.
It is official — iconic PVD noisemongers Arab on Radar are back on the grid and about to end their eight-year hiatus with a nationwide reunion tour beginning this weekend in Easthampton, Massachusetts, followed by a stop at AS220 on July 3. Guitarists Jeff Schneider (aka Mr. Clinical Depression) and Steve Mattos (Mr. Type-A), drummer Craig Kureck (Mr. Obsessive-Compulsive), and charismatic loon Eric Paul (Mr. Pottymouth) have all kept busy since disbanding in 2002, forming the acclaimed bands Athletic Automation, Made in Mexico and the Chinese Stars, so a Radar reunion could be deemed more inevitable than unlikely. For those unaware of their landmark madness, file Arab on Radar under Providence Noise Scene 101, summed up best by Schneider on their 2008 DVD retrospective Sunshine for Shady People: "We somehow whipped up this fucking fury . . . We crawled out of the gutter, played this righteous shit, and made it to a pinnacle where we basically owned this shit." Added Paul: "A group of degenerate, white-trash fucking assholes were gonna see the world, and we went out and did it. And that's pretty fucking cool."
When I inquired about the chance of a reunion following Sunshine, Paul offered, "We're all from here, and we'll probably all die here, but the reunion question has never been proposed or addressed, so who's to say."
It would be nice to assume we perhaps lit the reunion fuse. Then again, after receiving a handful of vicious emails for not acknowledging original bassist Andrea Fisset in our Sunshine DVD review ("Know your fucking history, bitch" stands out), we'll settle for a rare Q&A session with Paul and Mattos.
While Paul forewarned me the band "rarely answers interview questions straight-up," Mr. Pottymouth and Mr. Type-A collaborated on our Q&A and divulged some breaking news in the process, including (spoiler alert, bitches) the possibility of new material on the horizon. Keep reading:
HOW/WHY DID AN ARAB ON RADAR REUNION COME TO FRUITION? WHY NOW? Due to legal reasons, certain band members have not been allowed within 150 feet of each other, making it difficult to perform. These legal issues have since been resolved.
ARE THE FOUR OF YOU STILL LIVING IN THE PVD AREA? Many years ago we drank the water here in Providence. And now we will die here.
BACK IN THE DAY, WERE YOU GUYS JUST TOO FUCKED UP TO REALIZE AOR'S IMPACT? WHAT COMES TO MIND NOW IF SOMEONE SAYS " '90S PROVIDENCE NOISE SCENE?" We have very few recollections of that time period, with the exception of a few hazy memories of long-lost nights at JR's Fast Lane and Mario's Showplace.
WHAT'S THE ARAB ON RADAR RIDER LOOK LIKE NOWADAYS? Rider: boom box, baby wipes, and beef jerky.
WHAT'S NEXT FOLLOWING THE TOUR? ANY CHANCE OF NEW MATERIAL IN THE WORKS? We are in the process of writing songs for a new record right now. We plan on touring when the record comes out.
WHAT IS THE REHEARSAL PROCESS FOR THIS TOUR? CAN WE GET A SETLIST PREVIEW? We are rehearsing these songs and they will be in our set list throughout the summer shows: "#5," "#1," "Slut Whisperer" (new song), "My Mind Is a Muffler," "#6," "Psychotropics Anonymous" (new song), "Birth Control Blues," "#3," "God Is Dad," and "#7."
FOR THOSE WHO NEVER EXPERIENCED AN ARAB ON RADAR SHOW, WHAT CAN THE UNINITIATED EXPECT AT AS220 THIS WEEKEND? Expect: beards, body odor, and brain damage!
Arab on Radar + Tinsel Teeth + Whorepaint | Saturday, July 3 @ 9 pm | AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence | $8 | 401.831.9327 | ArabOnRadar.com